Optimising PPC Campaigns


PPC Campaign Tips


Pay Per Click Campaigns 101

Fine Tuning PPC Campaigns

(By a guest writer)

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Setting Up Your Campaigns

Alright, we've done our research, optimized our website, and built our keyword lists. Here's the fun part, setting up the campaigns.

I'm not going to tell you how to open an account or import keywords, there's plenty of information about those basics on the sites of the PPC companies like the Google Adwords help pages.

I am going to tell you about doing it the right way though. Remember when I said to keep your keywords grouped under the sub niches? I hope you did, because here's where it gets important.

First, you're going to set up a campaign. After that, you're going to set up individual adgroups for each of those niches. Inside of those adgroups you'll use the keywords that you came up with.

Writing Your Ads

We want to accomplish a few things with our ads. Obviously we want to sell. But things get more complicated than that. Quality score comes into play big time here, and the ads have to be highly relevant to the search term, content, and keywords. We also want a high click through rate in order to get cheaper clicks. It's not easy, it takes work and creativity.

Back to the insurance example, if I were using the “female drivers insurance” adgroup, my ad might go something like this:

Female Drivers Insurance
We offer the lowest insurance
rates for female drivers.

That may be a bad example, because “female insurance” is tough to fit in the limited ad space. Generally speaking, you want the search term included in your ad at least twice, if not three times. This is for a few reasons. For one, those parts of the ad will be highlighted, resulting in a higher click through rate. This is also critical for quality score, the networks want the ad text to be extremely relevant to the search term, and they want the landing page to be highly relevant as well.

Always, I repeat ALWAYS write at least 4-5 ads per adgroup, and split test them. You'll be amazed at how wildly different the slightest change can make. All of the search engines have this option built in and can help you track the click through rates and conversions.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion

This is a neat little trick that can really help out. As of this writing it works on the big three search engines, but always test yourself to make sure. Back to the example above, say instead of searching for “female drivers insurance”, the visitor searches for “cheap girls insurance”. Here's what you do.

You use this command anywhere you want your keyword to appear, {keyword: Female Drivers Insurance}. The word after the colon is the default keyword, in case the search term can't be shown for some reason.

Now for an example ad:

{keyword:Female Drivers Insurance}
We offer the lowest rates for
{keyword:Female Drivers Insurance}

Now, my default ad would read

Female Drivers Insurance
We offer the lowest rates for
Female Drivers Insurance.

This is a very cool trick, and can get you a great click through rate. Just remember to always test it out, and make sure it's working correctly. More on DKI

Tracking Your Campaigns

This is the reason I keep talking about the importance of grouping your keyword lists: Every affiliate network that I mentioned allows the use of Sub IDs for tracking. Use them, or go broke. Here's how.

You'll need a different sub ID for each landing page your sending traffic to. Some people track down to the keyword level using customized scripting, but if you're just starting out it's probably overkill.

So, the “female drivers” page will have a different sub ID on the affiliate link than the “young drivers” page will. Personally, I just make up a coding system and keep track of it in an Excel spreadsheet. For example on “female drivers” I'd use a sub ID like “FD”, something I can easily remember, but I have a reference on file if I happen to forget it.

Now, once you've driven some traffic, you can open up your PPC campaign, and your sub-report on your affiliate network. Figuring out how an adgroup is performing is as easy as comparing your PPC spend to the sub ID earnings on the network.

Optimizing Your Campaigns

Now you've got everything set up, you're driving traffic, you're tracking your returns, we're all good, right? Wrong. If you're making money at this point you're lucky.

You need to go through and figure out which adgroups are making you money, which ones are losing you money, and maximize your return.

If there's an adgroup bringing in a high amount of traffic, and converting well, it's a good idea to break the keywords down even more so you can track them more closely.

The same goes for adgroups losing money. If there are a couple of keywords driving most of the traffic, but you're losing money, ditch them, or track them separately.

Try bidding lower, bidding higher, changing landing pages, try similar offers from different networks to see what converts better. The key is to test, test, and then test some more.

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