We've all had days where we're so busy we can't see straight: we've just returned from vacation and are catching up, we're booked solid with meetings, or we're tasked with writing an in-depth report that's due tomorrow and will take most of the day to complete.
Hectic days are part of every PPC manager's job. And yet, we still have campaigns to manage on a daily basis. What's a busy PPC manager to do?
Enter the 10-minute PPC workday. In an ideal world, we'd spend much more than 10 minutes per day on our PPC accounts. But for days when you're stacked up, here are the top tasks that will keep performance strong when you're too busy for in-depth work.
Minute 1: Check Stats on Your Top KPI
You should already know what your top KPI is. If you don't, use your 10 minutes to figure that out.
First, schedule a call with your client or boss to discuss campaign goals and objectives. Then, prepare recommendations for the call you've scheduled. For an ecommerce advertiser, total sales and profit are good candidates for KPIs; for a B2B company, you might want to focus on leads and downloads of key assets (such as a white paper).
Assuming you know your top KPI, spend the first minute checking those stats. If conversions are your KPI, it's a good idea to glance at both total conversions and cost per conversion.
If you do this daily, which you should, you'll spot anomalies right away. That's where you need to focus your attention. Find the outliers – the best and worst performing campaigns and ad groups – and just work on those for the rest of your 10 minutes. Here's how.
Minute 2: Pause the Worst Performers
Have a campaign, ad group, or keyword that's spent hundreds or thousands of dollars and hasn't contributed to your KPIs? Pause it now!
Remember, almost nothing in PPC is permanent – you can always re-enable it later after you've had time to research and fix the problem. But for now, use the limited time you have to stop the bleeding.
Minute 3-4: Negative Keyword Research
Now that you've paused the very worst offenders, take a look at keywords that are underperforming. Maybe you have a set of keywords that are converting, but at a cost much higher than your target CPA. Or maybe there are keywords that are generating a decent, but not huge, amount of traffic with no conversions.
Now is the time to see if irrelevant search queries are sabotaging your results.
In-line search query reports in Google are your best friend here. Just select the keyword(s) you want to review, click “Details,” and then “Search Terms – Selected.” From the results, you can directly create negative keyword in seconds.
Take a look at this example:
If you're not selling cars, you're in trouble. Time to add negatives!
One caveat here: You only have 2 minutes to spend on this task. Don't go down the rabbit hole of reviewing the entire search query report – that can be done when you have more time.
Sort the list by clicks, and negative out the biggest offenders. Then download the report and save it to review later. Set a timer if you need to, but stick to the 2 minutes!
Minute 4-5: Boost Bids on Top Performers
Now we're going to shift our focus to the good stuff: top performing ad groups and keywords.
First, find your best-performing ad groups – the ones generating the most conversions at the lowest cost. Crank up their bids.
You can either use the bid simulator, shown below, or make manual changes. Remember, focus only on the top 1-2 ad groups for now.
Next, take a quick look at your top keywords. You may want to use AdWords Editor for this – it's faster to make bulk changes there. Find your best keywords and boost their bids. I like to use the Advanced Bid Changes function:
Sort your keywords by cost per conversion and then make bulk changes:
Again, we're only spending 2 minutes here, so keep it simple.
Minute 6-7: Replicate Your Best Ads
In a perfect world with hours to spend, you'd review each of your ad copy tests in detail, run statistical significance on the results, and write new ad copy to test against the winners. We don't have time for that now, though.
Quickly look at your ad copy tests to find obvious winners (you'll probably want to use AdWords Editor for this). Either pause the losing ads entirely, or replicate your winning ad: copy and paste it into your ad group a couple of times. If you've set ad rotation to Rotate Evenly, the winners will show more frequently than the losers, resulting in additional conversions.
Minute 8-9: Positive Keyword Research
Go back to your best-performing keywords and run a quick search query report on them. Sort the report by conversions, and add the best queries as positive keywords.
This quick and simple task can reap big rewards in incremental conversions at a low cost – using only 2 minutes of your time!
Minute 10: Make Notes for Tomorrow
Whew! You're almost done! Take the last minute to jot down a few notes on next steps.
What did you see in the past 9 minutes that needs more attention? What's the first thing you want to do when you log in to the account tomorrow? Do you have any follow-up questions you need to ask your client or boss?
Write this all down now, while it's fresh in your mind. It's tempting to skip this step or spend the time on another task, but resist the temptation. You'll thank yourself tomorrow if you have a good roadmap to follow.
What are your favorite timesaving tips for PPC?
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