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Optimize Your PPC With a Segmented Performance Analysis

Purna Virji
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When working in PPC accounts for months on end, it's very easy to get sucked into all the little details and get stuck in the weeds.

It feels natural to look at smaller optimizations – one ad group needing an ad test or adding a few keywords across multiple different campaigns – but you may end up putting in a lot of effort without necessarily achieving a proportionate result. In other words, you might not be getting the biggest bang for your buck, time, or effort.

It's vital to ensure you also get a high-level view of how your account is doing. Monitoring this so-called 50-foot view of your account on a regular basis can help you strategize your optimizations most effectively.

How to Create an Impactful Segmented Performance Analysis

Now just looking at the account as a whole isn't diagnostic-friendly. You'll want to drill down one level deeper and look at the high-level categories to gauge their performance.

You can review your account to identify the segments that make the most sense to you, but some great ones to get started with would be:

  • Branded – Generic (e.g., Dior makeup)
  • Branded – Product Specific (e.g., Dior Addict Extreme lipstick 756)
  • Non-branded – Generic (e.g., party makeup ideas)
  • Non-branded – Product specific (e.g., long-lasting red lipstick)
  • Competitive – Generic (e.g., Clinique make-up)
  • Competitive – Product specific (e.g., Clinique long-lasting lipstick)

You can further segment these categories based on network (i.e., performance on the search network vs. performance on the display network). Once you have your categories, plot them into a grid format.

Start with your descriptive columns. List the different categories and add in the names of all the campaigns from your account that fall under that category.

Next, list some sample keywords that would be typical of those campaigns (and that category), as well as an example of an ad from those campaigns that would be typical of that category. See the example below:

Descriptive

Now that you have this base set up, you can compare a variety of different KPIs to identify and prioritize the optimizations you can perform.

Top Analyses to Conduct

Opportunity Analysis

Which campaigns should you spend your time on? If you follow the Pareto principle, you'd want to spend your time on the top 20 percent of your account which generated 80 percent of your profits. This segmented performance analysis can help you identify your big-money categories where you should carry out your optimizations.

Add on a performance and growth potential section next to your descriptive section to track performance and opportunity size. Add in columns that reflect the average number of monthly impressions, clicks, and orders, as well as the average cost per acquisition (CPA) and profit per month. This data so far will allow you to gauge which segments are most profitable for you.

However, that's not the complete picture. You also want to see how much more universe there is to capture and which segment you could grow the most in, so you will need to assess share of voice data.

Add in the current impression share data, along with columns for impression share lost due to rank and budget. This way, you can find the profitable segments that you still have opportunity to grow within.

Performance and Growth Potential

As in the example above, populated by dummy data of course, the most profitable category is the Branded-Product Specific one. However, we've also captured almost all the available impression share so there isn't much room to grow impression volume there.

While you could still focus your efforts on improving click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates (CR) to boost performance, it likely won't fall into your top five opportunities for growth. Still, it's good to have identified which KPIs would be best influenced in each category.

In the above example, the campaign that has the largest room for growth is the Non-Branded – Generic one, with only 15% of impression share being captured. Additionally, CTR and CR optimizations are very much in need here. Focusing efforts within this category of campaigns will pay off the most for you.

Thus, with this analysis you can most easily prioritize your efforts in terms of biggest return on investment.

Creative Ideation and Funnel Optimization Analysis

By evaluating and understanding audience intent for each category, you can work to ensure you are conveying the right messages in your creative to help you close the sale. It's important to grab the right kind of attention at the right time in order to get the searcher to take the desired action.

Use the searcher goals data for each category to fill out the "Relevant Messaging in Ads and Landing Page" and "Key Points to Cover" columns. This data will provide a robust foundation for creating test ad copy as well as test landing pages. You'll be able to identify just how to attract attention and persuade searchers along the sales funnel once you are more familiar with their intent.

You can then look at ways to optimize your sales funnel. Upper funnel category visitors may need more information and convincing before you show them an order form, while a lower funnel category may allow you to ask for the sale right away.

Descriptive Audience Intent

Furthermore, you can use the segmented performance analysis for a variety of additional things such as keyword expansion ideas, competitor intelligence by category and a historical month-over-month or year-over-year analysis to see how performance has changed within each segment over time.

Review this report at least monthly to keep your efforts on course and ensure the strategies you are working on will yield the highest returns.

Have ideas for ways this can help you? Please do share your thoughts in the comments below.


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