It’s the second quarter of 2016, and all around you can hear the sounds of users clicking away around your competitor’s PPC campaigns while missed opportunities continue to build up on your end due to a poorly optimized account. You think you’re wasting valuable resources and PPC just doesn’t work for you. What if I told you it can, and everything you need is at your fingertips – you just have to know what to look for and how to leverage it in your favor. How do you do that? Let’s start with the basics.
1) Is Your Tracking Enabled Properly?
It is very easy to end up with a tracking nightmare when dealing with URL tracking – especially if it’s an encoded URL (looks something like out of the Matrix). Without proper configuration of your ad URL’s tracking parameters, you may not be recording essential data to your Google Analytics account. The famous UTM parameters allow Google Analytics to track and record click traffic from their source, medium, and campaign.
Improper use of the UTM parameters, can devastate your analytics recording and log essential data for optimizing your campaigns under incorrect categories or even record nothing at all – making it seem like PPC just isn’t right for you without even looking at all the data.
2) Are You Using The Most Relevant Landing Page?
During your PPC adventures, you may notice when looking at the keyword level a measure for quality score.
Next to the quality score (QS) you will see scores for ad relevance and landing page relevance. This can range from below average, average, and above average. The more relevant your landing page is to the keyword(s) you are bidding on, the better your score will be. A higher quality score means a lower cost-per-click (CPC), which in turn can mean cheaper cost per conversion.
3) Is Your Local Business Taking Full Advantage Of Your Backyard?
The most important area to target your local business for the best return is in your backyard. You can use the location reports tool in Adwords to determine how much traffic is coming from a specific city or even zip code. If sales suggest that the majority of converting traffic is in your backyard, consider adding a bid adjustment around that location. This can boost your overall conversions by ensuring you are maximizing impression share around your backyard.
4) Are Your Ads Running For The Entire Day?
If you’re seeing a warning on your PPC campaigns for “limited by budget,” chances are your ads aren’t showing for the entire day or are spread out throughout the day with gaps in potential high traffic periods where your ads aren’t running.
This suggests that your current daily budget with your geographic targeting is too small to compete with the search demand. In these situations, Adwords will only show your ads periodically throughout the duration of the day, which could mean a lot of missed opportunities. Consider raising your budget to the recommended amount and then identify the hours of the day where your campaigns perform most highly.
5) Do You Actually Want Your Ads To Run All Day?
Coming from our earlier topic of ads running the entire day. Gather hour by performance data over the course of roughly 2-3 months, and once you’ve identified the highest performing hours, create an ad schedule to either run your ads only during these hours, or apply a bid adjustment to compete more heavily during these high traffic periods. This can mean getting the best return for your dollar by competing in more auctions during these top-performing periods.
6) Are You Keeping Track Of Negative Keywords?
Depending on your use of keyword match types, you may be bidding on broad match or broad modifier keywords that can also lead to a number of irrelevant searches for similar searches. Using negative keywords can help limit the number of irrelevant searches your ads will show up for per user search query.
7) Are You Reviewing Your Search Terms Report?
Need help identifying which similar keywords to add to your negative keywords? If you’ve been running your campaigns for a while, you will have lots of data on auctions users were searching in where your ad was served. You can use these reports to find negative keywords to add that you do not want your ads to serve for–saving you money on irrelevant clicks and improving your CTR with fewer impressions.
8) What’s Going On With Your Keyword Match Types?
In addition to using negative keywords, there are strategies in the structure of your ad group’s keywords to prevent commonly irrelevant keywords from serving your ads. This can be done using stricter match types for your keywords. There are four categories of match types: broad, broad modifier, phrase, and exact match.
9) Have You Checked How Devices Are Performing?
If your mobile device traffic is performing extraordinarily well at more clicks and conversions than desktop, you will want to take full advantage of all opportunities from your mobile traffic. This can be done by applying a bid adjustment for mobile users; on the other hand, if you see that mobile traffic is not an area you are looking to focus on, you can also remove mobile traffic from your campaign altogether by applying a decrease bid adjustment of -100%.
10) Are You Testing Your Current Ads Against One Another?
There is no limit to the variations of ad text you can use to captivate users to click on our ad. If you aren’t seeing the right ROI, try changing up your ad copy and set your campaigns to “rotate indefinitely” for your ad delivery. This will evenly test your ads against one another and as you measure their performance, pause the lower performing ads and replace with another and repeat till you’ve found that perfect ad.