Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns remain among the most cost-effective ways to promote your business, brand, product or service. However, many users of PPC still aren’t getting the best results from their campaign.
One of the reasons for that could be that in some situations, PPC is being treated as a set and forget system, rather than reviewing the ongoing results of the campaign and making necessary changes and updates.
To help you manage your PPC campaign and make sure you get the best out of it, I thought it would be useful to create a quick and easy to use checklist. Also as I am regularly asked what I actually do for my clients I thought this checklist gives some insight into how much goes into managing a PPC account. By having certain objectives and checking your PPC campaign is performing as well as possible, you’ll have a better understanding of what works – and what doesn’t – for your business. You’ll also have a much better chance of securing the engagement, leads and sales you want to achieve.
Before you even go ahead and start your PPC campaign, you really need to have a plan in place. It doesn’t have to be super detailed, but the essentials include:
- Define your PPC campaign goals.
- Research your target audience & keywords.
- Set a budget you have a chance of sticking to.
- Set realistic Cost Per Clicks based on your research.
- Select the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you intend to use.
- Define the frequency at which you will measure the KPIs.
- Segment your ad groups and campaigns as deeply as possible to gain higher Quality Score and control.
- Consider which ad extensions may be relevant for each of your particular campaigns.
- Setup any tracking or attribution required.
Once you have at least these details in place, your campaign can go live and you can begin regular maintenance, to help achieve the success you want.
Once you’ve created and planned your PPC campaign and its live, you need to manage it. We know, that sounds like it could be a lot of work. But if you keep on top of things, it isn’t and you’ll have also have the benefit of knowing how your campaign is performing, what you’re spending and what is working well for you.
You’re daily PPC campaign management tasks include:
- Take a look at the cost of your conversions and see if they’re good value or if you need to make some changes to improve on this. Do these align with your ideal cost per acquisition and if not how can you reduce the cost of your ads accordingly?
- Check if there’s been any change to the click-through rates on keywords and the ads themselves.
- Check on your top-performing ads or target audience, compared with your worst converting and make changes where required.
- Take a look at the performance of your keywords and press pause on those that aren’t delivering.
After your first week of keeping on top of your PPC campaign management tasks, there are some other details to check to help ensure things are running as well as they should or can be. Your weekly PPC management tasks should include:
- I would say check your average position but as of September 30th 2019 this will be removed. 😢
- Identify any performance abnormalities and make the required changes to reduce or remove them – or build on them if they’re positive ones.
- Take a look at the performance of your mobile ads versus desktop and make any necessary bid adjustments to try and drive improvement of your campaigns.
- Carry out a Search Query Report and analyse the actual keywords generating impressions to look for irrelevant terms that can be added to your negative keyword list.
We know, already we’ve added quite a lot of work to your already heavy load, but for a PPC campaign to be effective and as successful as you want it to be, you really do need to actively manage it. These details are all reasons why SEO experts are now full-time team members, or some companies elect to assign this work to an outside freelancer or agency.
Here’s a list of the tasks you can undertake every couple of weeks to fully understand and tweak your ads’ performance:
- Take a look at your Lost Impression Share figures, which are considered a good indicator of your market share and think of ways to increase them.
- Looking at your different target audiences or ad groups to see which are performing best and why. Then make changes elsewhere to improve your reach on that lesser performing ad groups.
- Analyse the performance of your existing ads then edit them or create new ones, while you pause or delete those that aren’t doing so well.
- Remove (and replace where necessary) anything that just isn’t performing as it should.
For campaigns that you wish to run for some time, a monthly checklist is also helpful and can help improve the performs of your ads. Not only will they help keep your ads relevant, there are another way for you to be completely on top of how your techniques are working.
Monthly management tasks you could perform are:
- Review and compare the performance of campaign elements on a Display versus Search and see what changes might be required.
- Take some time to identify low Quality Score keywords and consider if you should amend ads and landing pages or simply pause the keyword altogether.
- Carry out site link maintenance, ensure they’re all working / update and replace any that aren’t.
- Take a look at your site visitor metrics such as Time On Site, Pages Per Visit, Bounce Rate etc and make changes to support improvement, where necessary.
Where you have an ongoing branding PPC ad campaign, or you like to keep things ticking over with rolling campaigns, a list of quarterly PPC campaign maintenance tasks can be helpful. To ensure your longer-term campaign is netting you the results you desire, the following can be helpful:
- Review your landing pages and make any changes you think will help improve your conversion rates. Something like Hotjar can add an extra layer of UX data on top for even stronger optimisation.
- Assess your geographical performance and adjust your bids to suit those areas that are more successful, while still encouraging potential conversion from other areas.
- Take a look at your dayparting data and see what’s working and what isn’t, then adjust those details accordingly.
- Have a full review of all your historical reporting data, taking the time to understand what it tells you about your campaign to-date and identify where improvements can be made, both easy wins and more involved changes.
As you can see, to ensure your PPC campaign is reaping the rewards you’re targeting you need to keep a close eye on how everything’s doing. Regular page and link maintenance is a must, as is keyword research and updating.
Of course, you might be so experienced that you’re already on top of all of this and if that’s the case – great news! However, if things aren’t going as well as you thought they would with your PPC campaign, or you’re a bit of a novice, then we hope this PPC campaign maintenance checklist can help you achieve the reach and conversions you’re reaching for.
What have I missed? Comment below with your checklist or tasks you do that you find improve PPC ROI.