Managing Your PPC Campaigns
Once you’ve created your new campaigns, you’ll need to manage them regularly to make sure they continue to be effective. In fact, regular account activity is one of the best predictors of account success. You should be continuously analyzing the performance of your account and making the following adjustments to optimize your campaigns:
- Add PPC Keywords: Expand the reach of your PPC campaigns by adding keywords that are relevant to your business.
- Add Negative Keywords: Add non-converting terms as negative keywords to improve campaign relevancy and reduce wasted spend.
- Split Ad Groups: Improve click-through rate (CTR) and Quality Score by splitting up your ad groups into smaller, more relevant ad groups, which help you create more targeted ad text and landing pages.
- Review Costly PPC Keywords: under-performing keywords and shut them off if necessary.
- Refine Landing Pages: Modify the content and calls-to-action (CTAs) of your landing pages to align with individual search queries in order to boost conversion rates. Don’t send all your traffic to the same page
You’ll learn more about all of these elements of PPC campaign management as you move forward through the coursework in PPC University.
What’s A “Good” Click-Through Rate?
This is a hotly debated topic: what constitutes a good click-through rate?
From a purely statistical standpoint, it depends. Take a look at Yahoo’s answer to the “what’s a good click-through rate” question:
The honest answer to the question is, “It depends.” Click-through rates are naturally going to vary from campaign to campaign, and even from keyword to keyword. Everything involved in the way your ad is displayed plays a part, from your ad copy to the ad’s ranking on the results page.
So while you want to have a “high” click-through rate, there’s really no magic number. Average click-through rate will vary by industry, and your expected CTR depends on your ad’s position, among other factors. Generally speaking, as we mentioned above, you want as high a click-through rate as possible.
Except when you don’t.
When Higher Click-Through Rates Are Actually Bad For Business
If a keyword isn’t pertinent to your business or isn’t going to generate sales, leads, branding gains, etc. then a high click-through rate for that term is actually bad for business. The reasoning for this is fairly clear:
- You’re paying for every click.
- A lot of clicks generate a lot of ad spend.
- Some times you’re generating clicks on keywords that are priced too high, and won’t turn a profit even if they convert.
- Irrelevant terms and clicks are just spending money without bringing in additional business.
So you don’t always want higher click-through rates: what you want are high CTRs on keywords that are:
- Relevant — Have to do with your ad text, your landing page, and your offering.
- Affordable — Keywords that aren’t going to be profit-prohibitive.
So, in a nutshell, a good CTR means first targeting the right words, then getting as many people as you can to click on those ads.
Achieving Strong Click-Through Rates for Your Ads
Achieving strong click-through rates in PPC, then, depends on:
- Targeted keywords to bid on.
- Cost-efficient clicks.
- Tools and methodology for closely integrating keywords with ad text and landing pages.
- The ability to quickly and efficiently segment keyword groups to generate closer targeting.
Remember, the higher your click-through rate, the better your Quality Scores will likely be, and high Quality Scores are one of the single best predictors of success in PPC.
If you’re trying to master PPC, you need a solid understanding of Quality Score. That’s because your Quality Scores have enormous influence over the cost and effectiveness of your paid search campaigns.
Just as your credit score can affect whether or not you qualify for a loan and how high your interest rate is, Google Quality Score affects how your PPC ads perform and how much you pay for each click.
Your Quality Scores have enormous influence over the cost and effectiveness of your paid search campaigns.
What Is Quality Score?
Quality Score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. It is used to determine your cost per click (CPC) and multiplied by your maximum bid to determine your ad rank in the ad auction process. Your Quality Score depends on multiple factors, including:
- Your click-through rate (CTR)
- The relevance of each keyword to its ad group
- Landing page quality and relevance
- The relevance of your ad text
- Your historical AdWords account performance
No one outside of Google knows exactly how much each factor “weighs” in the Quality Score algorithm, but we do know that click-through rate is the most important component. When more people who see your ad click it, that’s a strong indication to Google that your ads are relevant and helpful to users. Accordingly, Google rewards you with:
- Higher ad rankings
- Lower costs
Benefits of Improving Google Quality Score
By analyzing thousands of PPC accounts, we know that Quality Score has a direct correlation on your PPC success. By optimizing your Quality Scores, you’ll be setting yourself up for higher return on investment (ROI). That’s because higher Quality Scores correlate with lower cost per conversion! Cost per conversion is different from cost per click. It’s not how much you pay for each click, but how much you pay when someone takes the action you want them to take, whether that’s signing up for a free trial or making a product purchase. Since not every click results in a conversion, cost per conversion is generally higher than cost per click.
Luckily, strong Quality Scores lower both your cost per click and your cost per conversion.
Generally speaking, the higher your Quality Score, the lower your cost per conversion. Remember, a high Quality Score is Google’s way of saying that your PPC ad meets your potential customers’ needs. The better you are at meeting the prospect’s needs, the less Google will charge you for the ad click.
“The higher your Quality Score, the lower your cost per conversion.”
How Do You Increase Your Quality Score?
Since Quality Score determines where and how often your ads appear, it’s important to boost your ratings by working consistently on your account. This can be achieved by focusing your efforts on several key areas:
- Keyword Research — Discover new, highly relevant keywords to add to your campaigns, including long-tail opportunities that can contribute to the bulk of your overall traffic.
- Keyword Organization — Split your keywords into tight, organized groups that can be more effectively tied to individual ad campaigns.
- Refining Ad Text — Test out PPC ad copy that is more targeted to your individual ad groups. More effective ads get higher CTR, one of the best ways to improve Quality Score.
- Optimizing Landing Pages — Follow landing page best practices to create pages that connect directly with your ad groups and provides cohesive experience for visitors, from keyword to conversion.
- Adding Negative Keywords — Continuously research, identify, and exclude irrelevant search terms that are wasting your budget.
As you can see, Quality Score is primarily a measure of relevance, and improving keyword Quality Score is a matter of structuring your PPC campaigns into small, well-organized, tightly knit groups of keywords. Better keyword research and organization will also naturally improve the quality and specificity of your ads and website content, allowing you to target
the exact audience most likely to be searching for your offerings.
Low AdWords Quality Scores are primarily the result of disconnect between keywords, ad groups, ad text, and landing page content. A high Quality Score comes naturally when an AdWords account contains organized keywords in appropriate keyword groups, ad text that corresponds with certain ad groups, and landing pages that connect with the ad text’s offer. While there is no easy, foolproof answer to improving your Quality Score formula, paying careful attention to relevance will greatly improve your scores.