Managing an Effective PPC Marketing Campaign

Managing pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns can be time-consuming and challenging, but following our easy guide can help enhance your campaigns. PPC, also known as SEM, or search engine marketing, drives in-market traffic looking for your products or services.

Ensuring your campaigns are set up properly can help optimize ad spending and return on investment. This topic will be based on the Google Ads and Microsoft Ads platforms, but you can also use many of these same strategies for social campaigns such as Facebook and LinkedIn considering each network’s individual custom targeting features.

1. Optimize for Conversions, Not Just Clicks

Many PPC marketing platforms now offer advanced targeting capabilities that better align with common marketing goals. Choosing marketing objectives to optimize for conversions or leads can help place your ad in front of users who are most likely to act. Set conversion goals to help identify what campaigns, keywords, and ads trigger those conversions. Take primary and secondary action settings into account to accurately track conversion activity, ensure the campaigns are optimized for the most appropriate action, and help identify trends and patterns.

2. Geotarget and Utilize Local Search/Location Assets

Both Google Ads and Microsoft Ads give you access to finely tuned location targeting options. Set up your campaign to serve ads only in the territories you serve, or craft a strategy that allows you to approach new or competing markets. You can target by country, state, city, town, and zip code. Location targeting exclusions help increase the precision of your targeting.

If you have a brick-and-mortar or physical address, tap Google’s Business Profile and the campaign location asset to get your business to the top of Google’s map pack. Users visit the map pack to find local businesses offering products and services near them.

Pay attention to campaign analytics that offer insight into the specific locations that drive actual revenue as those can help drive future campaigns or budget allocations.

3. Test Low-Impression Keywords with New Campaigns and Auto-Optimization Settings

Each paid search campaign has a budget, ads, and keywords. Within each campaign are several ad groups or logical sets of ads and keywords. Each ad group contains keywords and ads relevant to the subject matter, ensuring that users will be served ads relevant to their search queries.

An issue arises when campaign auto-optimization functions recognize certain keywords that perform well early in the campaign, and then proceed to reduce bids against the other keywords. Several of those keywords may have the potential to drive conversions but have never been given the chance.

Since the budget is allocated at the campaign level, not the ad group level, consider pulling those underserved keywords out and putting them in their own campaign. Allocate a modest budget to test if performance increases. Another option is to turn auto-optimizations off in the campaign settings, but this prevents Google from constantly optimizing based on demand and the desired user action.

4. Adjust Your Ad Schedule

Are people more engaged at certain times of the day or on certain days of the week? A simple analysis can help you allocate funds to capitalize on time- or day-related search volume. Some firms that rely on phone call interactions find success in scheduling ads to run only during their hours of operation. It’s also important to remember you can schedule assets separately from the main ad.

5. Craft Compelling PPC Ad Copy

With the advent of dynamic search ads and automated ad creation, ad platforms have encouraged users to create single ads that can serve a broad range of users. It can still be valuable to craft ads that resonate with users based on specific sets of keywords.

While we generally recommend following the in-platform ad-strength guidelines, there are times when you may want to control the message and use the pin system to ensure certain headlines or descriptions are displayed.

6. Optimize Your Landing Pages

We often find firms have not optimized their landing pages for PPC campaigns. Since campaigns are often built from keyword lists generated from the product or service offering, it’s important to optimize landing pages with content that’s relevant to the topic users are searching for.

This optimization helps improve Google keyword quality scores, reduces costs, builds trust with users, and encourages action.

7. Take Advantage of Retargeting and Audiences

Aside from a strong keyword strategy, many PPC ad platforms now offer the ability to create dynamic audiences based on different data sources, including email lists and how they interact with your website. Utilizing audience lists and retargeting efforts may help convert more users.

8. Plan Your Bid Management Strategy and Budget Allocation

Controlling costs and effective budget allocation is a simple, yet critical part of achieving a sustainable ROI. Often overlooked, this can provide an advantage, especially with limited budgets. Plan your budgets—but be ready to act based on near real-time data. Use manual CPC bid strategies to maximize your budget and drive the necessary traffic to reach your goals. Once the basics are set, more advanced strategies can be applied.

9. Monitor PPC Analytics and Stay Flexible

PPC campaigns require the most attention at the start, and monitoring the in-platform analytics is important. Browse campaign overviews to stay current on general campaign performance and refer to insights that might point out anomalies that may have been missed. This can help with determining past performance and future planning directions. Use the analytics to make data-driven decisions.

Whether you are just getting started with PPC or looking to revitalize and manage a campaign that’s already been running, these tips can help ensure you are headed in the right direction and getting the most from your efforts.