Breathe easy. You have those pay-per-click campaigns set up. They’re performing nicely, you’re getting a decent ROI and your client is pleased. You’re done, right? Wrong!
This is where complacency sets in. Pay-per-click campaigns are like Old English Sheepdogs. If you don’t groom them often they start looking like scruffy rugs instead of Kennel Club winners.
If you take your eye off the ball for a few months you can rest assured that the competitive landscape for your campaigns will have changed, the search engines will have adjusted the way they rank your ads and other distribution tactics will now be available that you are not using to your advantage.
Set up a regular time to run reports. Analyze them to see which campaigns are performing well. Act on items that need adjusting. And focus on these areas to optimize your campaigns:
Your product. Do you have new items to add or out-of-stock ones to remove? Paying for keywords for items you don’t sell anymore makes no sense. You could be promoting items you do sell.
Keywords. Look at the top performers and expand on them. Look at the low performers and add negative keywords to make them more targeted. Move keywords around between ad groups to make the copy more relevant.
Ad copy. Test multiple versions of ad copy across all three major search engines. Sometimes small copy change creates a lift in ROI. Ensure your keywords are in all your titles and descriptions. If you’re in a seasonal business, make sure your campaigns are updated. Copy touting Christmas gifts isn’t going to work for Mother’s Day.
Landing pages. Test different pages and every element on the page. Test colors, calls to action, navigation, form length, text, fonts, trust certifications. Test your display URLs. Make sure the copy on your landing pages matches the copy in your ads.
Campaign settings. Have you tried dayparting, geo-targeting, demographic targeting? If you are selling locally, does it make sense for your company to expand internationally?
Distribution. Expand beyond the big three search engines. Check out the contextual ad products. Try pay-per-call, mobile, image ads and pay-per-post. Successful pay-per-click advertisers are constantly testing and reworking their campaigns. Now that you’re No. 1 it’s going to take work to stay that way.