Google AdWords PPC Campaign Management Best Practices

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					16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260
                                     AdWords PPC Campaign
Chesterfield, MO 63017
                                     Management Best Practices
                                     You have set up one or several PPC campaigns in Google AdWords, now
                                     what? How often should you check them? How closely do they need to be
16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260   monitored and what are the best ways to do so?
Chesterfield, MO 63017
                                     This guide will help you in optimizing your PPC management, including:
                                     advice on what information to analyze and how often, what reports should
                                     be automated, and which ones should be run as needed, and finally,
                                     troubleshooting tips.

                                     To begin with, we find that there are generally three basic levels of
                                     campaign management:

The most important step in                1. Ongoing - Includes daily, weekly, monthly reviews and
ongoing PPC management                       optimization.
is to identify your goals.
                                          2. Event - Occurs during a unique situation, such as a new product
                                             launch or holiday season.

                                          3. Troubleshooting - When there is an unforeseen change, when
                                             information surprises you or an issue occurs in your account that
                                             needs attention.

                                     Each of these three situations requires a different approach for campaign
                                     management and different sets of reporting metrics.

1   Ongoing Pay Per Click Management

                                     The most important step in ongoing PPC management is to identify your
                                     goals. If you have an E-commerce site, the number of conversions or the cost-
16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260   per-conversion are probably your most important metrics. If you have an
Chesterfield, MO 63017               informational website, driving click-through rate may be of the most interest
                                     to you. Once you have identified the metrics that define “success,” you know
                                     what you want to measure. The next step is to decide which reports to run
                                     and how often. Here are a few of the most common and helpful reports in
                                     Google AdWords:

                                     Campaign and Ad Group Level Reports

                                     Each of these reports is pretty straight-forward and makes it simple to
                                     summarize data by account, campaign, or ad group depending on what level
                                     of detail is of the most interest. They are especially helpful in understanding
                                     trends over time.

                                     For these reports (as with all reports), you can choose the date range, which
                                     metrics you want displayed (including cost, CTR, ad position, conversions,
                                     cost-per-conversion, etc.) and automate them. Scheduling these reports (or
                                     any of the following reports) to run on a regular basis and to be emailed to
                                     you and others in your work group is a great way to ensure they are being
                                     reviewed regularly.

                                     Search Query Report

                                     This is one of the most important reports to run and can help to determine
                                     which keywords need to be added as well as negative keywords. Depending
                                     on the volume of keywords and traffic your ads receive, you may want to
                                     consider running this report weekly or monthly.

                                     The search query report identifies which keywords are triggering your ads,
                                     which can be especially helpful if you are running broad or phrase match
                                     keywords. This will allow you to determine keywords that should be in
                                     your campaign or negative keywords to add to prevent your ad from being
                                     triggered by unqualified searches.

                                     Keyword Report

16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260   This report gives you a detailed look at your keywords and the data associated
Chesterfield, MO 63017               with each, including: CTR, average cost-per-click, conversions, average
                                     position, and quality score. Keywords make up the backbone of your
                                     campaigns, as a result understanding how each keyword is performing is vital
                                     to success. Comparing trends in keyword data over time can let you know
                                     which keywords are working, which need to be changed, and how you should
                                     adjust your bidding strategy. This report (as with all reports in AdWords) can
                                     be exported into Microsoft Excel for easy viewing, sorting and making notes.

                                          Understanding Quality Score

                                          The Keyword Report lets you view the Quality Score for each keyword,
                                          but why is this so important? Quality Score affects the amount you
                                          pay per click and what ad your position is in on the page. If your
                                          keywords have a low quality score, take a look at your ad groups and
                                          the keywords in your ad groups and make sure they are closely related.
                                          Consider breaking your ad groups into separate ad groups to make
                                          sure only closely related keywords appear in each. Also, make sure
                                          the ad text and landing page is closely related to the keywords. A high
                                          historical CTR can also help improve Quality Score. AdWords takes all
                                          of these factors into consideration when determining Quality Score.

                                     Geographic Performance Report

                                     This report allows you to view your performance by location. You can analyze
                                     your impressions, clicks, conversions and other metrics by their geographic
                                     distribution. You can use this report to calculate data on a daily basis by
                                     country/territory, region (state), metro area, and city. Based on what you see
                                     in your report, you may want to separate your campaigns into several smaller
                                     campaigns that are specifically targeted to different locations. You can also
                                     create ads customized to a particular region and allocate your budget among
                                     different locations.

                                     Destination URL Report

16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260   The URL Performance Report breaks down metric s such as conversions by
Chesterfield, MO 63017               landing page. This allows you to determine which landing pages are most suc-
888.629.4672                         cessful in driving conversions. If a particular landing page is receiving high
                                     traffic but not receiving conversions, visitors may not be finding what they
                                     are expecting when they click on your ad. Revising your landing page to drive
                                     conversions with a clearer call-to-action may be necessary, or revising your
                                     keywords and ad text to drive more targeted traffic to the landing page may
                                     be beneficial.

                                     Placement Performance Report

                                     If you are running ads on the Display Network, this report will allow you to
                                     see how each placement is performing, including CTR, conversions, and cost.
                                     You can also choose to view placements by domain or individual URL. By
                                     understanding how each site is performing, you can determine whether you
                                     want to add them as a managed placement and increase the bid or add the
                                     domain or URL as a negative, meaning ads will no longer show there.

                                          Google Analytics

                                          Linking your AdWords and Analytics accounts and viewing data in
                                          Analytics can be critical in understanding how visitors from a PPC ad
                                          are behaving once they arrive at your site. From Analytics, you can
                                          determine how long a visitor from a PPC ad is spending on your site,
                                          how many pages they viewed and if they left the page immediately after
                                          they landed on it. You can also view conversions by time of day, which is
                                          not available through AdWords reporting.

2   Event Pay Per Click Management

                                     As with ongoing PPC management, defining your goals when managing
                                     PPC during an important event is also critical. During a new product launch,
16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260   your goal may be to increase sales; therefore, conversion-related metrics
Chesterfield, MO 63017               would be the most important to review. However, if you are launching a
                                     new website, increasing traffic and creating brand recognition may be the
                                     most important objection. Therefore, CTR and total clicks may be key while
                                     reviewing reports.

                                     During event management, all of the reports previously mentioned can be
                                     used to monitor performance; however, the frequency that they are reviewed
                                     should be increased to match the level of increased advertising. For example,
                                     watching bids closely and adjusting frequently can ensure the best ad position
                                     during the critical marketing period. Keeping a close eye on the Search Query
                                     Report can allow you to include negative keywords that may be costing you
                                     money as well as Display Network Placements that are not performing.
                                     Comparing trends not only to the previous month, but also to a similar event
                                     in the past, such as a previous product launch or last year’s holiday season,
                                     is vital.

                                     In addition to changes to how you monitor reports, remember to make your
                                     keywords, ads, and landing pages all relevant to the event. This can result in
                                     higher user satisfaction, better engagement once on your site, and a better
                                     Quality Score.

                                          Ad Scheduling

                                          With Scheduling, you can be sure never to forget when to stop or start
                                          a campaign during an important event. You can find this under the
                                          Settings tab within your Campaign.

3   Troubleshooting Pay Per Click
                                     Of course, no one wants to have to go into “troubleshooting-management”
                                     mode when it comes to their PPC campaigns. Unfortunately, at one point or
16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260   another, most will have to troubleshoot some aspect of their PPC. Here are
Chesterfield, MO 63017               some examples of issues that can occur in a PPC campaign:

                                     Keyword Issues

                                     Keyword has become inactive for search – this may occur if your keywords
                                     do not have a high enough Quality Score or maximum CPC to trigger ads.
                                     Try refining keywords, adjusting match types, making the ads and landing
                                     page more relevant to your keywords, increasing CPC, or trying a new
                                     keyword altogether.

                                     Competitive Pressure

                                     New competition, increased spend by competition and changes in
                                     a competitor’s campaign can all put pressure on your campaign’s
                                     effectiveness. You may see the effects of this through a lower ad position
                                     and a higher CPC needed to maintain your target ad position. Since Quality
                                     Score determines the CPC for your desired ad position, making sure your
                                     Quality Scores are high is a great way to keep costs down and increase ad
                                     position. You may also need to increase your maximum CPC bids in order
                                     to maintain your desired ad position.

                                     Ad Issues

                                     Disapproved ads – this may occur if an ad does not meet AdWords’
                                     advertising policies. If this happens to an ad you have created, review their
                                     policies to determine how to correct the ad.

                                     You search for your ads but do not see them – this could be due to a
                                     number of issues, including ineligible keywords, budget or billing issues, or
                                     if you have targeted your ads to a different location than you are located in,
                                     your ads will not show when you conduct a search for them.

                                     Budget and Billing Issues

16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260   Daily budget exhausted – your daily budget has been used up, so your
Chesterfield, MO 63017               ads will no longer show on that day. Consider increasing your budget or
                                     experimenting with different ad scheduling or geo-targeting to narrow down
                                     your focus.

                                     Daily budget is too low so ads are spaced our very far – if your daily budget
                                     is set too low for AdWords to display your ad on most clicks, it will show
                                     your ad infrequently to stretch the budget out across the day. Again, consider
                                     increasing your budget or experimenting with ways to make your budget
                                     go further.

                                     Account billing issues – if you prepay, you may need to refill your spend, and
                                     if you postpay, you may need to check that the credit card is still valid and has
                                     not expired.

                                     Click Fraud

                                     If you have noticed a huge increase in clicks or drop in conversion rate and
                                     feel it may be due to click fraud, you may want to report this to Google.
                                     Google AdWords usually detects and blocks click fraud; however, it can
                                     occasionally go undetected. Google can help to determine if click fraud is
                                     occurring, help you claim back the money spent on these clicks, and then you
                                     can also block these IP addresses in the future (in AdWords tools under the
                                     Opportunities tab).


16690 Swingley Ridge Rd., Ste. 260   The most important steps in any successful PPC campaign or Internet
Chesterfield, MO 63017               marketing strategy are identifying goals and then identifying the metrics
                                     and reports needed to monitor those goals. Depending on goals and
                                     traffic, reports can be reviewed every day to every month. Once a reporting
                                     frequency is established, normal changes and trends can be easily identified.
                                     Having a good understanding of how your campaign performs can help when
                                     monitoring the outcome of an event or noticing an issue that arises within a
                                     campaign. Deciding on what to review, how often to review, and automating
                                     the reports to be sent to your email regularly can all help in understanding
                                     and monitoring your campaigns simply and effectively.

                                          If you have any questions about our Pay per Click Management
                                          services, please contact a consultant at The Net Impact today by
                                          phone at 1-888-629-4672 or online at


Description: This guide will help you in optimizing your PPC management, including: advice on what information to analyze and how often, what reports should be automated, and which ones should be run as needed, and finally, troubleshooting tips. This White Paper was created by St. Louis Online Interactive Agency, The Net Impact. The Net Impact specializes in Web Design, SEO and Internet Marketing solutions that convert visitors into customers.