Want to get better results with your PPC? Want to do it… in under two hours? Here’s how to make it happen.
1. Identify Negative Keywords Quickly
Negative keywords prevent ads from showing up if a query includes certain terms. By far the most common negative keyword is “free” and should be standard for most marketers. However, there probably are some other ones that would help you narrow your focus. You can find them out by going to the Keywords menu, click the Keyword Details drop-down menu, and selecting All under Search Terms.
The report that comes up shows all search terms that have resulted into clicks within a given date range. By scrolling down the list, you can identify those search terms that are not likely to result in a purchase.
2. Adjust Your Bids by Day of the Week and Hour of the Day
Check the Dimensions Tab to find ways to optimize your bidding based on the day of the week or hour of the day. Most companies will find that they either do very well on weekends or on weekdays, but almost never on both. It isn’t a good idea to completely abandon your weaker-performing days, but you can shift the bids around a little bit to take advantage of your stronger days.
Similarly, you can optimize your bids based on the hour of the day.
3. Cut Underperforming Geographic Regions
Unlike times of the day or days of the week, you can and should completely abandon underperforming geographic regions. If Western Canada does not want what you have, for example, then you have more marketing funds to capture the market in the rest of the world.
You can also find the geographic data in the Dimensions tab. Start small by scrapping your lowest performing region and putting the saved money into your highest performing region. If that works out for you, cut a little more and distribute it to the higher regions. Every region has a saturation point, where higher bids won’t produce better results, but, in my experience, that saturation point is a lot higher than most people think.
4. Adjust Bids Based on Cost Per Conversion
Use a filter on the Keywords tab to find keywords with costs per conversion above your benchmark or limit. Don’t get emotional here: even if a keyword seemed like a great idea when you added it to the list, the numbers don’t lie. Lower the bid of every keyword above your benchmark by 10%, and give it two weeks. If any are still above the benchmark, lower their bids by 30%. Give it two more weeks, and then decide whether or not the keywords are even worth keeping.
5. Improve Theme Alignment
Make your ad groups tighter to specific themes by removing keywords that don’t exactly match to your ads or content. Move those keywords to more appropriate ad groups, or even make a new ad group that fits them more appropriately.
6. Align Ad Copy and Content
Content that fails to deliver on an ad’s promise is poison for SEO. Pretending to be a customer, check out your landing pages and see if they give you exactly what is promised by the ads. If not, adjust your content or links to increase alignment.