Optimizing Your Campaign for Success
You understand why PPC is the ideal layer of the marketing cake for your business, and you know how to write compelling ads and what different metrics mean. We’re now at the point where things get really interesting, and where you can start optimizing your campaign for success.
A rule of thumb: Depending on the volume and size of your account, I’d recommend having at least seven days’ worth of data for bigger accounts and up to 30 days on smaller accounts before you start optimizing for the first time.
Ready? Let’s begin.
Essentially, optimizing a PPC account focuses on understanding the following:
What works well? What could be improved? Which keywords, locations, devices, or audiences trigger your conversions? Which keywords aren’t working for your campaign?
Review your bids: Once you’ve got some data in, you’ll have a pretty good idea of which keywords drive most of your traffic and conversions and which ones don’t. Adjust your bids accordingly. I recommend increasing or decreasing your keyword bids in 5% to 10% increments to begin with, as you don’t want to make drastic changes straight away. Once you’ve got a grip on PPC and your product/service market, you’ll be able to make better judgment calls.
Creating a negative keyword strategy: Within your search terms, you might notice certain keywords coming up time and time again that simply don’t fit in with the service or product you’re offering. By excluding these search terms or keywords—known as negative keywords—your ads won’t appear for irrelevant search terms, and you won’t be paying for clicks that are irrelevant to you.
Bid adjustments by device/location: Looking at your ad groups on a device level or your campaigns from a location point of view can provide you with some quick optimization wins and hopefully bring down the overall cost of your cost per conversion. Again, I recommend increasing or decreasing device and location bids in 5% to 10% increments for now until you have a better idea of how your product performs.
Ad scheduling: After a month’s worth of data, it might be worth reviewing peak times in traffic and conversions that are meaningful to your business. Consider setting up a schedule that stops your ads from showing during days or hours of the day that don’t convert well for you. This is particularly true for B2B environments where most of your conversions happen within office hours or a PPC campaign for a brick and mortar shop with restricted opening times.
Review key metrics: Is there a particular ad that is dragging your average click-through rate down? Are you losing out on impressions because your Quality Score could do with improvement? Which ad groups or campaigns require your attention first? These are questions I like to ask myself regularly, but especially at the beginning of each month so that I can build a solid optimization strategy for the month ahead.
Review your landing page: Is your landing page relevant to the keywords you’re bidding on within that ad group? Small tweaks in your landing page copy could increase your Quality Score and thus help you to bid less for high ad positions.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and success doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t have to implement all these changes immediately or all at once, either.
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