Many times, companies will choose to invest their marketing dollars into Pay-Per-Click marketing over SEO because they want results NOW. While PPC is certainly faster than SEO at delivering results, it is still best to have some patience before demanding results.
Have you ever baked a cake? You start by gathering all of your ingredients, mix them together, pour the mix in a bowl and toss it in the oven. After 30-40 minutes you take it out and are ready to eat it. What if you got impatient and decided to take the cake out after 10 minutes to check on it? Obviously it would only be partially cooked and now you’ve probably ruined it, causing it to sink in on itself by exposing it to the cool air. Imagine if you had followed the instructions, waited the full 30-40 minutes, so now it’s fully cooked and edible. Once you dig in, perhaps this cake is not exactly what you expected-you’d like chocolate frosting instead of vanilla frosting. Or you’d like a three-layer cake instead of a two-layer cake. Tomorrow you make the adjustments to your cake, bake it again, and now you have yourself a chocolate-frosted three-layer cake. Perfect!
PPC is much the same as baking a cake. You gather all of your ingredients: keywords, ad copy, bid strategies, etc., mix them together in your campaign, pour some money into it and toss it to the public. After a couple of weeks you are ready to check on it, it has a good amount of actionable date, so you start making adjustments. But what if you had gotten impatient and started making adjustments after the first day? Much like your cake, you could easily ruin all of the effort you put into mixing those ingredients because you don’t have enough data to inform your decisions. Instead you patiently wait for a couple of weeks, dig into your campaign and discover it’s performing well, but not as good as you’d hoped. Your ads are being triggered by weird searches, so you add those keywords as Negatives. Your ads perform best in the morning, so you add bid modifiers to the AM hours. Because you waited patiently to make data-driven changes to your PPC campaign, you’ve made your perfect chocolate-frosted three-layer PPC cake.
This long-winded cake metaphor is oversimplifying things a bit. Let’s dig a little deeper to fully realize why it’s best to exercise patience with your PPC campaigns and find out what actionable data we are actually reviewing and acting upon.
We all know keywords are the basis of any Pay-Per-Click campaign. At SocialSEO, we do an extensive keyword research and analysis and create a targeted keyword list for each campaign, but until that campaign launches, you won’t have the data you need to see which keywords are outperforming others. By reviewing keyword data on clicks, impressions, and conversions; we can make adjustments like, increasing bids for the highest-converting keywords, pausing keywords with a high number of clicks but no conversions and adding keyword phrases that triggered your ad but haven’t been added to the account yet.
As with Keywords, we build extensive Negative Keyword lists before even launching a campaign. However, it’s not until that campaign launches that we can see the full extent of irrelevant terms people are searching for that trigger your ads to show, so that we can add those words/phrases to the Negative Keyword list and prevent those wasteful clicks. As your campaign compiles more and more data, we continue adding negative keywords to our campaigns, thereby preventing more and more irrelevant searches.
Google has recently changed how they provide Quality Scores for keywords. Before each keyword would get a score almost immediately, now keywords need to accumulate performance data before they receive a score. This can take anywhere from 1 day to 1 month, many times even longer. We can work to increase Quality Scores, and this can be done several different ways, but they all take time. Time for us to make changes and time for data to accumulate that we can analyze to determine which changes were the most effective. Depending on how many clicks/impressions your ads are receiving, this process could take days-weeks for us to really see movement on those quality scores.
Should we use Phrase Match? Exact Match? Modified Broad Match? AdWords has enabled us to use a few different match types for the same keyword. Sometimes an exact match keyword can have a much lower cost-per-click than a broad match. Sometimes it’s the other way around, but once again, we don’t know until we’ve got the data to inform us.
Remarketing in both Search and Display networks is a great way to recapture users that visited your site but didn’t convert. However, this type of Remarketing is not possible until you have had at least 1,000 visitors to your website (after adding the Remarketing tag). For many PPC campaigns, reaching this threshold can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. So patiently waiting to hit that magic number can help you, as the gains from Remarketing won’t start to be fully realized until we can utilize those Remarketing lists.
The list of adjustments that we make to an active PPC campaign goes on, but this provides a good starting point of how we refine a campaign once it’s gotten the amount of data we need to inform our decisions. Every campaign is different, so it’s hard to provide a specific timeframe, but we like to wait 30 days before making any major adjustments, like changes to Keywords or adding Bid Modifiers. And we kindly ask that you practice patience for at least 90 days to see all of these adjustments take hold, rev up your campaign, and provide the ROI you expect.
Is anyone else hungry?