The festive season is well and truly over and many New Year’s resolutions have been broken, but your resolution to make your PPC account the best that it can be should still be going strong! It can be a daunting task auditing your PPC account but we have put together a short list of questions to help you look for areas to improve.
Can the account structure be improved?
The first and most important area we would look at is account structure – as soon as you get this right everything else should hopefully fall into place!
PPC accounts begin with campaigns which are broken down into ad groups; each ad group has a list of targeted keywords and ads. Your account structure should be organised by common themes – this will ensure that all of your keywords are relevant and your ad copy reflects the keywords within that ad group. Avoid having ad groups with a large number of keywords and if you do, look for common themes and create separate ad groups.
Creating tighter themed ad groups will also allow you to have a greater understanding of which campaigns are performing well and which are struggling.
Is your location targeting set up correctly?
Performing a location report will allow you to see if your ads are appearing out with your targeted locations. It may be that your location options are set to target ‘People in, searching for or viewing pages about my targeted location’. To prevent this, change your targeting settings to ‘People in my targeted location’.
Are your keywords relevant?
Creating tightly themed ad groups will ensure that all of your ad groups contain relevant keywords. By reviewing your keyword lists you can look for keywords that do not belong in your ad groups, giving you the opportunity to create new, more relevant, ad groups.
It is also important to review your keyword match types. Do your campaigns have a lot of broad match keywords that drive irrelevant clicks to your website and waste your budget? Or do you have too many exact match keywords which are limiting the amount of traffic being driven to your website? Try testing each of the match types – this will allow you to determine which are best suited to your campaign.
Finally, including any unwanted search terms as negative keywords to a campaign or ad group ensures that your ad will not appear for that search term. This will limit the amount of irrelevant traffic that is driven to your website. A great way to create negative keyword lists is to run regular search query reports. These allow you to identify which search terms are driving clicks to your website and if these are relevant or not.
Are your ads relevant?
Another benefit of structuring your account into tightly themed groups is that you are able to write ads that directly relate to the keywords within that ad group. Creating highly relevant ads should improve click through rates and quality scores.
When the Space & Time PPC Specialists perform account audits, we quite often see ad groups that only have one ad running. We would recommend testing two or three ads in each ad group and reviewing their performance on a regular basis. This will allow you to see which messages work and which do not. You can then create variations of your best performing ads to continuously improve performance.
Are your landing pages relevant?
It is great to have an excellent account structure with ad groups containing relevant keywords and amazing ad copy – but all of this is pointless if users are taken to a landing page that has nothing to do with what they are looking for. Manage your prospective customer’s expectations properly – if they are looking to buy a new pair of men’s trainers, ensure that they land on a page that allows them to do this as easily as possible.
Reviewing Google Analytics metrics for each campaign can also give you an indication as to whether or not your landing pages are effective – and if people are engaging with your website.
Are you targeting mobile?
With the continuous increase of people going online with mobile devices, it is important to ensure that you are efficiently targeting mobile users.
Do you have mobile preferred ads in your ad groups? If not, get some! Creating mobile preferred ads will allow you to engage with users searching on a mobile device and including mobile specific ad copy could also help improve click through rates.
It is also important to have mobile optimised/responsive design landing pages. Creating an excellent mobile ad is great, but if users land on a poorly optimised mobile site, it is very unlikely that they will stick around for long, let alone convert!
Are you taking advantage of ad extensions?
In recent months, ad extensions have become more important than ever. In October 2013, Google updated their AdWords algorithm which meant that advertisers using ad extensions might expect to see better ad positions and lower costs per clicks than those without.
Ad extensions are a great way to enhance your presence on the SERPs and improve your CTR without any additional spend. If you are not currently using ad extensions have a look into them, we are sure that there will be at least one that will benefit your account.
Current available ad extensions:
– Location extensions
– Call extensions
– Review extensions
– Social extensions
We hope these simple steps will help you to find areas to improve and make auditing your account a little easier!