Forget setting New Year’s resolutions that you’ll give up half way through the month, this year why not focus on your PPC campaigns and make them work even harder this year!
Here are just a few solutions to give your Google Adwords / Bing Ads accounts a good start to the year:
1. Review Your Landing Pages
You may have the best ad copy in a well-structured ad group, but that means squat if you’re not landing them onto the best page possible. Take the start of the year as a good time to review all the landing pages you link to. Do you have custom page pages for certain keywords? Or are you using generic pages that were set up for people already on your website?
Landing page A/B testing is the best way to establish which landing page is best. Use the same ads and make the only variant between them the URL. Remember it doesn’t have to stop after one test, you can take the top performing landing page and test that against another and keep going until you think you’ve optimised enough (not that it can ever be enough in paid search marketing!).
2. Test Your Ad Copy
How many A/B tests do you have running across your PPC campaigns? The perfect ad copy doesn’t exist, even if you think you’ve got great clickthrough and conversion rates, ad copy can always be improved and testing shouldn’t stop. A/B testing can be used to establish the most effective headlines, descriptions and display URL’s – particularly with new expanded text ads.
3. Review and Refine Your Keyword Lists
A keyword review can (and should) take a few different forms.
• Bid management – Are you getting a return on spend on your keywords? Reviewing your bids on keywords and the conversions you get, gives you a good basis to reduce or raise your maximum CPC’s.
• Negative keyword review – Running a search query report to see the search terms which are triggering your ads can show some interesting terms. Viewing your search queries can show where you can tighten up in your ad groups and reduce spend on ineffective keywords. Plus, it’s always amusing to see what people search for on search engines!
• Quality scores – Getting low quality scores for some of your keywords? For keywords with low quality scores (usually below 6), it is worth splitting these out into a separate campaign so you can work on improving these so your ads are shown more. By doing this, you can tailor your ad copy to be more specific to the keyword and change your landing pages without effecting the other keywords in the ad group.
As part of a keyword review, you should look at any keywords that are now outdated or irrelevant to your business so you’re not paying for clicks you don’t want anymore!
• Related keywords – You can use the Google Keyword tool to identify new opportunities for keywords and slight variations of the ones you currently target. Excel can also be particularly useful to add different variations of keywords using a concatenation.
• Competitor keyword review – There are lots of tools available online that you can use to identify the keywords that competitors are bidding on.
4. Review your approach to remarketing and RLSA’s
RLSA’s, short for remarketing lists for search ads are a really effective way to target a specific audience through your search campaigns. For example, if someone has already been on your website and didn’t complete an action but are now searching again for your target keywords, you could upweight bids as this user is more likely to convert so you want to make sure your ads reach them.
There are a number of different tactics you can employ for RLSA’s. My favourite is using RLSA’s to bid on broad/generic keywords that you usually wouldn’t touch. For example, the keyword ‘cars’ wouldn’t be one that you usually bid on but if someone has visited your site before, there is a higher intent so you may want to bid for this person.
You can apply remarketing lists in your search campaigns and just monitor how they perform differently then once you have enough data you can look at applying bid adjustments in line with the performance.
5. Utilise all available ad extensions
Long gone are the days where you just had one standard sitelink extension that you could use. Now there are a range of ad extensions which all have different benefits. Generally they see higher clickthrough rates and conversion rates if done properly!
The main ones are below. It’s definitely worth going through and implementing as many as possible. Google decide which ad extensions get shown at any one time.
• Sitelink extensions – This is the standard sitelink extension which can be used at a campaign or ad group level
• Callout extensions – A non-clickable extension. This can be used to promote key benefits but doesn’t need a landing page. For example, things like; ’10 years experience’, ‘expert advice’, for example
• Structured snippet extensions – A more recent addition but one that generally sees great results. You can use them to highlight specific aspects of your products and services. For example, if you stocked certain brands on your site, you can show this in a snippet extension. A range of different headers can be used.
• Call extensions – Shows a phone number next to your ad. Can either use a Google Forwarding number or your own number
• Location extensions – Shows your business address. Needs to be linked with Google My Business Account
• Price extensions – A newer extensions which shows a list of prices below your ad on mobile devices.
• Review extensions – Highlights third party reviews in your ads
These are just a few things to look at in the New Year but PPC optimisation doesn’t stop there…
For a free Google Adwords audit – feel free to contact me