Due to the nature of paid search, it can be very difficult to successfully manage a PPC account and properly convey what’s happening and why. Paid search changes on a daily basis, whether it be new betas have been released, new keywords are being searched, new competitors are entering the auction, or Google decides to completely change their settings of how ads are served (as they are doing with Google Enhanced Campaigns). Bottom line, there’s a lot going on and below is a list of things that should be constantly on your mind when managing paid search campaigns.
1. Understand your client’s top priorities and set expectations from the start
- Determine goals: cost per lead vs. ROI vs. market share vs. branding. What’s most important?
- Try to get a quantitative number to help make the right optimization changes (e.g., ROI goal is $3:$1).
- Are these goals achievable? What are challenges right off the bat (high CPC’s, low search volume, etc.)?
2. Find ways to constantly lower cost per conversion (here’s an article Fathom did expanding on 10 ways to lower cost per conversion)
- Run search query (keyword detail) reports and identify negatives.
- Identify times of day and locations that perform historically worse.
- Run filters and identify keywords performing under goal and make adjustments.
- Improving quality scores.
- Ad copy testing and optimization.
- Landing page testing and optimization.
3. Find new ways to expand their campaigns
- Tweak campaign settings – ad scheduling/device targeting/location targeting.
- Keyword expansion.
- Display, remarketing/retargeting.
- Google betas – constantly reach out to your Google representatives to see if there are new betas that might be worthwhile trying for your client.
- Try other advertising hannels – Bing ads, Linkedin ads, Facebook ads, retargeting, YouTube, Twitter, and more!
4. Provide reporting that works for your client
- Keep it simple – don’t get too detailed with keywords, ads, etc. (unless they want the information). Focus on conversions, revenue, and ROAS (or ROI).
- Leverage tools like Acquisio, Kenshoo, and Marin Software to provide automated reporting so you can spend your time doing what computers can’t do.
- Consider a snapshot of attribution – how is PPC (your clients spend) also affecting organic, direct, and referral conversions? Google Analytics recently released their attribution modeling feature that is extremely valuable when considering your clients overall marketing strategy and how everything works together. After all, we’re no longer in a 100% ‘last click’ era.
5. Be insightful
- If clicks increased, why? If cost per conversion decreased, what changes do you think impacted it?
- Document significant changes that you made, either in Google Analytics, the comment section of AdWords Editor, or simply on your calendar (and set a reminder to follow up).
- Use AdWords Top Movers Tool to identify these possible causes for significant changes to your clients campaigns and ad groups.
6. Keep an eye on their competitors
- All companies are interested in seeing what their competitors are offering and how it differs from them.
- Review their competitor’s ad copy, landing pages, and keywords. You can simply search on Google for keywords you’d expect them to show up, use AdWords Auction Insights and tools like SpyFu.
7. Be Proactive
- Try to be more proactive, then reactive. Constantly analyze keywords, ads, landing pages, etc. and find small problems before they become several issues. Set up automated rules on Google to catch any significant changes.
- Launching new campaigns is a BIG DEAL to clients…no matter what they spend. Be proactive in making sure campaigns are running with no glaring issues and even follow up on early results, changes, etc.
What others ways do you stay ahead of the game and successfully manage, communicate, and report paid search results back your clients or superiors?
Image: Consulting Clients via Shutterstock