Learn the “PPC Rules You Must Use” from Stephanie White of Hanapin Marketing
Managing ad campaigns can be pretty tedious, especially when your time is spent making the same campaign changes on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Luckily, Google and Bing offer a way to automate your tedious campaign tasks using rules to automatically make optimizations for you.
In this week’s #PPCPodcast, we chatted with Stephanie White, Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing, about automating ppc account management. Before White was PPC master at Hanapin Marketing, she was an entrepreneur starting her own jewelry business back in 1999. In 2004, instead of hiring a marketing specialist, White took it upon herself to learn profitable online marketing. These self-taught skills, ranging from web design to email marketing to PPC advertising, led her down a fruitful career working with talented marketers from ReachLocal, John Eagle Dealerships, and now Hanapin Marketing.
Check out White’s 5 must-have AdWords Automated Rules for every PPC account. Learn how she uses Automated Rules to save time, money, and sanity.
What the heck are Automated Rules?
Automated Rules are a series of actions you can choose to automatically perform across your ppc campaigns. To run these Automated Rules, you’ll need to define what conditions must be met for the rule to fire and apply these automatic changes to your account. Use rules to make changes to your ad statuses, budgets, bids, keywords and more. PPC managers are under a lot of pressure to deliver results…quickly: with clients’ increasing demand for deeper campaign performance analysis and insights combined with growing paid search and social platforms. The ability to automatically perform routine tasks, means you spend less time manually monitoring each campaign’s metrics and more time focusing on ppc strategy and optimizing growth opportunities.
The 5 Must-Have Automated Rules for Every PPC Account
Increase or Decrease Budget on Specific Date/Time
Use this rule if you either have additional budget you need to spend by a particular date OR if you want to automate increases or decreases to your budget on the first of the month.
Schedule Promotions to Run During a Set Time Period
Create an automated rule to adjust CPC bids for a particular ad group. This will come in handy when you build promotional campaigns for the holiday season. In your ad group you want to include keyword combinations for your product and any holiday terms. For example: Black Friday car deals, New Years car sales, Happy Honda Days, Christmas car deals, etc. Use a rule to automatically enable this ad group 2 weeks before the sale and end 1 week after.
For B2B clients: Be wary of the times you choose to schedule your ad campaigns
- B2Bs should schedule campaigns to run only during business hours. But if there is a weekend event your target audience will be attending, schedule your ad campaigns to run during the event’s timeframe.
- If you need to spend budget quickly, consider creating a rule to increase budget and schedule your campaign to run constantly for a short burst of time. Analyze the data and see what happens
Reduce Bids for Keywords with a High Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
Save time manually adjusting bids with a rule that will automatically reduce bids for keywords with extremely high CPA, but have zero conversions.
Increase Bids for Converting Keywords Below First-Page Bids
This is a great rule to have in your time-saver toolbox. Let’s say you have a keyword with high conversions, but just dropped below first-page bid. You can create a rule to automatically apply a 10% bid increase to all keywords that have over 10 conversions with more than 50 impressions and quality score greater than 5.
Set Up Email Alerts for Drastic Changes in Your Campaigns
Avoid ppc account surprises with performance-based email alerts that fire based on your most valuable KPIs. Set up an email alert to notify you of any drastic changes to your account, campaigns, ad groups, ads, or keywords.
Hopefully you’re now able to set up, test, and iterate on these automated rules to save you time and money. These rules are intended to make your ppc life easier because you won’t have to spend so much time doing the manual ppc account tasks, your time can be better spent thinking about your overarching ppc account strategy and how to optimize campaign performance.
The easiest way to waste money on a PPC campaign is not knowing what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. This guide explains the 10 things every converting PPC campaign has and how you can apply these to your own campaigns.
Setting clear goals for your account can help you evaluate performance, refocus your ad copy and fine tune your landing pages. Goals should reflect the results you’d like to see from a campaign. Before you launch your first campaign ask yourself what the goal of the campaign is:
- Are you promoting your brand?
- Driving traffic to your site?
- Collecting leads for a webinar?
- Driving product sales?
Knowing your campaign objective is the only way to benchmark ppc campaign success.
2. Conversion Tracking
It’s easy enough to get clicks and impressions, but how do you know if they’re actually benefiting your business? Are they worth what you’re paying for them? Conversion tracking measures valuable information like the number of sales from form submissions. This allows you to generate granular insights and optimize your account, based on an assigned value (rather than clicks). Measuring direct actions is a better way to measure ROI that you then can apply to allocating ppc campaign budget.
How much money are you willing to spend on your ads, or how much has your company budgeted for PPC ads? Do you want to allocate spend to a specific effort? Will you be running it for a day, a month or is it ongoing?
Don’t set it and forget it!
Collect and analyze initial conversion rates. Using this information, you can increase budget for profitable campaigns, while reducing (or pausing) spend for poor performers. Convert your total budget into daily budgets to better distribute spend based on time AND performance. PPC managers can target the best performing days, and optimize click performance with a specific audience.
Who should see your ads? Who are your customers? How old are they? Where do they live? Are there any types of people you can exclude from your audience? Knowing this information helps you define your target, write effective copy and even select the best landing pages for your ads. Having a well-defined target group is essential for reducing low quality clicks, which ultimately saves you money.
5. Ad Copy
Use keywords in your ad copy for bolded text that can grab your audience’s attention. Use targeted language for your audience to make it perfectly clear you have what they’re looking for, and you can solve their problem. Remember to do a little competitive analysis and see how you can differentiate your ads from your competitors.
6. PPC Account Structure
How you structure your campaigns, ad groups, and keywords directly impacts your account performance. Should you organize your campaigns by product? By audience? By location?
How you organize your campaigns will guide how you make budget decisions across different ppc campaigns. It’s important to know how to make sense of your accounts for clear KPI insights and reporting. Clear structure makes it easier to spot trends across campaigns, ad groups, ads and even keywords. This insights can reveal refined targeting, and highlight keyword expansion opportunities.
Without the appropriate keywords you can’t target the best queries, which can mean throwing chunks of your budget out the window. Focus bids on the most relevant search queries for your ideal customer. Start with broad match keywords, closely monitor those initial conversions to narrow your focus and identify long-tail keyword opportunities. Remember to use consistent keywords across your ads and landing pages for relevancy and quality scores that align with your ideal customer’s search intent. There’s nothing worse than clicking an ad and not seeing what you’d expected; a sure-fire way to lose a customer.
Make sure you are excluding keywords from your campaigns because not all keywords bring relevant traffic. Use negatives to force match type segmentation and utilize the phrase and exact match types to block irrelevant queries. Blocking ads from unrelated searches can help protect your budget from useless clicks. For example, if you only sell basketball shoes maybe try blocking words like ‘cleats’ or other types of athletic shoes. You can exclude poor quality queries found through search query reports.
Should you include a phone number in your ads? Are customers searching for your address to visit you in person? Extensions improve your ads by earning better ad ranks, higher CTRs and can even award you more real estate. It’s all about qualifying and better serving your audience, right? Site extensions show links to additional pages, call extensions promote your phone number and location extensions display your address. There are many options, so be sure to test all relevant extensions.
Read more on how to strengthen your offer with AdWords Extensions.
10. Ad Testing
One ad doesn’t fit all. Try different variations of copy and offerings for ads and track metric trends over time. Testing different campaign elements lets you find the best messaging. The easiest way to grow an account is to find ad copy that resonates with an audience, and actually back by higher CTRs and conversion rates. Make ads as relevant as possible for QS boots, higher positioning, and bonuses such as bolded text. This is where account structure comes into play, making it easy to fit the best ads to each ad group.Now you know! Try auditing your current campaigns and double check for these 10 things when you create your next one.
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