Improve your PPC in just 25 minutes this week

weight lifter

Been ignoring your PPC account for a while? Or perhaps you’re onboarding a new PPC client that needs some immediate love? I’ve got a plan for you…

In just 25 minutes, you can start mending the health of any PPC account, starting this week.

These tips will help you save wasted ad spend and boost efficiencies immediately while you work on a long-term plan in the background to re-launch a PPC strategy.

Let’s have a closer look at the five steps in your new PPC regimen – each of which should only take about five minutes.

Step 1: slash wasteful ad spend

In your AdWords dashboard via the search terms tab, set your date range for the past 30 days, then sort terms by the highest spenders. Do you see any irrelevant or very broad terms that are spending tons of dough? If so, negate those.

We audited a PPC account once that was spending $1,000 a day on broad ‘jeans’ themed keywords, and it had a terrible conversion rate, as you might imagine. Search terms coming in included many instances of jeans.

So we negated the exact match for ‘jeans’ but let the long-tail keywords like ‘women’s black skinny jeans’ still work their magic – and voila! Instant budget saver.

Step 2: audit conversions

This one is especially important for inherited PPC accounts. First, go to the tools tab of your AdWords dashboard, then go to the webpages link to view website pages that are reporting conversions.

adwords dashboard

As part of your PPC revamp strategy, you’re going to want to follow the money, and that means first understanding if the conversion tracking is set up correctly on those pages.

(Note: getting this right can turn into a big task quickly, but this five-minute version is simply for verification, then you can fix as needed).

One account we inherited was showing a ton of conversions, but the conversion tracking setup was incorrect in that it was tracking visits to the home page versus tracking conversions on thank-you pages and/or checkout confirmation pages.

Step 3: stop non-performers 

In the next five minutes, pause the poorly performing campaigns, ad groups or keywords. First, start at the campaign level and set your date range for 30 days, then sort by the highest cost per acquisition.

You might see the highest CPA campaign is, say, $1,000, and from there, you’d start investigating. Dig deeper by clicking into the campaign and seeing if it’s a runaway ad group causing the problem, and within that ad group, it may be just a few keywords that are the culprit.

Make sure you have all the information before you pause anything; it could be a higher priced item causing the higher CPA, which would make sense. Then, at your discretion, start pausing those high CPAs, and start making a plan to optimize.

Step 4: find the top ad creative

In AdWords, you can easily find and sort your ad copy creative to identify those that performed well, and then carry those into your new strategy.

Let’s say you ran a spring sale, and wanted to see which ad copy brought in the most clicks. You’d simply head over to your AdWords dashboard and go to the ads tab, then search for ‘spring sale’ and see which ads had the highest CTR.

adwords search

Or, you can use the filter dropdown to further search the ad messaging:

adwords filter

If something is working well, then you don’t have to reinvent the wheel in your new PPC strategy.

Step 5: review ad extensions

In your last five minutes, perform an account-wide extensions review. As you may know, ad extensions factor into how your ads perform via AdWords’ Ad Rank, and we’ve come across some accounts that have no extensions at all.

To remedy that, you can quickly set callouts and structured snippets at the account level, as well as setting up general sitelinks and associating them to all campaigns.

(For more on rethinking your ad extensions, check out an earlier post I wrote, here.)

Now that you’ve boosted your PPC fitness

So you’ve completed your 25-minute PPC regimen, and now you’re ready to focus on implementing your comprehensive strategy to improve the long-term health of your PPC account.

As a reminder, this regimen is meant as a quick fix to get things moving while you strategize or wait on client or stakeholder approvals.

Taking those first, proactive steps helps you turn ideas into action so you can move the needle now while you wait sometimes months on approvals for your new PPC plan.

Pauline Jakober is CEO of Group Twenty Seven and a contributor to Search Engine Watch. You can follow Pauline on Twitter.

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