5 New Year’s Resolutions for Paid Search in 2015

Well, it’s that time of year. Time to reflect on 2014, and look forward to 2015. And with that, comes the making of resolutions for the new year. Exercise more. Eat less. Spend more time with the family. We all do it.

While we all start off with good intentions, it’s tough to keep these commitments throughout the new year.

Do you do the same for your paid search campaigns? Do you put together a list of things that you strive to do, only to have it lost amid the requests for reports or new campaigns that need to be launched? The beginning of a new year can be a great time to establish some PPC resolutions to help better manage your campaigns, and potentially improve overall account performance. So when you get back into the office after the holiday festivities, and have eaten (hopefully) that last delicious sugar cookie, here are five PPC resolutions for you to put in place.

1. Review and Reflect

This is a great time to pull your analytics data, and look at your account performance for 2014. Review the changes that were implemented (using the Intelligence Events feature in Google AdWords is a great way to identify and annotate major changes in your account). How well did they perform? If they performed well – can you take these changes and replicate them in another campaign or account? Take what has worked and repurpose it – no need to reinvent the wheel.

2. Implement Something New You Haven’t Tried

Managing paid search campaigns can take a lot of time and effort, and sometimes it’s hard to work in new AdWords features. And with the holidays, especially if you are retail, it’s hard to focus on budgets and conversions. Have you looked at ad customizers? (this is a great feature for retailers). Considered using AdWords Scripts? Now is the time to look into new AdWords features and determine which one would be a good fit for your business. Check out the Inside AdWords blog for the latest.

3. Develop Checklists

I am a big fan of checklists for paid search. Especially when you are managing multiple accounts. And it’s important to incorporate tools such automated filters and segments to get quick views of your data. Create filters that can give you key information, such as ads with a low CTR, low-quality score keywords, or keywords generating low impressions and clicks. Using daily, weekly, and monthly checklists ensures you are staying on top of your accounts. For example, checking Search Query Reports weekly ensures that a) you add negative keywords and b) find opportunities for new keywords. Once you create your checklists, incorporate them into your mail reminders, or create a calendar to reference what items are due when.

4. Time to Clean

Now that you have pulled your data for 2014, it’s a great time to also do some PPC house cleaning. Pausing keywords that have not performed well, ads that are not performing, and also reviewing all of your settings. Is your bidding strategy still on target? Do you need to incorporate a different flexible bid strategy for account? Do your mobile bids need to be revisited? Take the time to audit your accounts, and see if there are things that need to be updated.

5. Consider Expanding to Other Engines

Look at expanding beyond Google. Consider doing a small test on Bing to see how it performs. Look at one of your best-performing AdWords campaigns, and port it into Bing. The test can provide you with valuable learnings and insights, and can be a new addition to your paid search marketing mix.

Here’s to the best of holidays and successful paid search in 2015!

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