PPC management is the act of directing advertising campaigns that run based on a “pay per click” basis. Cost per click (CPC) is the cost to the advertiser divided by the number of clicks. If the budget remains the same, but the advertiser sees an increase in engaged clicks, the Return on Investment (ROI) of the PPC ad increases. The actual cost of an ad depends on the competition, target audience, and often the quality score of your keywords.
There are two types of traffic: organic and paid. Organic traffic comes from visitors who have found a product or service without the assistance of paid advertisement. Paid traffic is a direct result of paid advertising efforts.
According to WordStream, around 64.6% of consumers who purchase online click on Google ads. Organic traffic is great, but paid advertisements are also a key component to the continued success of a business. By using the following PPC management best practices, your business can make the most out of paid advertisement efforts.
PPC Management Tips to Implement Today
#1 Manage ad placements within display to reduce wasteful spending and bot clicks
There will always be click fraud from bots that you have to pay for. It’s unfortunate, and while Google and other paid advertisement platforms catch the majority of it, some click fraud does slip through. That’s a reality that comes with PPC advertising. There are ways, however, to decrease the number of bots that click on your ad and cost you ad spend.
A more recently coined term, “placement fraud”, is an even worse animal. There are some websites out there that have awful content and were created for the sole purpose of making money from AdSense, which is the add-on that Google Adwords runs through. This means that, without proper PPC management of your ad placements, you are much more likely to have your ads displayed on these “made for AdSense” (MFA) websites.
More ads on MFA websites means an increase in bot clicks and a decrease in genuinely interested customers. Using an easily implemented PPC management method, you can attempt to control this with placement exclusions (a list of sites that are excluded from showing your ads).
However, you might find over time that this seems like a never-ending process as there are over a billion sites on the internet. No one has the time to sift through the list of hundreds of sites where your ads are shown and determine which is and isn’t trustworthy.
A way to rectify this issue is to build a list of relevant and trustworthy sites to set as placements. By using this PPC management method known as placement targeting, you are guaranteeing that your advertisements are showing on legitimate websites that your audience is visiting.
#2 Campaign & ad group structure is the key to PPC management success (accurately grouping your keywords)
This is all about remaining organized and properly targeting your audience. Building campaigns with accurately grouped keywords within ad groups will save you and your client money. Ad groups should contain clusters of keywords that are all closely related. This way you can write ads that are relevant to those keywords.
This is important because ad relevance is one of the three components of quality score and a higher quality score means a lower CPC. You must remember to do this before creating campaigns that you will later accumulate data from. If you organize your campaigns into ad groups post-publish, you may find a loss of data across all boards. This is something you will want to remain proactive, not reactive, about.
Make a note that the advertising budget and other key settings (location, ad schedule) can only be controlled at the campaign level. So when structuring your account, think about how you want your budget allocated among different keywords. You may find it better for your business to have multiple campaigns with fewer ad groups versus one large campaign. This allows you to have more control to make adjustments as you continue to optimize your account(s).
#3 Choosing the best keyword match type for your goals
The keyword match type is created to tell Google which key phrases should trigger your ad to pop up on the screen. This can be very broad, or it can be as precise as only one keyword match. Google recommends the broad-to-narrow strategy, which starts by allowing a broad keyword match for your ad. Start to monitor the data coming in from this ad effort, and if you start to notice specific terms coming up that are irrelevant, use negative keywords to eliminate those possibilities. Over time, through the natural advertising process, you will have a strong set of keyword matches to use for this group of advertisements.
#4 Don’t forget about negative keywords
Negative keywords can save you from wasteful spending and irrelevant traffic. Negative keywords act as a barrier between your ads and what is shown when particular words are used in a search query.
For example, you have a computer repair store and are targeting the keyword “repair store”, you wouldn’t want your ad to show when someone searches for a phone repair store. This would make “phone” a good negative keyword to include.
Adding negatives before a campaign runs is a great idea, but you will not be able to foresee all of the possible terms that people will use when searching the web. You should also monitor the search terms report on a regular basis. There you can see what people actually typed into the search engine when they saw an impression of your ad. You can add any search term in the report as a negative keyword, or even as a new keyword, depending on its relevancy. Make sure to select negative keywords (or keywords that you don’t want your ads associated with) in order to target your audience clearly and avoid paying for clicks from people who are not interested in what you are offering.
#5 Optimize (by ad schedule, location, device)
Optimizing your ads is very important for decreasing wasteful spending and increasing relevancy. Set an ad schedule for times you want your ad to be active. For example, you might not want your ad to run from 1AM-6AM EST because your business is based locally out of New England and your customers are asleep during these times. Track the times where your ads are getting the least traction and don’t run those ads during these times. If your customers live in a specific geographic region, only run the ads in those areas. Or, if you find that 95% of your customers find you through mobile, maybe you should only run mobile ads. This will save a lot of time, money, and will increase the engagement rate per click.
PPC management is a very complex role to have within a business, especially if you have other responsibilities that place demands on your time.
These tips are just basic ways to improve your PPC ads. It only gets more complicated from here. PPC management takes a lot of experience, self-teaching, and unfortunately sometimes, mistakes.
Would you like to avoid simple PPC management mistakes?
Send me a message!
Chelsea at heartbrain dot marketing