How To Optimize PPC Campaigns

So your pay per click campaign is up and running, now what?   After your campaign has been running for a while and the data has begun to flow in, the next step in effective pay per click management is optimization.  

Keyword Optimization

  1. Now that you have data for each of your keywords, impressions, clicks, costs, and conversions, it is relatively easy to go in and adjust bids to maximize your profits (if that is what you're after).  Make sure that you have enough relevant data to make smart choices on your bid prices.  Depending on how much traffic you have received, it may be wise to let your campaign run for a couple of days or even a couple of weeks to get the necessary data.

  • After you've made bid changes, take a look at the keywords that are bringing in the bulk of your traffic.  Are they targeted enough?  Are they relevant to your business?  Do you have enough negative matches in place to filter out unnecessary traffic?  Oftentimes, during the process of keyword generation, a few broad keywords that do not convert very well accidentally slip through the cracks.  In our digital camera example, my bid on the term "camera" would probably be pretty low, due to the fact that it is a very broad term and would probably convert much worse than a term such as "buy canon digital camera online".
  • Get rid of keywords that are not relevant.  Not only does this make your campaign more targeted, in Google, this will definitely raise your quality score.  If you are selling digital cameras and bidding on terms such as "digital camera warranty", "hidden camera", etc. your quality score would be much improved if those terms were removed.  Remember, Google AdWords doesn't only take into account your maximum bid price, there is definitely a huge emphasis on your campaign's quality score.  Make sure all of your keywords in your campaign are relevant to your business.
  • Test matching options.  If you are finding that there are essential terms to your business that are not getting any traffic at your bid prices, test the different matching options. 

    Google employs:

    • broad match, which displays ads when your keywords appear in any order.  This option will get you the most traffic.  For example, if you're bidding on the term "digital camera", your ad can show up if someone searches for "buy camera digital."
    • phrase match displays ads when search terms match the phrase's exact sequence.  For example, if you're bidding on the term "digital camera", your ad can appear if someone searches for "Canon digital camera."
    • exact match displays ads only on the exact phrase you select.  For example, if you're bidding on "digital camera", your ad only appears if someone searches for "digital camera". 

    Yahoo employs:

    • standard match, which is like Google's exact match
    • phrase match
  • Ad Optimization

    1. Test as much different ad copy as you can.  Google allows up to six different ads to be written per AdGroup.  It would be to your benefit to take advantage of this feature to improve the click through rate (and quality score) of your Google ads.  Be creative, change up your wording, test different ad lengths, try different calls to action, and see what your competitors are doing.  In Yahoo, for all of your key terms, make sure you have unique ads for each.  Remember, this is the first thing the user sees, so make sure it reflects your business and offer well.  Make sure you track all of your changes so you can develop the best ad possible.

     

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