Following on from my previous post in which I discussed [Higher Positions Don't Necessarily Mean Higher ROI], I have here put together five of my own simple tips for getting more out of your campaigns. This is by no means a comprehensive look at ROI, but if you bear the below in mind you should start to see a general improvement in your return and have a clearer idea of where more detailed analysis can be carried out.
Consider your business goals:
If you’re running a campaign on a gap-filling or longtail basis then your goals are clear; you’ll want to have every keyword making you money. However this is not a model that easily transposes to a larger campaign – you may have to bear other considerations in mind. Perhaps the client requires a certain amount of coverage across top-level broad generics, regardless of the return. Perhaps they are looking to invest heavily across various channels to drive brand awareness. Perhaps they are looking to reduce their budget but maintain conversion, lowering their overall cost-per-sale. Ensuring you fully understand the KPIs of a campaign before you begin, and then making those goals your prime focus are the keys to success.
Treat each keyword as a single entity:
On larger campaigns, if you don’t have access to automated tools that can scour your campaigns at a granular level then you may find yourself making optimisation decisions at ad-group level in an effort to save time. While in some cases this is a valid strategy, you should always try to drill down to keyword level as much as time allows. Perhaps a loss-making ad-group is full of keywords with high ROIs and has been let down by a single broad-match that didn’t have sufficient negatives in place. Maybe your killer ad-group had a keyword that lost a lot of money, but was obscured by others in the same group making more. You’ll never get the complete picture until you drill down.
Look at the Bigger picture:
On campaigns where you run a mixture of keyword types ranging from the broadest generics right up to brand level, you will have the opportunity to study the relationships between each type and how certain searches can prompt customers to return later on different keywords. While it can be difficult to decide how to assign value to the various points in the customer journey, it will give you a far better idea of the worth of your various keywords in the grand scheme of things. Attribution modelling is a key consideration of modern PPC and any self-respecting agency should be testing and studying a variety of models.
It’s not all about the bids:
Many agencies base their optimisations solely around bid adjustment, usually according to a pre-defined and automated system. Yet bids alone will only contribute part of the success of a keyword. When aiming for maximum ROI you should also be looking closely at your ad-copy and, by extension, your quality score; two key factors in the success of any keyword. Constantly test new ad copy to try and increase CTR. Consider your copy in relation to competitors on the space; you should aim to be unique or eye-catching in some way. Always try to keep your ad copy relevant to your keywords; with a high relevancy between keyword, ad and landing page your quality score will increase and bring your CPCs down. The best thing about these kinds of optimisations is that they are quick, easy and have a massive impact!
Be aware of your time investment:
PPC campaign management is a job that never ends. There is always something that can be added, or adjusted, or tested, and you should never really find yourself kicking back with a cup of tea and congratulating yourself on having finished the job. But this doesn’t mean that throwing as many man hours as possible at a campaign is good investment. To truly maximise ROI you need to always consider the cost of spending time with a campaign. Putting ten hours of work into a campaign to obtain an additional £10 of revenue is time wasted, but with the right tools and a bit of planning and foresight you should be able to allocate your time to the changes that will have the most impact.
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