The key to good PPC campaign success in Google Ads is down to regular management and optimisation. It’s important to be proactive in your PPC account and have a good understanding of what you should be checking weekly, monthly and quarterly. There are a number of things you could check when completing weekly and monthly PPC maintenance – our task checklist details the most important things you should be keeping tabs on.
Weekly PPC Task Checklist
This is where you review where your paid search ads are placing. As with organic search, as an advertiser, you want to be hitting those top ad spots on the first page as much as possible.
To check what positions your ads are showing in search results, check the Search top IS & Search abs. top IS metrics within each ad group and adjust keyword bids accordingly.
Display Network Placements
Placement refers to the specific apps, websites, YouTube videos, etc. where your Display Network ads are being displayed. Check your Display Network ad placements and exclude any placements that spend a lot but don’t convert, or placements that look like spam sites.
The best way to make sure your display ads only show on placements that are related to your business is to add a list of placements for your ads to show on. By doing this, it should prevent your ads from showing on unrelated placements.
You want to keep a watchful eye on your overall budgets and tweak individual campaign budgets once a week where necessary.
For best practice, we recommend checking budgets every Monday morning using the Adwords budget script by Clicteq.
Review your keyword bids and adjust where necessary. When adjusting bids, look for keywords that convert well and raise them to see if they perform even better. You will also want to adjust the bids for low performing keywords to prevent them from sucking your budget dry. We’ll explain more about keyword performance in our next task on the checklist.
Next, you will want to look at keywords in your campaigns that spend a lot but have low conversion/click-through rates. The bids for these poor performing keywords could be reduced, or if you feel necessary, pause them.
It’s also worth checking your campaigns search term report as you may find search terms that have converted previously but you don’t bid on as a keyword currently. This could present good opportunities to add new keywords that may convert often for you in the future.
Not adding negative keywords into your campaigns can cause serious budget wastage. You can find potential negative keywords to add to your campaigns by regularly checking the search term reports. The search term reports will help you find potential keywords that are irrelevant to your campaigns, and from there you can add these as negative keywords to prevent them from showing in the future.
Impression metrics are some of the most important optimisation metrics available to Google Ads marketers. It’s important to view impression share metrics weekly, so you can determine what percentage of the time your ads are being shown in search results, and what percentage of the time they’re not due to budget restrictions. You’ll want to keep tabs on the following impression metrics within your campaigns:
Search impr. share – The impressions that you’ve received on the Search Network divided by the estimated number of impressions that you were eligible to receive
Search lost IS (budget) – An estimate of how often your ad didn’t show on the Search Network due to low budget.
Monthly PPC Task Checklist
Once a month you should be checking all enabled search ads and pausing those that aren’t performing. It’s also worth testing new ads every month to see if you can achieve better click-through rates, thus helping get more clicks through to your website. You don’t necessarily need to write new ads all the time either – try testing different headlines and descriptions to begin with.
Top tip – Always aim to have 3 ads in each ad group.
Once a month you should be taking a longer look at your search term report to not only look for negative keywords, but to use find possible keywords to add into your campaigns. Look out for converting keywords that appear in your search term reports as these could be worth adding as keywords to achieve more conversions for a cheaper cost.
As part of your monthly checks, you will want to be checking the click-through rate of your keywords. If a keyword’s CTR is low but the ROI is high, you will want to stop testing ad variations for a month or so as it is not uncommon to have a CTR of less than 1% for high-volume search terms.
Top Tip – If you’re budget is limited, a good way to optimise your current budget is to pause keywords with low CTR, leaving Google Ads to allocate your budgets to keywords that perform well and have a high CTR.
Checking and reviewing the settings of each of your campaigns is good practise to ensure the basic structure of your campaigns are correct and setup to achieve the campaign goal. Double check the following in each campaigns settings:
- Location targeting
- Device targeting
- Language targeting
- Bid strategy
- Campaign start & end dates
Ensure that the pages linked to your ads are still working and relevant to the sitelink text. It’s also worth testing new sitelinks every month.
This link checker script is a necessity in any Google Ads account.
To check the performance of landing pages, look for those ads with high CTRs but low conversions – these ads indicate a poor landing page. If you have Google Analytics linked with your Google Ads account, you called also look at bounce rate and session duration metrics. If you don’t have the facilities to trial new landing pages every month, it’s worth trialling different variations of your current landing pages. Start by testing different headlines, imagery and main text areas.
Review your location targeting every month to see which locations perform the best. This will help you determine which locations are underperforming and which are performing better. Depending on how you have your campaigns setup, you can either remove certain locations from your targeting, or add bid adjustments based on their performance.
Every month you should be reviewing any ad schedules you have setup in your campaigns to make sure they’re showing your ads at the right times. Check any existing ad schedules to see if they could be adjusted to further prevent wasted spend in times of the day that don’t convert.
Finally, we recommend reviewing your entire PPC account strategy every year quarter (Q1 – 4). This is a good point to review the overarching PPC strategy that you have in place and find areas to focus & improve on. You will also be able to determine where you’ve found success in the quarter, and from there, design a strategy for the next quarter.
There you have it, follow this task checklist for your PPC campaigns and you’ll stay on top of everything you need to be monitoring, whilst finding key opportunities to improve your ROI. If you have any questions, or wish to find out more about our PPC Management services, please get in touch.