Much like we often go to the doctor to stay fit, the key to the success of your PPC campaign is ensuring to regularly check that all domains of an account are running smoothly. Finding areas that are working, as well as where improvements can be made, is necessary to the health of a PPC account.
In this post, we will discuss a few paid search areas that should be reviewed monthly to ensure an account remains in the best shape.
Let’s take a look:
Search Query Check-Up
When a campaign is created, it’s essential to define a list of keywords the client should bid on. As the campaign runs, seeing the Search Query Report (SQR), given by Google, is vital to make sure a healthy account.
Advertisers should check this report regularly on a monthly basis (at least) for several reasons, comprising:
Search Terminology Changes – New inappropriate search queries could pop-up anytime because of changes within a company’s industry.
Holiday Terminology – There may be some unrelated terms that show up once a year at the time of festivals and holidays.
Finding New Keywords – On the other hand, marketers may find keywords that they are not bidding on that could be added to the account.
A customer’s ads popping up for inappropriate searches can lead to declines in CTR and quality score, so it’s essential to check the SQR report regularly.
From month to month, results like CTR, CPC, and average position can vary based on the range of different factors. One, in particular, that’s vital to check recurrently are changed to an organization’s AdWords competition.
Google is able to deliver a report, called Auction Insights, which shows what organizations are bidding on a precise keyword. By observing the “Impression Share” in the report on a monthly basis, marketers can see if a competitor is growing or decreasing their presence for definite sets of keywords.
These shifts have impacts on the keyword bidding auction and can offer insight into why there are changes indefinite data points. For instance, if an advertiser sees a big surge in impression share for a competitor, that might explain why their CPC or average position went up.
Looking at it another way, if the competitors for a keyword auction are not actual competitors at all, it might be a good indication the keyword is irrelevant. Further exploration would be required here.
Budget Allocation Check-Up
Once the month is over, it’s important to look at results and find out how they compare with the goals initially set up. If the overall account has a flexible budget, money should be allocated to campaigns that reached or exceeded goals. At the same time, money should be moved away from campaigns that didn’t hit their goals and they should be audited immediately.
Note that the performance of certain sets of keywords can vary by time of year, so it’s important to keep that in mind when moving more money around. Along the same lines, advertisers should monitor what hours of the day the budget is being spent. If performance is poor during certain hours of the day, it might be worth lowering the bid during that time, or completely turning off ads.
Throughout the month, it’s likely new ad copy, keywords, and bids were tested within the account. It’s important to make a schedule of what has been done, and, after a few weeks, check to see the overall effect on the account.
For example, if a series of ads were added to a campaign, it’s necessary to look back at the data after a few weeks to see how it compares to the original ads. From there, depending on the results, the ad copy that performs better should continue to run, while the poor performing ads should be paused.
Lastly, it’s always vital to make sure advertisers are up-to-date with the goings-on of their client’s company. Some areas to look into include:
- Changes to their overall messaging or branding
- New whitepapers or pieces of content to advertise
- Any events or promotions they may be offering
Knowing what’s happening with clients can lead to new paid search opportunities. Some ideas include:
- Updating extensions with new messaging & offers
- New keywords to bid on
- New ads with different call to actions
Successfully running a paid search with the help of a PPC marketing company account requires focusing on a wide variety of moving parts. In order to do this, it’s important to schedule regular account check-ups to determine what’s working, what isn’t, and what can be changed. By creating a check-up routine, an advertiser’s account can continue to remain healthy for many years to come.