With Google continually making changes in AdWords, it is becoming difficult to manage and maintain a successful PPC program. Since paid search is an enormously complex and continuous process, constant monitoring and optimization is vital regardless of how busy your daily schedule may be.
While a major goal of PPC management is to achieve a higher quality score, sometimes it means making adjustments within your current account in a short period. Below are five steps that will help you manage your PPC campaigns for better performance and ROI.
1. Define Your PPC Objectives
Taking time to outline the goals and objectives of your PPC campaigns is crucial for the success of your business. For example, do you lack traffic but have an enviable conversion rate? Do you want to take your AdWords spend down without shaking off conversions? Do you have a below par conversion rate? By addressing these questions, you will know what your business needs from your PPC account and this help you make quicker and objective decisions.
2. Track Your Campaign
Based on your specific industry and how you gather most of your online sales leads, tracking can help you establish the effectiveness of your PPC campaign. There are different tracking options available to AdWords users including conversion tracking, Google Analytics, and call tracking. Whichever tracking method(s) you choose to employ; it is important to install tracking ahead of activating your PPC campaign. In addition, proper tracking will allow you to get real time and precise data to make essential corrections when things are not working as planned.
3. Perform A/B Ad Testing
When setting up your PPC campaign, it is vital to incorporate at least two different ads for every ad group you will be running. This allows you to rotate the ads and identify which one is more appealing to your audience and which is more productive in terms of ROI. Once the campaign is on and you have collected some helpful information about the performance of your ads, it is time to test your ads. After identifying your best ads, you can perform variation testing along your description lines and highlight various features to improve the performance of your ads.
4. Filter Out Under-performing Keywords
One major drain on PPC management is under-performing keywords. If your keywords have high amounts of impression but very few clicks, this means that they have low CTR and are negatively influencing the quality score of your ad groups. Creating different filters for your keywords can help weed out weak and under-performing keywords. Alternatively, if you have Google Analytics installed in your webpage, you can look at the bounce rate to identify which keywords are driving inappropriate traffic to your PPC campaign. If the bounce rate of keywords is high, it is a sign that people like your ads but for some reason, they cannot find what they are expecting once they are on the landing page.
5. Bid and Budget Optimization
How you manage your bidding influences the amount of traffic your ads receive and the ROI they generate. For example, higher bids likely get more traffic while spending more money. Conversely, lower bids are likely to improve ROI but get fewer clicks and conversions.
Based on your predetermined daily/monthly PPC management budget it is important to ensure that your campaigns are at the allocated spend rate and are neither over nor under-spending. PPC management and optimization is not a onetime activity, so if you are not regularly investing the time to manage your PPC campaigns, you will not see the results you desire.
If you would rather spend your time growing and managing your business operations instead of trying to manage your PPC accounts internally, it may be time to consider engaging your favorite digital agency partner to handle PPC management on your behalf as a part of a larger strategic marketing plan to achieve your goals.