A strategically crafted pay-per-click (PPC) campaign can open the door to new leads and increased revenues, and unlike SEO, you don’t have to wait for months on end to see your results. Since conversions can start to rack up quickly, it’s easy to become excited about a campaign’s performance, while completely overlooking the amount of waste accumulating from your ad spend.
A PPC campaign’s budget is being spent on a daily basis, and consequently, needs to be monitored extremely closely and frequently. If you’re not optimizing your campaign to reduce waste, you’re not only throwing away money, you’re also narrowing your opportunity to turn impressions into clicks and clicks into leads – which is the main goal of the campaign in the first place.
Follow these steps to reduce your expenditure waste and increase leads:
Before you can optimize to reduce spend waste, you need to identify where the waste is coming from by analyzing performance metrics.
After you apply these metrics, you’ll be able to analyze your campaign’s ad groups with a holistic view. Now it’s time to identify under-performing ad groups. Here are 2 common red flags you should look for:
According to Google, your quality score is “an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages.” In other words, Google ranks your ads based on a few factors:
Quality score can be found by navigating to the “Keywords” tab on the left sidebar from the campaign menu and clicking “Search Keywords.” The “Status” column of this page will show if any of your keywords have low quality scores.
How does this tie into wasted ad spend?
Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions – the higher your quality score, the cheaper your bid needs to be to rank in the top positions.
To improve your quality score, make sure that the keywords you are targeting are mentioned in both your ad text and website text (ideally in the title and headings on the page), and that you follow landing page best practices. However, improving the quality score is more than just inserting keywords, you also want to make sure that you are writing compelling copy that entices viewers to want to learn more, which will improve your CTR as a result. When all the above elements are optimized, your quality score will improve, delivering savings through decreased bid prices and increases in opportunity to rank in a higher ad position.
The search terms report can be found in the “Keywords” tab on the left sidebar. From there, select the third option in the drop-down that pops up. It’s recommended to select an ad group before navigating to the search terms tab, so that the information is more digestible.
The search terms report lists all search queries that led to your ads being shown, and includes quality metrics for each query, such as impressions, clicks, CTR, average CPC, etc. Examine this report for each of your campaign’s ad groups, and select search terms that are not relevant to your landing page. Add these irrelevant terms to your negative keyword list, so they won’t trigger anymore of your ads. This procedure allows you to fine-tune your ad groups to avoid wasting spend on queries that won’t result in conversions.
In order to maximize conversions, you should be spending your budget wisely during prime converting hours. To look at an overview of your ad’s performance by day and time, navigate to the “Ad schedule” tab in the left sidebar from the campaign view. From there, click on the second tab in the drop-down menu bar “Day & Hour”.
This tab will allow you to analyze performance by the day of the week and timeframe and is incredibly useful in determining the most efficient ad schedule for your campaign. Sort the list by conversions and take note of the best and worst performing times. Adjust your ad schedule accordingly to better allocate your budget to times that have a greater chance of converting.
Even the most successful campaigns have waste, and attention to detail is needed to maximize efficiency in ad spend. B2B PPC campaigns can’t be created with a “set it and forget it” mindset, they need constant attention and adjustment for top of the line results.
With something as important as a Google Ads campaign, it’s best to hire a professional with years of experience to ensure your marketing budget is in sound hands, or hire an online marketing agency that has the experience and resources to transform your online presence. Interested in learning more? Request a free consultation today.