One of the most important aspects of managing a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign is optimizing that campaign. When I say “optimizing” I mean structuring your account to maximize your Click Through Rate (CTR) while minimizing your spending. Without optimization, your campaign could spend inefficiently and generate undesirable results. So here is a list of ways to optimize and then tweak your PPC campaigns for the best possible results.
Refine your keyword list
Once you have a list of keywords, you want to regularly update your list in order to keep keywords relevant and useful. Remove keywords that are spending a lot of money. Also, remember that match type optimization is a better approach. (Note: this usually would not be the case for long-tail keywords, which most often have very low CTRs, but high conversion rates).
Maintain ad copy quality and relevance
Your ad copy should enable customers to solve the problem represented in their search and should include a good call to action or CTA. You should also always A/B test the ad copy to see which ad copy resonates better with the searcher and CTAs work the best in terms of conversions and CTRs.
When it comes to the relevance of your ads, think about conversational ad copy vs. technical/feature rich ad copy. Figure out which type of ad copy resonates best with your target audience. The more relevant the ad copy the more chances of higher CTR’s.
You also want to test your ad copy by conducting “real life” searches. Put yourself in the mind of your customer and search as they would. When you see your ad, ask yourself if it is answering their problem.
Manage quality score breakdown
Benchmark and keep track of all your quality scores in order to know when you should look into performance issues. If your quality scores are taking a dive, look into the following:
- Check your destination URLs to make sure the landing pages work and that there haven’t been any changes.
- Check your site speed. Slow site speed can be a negative signal to Google, which will negatively affect your quality score.
- Optimize ads that have a low CTR, which would be <1.5%.
- Make sure that your landing page includes the keywords that drove people to it.
Is your budget being used as effectively as possible? Do well converting campaigns meet their full spend early in the day? To get the answers to these questions, make sure your review your:
- Percentage of budget allotted for your PPC campaign
- Percentage of budget used to date for that month
- Conversion rates
- Traffic volume
- Day Parting
If there is a campaign that is converting higher than what?, as it relates to volume, consider moving dollars off of lower converting campaigns and adding it to the better performing campaign.
You should always be looking for ways to expand or add keywords within existing ad groups. Also look for new ad group themes and ideas. To make sure you’re not wasting money on unwanted clicks, you also want to research new negative keywords, including exact and phrase match keywords. Don’t forget to pause poorly performing keywords that have low return on investment or ROI or low quality.
Optimize Google AdWords Enhanced campaigns
Now that Google has mandated enhanced campaigns, there are a few things you can do in order to further optimize your spend and make sure that you are targeting where the users are. You can target contextual information like a users location, device, and the time of day to target and start/stop your ads.
One of the most important parts of PPC campaign management is bid adjustment and optimization. Below are formulas given by Google for mobile, location, and time bid adjustments. (Note: If you don’t have a mobile site, you can exclude mobile traffic by making your adjusted bid -100%. But you need to ask yourself why you don’t have a mobile site).
Review your desktop and mobile performance: In order to optimize your mobile bid adjustment you must find out the ratio of mobile to desktop and tablet conversion value.
Review your performance by location: Adjusting your location bids you can optimize results in high-performance locations and de-emphasize low-performing locations. “To maximize conversion at a particular CPA or ROI level, a common best practice for setting bid adjustments is to equate your target metrics across all locations. – Google”. Remember to aim for a broader location target rather than a narrow one for better results.
Review your performance by time: In order to optimize time bids, compare the performance of your ads at different times compared to your overall performance goal. Then using this formula, you can calculate an optimal bid for each time period. The use of this formula will help calculate a goal that is set using a cost-per-action target.
Optimizing a PPC campaign should consist of gradual data driven changes over time. You will get closer to having a great campaign with great results by integrating these optimization steps into your daily managing routine.