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Jared Falkner - From The Vive Corner

Perfecting Your PPC Campaign (Part 2)

A few days ago, we shared the necessary steps for launching a pay-per-click ad campaign. However, that information won’t be advantageous if the ad campaign is not properly maintained, and hence the reason for Part 2: “Perfecting Your PPC Campaign”.

Much like a house, car, or pet, a PPC campaign requires constant maintenance and a lot of attention! In this blog, we’ll discuss what it takes to keep your PPC campaign healthy and performing at optimum quality.

Retracing our Steps

Step 1

  • Review Google Ads recommendations
    • Believe it or not, Google is actually trying to help you throughout the campaign process. Their algorithms are fantastic at articulating how a decrease or increase in budget spending would affect the campaign. Besides recommending budget increases, here are a few examples of campaign suggestions Google shares to increase overall performance:
      • Set a cost-per-action dollar amount <?>
      • Optimize business objectives that matter by reporting conversion values
      • Expand audience reach with smart-bidding campaigns
      • Offer new keywords that align with business insights
      • Utilize partner sites to help reach additional users
      • Automatically create ads based on Google recommendations
    • This may seem overwhelming when you read through them all, but Google has a robust help desk and FAQ page that thoroughly defines what all the recommendations or next steps mean.
    • Staying on top of Google recommendations will help improve the overall performance of your campaign. Google even provides an optimization score which is presented in a percentage form. Ideally, a healthy optimization score is 90% and above.

Keywords, Keywords and MORE keywords!

Steps 2-4

  • Reviewing Keywords
    • Similar to Part 1, where we highlighted the importance of a keyword strategy, reviewing and refining keywords throughout the campaign is also a crucial step to producing a successful campaign. Keywords can be evaluated by the performance of the clicks, impressions, CTR, conversion rates, average cost-per-click, cost-per-conversion, and a few other data points associated with a specific keyword or key phrase. Generally, the CTR and Conversion Rate are the metrics you should pay attention to.
    • The CTR will provide the data (percentage) to mathematically understand how many times an ad is being clicked on by a user, divided by the number of times it was displayed in Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs). This calculates the CTR of that keyword.
    • Additionally, the Conversion Rate illustrates how many users completed a conversion on your website (as defined by you) after typing in a keyword in Google you’re paying to rank for. For example, if a user typed in “injection molding services near me” and they then went to your website by clicking on your ad, this would calculate the conversion rate of that keyword. The CTR and Conversion Rate will help you articulate the user engagement based off the keywords you’re paying to rank for.
  • Adjusting Keywords
    • Next to understanding how the keywords are performing, adjusting the keywords is also important. Google gives you the opportunity to match all of your keywords or key phrases with 3 match types.
    • According to Google Ads Help:
      • Broad Match: “Ads may show on searches that are related to your keyword, which can include searches that don’t contain the keyword terms. This helps you attract more visitors to your website, spend less time building keyword lists, and focus your spending on keywords that work.”
      • Phrase Match: “Ads may show on searches that include the meaning of your keyword. The meaning of the keyword can be implied, and user searches can be a more specific form of the meaning. With phrase match, you can reach more searches than with exact match and fewer searches than with broad match, only showing your ads on the searches that include your product or service.”
      • Exact Match: “Ads may show on searches that have the same meaning or same intent as the keyword. Of the 3 keyword matching options, exact match gives you the most control over who sees your ad, but reaches fewer searches than both phrase and broad match.”
    • Vive recommends you read further on how these match types work in the Google Ads Help database. If the keywords you’re paying for are not performing to your desire, adjusting their match types will change the output of the campaign drastically.
  • Defining Negative Keywords
    • This will become apparent throughout the campaign when reviewing the search terms associated with the campaign: “A search term is a word or set of words a person enters when searching on Google or one of our Search Network sites. A keyword is a word or set of words that Google Ads advertisers can add to a given ad group so that your ads are targeting the right audience.” – Google Ads Help
    • Negative keywords, also known as keywords you do not want your ads to be displayed for following a user search, should be defined before campaign launch. A few examples of keywords that would most likely be added to an injection molders campaign would be: ebay, amazon, cheap injection molding, thermoforming, screw machining, etc. It’s important to be precise in telling Google what keywords you do not want your ads to show up for.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Step 5

  • Review Performance
    • Just like keywords, ads can perform at both ends of the spectrum. For a multitude of reasons, the ads you’ve created could just not be getting the outcomes you want them to get in Google SERPs. This can be identified by reviewing the ad strength, ad strength improvements, CTR, and conversion rate.
    • CTR and conversion rate will again tell you the quality of user engagement you’re receiving, and the ad strength/improvements will tell you the overall quality of the ad itself. The quality of the ad is calculated by Google’s algorithms in comparison to other ads, the content on your website, the user’s search and the keywords that have been implemented into the ad. If you’re not including the keywords you’re paying to rank for into the headline or description of your ads, there is going to be a disconnect.

Step 6

  • Staying Consistent
    • We recommend keeping a close eye on your ads for a while after posting them. Let your ads run their course for the first four weeks, which will give Google the proper amount of time to identify how your ads help the users searching on Google. During this time, you will see a consistent ebb and flow of keyword performance, and CTR’s.
    • After the first 4 four weeks, you can start making adjustments to the campaign that will have an impact on their daily performance. These adjustments could be:
      • Keyword matches
      • Addition or subtraction of keywords
      • Negative keyword additions
      • Cost-per-action or cost-per-click limits
      • Adjustment to the content or copy of ads
      • And more
    • Typically, this is also a good time to create new ads or perhaps pause ads that are underperforming in the campaign.

Stay tuned for Part 3, where we discuss the different “extensions” of PPC ads.