It’s still the first quarter of the year so you have time to start off the year with a freshly optimized account, really, there’s time. You can look at cleaning up your PPC account in the same way as cleaning your house, by breaking it down into separate tasks and focus areas.
Unclog The Drains
The drains we’re looking at here are any sections of the account that is preventing it account from running at its full potential. A common area to start is any campaigns with constrained budgets and Google is really good about letting you know when you can spend more money in AdWords. Look for campaigns that are marked as “limited by budget” and examine how many impressions and clicks you can gain by increasing the budgets.
The next drain we want to unclog is keywords below first page bids. Again, Google will let you know when you can spend more on a keyword, but particularly in this case bidding on a keyword that is below the first page bid is a waste because the chances are very low that the ad will be seen. The keyword might gain some impressions but the clickthrough rate will be very low because when searchers reach the second page they are less likely to click on ads. Bid up on those keywords if they are important to your business.
Open The Curtains
You’re cleaning your house, what a better idea than to open your curtains and let some sun light in, unless you live in Portland like us and sun is just something we read about. Spend some time in the Opportunities>Keywords tab in AdWords to see what keyword opportunities you’re missing. This tool doesn’t always do the best job suggesting new keywords but it’s a good starting point for keyword expansion. Also take a look at your search query report to see if there are any keywords winning impressions and clicks that are relevant that you’re not already bidding on.
Polish (your ads)
Are your ads formatted correctly for the longer headlines feature? Which of these headlines stands out more…
…the second one with the longer, right? Google states that ads are eligible for the longer headline feature if the headline and the first description line appear to be distinct sentences. A quick way to make this distinction is to ensure the Headline ends in some sort of punctuation such as a period or question mark.
This is a good time to also review your Ad Extensions to make sure you’re taking advantage of all that are relevant to your ad. Currently available ad extensions are:
- Location Extensions
- Call Extensions
- Sitelink Extensions
- Product Extensions
- Social Extensions
- Dynamic Search Ad Extensions
- Mobile App Extensions
Remove the Clutter
You’re almost done cleaning your ‘house’, but there still some junk laying around you can’t decide what to do with. The ‘junk’ I’m referring to here are keywords with low search traffic that aren’t helping your account. Find these keywords by looking at a decently size date range, 6 months for example, and sorting your keywords by impressions – lowest to highest. If any of these keywords with really low impressions are seasonal, keep them, but consider pausing them until their search demand will pick up again. For the rest of these low impression keywords consider pausing them because they most likely have a low quality score and aren’t helping your account.
Alright, your ‘house’ is clean, time for the Carlton dance: