Many of the resolution-focused articles that touch on PPC this time of year are geared toward specific account tactics. You may expect to see goals such as, “build out long-tail keywords,” or “conduct more/better landing page testing.”
While these are important resolutions, it’s also important to focus on higher-level strategy. How do you and your team stay focused, innovative, and passionate about your PPC campaigns? These seven resolutions will hopefully help you energize your entire approach to PPC in 2012.
Improve Client/Supervisor Communication
Communication is mission critical for PPC success. This goes for individuals working at an agency and reporting to clients, or in-house folks reporting to their direct supervisor. When in doubt, you should strive to over-communicate. Think about how you have communicated with your clients and/or supervisor over the past year, and how you can be more clear, direct, helpful, and insightful.
Also, think about the reports that you provide to your clients/superiors. You may think that stats, trends and charts keep everyone in the loop – and this is true to a certain extent. However, you should strive to provide not just numbers – but also expert analysis and meaningful insight so that you position yourself as a leader and resource.
Anyone can provide charts and graphs. A rock star can tell people what the trends mean, why they are important, and how this information will help optimize your PPC campaign.
Create a Strategy Manifesto
When you have a team of people managing PPC campaigns, you need to make sure that everyone is implementing the same overall strategy. Sure, certain accounts will need specific optimization tactics in order to achieve your KPIs, but your overarching campaign structure strategy should be unified. If this is neglected, all your accounts may be set up differently and that can slow down optimization.
Your 2012 strategy manifesto should include how your team will approach PPC for the next 12 months. This can include account structure, keyword research approach, match type methodology, ad testing ideas, and the list can go on and on.
Create this document, present it to your team (or yourself!), make sure everyone understands the plan, and the most important part is to review and use this document frequently. Don’t create it and just put it in a folder on your serve to rot.
Energize Your Creativity
It’s easy to get stuck in rut, especially in your day-to-day working environment. However, if there is one thing that you can’t lose when managing PPC, it’s your drive, passion and enthusiasm to achieve great results from your PPC campaign. Neglect and lethargy are the breeding ground for stale accounts and poor ROI.
Change your workspace. Exercise more often. Take more frequent brain breaks. Read inspiring books that have nothingto do with PPC. Do whatever it takes to keep your energy, spirits, and creative at the top of your game.
Utilize Campaign Automation
Let’s face it: PPC account managers are busy. I would guess that most of you reading this have very little time to slack off and not be productive. You need all the help you can get when it comes to getting tasks accomplished.
Now is the time to review your campaign automation processes. Are you taking full advantage of automated reports, automated alerts, bid rules, or conversion optimizer in AdWords?
Automation allows you to focus on other elements of your PPC campaign. Namely, if you have some help with automation, you can focus more time on the other items on this list!
Focus on Team Member Strengths & Interests
There are numerous faucets to managing PPC accounts. It is feasible to have team members focus their efforts on specific elements of PPC accounts.
You may have a team member who is more analytical so they prefer to run reports and analysis. You may have a team member who is more creative so you may want to put them on writing text ads, image ads, and social PPC ads for Facebook.
People will be happier, more productive, and provide better results when they are passionate about their job. Try to segment your account teams so that everyone is content and comfortable.
Establish a Regular Training Schedule
The SEM industry moves pretty fast. It’s difficult to stay up-to-date with all of the new features, tools and strategies.
You should set aside some time each month to go over industry news and developments with your team (or by yourself). Perhaps block out a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon where everyone can sit and discuss articles and case studies that they have recently collected. Make it fun. Bring in coffee, cake, or beer, or whatever your team enjoys the most.
Earlier in this article we discussed creating a 2012 strategy manifesto – and this document should evolve over time as new strategies arise and new tools become available.
Update Your Critical Reading List
There are a lot of SEM articles published every day. You should set aside some time soon to go through your blog reader. Unsubscribe from blogs that aren’t fresh to you any more and do some research to find new blogs that will give you new content and ideas.
This resolution is in line with, “staying creative,” because you need to keep inspired and reading great articles from great publications is a great way to keep that fire lit.
Hopefully some of these resolutions will give you some food for thought in 2012. Remember, you have to stay on top of your game and keep innovating in order to generate awesome PPC results month-over-month – and hopefully some of the ideas on this list will help you do just that.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!