PPC Management is truly an art. There is no right way of doing it, and the opportunities to creatively make your business more profitable are endless! The Best PPC Managers out there will be the first to tell you that there are plenty of levers to pull when it comes to optimizing your paid search campaigns. But do these levers always get pulled? Are your campaigns truly being optimized to their greatest potential? Your account managers may say so, but here are some great ppc management techniques you can bring to the conversation!
As campaigns mature and grow, it is extremely important to do everything you can to weed out unqualified traffic. After all, if you sell oranges, you don’t want to pay for someone to come to your website that is looking for apples! One of the most effective ways of weeding out this unqualified traffic is to continuously implement negative keywords. By implementing negative keywords, search engine marketers can, metaphorically speaking, close and lock doors to certain audiences ensuring their clients receive the most qualified traffic possible. This is something that SEM’s tend to do early on in a campaign, but can easily lose sight of as time goes on.
A lot of people think geographic targeting is only relevant to their ppc strategy if their company has certain limitations. Some companies may not be able to ship to certain parts of the country, or say your company is very local, and you only want to advertise to people that live in neighboring zip codes. These are all good reasons to utilize geographic targeting, but what about companies that don’t have these limitations? Is geographic targeting still relevant to them? In short, YES! Undoubtedly, as your campaigns run you will realize you are more profitable in certain locations. As you collet this data you can work to eliminate locations where sales are not so good, and focus that spend in locations where your sales are better. Despite what your gut might think, the numbers don’t lie!
Advertise When You’re Most Profitable
Another ppc strategy that often gets ignored is determining when your advertisements are most profitable. Believe it or not, but it’s extremely important to look at what days of the week, and even hours of those days to see when you are receiving the most conversions. Observing trends like this will allow you to reallocate budgets accordingly. This is a technique that is best used on campaigns that have been running for quite some time. You would never want to limit your exposure, but in mature campaigns, you can use this technique to focus your exposure based on the trends you have seen.
Testing Your Ad Positioning
If your company is using paid search to increase brand awareness, then holding the number one spot in the search results is probably a good ppc strategy. However, if your company is trying to achieve maximum profitability, then sometimes ranking in positions 3-5 can be more effective. Positions 1-2 achieve the most clicks, but these clicks aren’t always from the most targeted traffic as they are the first thing that searchers will see, and are most likely to click on. Ranking for positions 3-5 will usually post your ads on the right side of the search results. This can act as a natural filter for traffic, as a potential customer may have to do a little more work to notice your ad, but chances are these potential customers will be more targeted if they’re willing to look for a better or more relevant result. Adjusting your bids to target certain positions is very effective ppc strategy to help maximize your profitability!
These are just four of many forgotten levers of ppc management. It is critical to continually test your campaigns! Even when your campaigns seem to be running like well-oiled machines, chances are, they can run better!
November 12, 2014