Are Data Issues Preventing You From Achieving Peak SEM Performance?The success of any large PPC program is contingent upon certain key components — and one of the most powerful is a bidding strategy deeply supported by applicable data. If your program’s performance isn’t where it should be, it may be because your bidding strategy isn’t executing properly. While there are many factors involved, the causes of missed performance goals often stem from incomplete or low-fidelity data that drives decisions. To that end, the lack of complete and well-integrated data represents a major challenge for the SEM industry.The challenges of SEM data issuesThese days, the value that quality data can have on driving smart business decisions is generally clear — and the best strategies will thoughtfully take into account increasingly more data from key sources. So why do so many Paid Search programs suffer from poor data utilization, and thus, less than adequate performance? For a lot of reasons, including:Important data simply isn’t being captured.The bid management solution doesn’t integrate with a given category of data.The bid management solution doesn’t integrate and apply historical data far enough in the past.More specifically, the following are real-world data issues you might encounter with technology solutions in your day-today campaign efforts:Some solutions don’t integrate a full set of historical data to inform the bidding algorithms, or only use data from the last 7-14 days, preventing a full picture of the data landscape that would calculate the best bids.Some solutions have trouble integrating data from 3rd party sources, offline locations, or deeper funnel conversions, preventing them from calculating bids based on revenue goals. Thus, all the information that could inform bids is lost.Some solutions simply cannot algorithmically tie data back into your program for actualization — even if you’re collecting a lot of data for every click and conversion — preventing huge potential optimization gains.Some solutions take 1-2 days to incorporate your data in bid calculations, making the data less relevant and preventing immediate improvements.Let’s face it — data is everything. And there are certain core categories of data that can immediately generate profit-driving outcomes. Programs that take advantage of their data make bidding decisions based on the following:Search Engine DataSession AnalyticsOffline DataContextual DataNon-Search PublishersInventory and CapacityDeep Funnel (Latent, etc)Historical DataAny Business-relevant Data Source!Solutions for SEM data issuesIf you are seeing performance issues, or feel that all the data you are capturing isn’t being utilized in your bidding strategy, you may have a lot of opportunities to grow! But what are the next steps you need to take to resolve this data problem?Start collecting the data that makes sense for your business. Utilize CRM, point-of-sale, or call center data.Integrate these sources into your reporting to identify trends and impact.Integrate the sources into your bid automation technology to calculate optimal bids that drive results.Set bidding targets and goals that utilize your data in the platform to maximize the targets that matter to you.Consult with strategists and experienced professionals on the best data and bidding strategy that aligns with your business goals.With your current solution, you may be missing your goals because you aren’t able to take advantage of all your data. The “best in breed” tools will help you to collect more data, align it to publisher activity in a statistically relevant way, and automate bidding optimization to drive the best performance possible for your business. Isn’t it time for you to start taking advantage of what’s out there?