Find ‘Golden Nuggets’ in your PPC account

Have you ever hired a Paid Search consultant?

They can swoop in and optimize your PPC campaigns quickly and make you a lot of additional sales and margin.

Or at least they used to be able to.

The game has changed.

A few years ago you could take a large PPC campaign and cut the fat, increase your bids on “golden nugget” keywords and placements and remove under performing ads.

A really good PPC consultant might even decrease your bids significantly by writing amazing ads and getting you really high Click Through Rates (CTR) and ultimately a great quality score.

Nowadays that landscape is quite different.

Adwords can do a lot of that optimizing for you. Which means that even small businesses with small budgets and no ‘optimization budget’ can have decent ROIs from their PPC campaigns. This means that your PPC consultant’s value is going down.

Where the real “gold nuggets” lie now is not in manipulating bids on well performing placements and keywords, but trying to find out WHY those placements and keywords are performing so well.

For example, if you’re running a display campaign and testing 10 different image ads across multiple placements you will quickly find which ads are performing well and which ones aren’t based on their conversion rate and their click through rate.

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Most campaign managers would remove the under performing parts of this campaign and move on.

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But what about asking WHY that combination of ad copy, design, landing page and placement worked so well?

The one ad that worked might be a contrasting colour and font to the placement that it performed well on, or it might be an angle that ties in well with the content of the placement.  This would cause a higher click through rate and possibly even a boost in conversions.

If you build a hypothesis based around this you can then start testing similar techniques on the placements that under performed elsewhere in your campaign.

For example, recently I worked on a campaign where a whole set of ads I was testing matched the colour scheme of one of my placements. The click through rate on this placement was terrible even though the ads performed really well on other placements. Instead of removing the placement and calling it “Optimizing” I took that placement and added it into a different adgroup and then changed the colour scheme of the ads. That adgroup actually OUTPERFORMS the original adgroup by 12%, all because I didn’t give up on the placement right away.

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This way of optimizing a campaign takes quite a bit more work but it’s well worth it and will set your campaigns above your competitors time and again.

Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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