As I am sure you will all appreciate, there is no strict formula to running a PPC campaign. However, there are a number of Do’s and Do Not’s which certainly increase the likelihood of a campaign’s overall success. These Do and Do Not’s occur both on the part of the client and search agency.
Do not perform constant checks of your ads on the search engines. These searches will accrue a significant amount of impressions and no clicks (as you will have no intention of clicking on the ad to incur a cost). This in turn will lower your CTR (Click Through Rate) as the engine will assume that the ad is less relevant than competition as it is not being clicked on as often. This will then lower your quality score and in time you will notice a gradual increase in the keyword’s CPC (Cost Per Click). A simple way of overcoming this is searching on The Google Ad Preview Tool http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=+&adtest=on This is a preview of the search results only and will no accrue any clicks or costs.
Do not have just one ad copy running in a group in Google. Google has the functionality of auto-optimising ad copy, showing the creative with the highest CTR most often. This is only possible if more than one ad copy is added into each group. When each ad copy is new, each will be served equally initially. Once Google has enough data of each ad copy’s CTR they will begin to rank the ads accordingly. This is most effectively utilised when ad copy with very different messaging is added to a group.
Do not create all ad copy with generic messaging. The likelihood of someone clicking on an ad is dependent on how relevant they deem the ad text to be to their query. Therefore a more targeted ad will be far more likely to be clicked on. Within the same notion, utilising the tools of targeting (Geographic, Demographic etc) and the different keyword match types (Broad, Phrase and Exact) is a brilliant way to ensure highly targeted traffic. This will reduce overall click volume, but should increase conversion rates.
Do not have too many keywords in your campaign. Having a lot of very low volume, low CTR and low conversion keywords in your campaign can degrade the campaign’s overall performance by lowering the overall CTR. This could then mean that you will potentially be spending more than you could be for certain search terms. In order to reduce the possibility of this occurrence, regular keyword reports should be produced for all campaigns. These keyword reports should then be analysed and low performing keywords should firstly be optimised and if there is no sign of improvement – these keywords should be removed.
Do not direct all destination URLs to the homepage. Deep linked pages historically perform far better due to their heightened relevancy to the search term. When choosing a destination URL for a specific keyword, or keyword group it is best to link to a page which is as far as possible down the conversion cycle. For example, if the conversion goal is to generate a signup, the optimum destination URL would be the signup page itself.