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17 Jun 2014

Tips to Prepare Your PPC Campaigns for Summertime Success

Tips to Prepare Your PPC Campaigns for Summertime Success

For most people, summertime means spending time at the pool, cooking hamburgers on the grill and taking long family vacations. However, for PPC account managers and business owners, summertime means two things: your business is either very busy or more on the slow side.

Either way, while the rest of the world is out there taking a break from their day-to-day lives, this is a great opportunity for you to take some time to run through your account and perform some quick assessments in order to help you prepare your campaigns for complete success throughout the summer months.

Don’t forget to account for seasonal trends

Since we’re talking specifically about the summer months, one great way to capitalize on cost-effective performance is by ensuring that your account is optimized to perform at the best of its ability. There are a couple of ways you can do this. One is by reviewing historical data, but if you don’t have that data, reviewing keyword search volume could steer you in the right direction.

To review historical data:

  1. Select date range of the previous year (January 1st to December 31st)
  2. Make sure that one of the metrics you’re reviewing shows your conversion trends
  3. Set it to show your data in Monthly intervals
  4. Do you see any trends? Does performance increase dramatically over the summer months? Does it decrease dramatically over the summer months?
  • If you see dramatic increases in conversions over the summer, you should look into increasing ad visibility by increasing bids in the account.
  • If you see dramatic decreases in conversions over the summer, you should look into decreasing ad visibility by decreasing bids in the account.
Yearly performance graph

Notice the increase in the middle of the year? This is an indication that summertime is the best time to ramp up how aggressively you’re targeting searchers.

How does mobile performance compare to desktop?

Depending on your individual account’s performance, one of the easiest ways to eliminate any spend that is not providing cost effective sales/leads for your organization is by reviewing mobile device performance separate from computer/tablet performance.

Depending on your service or product, it may or may not make sense that users would search for you on mobile devices. For example, if you provide wholesale products for corporate companies, it wouldn’t make sense that people would be searching for you on their mobile devices then converting. Conversely, if you’re a towing company, it makes perfect sense that your most cost-effective leads come from mobile devices.

To review mobile device targeting separate from desktop computer targeting within your Campaigns tab, go to Segment, then select Device. Once you’ve selected Deviwece, all of your campaigns will break out as detailed in the image below. Analyze this data and determine if should you be bidding more aggressively or less aggressively on mobile.

In this account, Computer performance is absolutely the best in the account, but at a $100 cost per lead goal, mobile performance is also doing very well.

Complete a Long-Term Search Query Assessment

If you haven’t done this in a while, I highly recommend running through your search terms report and looking through to see what queries searchers are using to click on your ads. Reviewing these search queries result in two different opportunities for the account:

  1. You’re able to find a number of terms that aren’t relevant to your services or to the particular ad group they showed for, so here you should go ahead and add negatives to your account.
  2. When reviewing search queries, sort in a way that allows you to see the highest spending search queries at the top. Cleaning up traffic from the most influential queries is the best use of your time.

    1. You’re able to find a number of terms that are relevant to your service but you’re not currently bidding on. This presents an opportunity to add particular terms as additional keywords to the account, particularly helpful if you see a term that has consistently brought you cost-effective sales/leads over and over again.

    Make sure your campaign settings are setting you up for success

    One of the quickest ways to make sure that your account is set up for success from day one is by making sure that all of your campaign settings are set strategically and with intent to learn and improve conversions behind each setting.

    1. Does each campaign target the Search and Display network separately? If you have a campaign that’s set up to target “Search Network with Display Select,” make sure to change it to “Search Network only.” Simply said, search and display ads do not perform the same, so they should not be treated the same.
    2. Are you targeting “Search” or just “Google Search”? When you’re targeting only “Google Search” this means you have turned the Search Networks off. Conversely, when you’re targeting only “Search” this means you are targeting both the Google Search Network and the Search Partner Network.
    3. In order to make the best decision about how you should target your campaigns, you can segment out “Network (with Search Partners)” in order to see how Search Partner traffic compares to Google Search traffic.

    4. In order to make the best decision about how you should target your campaigns, you can segment out “Network (with Search Partners)” in order to see how Search Partner traffic compares to Google Search traffic.
    5. 2014-06-16_1224Did you notice any trends when segmenting out mobile device performance at the Campaign tab? If so, make sure to set bid adjustments to make sure that you’re not targeting mobile devices too aggressively if they’re not cost-effective for you. If they are more cost-effective than desktop targeting, set a bid adjustment to increase aggressiveness.
    6. Is your service something users would be searching for during the daytime? During the evening? On the weekends? Whatever trends you see in performance when it applies to time of day, or particular days of the week, you can adjust how aggressively you bid on those days or times in order to ensure that you’re putting yourself in the best position possible to drive conversions.
    7. Are you running A/B tests in your ads? If so, make sure that your Ad Rotation campaign setting is set to “Rotate Indefinitely” so you can get accurate results from your ad copy test.

    Additional Quick Tips:

    • Add a remarketing campaign. A remarketing campaign allows you to re-engage users who are already familiar with your company and your site in order to turn those clicks that got away into conversions. If you’d like to learn more about effective remarketing campaigns, register for my upcoming webinar on July 10th, The Clicks that Got Away: Use Remarketing to Capture Conversions.
    • Set up ad extensions. If you’re not currently taking advantage of ad extensions, you should really jump on this opportunity. The addition of ad extensions are very easy to set up and can help your ads stand out from the others on the SERPs by taking up more real estate on the page with site link extensions, site link extensions descriptions, location extensions, and call extensions.
    • Read through one of our most recent webinars “Stop Wasting Money: The Most Important PPC Reports You’re Not Using.”
    • Watch our video on quick, 10-minute optimization wins.

    With a couple of small tweaks and a little bit of PPC summertime cleaning, your account can revitalize itself and start either increasing the amount of cost-effective conversions you’re receiving, or put you in a place where you’re improving on your previous performance.