The COVID-19 crisis has had an undeniably colossal impact on the global economy. Though it is still important that companies like yours to continue to advertise in these uncertain times, staying on top of spend is crucial - particularly when it comes to paid search.
You need to keep your brand front of mind while the pandemic is at its peak, but it can be tricky to know where to focus your efforts to generate the best returns from your PPC efforts (and avoid unnecessary expenditure).
To help you manage your time and your other marketing responsibilities, we’ve put together a useful management checklist that outlines the checks you need to make within your Google Ads account on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Spend just 10-15 minutes per day reviewing the following to spot any immediate issues with your campaigns or your account as a whole.
It’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your search terms report. This shows you how your ads performed when they were triggered by specific searches within Google’s Search Network.
Using the data here, you can find out which search terms have generated the most clicks – and, just as crucially, which terms are generating clicks but are not relevant to your business. You may find data that will surprise you!
When it comes to keyword selection, what you are not targeting is sometimes just as important as what you are targeting.
The last thing you want is for your ads to be appearing for search queries that aren’t relevant to what you’re offering – so make sure you go through your recent search terms list, identify the words or phrases that you don’t want to rank for or that aren’t converting very well, then use Google’s negative keywords function to filter them out of your targeting strategy.
Check your daily budgets at campaign level and then compare them with your actual ad spend to make sure your money is being distributed effectively across your campaigns. If they’re not, this could be for one of two main reasons: your Quality Score or your Ad Rank is affecting your ads’ ranking potential and you’re losing out on impression share, or there’s just not as much click demand for your keywords as you expected.
It’s important to track how many clicks you’ve received on your ads compared to the amount of impressions that have been generated. If you spot a recent downturn in either or both, there could be underlying issues that are affecting your campaign performance.
Seeing a surprising lack of impressions, clicks or conversions in your account could signal that there’s something wrong with your campaign settings. These dips could even be down to one of these common Google Ads issues. It’s best to catch any unusual activity early so you can fix any problems before they begin to impact your campaign’s success.
Set aside 30 minutes per week to look at your account data in more detail and identify areas of your campaigns that may need improving.
If you’re running a campaign with Google Ads, you’ll almost certainly have set specific conversion objectives in place. At the end of every week, check the data to make sure you’re on track to achieve your goals. If you’re not, what needs to change?
Review the volume of clicks and impressions at both campaign and ad group level and compare all click-through rates with last week’s data. Doing so will help you spot prevailing trends and identify which keyword sets are driving the most interest.
Your impression share is the percentage of impressions your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions they could get. Go to Campaigns > Modify columns > Competitive metrics > Search impression share > Apply to add impression share metrics to your overview data and you’ll be able to identify whether you’ve lost any impression share due to lack of budget or a poor Ad Rank (which is worked out by multiplying your maximum bid by your Quality Score).
At the end of every week, your data will paint a more accurate picture of your click spend. If you haven’t consistently spent at least 90% of your budget for each campaign, why? Could you be adding new targeted keywords into the mix to increase your reach?
Compare your cost-per-click data with your click-through rate (CTR). If the CTR is low, you could be missing out on clicks because of a lower budget, so consider increasing your desired cost per click with a view to boosting traffic levels.
Can you see any further patterns in terms of your campaigns, ad groups or keywords? Is there anything that you want to make a note of, or act upon?
There should definitely be space within your workflow for an in-depth monthly review of your Google Ads account. The exact amount of time you spend assessing your Google Ads data is up to you – but the more you analyse, the more opportunities for improvement you’re likely to find!
After 30 days, you should have tonnes of insightful keyword data to play with. After delving deeper into your search terms report (and, as we mentioned beforehand, adding to your negative keyword lists), see if you can find any keywords that could benefit from their own dedicated ads. This is a great way to find new ways to expand on your existing campaigns.
Are any of your keywords, ad groups or campaigns performing noticeably better or worse than others? Can you attribute this to external factors, or is it time to change your settings to improve click-throughs, costs and conversions?
Make sure your click budgets aren’t being eaten up by underperforming keywords By carrying out your daily and weekly checks, you should have a good idea of where your budget is going. But by looking at a broader set of monthly data, you may be able to see if an underperforming campaign, ad group or keyword is soaking up too much of your click spend, then take action by moving this money to another part of the account that is generating a better yield.
The Dimensions tab in Google Ads will provide you with a long list of recommendations that you can use to optimise your campaigns.
Google Ads managers will typically want to focus on audience demographics, audience locations, favoured devices and which times of the day or week tend to yield the most clicks – but this feature provides useful insights into a whole sixteen different dimensions and outlines how they can be tweaked or utilised to achieve better results.
Check out this handy article from Instapage for more reasons why Google Ads’ Dimensions tab is something of a hidden treasure for PPC managers.
If your account appears to be performing well but your conversion rate is low, the problem may lie well beyond your campaign settings. Your landing pages could be underwhelming your readers and contributing to a high bounce rate (and missed sales).
Not got time to review your paid search performance on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis? Our experienced PPC management team will keep your campaigns running at their best! Contact us to learn more.