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PPC Hygiene

A Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign is a very effective method in gaining traffic for your website. According to research, 64% of internet users will click on a Google Ad.

Yet, managing a PPC campaign is time consuming; especially if you wish to optimise your advertisements and increase your website’s revenue. It is not just the setup that takes time, the results analysis and adjustments can take significant amounts of your production time; time that could be better spent elsewhere.

This can sometimes mean that you are ignoring your account and that it can develop problems that reduce the rating Google Adwords and other PPC platforms will give your adverts. Without a good rank, you will suffer from poor ad placement and poor uptake. This will result in lower profits.

So what account PPC hygiene checks should you regularly do?


1. Diagnose Keywords

The keywords in your search engine marketing (SEM) campaign are important if you want to succeed. Having a way to diagnose those terms is therefore very important. ‘Diagnose Keywords’ is a useful tool that allows you to monitor the current status of your current active keywords. Each keyword is given a status e.g. “paused” or “ad showing now”.

Gain further insights by hovering over the speech bubble next to the keyword.

When doing this, you might discover some red flag messages. These can be anything that will affect your campaign, including if your budget is limiting exposure, your ad has a low quality score or if you are not bidding enough on the keyword.

Using this can be a massive time saver and allow you to make changes to your campaigns without spending time looking at your results.

Of course having a diagnosis such as ‘bids are too low’ does not automatically mean you should increase your bid. The price of a click has decreased recently while the price per conversion has increased. You need to calculate whether or not the keyword in use is worth the additional cost.


2. Utilize to-do lists

A to-do list a time management essential, especially if you run several PPC campaigns.

You are likely to have a number of items on your itinerary for your search engine marketing campaign, but not everything needs to be done immediately.

An unsorted to-do list is just as bad a time management tool as not having one at all.

Therefore, you need to start utilising a number of lists to ensure you establish what tasks are required, what they are related to and the completion date and time.


3. Invest in the bidding setup, before you start

Having a long term bidding process in place will save you countless hours and improve revenue. They do take a long time to set up; however, the hours they can save in the long run make it an effective process.

The set up process involves you conducting significant amounts of research before you begin the new campaign. However, if you have already started your campaign, you can still utilise this tip.

Start by asking numerous questions, which can determine the actions of your advertising – should certain environmental conditions take place. There are many questions that you should be asking:

a) Will you share data between search engines should there be no data available on another platform?

b) If the bid is moving to a higher price, would you gradually move your bid to that value or would you immediately increase the value.

c) What is statistically significant for your business? Is it 100 clicks or 1000 clicks?

d) If one keyword starts to perform badly, what action will you take?

e) If a keyword starts to perform exceptionally well, what action will you take?

Having these questions answered before starting your campaign (or before they occur) will speed up your reaction time. This allows you to make more out of opportunities or avoid overspending when events are not favourable.


4. Confirm the data of the campaign’s success daily

Good management of your campaign relies on the accuracy of the data.

Without good data your bidding can go horribly wrong – you could end up not taking the best action which could cost your business traffic and revenue.

The SEM platform may not properly sync data if there is fault somewhere. It could be because your own systems are not working effectively and the platform you are using is unable to access the internal conversion data. Alternatively, your system may not be able to update conversions (or you are suffering from a bad set of data on one day or over a protracted period of time).

It is this data that your automated bidding relies upon. If the data is inaccurate, bad decisions will be made; these can be costly.

Therefore, ensure you audit the data on a daily basis. If you cannot rely on the information for a particular day, you should instruct your bidding system to ignore the data set.


5. Utilize pre-made keyword lists

A negative keyword list is an essential part of your paid search marketing campaign. It can prevent your advertisement from being shown in searches that have no relevance to your product or offer. It can be time consuming to consider and implement which keywords can have a negative impact on your campaign.

Google has released a function that allows you to automatically implant a list of negative keywords throughout your AdWords campaigns. There are also other places on the web which can provide you with a list of the negative keywords which can adversely affect your campaign.

These lists can be a time saver and can ensure the search engines are not showing your advertisements to the wrong users.

However, using a negative list can also be damaging. Therefore, ensure your list of negative keywords is optimised for your campaign. This can take a bit of trial and error.

Another good option to save time with negative keyword lists is to create a document which lists them. When you want to import these into a new campaign you can simply copy and paste them over. It also means that when you want to delete a keyword off the list, you only have to find it once on the document. Simply re-import the negative keyword list when you’ve updated the document rather than search through every list on all the systems to find that keyword.


6. Use Internal Data

You don’t need to go into your system to assess the conversion rate of your paid search marketing campaign.

Some sources state that a PPC system can be inaccurate. This can mean that your system can be more accurate.

Instead of looking endlessly at the data that you are collecting from your results and the data that is collected from the system and matching the two – integrate your results in the automated bidding platform.

You should start to see a pickup in the results as the data becomes more accurate. This gives you better revenues for less cost – a win, win situation.

PPC automation is an important part of your online paid search marketing campaigns.

The above actions may take some time to set up, but can save you countless hours in the future and help keep your PPC accounts healthy.

Therefore, with a proper strategy and automation – you can reap the benefits of opportunities that come your way and you can avoid costly endeavours because it takes you time to react or your account is not optimised and healthy.

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