Whether you are running ads on Google, Bing or a social media network, pay per click (PPC) can be an incredibly effective advertising activity. The benefits of a well-executed PPC campaign include boosted awareness, traffic and ultimately, conversions and sales.
But, with insufficient management, it can quickly become a costly one too. So, to avoid wasting budget, and instead, maximise the return on investment of your PPC activity, it is recommended that you take a look at your management practices.
Here are seven tips on how to manage PPC campaigns for better results.
1. Organise your ad groups
If you have PPC campaigns already set up, you will be familiar with the structure of an account. While it’s important for all levels to be streamlined and well-organised, the set-up of ad groups is perhaps where most errors occur. And consequently, this can make the task of PPC management that bit more difficult.
When it comes to ad groups, it’s best to keep things simple. Create ad groups by grouping together keywords that relate to a specific term. It is recommended that within each ad group there are around ten keywords that are relevant to its overall focus. The opposite approach generates campaigns that are far too generic. The issue with this is that it becomes difficult for relevant ads to be served as there is no guarantee that they will be triggered by an appropriate search term that is likely to lead to a click-through or conversion.
2. Create consistency
Now that each ad group has a focused keyword, consistency needs to be created throughout the entire conversion funnel of each group. For instance, the focused keyword should align with the user’s search term. This keyword must then be included in the ad copy and then the landing page that the ad leads to.
The reason for this is to, firstly, increase the likelihood of a click-through as the ad and landing page will appear to be a relevant response to the user’s query.
Secondly, consistency improves the quality score of your keywords, which in turn, improves their ranking position on search engine results pages (SERPs), and reduces bidding costs to allow your budget to be stretched further.
All in all, this is a strategic way to manage PPC campaigns that does require some time and effort, but also encourages better returns.
3. Identify negative keywords
As well as streamlining those keywords you wish your ads to show for, it is also good practice to identify those for which you don’t.
Negative keywords are a way to do exactly this. You can specify terms that people may be searching for that could be interpreted as being similar to your offering, but are in fact, completely unrelated.
By identifying these terms, you can ensure that your ads will not be shown for searches that have no relevance to your products or services, and as a result, minimise the chances of wasting budget on click-throughs from users with no intentions of converting.
It is also a good idea to analyse search term reports regularly and add any irrelevant queries or keywords that your ads have shown to the negative keyword list.
4. Dynamic search ads
Utilising functions such as dynamic search ads takes some of the manual work out of PPC management. With this type of ad, headlines are dynamically generated by pulling through copy from your website that aligns with the user’s search query.
This can save time in campaign creation, but it will require careful monitoring once it is live to be able to make any adjustments to ensure the best results.
While dynamic search ads limit the amount of control you have over ads, dynamic keyword insertion is perhaps a better compromise. This function allows you to create your own ad copy, but with the ability for the search engine to substitute your generic keyword with the user’s search query.
Of course, this ensures ads are always relevant to encourage click-throughs and also reduces the time required to manually create ads for various keywords yourself.
Different PPC platforms have their own automation functions. In terms of management, automated rules are one of the most useful. Rules can be created for things such as reducing or increasing budgets or even pausing or resuming ads on certain days of the week or times of the year. Again, this saves time by eliminating the need to do such things manually.
Bidding can also be automated through use of various bidding strategies. Although these can reduce the admin burden of manually monitoring and adjusting bids, time must be spent understanding which strategy is best for you in order to optimise performance and results and to avoid any costly mistakes.
6. Make use of ad extensions and calls to action
For text-based search engine ads, there is the option to include various extensions and callouts. There are a number of benefits to these, with the main one being that they maximise your ad’s real estate and prominence on the results page, which encourages click-throughs.
But as well as this, the various calls to action offer greater convenience to users who can easily click on the action they wish to carry out without having to navigate through various website pages. For instance, a call button allows mobile users to contact you right from the SERP.
In terms of management, if ads have been set up with conversion tracking, you can easily monitor where traffic and conversions are coming from, which can then go into informing future business decisions and marketing activities.
Effective PPC management requires up-to-date knowledge and understanding of advertising platforms, trends and best practices. With platforms constantly updating their criteria and functions, the individual or team responsible for managing campaigns must have the acumen to be able to keep up.
Therefore, there may be need for a dedicated specialist if management is to be kept in-house.
Alternatively, the task could be outsourced to a third-party expert or agency. This can also reduce the cost, allowing you to focus budget and attention on other important commercial activities.
The Diginius team has used their years of experience and expertise in PPC management to develop insight software and automated bidding engines to help clients maximise the value and return generated from their PPC activity.
So, to find out how we can help you do the same, get in touch today.