PPC optimizations are essential to sustain or improve your paid search advertising campaigns’ performance and reach oganizational goals. Sometimes it can be overwhelming – where should you start? There are several components of a PPC account that can help move the needle in your desired direction. This post provides some ideas to optimize your PPC performance, but certainly isn’t an all-encompassing list.
Keywords drive ads on the search network. If keywords are inefficient, this can lead to a lot of wasted ad spend.
Double check to ensure the keywords have a very tight connection. Limit keywords to around 15-20 per ad group. This enables you to create customized ads (with the keyword in the ad copy) that can get a higher CTR, ad rank, and the quality score while decreasing CPC.
Search Terms & Negative Keywords
Due to broad matching and close variant matching keywords to the actual query, some unusual searches can trigger your ads. This is a very important optimization in any PPC account.
Find the search terms from the keyword tab in any given campaign or ad group.
Google Display Network Negative Keywords
Several experts believe you shouldn’t use negative keywords for ads on the Google Display Network (GDN).
Consider new items where an automobile recall has caused a tragic accident. You definitely don’t want to advertise a vehicle on those pages. In that case, you should create negative keywords surrounding “accident”, “death”, “crash”, etc.
In our unpredictable political environment, it may also be a good idea to review topics you don’t want your company associated with to avoid the risk of ads served on controversial content topics.
Ads Per Ad Group
Google recommends: “Create three to four ads for each ad group, and use different messages for each to see which does the best. AdWords rotates ads automatically to show the best-performing ads more often.”
Depending on your business goals, you should come to a conclusion on how you define “success.”
- For example:
- Highest conversion rate
- Lowest cost per conversion
- Highest CTR
Ads on Mobile Apps/Games
Ads on the GDN serving on mobile apps and games can be a budget waster and should be reviewed as a starting point. Ads will frequently appear on mobile apps and games. But this traffic usually doesn’t convert, except for advertisers of B2C broad-appeal products/services (e.g., sweepstakes and other B2C lead-gen).
If you think about it, in most cases someone playing a game is unlikely to stop gameplay to click on an ad and convert via mobile (unless the ad is for another mobile game). There are many cases where ads are accidentally clicked on based on their placement in relationship to gameplay navigation.
Serving ads to the incorrect geolocation is another waste of PPC budget. Check by looking at Settings > Location > View location reports:
If you see clicks from outside the geotargeted location, adjust the location settings in one or more of the following ways:
- Narrow down the current geotarget.
- Use Settings > Location options(advanced) > People in my targeted location.
- Exclude locations as appropriate.
Have you audited your conversion actions lately? Some things to look for:
- Is the conversion tracking working?
- Is the primary conversion still your business’s primary KPI?
- Is the conversion tag on the correct page or is the Google Analytics goal still the correct page/action?Are you tracking too many conversions?
Consider if you have too many or disparate conversion actions. For example, tracking purchases, email signups, and whitepaper downloads. A concern with this is that each action has a different
value; therefore the rolled-up view of conversions gives a distorted picture of true return on ad spend (ROAS).
In many cases, PPC budgets should be allocated to better performing campaigns. While this is a good basic rule of thumb, it isn’t always the case.
This may not apply in cases where branding/awareness or certain display campaigns don’t show many last-click conversions. Also company brand names may convert higher but don’t need more budget.