I recieved a question on LinkedIn recently. Specifically it was: “What are the top things to do when starting a new PPC campaign or optimizing an existing one?”.
Not really being an expert in this area but having learnt a lot through trial-and-error recently from our Adwords campaigns, below is the response I gave. It happened to receive the “Best Answer” accolade on LinkedIn so I thought I would share it here, in case it may be of use to our readers;
1) Typically I’d begin by thinking what I am looking to advertise, particularly if my website has a number of different products or services. I’d build that top level list of products or services that I wish to promote.
2) I’d think about the landing pages I would want for each ad and whether my current webpages match the ad objective, or whether I need create a completely new webpage that would convert the customers better.
3) I would then get stuck into clustering my ads into groups that share the same keyword types, e.g. an ad group that has ads focused on tracker mortgages, another ad group that has ads focused on fixed rate mortgages, and so on, all within the campaign, “Mortgages”.
4) Once the ad groups are created, I’d try and get into the head of my target customer and think, what do they want to see, what would make then click the link, what would make my ad stand-out vs the competitors. This would then influence what I would write for my ads, e.g. “Best Tracker Rates for the most affordable mortgages on the market, click here” or whatever! It’s important that the ad must contain words that are relevant a) to what the customer wants, and b) the keywords you are going to apply the ad to.
5) Which brings us on to the keywords for each ad. Use various Google suggestion tools and those from other sites to research a great list of keywords, their revelance, their search frequency and your gut-feel for suitability. Apply those keywords and define a sensible bid price that won’t ruin you on day 1. With high volume searches you will have a good load of feedback very early on to then make refinements, keeping a close eye on your Quality Score (mostly based on the keyword Click Through Rate), AdRank (based on cost per click and Quality Score) and overall daily / weekly / monthly cost vs return.
6) So, with the objectives defined, the campaigns set up, the ad groups organised, the keywords targeted, the ads appropriate and the landing page catered for, all that I would then do is go live! Then monitor very closely for performance and not be afraid to make tweaks along the way.