PPC advertising can be just as challenging for long-standing accounts as it is for those starting out. With exorbitant competition, it’s hard to stay on top if you’re not continuously optimizing your Microsoft, Google Ads and Facebook campaigns. Have you started to see a decline in your click-through rate (CTR) or an increase in your cost-per-acquisition (CPA)? These telltale metrics can often be a signal of things to come.
Campaign stagnation and decline is often the result of several different variables, but hope is not lost. With a strategy and some precision, you can revitalize your PPC efforts and get that vital engine delivering on all cylinders. Here are some actionable tips to help you move forward!
A Quick Fix: Run a keyword performance report, a placement performance report, and a search query report for the last 60 days. In each report, identify keywords or placements that are generating a high CPA (more than double of your target CPA), several clicks with zero conversions, or a low CTR (10% for keywords or 2% for placements) and no conversions. Pausing those keywords and placements should have a positive effect on your CPC and ad position.
Negative Keywords: Review your search query report for the last 60 days. Are there search terms in the report that are generating irrelevant clicks? Add those as negative keywords.
Segment Your Campaigns: It’s common to see campaigns grouped together for network, device and location targeting. Bidding, ad copy and keyword strategies should be different for each network, so combining the data into a single campaign makes it challenging to optimize. Creating separate campaigns for each device, network (search and display) and location insures optimal results.
Ad Copy Troubleshooting: Having more than 5 active ads in a single ad group makes it difficult to collect data on the winning ads. This cripples campaign performance with wasted ad impressions that lowers your CTR and Quality Score. At the other extreme, having only one active ad per ad group, you’re missing out on the opportunity to test messaging and reduce ad fatigue. 2 to 4 more active ads per ad group will add some lift to your campaigns. Pause any losing ads once you have enough viable data to determine that it’s a loser while expanding on the ads that are winners.
Keyword Control: The most common keyword mistakes that drive up costs? Having too many keywords in a single ad group and targeting only broad- or phrase-match keywords.
When targeting too many keywords with the same ad copy, you combine too many user intents into ads that could be highly irrelevant. Similarly, with broad match keywords, your ads could appear for irrelevant search queries. Instead, consider exact-match keywords (if there is enough volume). For ad groups that have more than 35 keywords consider breaking apart into smaller ad groups targeted around tighter concepts.
The Bonus: Adding campaign extensions like Sitelink Extensions, Call Extensions, Product Extensions and Location Extensions to your campaigns have been shown to increase CTR and conversion rates. The extensions give searchers more choices, and a given ad takes up more real estate on the SERP, which can increase CTR.
Taking these steps with your campaigns and making thoughtful optimizations will almost assuredly help the revitalization process. Good luck and happy bidding!
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