5 Tips for Spring Cleaning your PPC Account
With much of the UK slipping back into a deep freeze this Easter weekend, excuses will be made aplenty to avoid the annual household spring clean. After all, warm weather is essential to ban the house of those winter blues – right?
A spring clean of your PPC account, on the other hand, does not require such warm climes. In addition to your regular optimisations, a quick health check is really useful for ensuring that your campaigns are in shape for the summer months ahead. So, turn up your under-desk heater and don those marigolds, it’s time to clean up with our PPC maintenance tips:
1. Conquer Keyword Clutter
With lots of emphasis often placed on expanding keywords to increase exposure and drive greater volumes, it can be easy to accumulate a lot of clutter within adgroups, much of which lies dormant without generating any clicks or impressions. Like any cluttered wardrobe, a good clear out can be great for the mind and result with an organised structure of clothes and shoes. The same applies for your PPC campaigns. By pausing keywords and ads that have contributed little over the last 6-12 months, campaign structure will improve instantly which will reward you with better downstream results.
2. Cleanse Quality Scores
Without due care and attention, keyword Quality Scores that once used to sparkle at around 7-10 can become dull and faded and towards the mid/bottom end of the scale. This has a big impact on cost, causing average CPCs to spiral whilst average positions remain the same or even drop. Take a good look at what can be done to boost Quality Score; both in the short term by increasing CTR and landing page relevancy and in the long term, by improving overall account performance.
3. Dust off Negative Keywords
It’s great PPC practice to keep on top of your negative keywords, particularly where a lot of Broad Match is in use. How often do you review your negative keyword lists and delete terms that are actually now relevant? If the answer is not often, then you’re probably cutting out a whole load of clicks from high-quality traffic. Consider whether the product offering or service of your website has changed over the past year or so. If it has, then it might just be time to you take to your negative keywords with a feather duster!
4. Sweep up Campaign Settings
For new campaigns, AdWords applies a number of settings by default and it’s down to the advertiser to amend these manually if desired. New campaigns will, for example, automatically be displayed across the Google, Search and Display Networks. They will also show up on PC, mobile and tablet devices. Whilst it’s great to have this level of choice regarding ad exposure, it’s always surprising just how many campaigns are left to run with these default settings applied. If you think your campaign may fall in to this category, segment your data by network and device (a feature available from the Campaigns tab) to see how performance varies – you may be surprised by what is exposed. You could also test changing your ad rotation method from the default ‘optimise for clicks’ to ‘optimise for conversions’ to see if a higher conversion rate can be achieved, simply by making this small amendment to your campaign settings.
5. Pick up a Tool or Two
To save time and make your life easier when it comes to campaign management, you may want to consider taking advantage of some of the free tools that are available within the AdWords interface. Use Automated Rules to schedule automatic changes to your campaigns, adgroups and keywords based on a specified criteria, use Enhanced CPC to automatically increase and decrease bids whilst maintaining or reducing existing CPA and/or use the Keyword Tool for inspiration on new keyword ideas when expanding your campaigns.
These are just a few examples. There are also plenty of other tools designed to improve the efficiency of your campaigns.
With spring cleaning complete, stick the kettle on and put your feet up. But not for too long as there’s plenty more work to be done.
The above tips will help to clean up your account and make it easier to manage. To achieve sustained PPC success however, an ongoing process of detailed and regular optimisation is required to keep costs down, facilitate growth and bring home the Easter Eggs!