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PPC Campaign Management

PPC Campaign Management: 15 Tips On How To Manage Your Campaigns

Effective Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign management begins with setting up an exceptional PPC campaign in Google Ads. With thorough keyword, competitor and market research, you are able to set up effective ads that drive targeted visitors that lead to high conversion rates.

 

You can save yourself a lot of time too by utilising the automated features in your Google Ads account. So, instead of using manual bid strategies for example, you can use an automated bid strategy that will set bids for your ads and determine the optimal ad positions.

 

Here are 14 tips to help you with your PPC campaign management.

 

 

1. Update keyword match types

When you first create a search campaign, you should restrict your keyword match types to phrase and exact match keywords only. This helps you to control the search queries that trigger your ads and prevents clicks from people that are unlikely to be interested in your products or services. And it helps to prevent your budget going to waste. However, as you continue to manage your campaigns and your search query targeting gets better as you add more negative keywords, you will want to scale your campaigns higher and increase sales or leads.

One way to do that is by adding broad match keyword versions of your phrase and exact match keywords. Doing so will increase impression and click volume and allow you to target searches that your other match types cannot trigger. However, you should keep a close eye on your search terms report and add negative keywords for searches that are not relevant.

 

2. Check the search terms report

The search terms report is one of the most important reports for your Search and Shopping campaigns. This helps you to see how targeted your ads and keywords are to the right people. And you can see what the actual cost per click (CPC) is for each search query. Any searches that are not relevant you should block immediately and add as negative keywords.

Search Terms

 

You should spend a large part of your PPC campaign management time in the search terms report to understand each search intent and improve the targeting further. And besides blocking irrelevant searches, you should add relevant searches as keywords in the ad groups, to control the bids and gain more prominence for them.

 

3. Set up conversion tracking

Conversion tracking is a feature that allows you to track sales or leads from your ads. To carry out effective PPC campaign management, you need to know which keywords, ads, ad groups, audiences etc are driving conversions for your business.

So you should set up conversion tracking in Google Ads or goal tracking in Google Analytics in order to track this effectively.

Website conversion tracking

 

4. Check the Recommendations page

The Recommendations section in your Google Ads account is a useful feature for effective PPC campaign management. It provides opportunities to improve your campaigns and ads, which you can easily implement with a few clicks of the mouse. These recommendations are insights from the machine learning system that are designed to improve the performance of your ads.

Google Ads Recommendations

 

Each recommendation has a percentage score that contributes to the overall optimisation score of your account. This score is an estimate from Google Ads of how well your account is set to perform. So applying the recommendations improves the optimisation score and is likely to help the performance of your campaigns. Recommendations cover areas such as Repairs, Bidding & Budgets, Keywords & Targeting, Ads & Extensions and more. The optimisation score is only currently available for Search, Shopping and Display campaigns.

 

5. Add ‘observation’ audiences

One of the Recommendations you are likely to see for your campaigns, is the option to add audiences. This gives you insightful reporting on audiences that are relevant to your business and helps you to understand your customers better. An audience in Google Ads is a group of people with specific interests, intents and demographics.

 

Audience Recommendations

There are many audiences in Google audiences that relate to people’s lifestyles such as travel, sports, shopping etc, and you can create custom audiences that meet your specific requirements. The audiences you will add in the ‘Recommendations’ page are for observation only and help you to monitor how your ads are performing for those audiences. Later you can decide to target them specifically and drive clicks and conversions from them.

 

6. Check headline and description line performance

Effective PPC campaign management requires continuous updates to ads. This includes updating the headlines and descriptions to get the best click through rates, clicks and conversions. You can check how each of these assets is performing in your campaign by clicking the search campaigns navigation link and then clicking the Ads & extensions tab.

Next, click the Assets tab and you will see a report with all your ad assets. Look for the Performance rating column and you will see sub-columns with details of how each asset is performing. The five ratings are Best, Good, Low, Learning and Unrated and you will see the percentage rating for each assets and you can then optimise your ads effectively.

 

7. Include brand keywords

Brand bidding is something many advertisers do, but not always very well. It’s ok to bid on your own brand name as long as you are aware of how that is impacting your overall PPC strategy. When not done properly, you could be bidding on traffic that would have come to your website anyway, because you rank high organically already, and therefore leads to keyword cannibalisation. So this is when your text ad is appearing for the same brand keyword for one of your website pages, usually the homepage.

However there are instances when this is acceptable. This includes when a competitor is aggressively bidding on your brand name or a number of them are appearing and so you appear lower for your own keywords. Or if you’re being outranked for some of your brand searches especially if they are a bit generic. Because brand keywords usually have a higher conversion rate, it’s important to take action on this and make sure you are appearing higher. So your PPC campaign management strategy should include creating an ad group for these brand keywords and bidding on them. One other advantage with brand bidding is that the average cost per click tends to be very low and therefore the costs can be negligible most of the time.

 

8. Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI)

DKI is a syntax that you use to make your ads relevant to a visitors search query. So, it dynamically updates your ad text to include one of your keywords that matches a visitors search term. To use it, you insert a piece of code into your ad text. For example, if you sell trainers and you have an ad group that promotes a particular brand like Acme Trainer product range, your code will look something like this {KeyWord:Trainers}. Doing this means when a keyword in the ad group can’t be inserted, the word Trainers will be inserted instead. Dynamic Keyword Insertion is best used in Headline one where your customers can see that the ad is relevant and then click through to your website.

 

9. Add some Responsive search ads

One of the recommendations you’ll see in your campaign is to add Responsive search ads if you haven’t already. These ads have up to 15 headlines and 4 description lines and this is much more than you get with Expanded text and Dynamic search ads. So, make sure you add at at least one Responsive search ad in each ad group to improve performance.

Responsive Search Ads Headlines

 

The Google Ads machine learning system then rotates the headlines and descriptions to find the best performing combinations as it tests them. Because of the many factors that determine ad performance such as bids, ad text, device used, locations and many other variables, it’s best to allow the system to do the testing. It is more efficient and makes quick decisions depending on the search context.

 

10. Use an automated bid strategy

When you first launch your campaign and start managing it, it will be difficult to know what bids to set. So a manual bidding strategy may not be the best option to start with. Instead, an automated bid strategy like Maximise Clicks will set the bids when your ads appear and determine how much you will pay for each click.

Adwords Bidding Strategy

 

The goal will be to try and get as many clicks as possible for the budget and efficiently set the bids to maximise the performance. Later, with more performance data you can change to another automated bid strategy to increase conversions or set a manual bid strategy to control the amount you pay for each click. This will of course take up more time but it means you can bid lower for poor performing keywords and bid higher for better performing ones.

 

11. Check demographics performance

On the Demographics page in your campaign, you can see how your ads have performed for different demographics. This includes Age, Gender, Parental status and Household income and you can move from tab to tab to check performance. You can also adjust how your ads appear for each of these demographics. For example, if conversions are consistently low for the 18-24 age group, you can block all traffic from this demographic. And if you find that those who are parents are driving more clicks and better conversion rates, you can use bid adjustments to increase bids for that and gain more exposure. This is what you’ll be doing as part of your PPC campaign management.

Demographic Targeting

 

12. Update your budget

Most advertisers on Google Ads and other PPC platforms start with a small budget. And then as performance improves and sales increase, they increase the budget to get even more sales and enquiries. When the time is right, you should do the same and update your budgets in line with performance. Also look for more keyword opportunities by conducting some research with the Keyword Planner tool in your Google Ads account. That will drive more impressions and clicks and increase the return on investment (ROI).

 

13. Use Google Ads Editor

Google Ads Editor is a free tool provided by Google that helps you make bulk changes to your campaigns. It is a downloadable application that lets you work offline and allows you to make changes across your campaigns with ease. The tool has many bulk editing features to update all of your accounts at once. And you can search and replace text and move and undo or redo changes across many campaigns. Visit google.com/home/tools/ads-editor/to download the tool.

 

14. Switch to a manual bid strategy

There are 6 automated bid strategies in Google Ads and only one manual bid strategy. When you first set up your search campaign, it’s usually best to start with an automated bid strategy like Maximise Clicks as mentioned earlier. Later you can switch to the Manual CPC bid strategy to have more control over bids at the keyword level.

 

15. Hire a PPC expert

Finally consider hiring a PPC expert to work on your campaigns and improve performance. This will help drive more customers and sales to your business and help to improve the conversion rate. I’m a Google Ads specialist and PPC expert with over 13 years of experience. Contact me to discuss how I can help you set up effective campaigns.

 

Mike Ncube

I'm a Certified Google Ads Expert and Marketing Author and in this blog I share my latest tips and secrets on how to promote your business successfully on the web and increase customer loyalty, retention and advocacy on Google Ads.

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