This article outlines our process for PPC management.
We take a lot of pride in our partnership with clients. If we don’t feel there’s a fit and a path for us to help your business, we won’t work with you. We’ll refer you to an agency that we believe is a better fit for you. We don’t get involved with marketing for a vertical or industry that we don’t fully understand.
Much of our success can be attributed to the fact that we stay fiercely focused on the businesses in the verticals we know and understand. There is more than enough that changes inside of those verticals that we must be ready to pivot any given marketing strategy in the blink of an eye. And that’s without ever mentioning the digital marketing space as a whole. We are skilled in adapting to the ever-changing environment of marketing online.
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”
I outlined some of this process in our What’s it Like to Work with Declare blog post, but the purpose of this page is to go into more detail in regards to what we’re looking at behind the scenes.
Google Ads (and Microsoft Ads) account audit
It’s at this point that we’re auditing your current Google Ads (and/or Microsoft Ads) account.
We take note of your existing build and ask ourselves:
- Is the current Google Ads account build salvageable? Specifically which parts?
- Should we rebuild the account entirely?
- Is conversion tracking properly setup?
- What conversion points are being tracked?
- How are the key performance indicators (KPIs)?
- Where can we make a few quick tweaks in order to boost performance right off the bat?
- What bid strategies are being used?
- Are there any key Google Ads features not currently being utilized?
- How does the current website/landing page look?
- Can we recommend tweaks to better it?
- Can we completely redesign?
Google Ads (and Microsoft Ads) account build
Depending on your budget for media we’ll create and build new campaign on the search and display network (even video, if you have the budget for it). If the goal is drive more leads and your budget for media is tight, we will likely stick to running only search campaigns for now (highest-intent and lowest in the funnel traffic).
Keyword intent is something that’s always front of mind and is one of the most important aspects of paid search. We’re very conscious of the intent of each keyword that we add to the campaigns. An informational keyword would always be coupled with a campaign that has an audience being targeted as well (typically a remarketing audience – this is called RLSA). The more transactional keywords live lower down in the funnel. These keywords are typically the highest driver of conversions.
If your budget is on the smaller side then we’re solely focused on the most transactional keywords possible.
If your budget is on the larger side then we’re better able to focus on the entire funnel from top to bottom.
The main aspects of our process include:
- Campaign structure strategy
- Keyword research and creation
- Ad creation
- Ad scheduling setup
- Bid strategy setup
- Bid adjustments (as data begins to come in)
- Location targeting (per your instructions)
- Ad extensions
- Conversion tracking setup
- Audience targeting
- Landing page design
Each of these are setup from the start, but are constantly monitored and adjusted based on the data we analyze. Let’s dive into each of these…
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1. Campaign structure strategy
We like to start our account build process by taking a look at the current campaign structure and making adjustments where needed.
If daily budgets are being cannibalized then we’ll adjust how the budget is being shared. This cannibalization can be illustrated by one campaign in a shared group greatly outspending the others. This would be an example of shared budget cannibalization.
We also see something called keyword cannibalization. This happens when a specific keyword or ad group is taking a majority of the spend within a campaign and not giving the rest of the keywords any exposure. When this happens we’ll typically move respective keywords (or ad groups) into their own campaign.
This step happens right away, but like many of these steps, is a constant aspect to successfully managing a Google Ads account.
2. Keyword research and creation
There are many articles on the internet that will tell you how and how not to do keyword research for Google Ads.
Most search queries can be broken down into the following:
- Informational: “how to” keywords. The goal of the searcher is to acquire information.
- Comparison: The goal of the searcher is to compare one brand from another, find reviews and find the best product or service for them.
- Transactional: These searches show the highest intent to purchase. The searcher is ready to buy.
Each of the above keyword intent types carry varying weight.
A searcher who has landed on your site from a transactional search query will have the highest value to you in terms of conversion rate. They are more likely to convert than a searcher who has landed on your site from an informational search query.
Side note: A user who lands on your site from a branded keyword is a high value user. They may have been served your ad from informational or comparison search queries that they’ve used in the past (or even display ads) and have now used your brand name as a keyword.
All keywords are made up of a core or seed word and can have other words appended on the front or back of the word.
Let’s use the keyword moving as an example.
Ad groups may look like:
- Moving – Company
- Moving- General
- Moving – Service
- Movers – General
Within the first ad group ‘Moving – Company’ I would have keywords with various appendages, ‘find’, ‘best’, ‘certified’, ‘cheap’, ‘near me’ BUT never the appendage word ‘service’ (we’ll save that for the Moving – Service ad group).
Keywords would be:
- boving company
- best moving company
- certified moving company
- find moving company
- local moving company
We typically use the Google Ads Keyword Planner in order to find keyword and ad group ideas.
Site Note: We also use tools like SpyFu. SpyFu is a competitor keyword research tool that helps you find the most profitable keywords and ads that your competitors are running.
The point of this would be to search with your core (or seed) keyword and comb through the various suggestions the Keyword Planner gives you.
We perform keyword mining on an ongoing basis. This is when we set a specific date range and sort through the search terms and add or negate keywords.
The ongoing keyword optimization piece is what will keep your targeting keyword list as relevant as possible and will also help to build a more robust negative keyword list to avoid any wasted ad spend.
>> Speaking of moving companies, check this article out if you’re interested in reading more about PPC for moving companies.
3. Ad creation
Crafting strong ad copy on Google Ads is something we take very seriously. It’s important to think about the experience you want your searcher to have after they’ve actually typed out their physical search.
There is no-one-size-fits-all approach to ad copy, but it’s best to mirror ad copy to the keywords being targeted in their respective ad group. If we stay with the moving company example, ads may look like this:
H1 – Top Rated Moving Company
H2 – Get a Quote in Minutes
D – We take pride in meeting your moving needs and caring for your belongings. Call us today!
D2 – CITY’s top rated moving company. Countless 5-star reviews. No hidden fees. Call now!
An ad that directly answers what the searcher is looking for will help increase CTR, raise your quality score and of course, drive more conversions.
4. Ad scheduling setup
From inception, we’ll base the ad scheduling around your actual operating hours. We want you to be available when ads are live. If a form submission comes through, we want you reaching out to that lead ASAP — the quicker the better. If the phone rings, we want you to pick it up! Trust us when we say this, your (antiquated) competitors are not answering their phones. As we gather data, we’ll adjust the ad schedule as needed and we’ll bid up and/or down on various days and times.
5. Bid strategy setup
Depending on the goals of your account, we’ll setup a bid strategy that makes most sense for you. We take your goals into consideration when choosing a strategy. Bid strategies are set up at the campaign level and vary by campaign. Each bid strategy is suited for different marketing goals. The five basic goals tend to be:
- If you want customers to take a direct action on your site (and you’re using conversion tracking to tell that they’ve taken that action). Smart Bidding may be the best option.
- If you want to generate traffic to your website. A bid strategy such as maximize clicks may be the best option. Always with a bid limit to cap the bids.
- If you want to increase brand awareness then you can use cost-per-thousand viewable impressions bidding. Target Search Page Location or Target Outranking Share strategies are also an option in this case.
- If you run video ads and want to increase interactions with your ads then you can use Cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) bidding.
- If you run video ands and your goal is to increase product consideration then you can use cost per view (CPV) bidding.
We typically set up campaigns with maximize clicks (with a bid limit) from the start and switching to Target CPA or sometimes even maximize conversions as we start gathering more data.
6. Bid adjustments (as data begins to come in)
I mentioned this above from an ad schedule standpoint, but as data comes in, you can setup various bid adjustments. Some include: device (mobile or desktop), location, ad scheduling (see above), audience, interactions (call adjustments) and demographics).
7. Location targeting (per your instructions)
Per your instruction/service area, we will setup location targeting. We do not sway from the locations you mention, but we will certainly recommend new locations if we see a clear opportunity for you.
You may tell us to target a 30mi radius around your shop/HQ, and that’s exactly what we’ll do.
8. Ad extensions
We set up the relevant ad extensions to align with your marketing goals.
Ad extensions can be seen as bonus space that Google gives you in order to expand your ad with additional information. They typically help increase an ad’s click through rate by quite a bit.
Some ad extensions include:
- structured snippet
- and many more…
9. Conversion tracking setup
This is one of the most important pieces to your Google Ads. Without properly setting up conversion tracking, you will be flying blind.
Conversion tracking can help you see how effectively your ad clicks lead to valuable customer activity on your website. This is typically in the form of purchases, sign-ups, form submissions and phone calls.
We always set up conversion tracking to measure exactly how we are doing at our job for you.
We use WhatConverts to track all lead data from phone calls, to form submissions, to live chats. We can see specifically which keywords have driven which leads. And by the way, you can see this too. We provide you with a dashboard that gives you a view into the backend!
10. Audience targeting
You’re able to show your ads to specific audiences based on who they are, their interests and habits. You’re even able to show your ads to users based on what they’re actively researching or how they have interacted with your website in the past.
At the very least we set up a remarketing audience for you. I went into more detail on the importance of remarketing (on the search network) in this article about RLSA.
11. Landing page design
These days a lot of strategy is also focused on building a high-converting landing page that we are sending traffic to. If your website isn’t optimized for phone call or form submission conversions, we will likely push to design and develop new landing pages.
Our entire process is very long and time intensive, but it’s absolutely effective and should be either learned by you or outsourced. If done properly, it will help you to increase sales within your business.
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