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Metaphor Mondays: Unoptimized PPC Campaigns are Vampires - Stake Them Now

I have a question: are you running a PPC campaign?  If you are, I have another question: are you running an effective PPC camapign?  Chances are, if this is your first time, you're not.  Here are a few rules to kill that PPC account that is simply sucking your bank account dry.


Don't Invite Them In - AdWords Campaign Settings

A vampire can't come in unless it's invited, but Google can wreak havok with an account before it's even up and running.  If you've set up a PPC campaign without tweaking the default parameters, you're leaving money on the table.  To find these settings in AdWords, click on an account and find the Settings tab:

Locations - AdWords defaults to a gfeneral US geotargeting.  If you know your target market, refine this list by allowing your ads to show to those states or cities that you know perform.

Networks and Devices - This is a big one.  By default, AdWords set your campaign to run in both the Search and Display networks.  Bad idea.  What works for one doesn't always work for another.  You're better off creating two campaigns; one targeting the Search network and the other running in Display.  Also check your Devices settings.  If you don't want to show to mobile devices, remove them from this list or vice versa.

Ad Delivery - Google automatically sets your ads to Optimize which shows the ad with the best CTR the most.  If you're looking to test ads, set this to rotate to get a better feel for which ads convert better.  (Also keep in mind that Google determines performance based on CTR, not conversion rate or cost per lead).


Garlic - Negative Keywords

Garlic repels creatures of the night.  Negative keywords repel unwanted searches.  Run a search query report to see if your campaigns are running on irrelevant searches.

For example, we run PPC for a hotel client here in Myrtle Beach.  Beacuse of the nature of their name, they were showing for "nudist colony" keywords until we added them as negative keywords.

Use negative keywords to keep out poorly converting terms as well.  If you're a private golf club, your ads could show for searches like "buy golf clubs" or "putter reviews".  Keep Keep from draining your bank account by pluggin that hole with negative keywords.


Stake Through the Heart - Conversion Tracking

What kills a vampire dead? A stake straight through the heart.  In PPC, the best thing you can do for a fledging PPC account is to set up conversion tracking.  Why settle for guessing at how your campaigns are performing.  Prove it...with data!  Set up conversion events so you can tell exactly what keywords and ads are resulting in your desired outcome.

Sunlight - Use Reporting to Optimize

After you've set up conversion tracking, take the next step: shed some light on those campaigns by running some reports.  If you have keywords that are underperforming, axe them.  Ads not working?  Pause them and try some new copy.  Reporting and tracking are the bread and butter of ROI-based PPC.  Use them and you'll be the next bad PPC campaign slayer.

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