Maybe you noticed it. Maybe you recently googled something and thought, “Wow, this looks a lot cleaner.” However, I am betting that you didn’t even take a second glance at the right side of the screen, usually filled with ads. Not anymore. Within the last month, Google has decided to eliminate ad opportunities on the right side of the page.
With the number of front-page slots for ads reduced, you may be tempted to increase your PPC budget to account for more competition for valuable positions. Before you inflate your PPC budget, first ensure you’re spending your current budget wisely.
Whether you are managing your AdWords account in-house, or outsourcing it to a digital marketing agency, you need to make sure that the dollars you are allocating for search aren’t going to waste. When auditing your account, ask yourself the following questions:
Do I have too many campaigns or landing pages?
If you have a sizeable e-commerce site with a variety of products, it would make sense to have more than a dozen campaigns, each with a unique landing page. But if you provide a limited variety of products or services, you may be wasting money by spreading it too thin. For example, many businesses have a fear of “missing” leads by not bidding on every possible keyword related to their products or services. By reserving money in your PPC budget for keywords that *might* convert, you may be choking budgets for more valuable campaigns.
Recently, we reduced the number of campaigns for a client by over half. We reallocated the PPC budget to only include campaigns that received x amount of clicks and x number of conversions. The number of converted clicks more than doubled as a result.
Are my landing pages optimized?
Google takes more than highest bid into consideration when determining which ads should appear and in which position. AdWords scores ads based on click-through rate (the number of ad impressions divided by the number of clicks), ad relevancy to the keyword and landing page experience.
Did you catch that last one? The problem with your ads might not be your budget or even the ad itself. What might be holding you back from a front-page ad position might be your landing page.
A great landing page meets the user’s expectation (if someone clicks on an ad featuring “red shoes” is he landing on a page with red shoes for sale?) while guiding the user to a desired action with as little roadblocks or distractions as possible.
Are my campaign settings correct?
Are your customers likely to search for your product at 2 a.m.? If not, why are you bidding during those hours? By scheduling your ads to only run during certain days or hours, you have better control over how your PPC budget is being spent.
In addition to ad scheduling, also check to see if you are targeting the correct locations and if your targeting is too broad or too narrow.
Is someone monitoring my account closely?
We have heard from several businesses who have become frustrated with their current digital marketing agency because too often the PPC specialist has a “set it and forget it” attitude toward AdWords.
Sales cycles change, and so does user behavior. By monitoring your account closely, the right PPC specialist can better identify when adjustments need to be made.
Along with timely monitoring, your PPC specialist should be willing to walk you through monthly reports, explaining if and why your account is performing as it should.
At Gavin, we monitor our PPC accounts on a daily basis to track performance and to make adjustments when needed. We know that our success is directly related to our clients’, so we treat every AdWords account as if we were spending our own money. If your PPC campaign isn’t producing results, talk to Gavin.