Happy New Year to you all! Forget giving up eating junk, trying to quit smoking and generally making resolutions you’ll never stick to, this year why not focus on your paid search strategy and instead of not doing things, create solutions for your PPC and make it work even harder this year! Here are just a few solutions to get 2013 off to a good start and optimize your PPC campaigns straight away.
1. Turn Off What Doesn’t Work
Are you spending money on keywords/ad groups/campaigns that doesn’t give you a return? If a certain ad group or keyword isn’t converted then do you want to be using your budget on it? Probably not I’m guessing (that’s if you are targeting conversions). Looking at historical data to determine what works and what doesn’t is the best place to start. It can sometimes be a little too easy just to pause/delete something that doesn’t appear to work though, so try to optimise in these areas to see if you can improve conversion rate. The below might help with this.
2. Review Your Landing Pages
Landing pages have arguably the biggest influence in conversion rates. You may have the best ad copy in a well structured ad group, but that means squat if you’re not landing them onto the best page possible. Take the start of the year as a good time to review all the landing pages you link to. Do you have custom page pages for certain keywords? Or are you using generic pages that were set up to people already on your website? Use common sense to think if there is a better landing page and analyse your conversions results for a certain period.
Landing page A/B testing is the best way to establish which landing page is best. Use the same ads and make the only variant between them the destination URL. Remember it doesn’t have to stop after one test, you can take the top performing landing page and test that against another and keep going until you think you’ve optimised enough (not that it can ever be enough in paid search marketing!)
3. Test Your Copy
Does the perfect ad copy exist? Arguably not if you ask me. Okay, so you may have found a certain ad(s) give you really good clickthrough rates (CTR) and a conversion rate you’re happy with, but is this the best ad copy possible? Ad copy should be reviewed and tested constantly. Again A/B testing can be used to establish the most effective headlines, description lines and even display URL’s. Never stop testing!
4. Review and Refine Your Keyword Lists
How often do you review and refine your keyword list? The reviewing and refining are two separate processes that should be completed reguarly.
A keyword review can (and should) take a few different forms.
- Bid management – Are you getting a return on spend on your keywords? Reviewing your bids on keywords and the conversions you get, gives you a good basis to reduce or raise your maximum CPC’s. This can be done easily through Excel and it’s now easier to make large scale changes in the Adwords interface.
- Negative keyword review – Running a search query report to see the exact search terms which are triggering your ads can show some interesting terms. It often shows that your ads show for irrelevant terms, which you should then add as negatives in your campaign. Plus, it’s also amusing to see what people search for on search engines!
- Quality scores – Getting low quality scores for some of your keywords? For keywords with low quality scores (usually below 6), it is worth splitting these out into a separate campaign so you can work on improving these so your ads are shown more. By doing this, you can tailor your ad copy to be more specific to the keyword and change your landing pages without effecting the other keywords in the ad group.
As part of a keyword review, you should look at any keywords that are now outdated or irrelevant to your business so you’re not paying for clicks you don’t want anymore!
- Related keywords – You can use the Google Keyword tool to identify new opportunities for keywords and slight variations of the ones you currently target. Excel can also be particularly useful to add different variations of keywords using a concatenation.
- Competitor keyword review – There are lots of tools available online that you can use to identify the keywords that competitors are bidding on.
5. Look at New Areas to Target
Have you launched new products? Then make sure you’re bidding on related keywords! Are there new products/services in your industry? Whatever industry you’re in, the market won’t stand still so your PPC strategy shouldn’t either! If there’s something new you can shout about in your ads, then do so!
Has a new competitor emerged that you could bid on their branded keywords? Has a competitor increased their advertising campaigns? What competitors are doing should shape some of your activity so you’re not losing out on clicks.
Thanks for reading and a very happy New Year to you all 🙂