Developing new PPC campaigns can be hard work and you deserve a pat on the back. But in my experience it can take some time and performance data to see the fruit of your labors. So hold off on your high fives and fist pumps for a little bit. Read on to see ways we get big results for new campaigns.
Setting Expectations for New PPC Campaigns
Last year we launched new campaigns for two different clients who either had never ran PPC campaigns or it had been over a year since they last tried paid search. In the short term these two accounts saw incremental improvements in the first 7-21 days but the real gains occurred in the second and third months when we had plenty of data to leverage. These results are also assuming you’ve done all the hard work that goes into building great keyword campaigns, including:
To give this data some context both clients were lead gen clients and we launched campaigns on both Adwords and Bing. Here’s the conversions and cost per conversion of the two accounts combined for the first three months:
You can see that the real magic happens in months 2 and 3. The first month is really about learning what works and what doesn’t. Here’s a few tactics I use to make the most of learning in the early stages of new campaigns:
4 Tactics to Increase Conversions and Lower Costs on New Campaigns
1. Search query reports
Assuming you have a good mix of keyword match types search query reports can be a great source of keyword data. You can find new positive converting keywords to add to your campaigns or new negative keywords that are wasting money.
2. Keyword Bid Adjustments
Increase bids on keywords that are converting at or below your target cost per conversion. Decrease bids on keywords that are either costing a lot and not converting or converting but above your target cost per conversion. It’s also important that you watch your ad positions. If your keywords are not on the first page you’re going to have limited or no data on your keywords performance that is so valuable early on.
3. Campaign Budget Allocation
Assuming you’re working with a limited click spend budget you want to ensure your campaign daily budgets are properly distributed among your campaigns. You want to avoid “Limited by Budget” alerts in Adwords for the most part. Review your campaigns and see if any of your campaigns are reaching or exceeding the daily budget. Also look for campaigns that are not hitting the daily budget. You can shift these daily budgets to other campaigns.
4. Keyword Research
Keyword research is ongoing in paid search but the first month can be critical. When you perform initial keyword research you are making educated guesses on what is going to work. After keywords have been live for a period of time you start to see what keywords are converting and you have an opportunity to revisit keyword themes or categories to try and expand these converting keywords and add them to your campaigns.
That first month is really one big experiment. You’re using all of that data to then take the campaigns to the next levels in the following months. But if you stick with it the rewards can be awesome. Comparing conversions in the third month to the second month these clients saw a combined 125% increase in conversions and a 23% decrease in cost per conversion. Paid search is the most measurable marketing channel and with the right management anyone can see a return on their investment.
More Resources for Launching New PPC Campaigns: