Google AdWords is an ever-changing world of updates, improvements and new strategies. The reality is that with new updates surfacing almost every month, PPC managers need to stay on top of their campaigns and of the general changes to the AdWords platform itself, otherwise they’ll fall foul of being out-smarted by the competition.
Regular (monthly or more) auditing of your campaigns is essential in maintaining strong PPC performance. Here are 5 simple PPC auditing tips to ensure your campaigns are working to their full potential.
1) Review Your Targeting Settings
Reviewing your campaign’s targeting settings is a simple three-step process that only takes a few minutes. There are three key areas that should be analysed:
- Ad Scheduling: If you want to maximise performance you should regularly assess your ad performance on a day-to-day, or even hour-by-hour basis. To do this simply click the Settings tab on your campaign and choose Ad Scheduling. You can view specific details like the number of conversions that occurred each day, or at any specific hour of each day, simply by clicking the Schedule Details drop-down.
- Device Performance: These settings enable you to control on which devices your ads display, and how much of your budget is weighted in favour of each specific device type. You might be a B2B advertiser targeting ads at business users in the day, in which case you would want to prioritise desktop computers over mobile phones. On the other hand, you might be retail outlet that wants to attract new customers through ads only shown on mobile phones while the customer is on the move. To control and segment your device bidding head to the Settings tab in your AdWords campaign. Then click Devices. From here you can adjust your bids accordingly.
- Location Performance: Check your location targeting settings to ensure that your ads are targeting the right town, city or region. Then, review your geo-reports to see which area(s) is performing the best (and worst), then adapt your bids accordingly. To do this go to the Settings tab in your campaign and click Locations. From here you can select the region or country where your ads are showing and drill into the specific locations of people who are seeing (and clicking on) your ads.
2) Assess Ad Extension Performance
Ad extensions – specifically sitelinks, phone number extensions and callouts – are considered essential for influencing your Ad Rank (and therefore your ad position). You should review these monthly to ensure accuracy and best performance. The Ad Extensions tab in your campaigns is where all this information is controlled. Key areas to check are:
- Callout Extensions – Are these up-to-date and do they contain current information or active offers?
- Sitelink Extensions – Are these promoting the best possible pages of your website and how does the CTR compare across sitelinks?
- Location Extensions – How are these performing? Do you need to use them or could your ads perform better with/without them?
3) Reviewing Keyword Match Types
Ensuring that your campaign is using the correct keyword match types is fundamental part of auditing. Here is a table of the four match type variations with some examples.
One of the biggest and most common mistakes that businesses make is running all keywords on the same match type (usually broad match). It goes without saying that they incur a high level of traffic, but that keywords are often loosely related to the searcher’s query. The result is a poor campaign Quality Score, low click-through rates and shoddy conversion rates. Using all phrase or exact match can also have a detrimental effect on the campaign as they are highly specified searches and can considerably limit traffic.
4) Check & Update Ad Group Structure
Ad Groups shouldn’t contain more than 15-20 keywords, so it is important to structure your keywords into multiple Ad Groups each with their own theme. As your PPC campaign grows you will unearth new keyword opportunities. These should be carefully structured into your campaign ensuring that keywords are directly associated with individual and specific Ad Group themes.
Analysing and amending your Ad Group structure each month will help campaign performance, give you more budgetary control and, ultimately, reduce the reporting workload for you. It’s also a more effective way of crafting compelling ad copy that is much more relevant to the searcher’s enquiry.
5) Negative Keyword Audit
Negative keywords defend your ads against impressions and clicks from unqualified searchers.
By assessing your Search Term Details report each month you can see exactly what keywords have generated clicks on your PPC ads. By reviewing these terms manually, you can identify any keywords that are unlikely to generate a conversion. Typically we see unwanted keywords like:
- How do I do X
- Free download
For more information on the subject or to take a peek at our negative keyword database contact us.
Talk to a PPC Agency That Knows
For more information on auditing your PPC campaign, or if you would like to know more about how QliQ can help improve the performance of your PPC campaign call 01635 800868 or contact us.