With the new year just around the corner, independent retailers may be considering implementing pay per click (PPC) search advertising campaigns. Both Google AdWords and Bing Ads are so user friendly that you can set up your account and start running ads within an hour. Unfortunately, if you set up an account incorrectly, you will end up wasting money. Here are a few tips to help you manage and optimize your PPC campaign.
PPC launch and post launch. Hopefully you had all your campaigns in the “paused” status while you were testing your tracking. Now it’s time to launch. Change the status of each campaign to “active.” Once you do that, it may take some time (up to 24 hours) for your ads to start gathering impressions. In Google AdWords, you may see various status indicators over the first few days letting you know such things as:
- If there are problems with your text ads.
- Whether your keyword bids are below the first page bid.
- Your keyword quality.
- The keyword top of page bid.
Optimize keywords. There are many parameters involved in PPC and, as Google and Bing continue to add functionality and features to their systems, it is getting more complicated. Nonetheless, here are some quick tips for optimizing your keywords, broken down into the two types of optimization. They can be done individually or together.
Keyword Cleanup Optimization
- What you are doing here is removing any keywords that don’t meet your performance objectives. To do this, run a keyword report ensuring that you have a date range wide enough to gather enough data for an informed decision. You can gather either a cost or click threshold, above which to make a decision on a keyword. For example, if your criterion is that a keyword must have a conversion or transaction at a cost per transaction of $50 or less, it’s easy to run a report and make those calculations. You can do it right within the AdWords Editor desktop tool provided for free from Google. This type of optimization can be done automatically on Google.
Keyword Expansion Optimization
The objective here is to broaden the reach of your message while still meeting your performance metrics. While the cleanup optimization removed or paused keywords, this optimization adds keywords. To find keywords you want to add you have several options:
- Run a keyword query report and select the actual query terms that people used that meet your objectives.
- Use the keyword research tool in Google AdWords or Bing Ads to find keywords that are relevant to your products and have some popularity.
- Run a Google analytics report for your organic traffic and select those keywords that are performing for you.
By incorporating these tactics, you will have a good handle on optimizing your keywords. For Part One of the series, please click here.
Jay Wilner is managing partner at Out of Bounds Communications, a digital marketing agency specializing in ecommerce marketing for small and medium sized online retailers. Jay has helped numerous companies grow their online businesses with strategically designed digital marketing programs. He previously started and ran a venture capital backed ecommerce agency, partnering closely with IBM and other large companies on ecommerce projects during the 1990?s dot com boom. Jay has an MBA from the University of Kansas and an M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Missouri. Follow Jay and Out of Bounds on Twitter, Facebook, and the company’s digital marketing blog.