What Is PPC Management?

If you’re reading this article, you have probably figured out that PPC is Google AdWords. In fact, PPC is a component of SEM (search engine marketing). Usually, an ad agency will charge you an ad spend and a management fee. The cost of PPC can build up and if you depend upon it for the bulk of your traffic, you are going to have a very high CPA and that is the bottom line. If you are thinking of managing your own PPC, I would like to share these tips.

Search for the Exact Keyword and the Ideal Position That You Would Like to Have on Google

This is an ad I really like. They have the #1 ranking for the keyword that I was looking for. I like how the ad has site links. There are other things that make this a great ad.

When you go to bid on a keyword, make sure that the ad is served up above the organics on Google. On certain ad words, these appear at the bottom of the SERPs. This will help inform the type of ads that you run on Google and the different extensions that you use.

“On-Page PPC Optimization”

Many people who are running PPC campaigns think about optimizing for the top of the funnel. This is a very important thing to think about. But, you can have a great click-through rate, great positioning, and other things, but none of these things mean anything if people don’t complete your sales funnel. Here are some things that I think inform on-page PPC optimization:

  • Some copy that matches the ad (may seem like a no-brainer, but people for get like this).
  • A short and easy form to fill out.
  • A clickable phone number.
  • Some compelling copy.
  • Fast page speed.
  • Good mobile experience.

One of the things to look at, also, is your bounce rate if you are sending people to an ecommerce store or multiple page funnel. If you optimize your PPC campaign with on-page factors in mind, you will improve your conversion rate. You could have an awesome click-through rate for your ads and your landing page experience sucks and therefore is driving your CPA up. Remember, first page positioning and traffic are good, but more traffic doesn’t mean that you’re always going to convert! I can easily have 1,000 visitors with a crappy conversion rate, but I can have half that many visitors if my conversion rate is better!

Some Scheduling and Other “Audience” Tips for PPC

There are several ways that you can “schedule” and “geofence” your audience on PPC. Once again, some of these seem like no-brainers:

  • Set a location for your ads to be served up.
  • Set a schedule for your ads.

Sometimes, when I am doing a paid campaign with a limited budget, I time my ads throughout the day. If I know my audience has a peak interest after work hours, I will use my ad budget during this time. There are also other ways that you can spread out your ad budget throughout the day.

The Obvious Thing That People Don’t Think About When Running a PPC Campaign

PPC is not a magic bullet for traffic. SEO is not a magic bullet to reduce PPC. Depending upon your marketing budget, you should probably supplement one with the other. If you are ranking #1 or #2 for a keyword should you also spend an ad buy here? I think, yes. If you have a keyword where you have a map ranking, a natural listing or two, bidding on that keyword is only going to increase your physical area in the SERPs, thus increasing the amount of traffic to your site :).

Using Broad Match and Negative Keywords to Filter Out the Crap

Let’s say that I am running a PPC campaign for, well, lack of a better search terms, “basement waterproofing.” One way to optimize your PPC campaigns is to do the following:

  • Use broad match (i.e. +basement +waterproofing). This will capture all the phrases, wrong spellings, etc.)
  • There is a place in Google AdWords where you can see the exact search terms that people are using to find the ad.
  • Looking at your analytics, CPC, and CTR, you can easily determine the “crap” keywords and add these to your negative keyword list in your AdWords Manager.