PPC Campaign Optimization Tips
Regardless of a campaign’s goals or objectives, the success of a PPC campaign is tied directly to the metrics. As search marketers, we are constantly engaged in trying to improve these metrics yearly, monthly and even daily. That is why we optimize, optimize, optimize and optimize some more. We optimize campaigns to improve our clients’ ROI. We optimize campaigns to maximize our clients’ budget. We optimize because telling a happy story to our client is much easier than telling a sad one. So here are a few of the things we look at so that we can tell that happy story.
I should caution that the ideas presented here are but a few methods that a search marketer could consider while optimizing a ppc campaign. A more extensive list could have been provided, but I too have campaigns to optimize.
The optimization strategies here are focused around three main themes: Keywords, Ad Copy, and finally Campaign Settings.
- Match Type – Determine which of the four match types (Broad, Phrase, Exact, and Modified Broad) are performing best in the campaign and pause the underperforming keyword match types.
- Negative Keywords – Growing this list should be an ongoing process as the campaign evolves. Use the Search Terms Report for negative keyword discovery.
- Search Query Report – Great for keyword ideas and (again) negative keyword discovery.
- Max CPC – Consider the bidding strategy against your keywords. Underperforming keywords may require a more aggressive bid strategy.
- Filter – Filter? Use the filter button to quickly sift through keywords that are below the first page, or that have good quality but low traffic volumes.
- Ad Copy Performance – Test. Test. Test.
- Ad Extensions – no excuse for not using at least one form of ad extensions in your campaign. Determine those that align with your campaigns KPIs.
- Call-To-Actions – Ensure your ad copy includes specific call-to-actions. Some examples include Buy, Shop, Get a Free Quote, Visit, Learn, Contact Us etc…
- DKI – be very careful with Dynamic Keyword Insertion. When used properly, it can be a very effective technique for your ad copy. When used incorrectly it can lead to plain sloppiness in your ad copy.
- Mobile – Call Extensions and App Extensions work nicely on mobile devices and if possible, should be utilized.
- Networks – Campaign running on both Search and Display Networks? How about Search partners? Evaluate the performance on each network.
- Devices – If the campaign is running on mobile devices consider how aggressive to set the mobile bid.
- Locations – AdWords & bing Ads enables marketers to run campaigns to very specific geo-targeted areas. Ensure that this setting is carefully set to the specific region you intend to target or else it could blow through search marketing budget very quickly.
- Languages – In Canada, 7.3 million people reported French as their mother tongue (source. Stats Can). Consider creating a French campaign to reach this demographic.
- Bid Strategy – Running a campaign with conversions? The bid strategy Focus on Conversions may be right for your campaign. Not running a campaign with conversions? No problem, set the bid strategy for Focus on Clicks. Think of the campaign KPIs and set the bid strategy accordingly.
- Ad Scheduling – Focus your budget on the time of day, or day of the week that will provide the greatest return. Keep in mind the keyword patterns that exist. Ex. Search queries for movies increase on Fridays and on the weekend.
- Ad Rotation – This could be tricky. While running a test for your ad copy, the rotate evenly/indefinitely options may be right setting. However, overtime optimize for clicks/conversions may be a better option for the campaign.
- Exact and Phrase Match – I typically set this to Include plurals, misspellings, and other close variants. The other option is Do not include close variants and this could exclude your ad from appearing to potential clients.
As mentioned earlier, this is not a definitive list of optimization tactics, but should act as a starting point for you to begin the optimization process for your ppc campaign.