PPC optimization is mandatory for profitable management. Don’t mess it up.
- The principal of optimizing is the consistent and thorough analysis of account performance.
- Through this ongoing analysis, trends, opportunities, and issues can be recognized and responded to appropriately.
- Your PPC account will stagnate and waste money without proper PPC optimization.
My PPC account can take care of itself
Wrong! If you think your account is self-sufficient, you’re gonna have a bad time. Pay-per-click is an ongoing process; one-time account set up will never see the results that good PPC strategy yield.
The fundamentals of a good PPC strategy in two words: optimization & testing. These two words encompass the ongoing and consistent management that high-performance PPC accounts receive.
Setting up the PPC account is one thing, but without ongoing management, the account could very easily spend your money in a wasteful manner. There is also the opportunity cost of missing leads and sales that is involved with a lack of consistent PPC management.
Any competitors who are constantly optimizing will leave you in the dust.
PPC Optimization and the account you want to have
Moreover, the account we want you to have. You just have to know that PPC is not a onetime fix.
Optimize me Captain!
Your account will accumulate data as it runs. This data will tell you all sorts of things. The trouble is knowing what it’s telling you. And once you know what the data is saying, what are you going to do with that information?
This is the basic premise of PPC optimization: interpreting an account’s accumulated data and making decisions on how to change the account with this information.
There’s a lot of data to consider in a PPC account:
- CTR (click-through-rate)
- Avg. CPC (average cost-per-click)
- Geographical and seasonal trends
- The simple cost of your PPC campaigns
- And much more
This information piles up. With all this information, it makes no sense to ignore it.
Optimizing involves taking the information your PPC generates by simply running and using it to make adjustments that will cater to your business’s unique goals.
An Everyday Process
A well-optimized PPC account is kept up to date regularly. An account manager should be performing daily check ups. Our process often involves two or more managers doing a brief scan of daily account performance to avoid any glaring issues. The prioritization of the daily checks is as follows:
- Threats to your financial PPC health can pop up overnight. Consider this example:A competitor begins to bid more aggressively on queries that you were previously paying a low Avg. CPC of $0.25 for. You are willing to spend up to $5 for a click, but your current budget is optimized for the low Avg.CPC.
Your competitor’s new, aggressive bids are making your bids enter the auction at $4. Your budget quickly dries up as previous allocation accounted for an Avg. CPC eight times lower.
If a perceptive manager is not available to react, sales will be reduced for the day. Overspending or under spending keywords, ads, and campaigns can be detrimental to your PPC goals. Daily account checks will insure minimal waste and loss.
- Opportunities such as increasing the allocation of resources into targeting options that are performing well, increasing the efficacy of your PPC spend. The first tenant of seizing opportunities is finding ways to make your budget go further, improving your ROI.
- The traffic and reach of advertisements should be looked at as well to determine how many and where people are being served your ads.
While keeping this prioritization in mind, managers might find themselves adjusting budgets, bids, and targeting. All of this is done while keeping clients’ spending goals in mind.
What does PPC Optimization Look Like?
Like everything good and proper in the world. At least that’s the ideal. More realistically, and more commonly, PPC optimization might be seen in these forms:
- Search query optimization: via Search Query Reports conducted monthly, an account’s keyword issues can be explored and remedied by adding negative keywords to remove undesirable searches and keyword conflicts.New, more targeted keywords can also be found and implemented with these reports.
- Bidding optimization: by using historical data such as conversions, conversion rates, and cost per acquisition, adjustments can be made to keyword and ad group bidding.Monthly bidding optimization aims to spend money as effectively as your PPC budget will allow, focusing more budget on higher converting targeting and less on lower converting targeting.
- Placement optimization: by looking at historical data showing who and where the most conversions, best CTR, and lowest CPC, come from, placement of ads can be adjusted for higher relevancy and reduced costs.
- Conversion rate optimization: by using A/B testing to determine statistically significant victors in variant comparisons, landing pages and ad copy can be optimized for conversion optimization.In simpler terms, the best working aspects of ads and landing pages can be tested for.
Check your “Change History” logs in AdWords to see how often these kinds of ppc optimizations are made. If changes are not being made within your account, you should make contact with your current PPC manager, or consider a new approach to management.
Note that there are many different aspects of a PPC account that can be changed and optimized, and that the above-mentioned are just a few of these.
PPC is a process, not a project
This means that there is no finish date for your PPC accounts, you can’t build them and leave them. As more data builds in the account, there has to be someone keeping a keen and consistent eye on your account in order to catch any threats or opportunities, and these people have to know what do when they find them.
Leaving your PPC to its own devices can be an expensive mistake. But managing a PPC account that performs properly can also be a time intensive calling. Having a PPC agency maintain your PPC account can not only save your valuable time, but most likely your money as well. Unchecked accounts will waste your money. PPC accounts with experienced managers will maximize the distance your dollar goes, and potentially bring you more customers.
If you’re concerned about your account’s PPC optimization, feel free to contact the team at Vantage for a free PPC consultation.
Read the next PPC Fundamentals article here: PPC Advertising: How to Test Like a Boss
Read the previous PPC Fundamentals article here: How PPC Advertising Reaches the Right People at the Right Time