January 30, 2008, 12:00 AM

Improvement Direct finds a home for new bid management system

With a better pay-per-click application, Improvement Direct has seen its conversion rate on certain combinations of keyword and phrases increase by up to 70%, says search engine marketing manager Rocky Glaze.

A new bid management system is giving Improvement Direct Inc. better control over its search engine marketing campaigns.

In December Improvement Direct re-launched its corporate web site as the focal point of its 12 specialty home improvement sites. The niche sites, such as FaucetDirect.com and LightingDirect.com, will continue but ImprovementDirect.com will drive customers to one brand, the company says.

The move to a single brand coincided with the need for a better bid management system. The retailer, No. 165 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, recently installed SearchCenter from Omniture Inc. to replace an outdated internal application.

With the new system, Improvement Direct has seen its conversion rate on certain combinations of keyword and phrases increase by up to 70%, says search engine marketing manager Rocky Glaze. With a better bid management system, Improvement Direct can now use one dashboard to monitor and change bids and campaigns on various search engines. With the old pay-per-click system, Improvement Direct had to manually adjust each search engine bid system separately.

The new system also enables Improvement Direct, which can conduct up to 1,000 different pay-per-click campaigns each month, to create custom rules for unique bidding strategies, categorize keywords into groups by different characteristics and use Excel spreadsheets to upload or download keywords from multiple list sources into pre-defined import templates. “We can use business rules to make the campaigns more specific,” Glaze says. “We’ve eliminated a lot of manual procedures.”

Improvement Direct maintains an inventory of several hundred thousand keywords. A more sophisticated bid management system is helping the retailer generate better search engine marketing efficiency. “We can now more easily shift spending to higher performing keywords,” Glaze says.

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