Report: Automation Can Help Solve PPC Profit and Retention Challenges

Paid search remains the dominant digital ad channel, while search engines are still the most-used tool for consumers to connect with businesses. Many traditional local media publishers (newspapers, yellow pages) offer SEM and SEO to their small business advertiser-customers, along with an expanding portfolio of other digital products.

Over the past 15 years, paid search programs have been challenging for many publishers to sustain in a profitable way. Some consider them “loss leaders” and some struggle with advertiser retention. In a 2015 survey from LSA research partner Thrive Analytics, a number of local media publishers said they had stopped selling SEM for two primary reasons: it wasn’t profitable (67%) and many customers “didn’t believe it was effective” (33%).


There are currently three primary challenges facing local publishers selling paid-search to SMBs:

  • Educating local businesses and setting appropriate performance expectations
  • Maximizing profit while delivering maximum results for the advertiser budget
  • Managing thousands of accounts at scale across desktop and mobile

A new LSA and Acquisio report takes a look at these issues and publishers’ attitudes toward paid search today, exploring how SEM can become a more successful and higher-margin product for the industry.

The solution, according to the report, is machine learning and automation. Technology advances now enable local media publishers to:

  • Onboard hundreds of campaigns efficiently, often in minutes
  • Manage campaigns at scale without additional staffing
  • Deliver better results for small ad-spend budgets
  • Automate reporting
  • Improve retention and profitability

For more insight and discussion download the report, “SEM: From Loss-Leader to Profit-Driver.”

If you have any questions about LSA’s custom research or studies, click here.

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