Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC) is a type of advertising managed with the Google AdWords platform. Relevant ads are shown based on keywords people use within their search query. For example, type in ‘plumbers Sydney’ and you’ll notice that the initial few results are ads served through PPC.
PPC is best suited for businesses using a website that has a product/service offering, the one that folks are actively trying to find. It’s best for businesses of any size but particularly ideal for small companies as possible run ad campaigns for a little as $100.
Pay-per-click is really a marketing channel driven by demand. Your PPC campaign results are dependent on the industry your small business falls under, the campaign budget and landing page conversion rate (i.e. the number of people go to your page and take action on your website). On average, PPC advertisers are seeing a conversion rate of 2.70%.
If you want to maximise ROI on your own ad spend, ‘set and forget’ is not really an approach you will want to adopt. You’ll need to monitor your campaign performance on the weekly basis and optimise your ads where necessary. By doing this, you’ll be able to dial in the plan for top performing keywords and reduce invest in ones that are generating minimal return.
Establishing a PPC campaign isn’t challenging to do but where most business people get stuck is the strategy needed generate high ROI. An effective campaign is made of many variables i.e. keyword selection, audience targeting, ad copy, bidding strategy…etc. Just getting one of those wrong are able to see your campaign perform poorly and leave you with a hole in your pocket.
While PPC could work for just about any type of company, I’ve learned that it almost never works on the first day. Furthermore I’ve never seen an effective “set it and forget it” strategy. The reality is that regardless how good your account is, you could do better.
Thoughtful and consistent PPC account optimization activity is the path to achieving ROI from paid search. On the other hand, a “set it and forget it” strategy is a bit of a death spiral that generally results in a cycle of lower Quality Scores, which leads to higher cost per clicks and minimize ad position, which results in lower ROI, and ultimately failure.
For this reason I believe that PPC account activity even trumps Quality Score since the single most important PPC metric within your account. Thoughtful and consistent PPC optimization experiments is the path to doing well on the rest of the PPC key metrics.
If I’ve convinced you in the importance of measuring and tracking your PPC account activity, here’s how to get it done. Set the date range towards the period of time you’re considering, then click on the Download button to export the report in a CSV format. AdWords groups together different changes by campaign and ad group; for instance inside the screenshot you will notice xjarkb there was 39 bid changes inside a single ad group. So, to process the exported data, you’ll should do some manual data manipulation in Excel to decompress the alteration history log.
An Easier Way to Determine Recent AdWords Account Activity
An additional way to quickly visualize your recent AdWords account activity would be to just grade your bank account utilizing the AdWords Performance Grader. This free tool is going to do a quick audit of your PPC account across 8 different key performance metrics, including Account Activity.
The report will calculate and display your Account Activity in the last 30 and 90 days and break it out by varieties of account optimizations are happening within your account. Here’s an illustration of this what the Account Activity area of the AdWords Grader report looks like.
So within this example, you can see that this advertiser has produced/deleted or modified 2 campaigns in the last 90 days, made 10 ad text changes during the last 1 month, etc. Given the anemic activity levels in the typical PPC account, In my opinion that PPC account managers needs to be embracing the idea of PPC activity as being a success metric. When asked for the most important PPC metrics, PPC marketers tend to think of things such as CTR, cost per conversion, conversion rate, etc. – yet it is actually only our ongoing PPC experimentation and optimization activities which allow us to do well in many of these metrics.
Ultimately the secret weapon to success to maintain a healthy amount of PPC account activity is to really make it regular. For instance, reserve a minimum of 20 minutes a week for PPC optimization, spending a few minutes on each of the most important PPC optimization tasks, like keyword expansion, negative keyword research, bid optimization, and ad text optimization. Although this may appear like plenty of work, the use of PPC tools can add a ton of leverage with regards to time savings and ROI.
As with a diet plan or fitness plan, don’t go crazy by doing thousands of modifications in one sitting and then not revisiting for half a year, but don’t get complacent and fall under an inactive PPC lifestyle either. The good thing is that the PPC account activity bar is very low. Just twenty or so minutes of PPC work every week would place you ahead of 90% of the other accounts out there.