Pay Per Click (PPC) is a type of advertising managed through the Google AdWords platform. Relevant ads are shown based upon keywords people use within their search query. For instance, type ‘plumbers Sydney’ and you’ll observe that the initial few results are ads served through PPC.
PPC is best suited for businesses having a website that has a product/service offering, the one that individuals are actively looking for. It’s designed for businesses of all sizes but particularly great for small businesses as possible run ad campaigns for a little as $100.
Pay-per-click is really a marketing channel driven by demand. Your PPC campaign effects are dependent on the industry your small business falls under, the campaign budget and landing page conversion rate (i.e. how many people see your page and do something on your own website). Normally, PPC advertisers are going to a conversion rate of 2.70%.
In order to maximise ROI on your own ad spend, ‘set and forget’ will not be an approach you will want to adopt. You’ll have to monitor your campaign performance on a weekly basis and optimise your ads where necessary. By doing this, you’ll have the ability to dial in the budget for top performing keywords and lower spend on ones which are generating the least return.
Establishing a PPC campaign isn’t challenging to do but where most business owners find yourself in trouble is definitely the strategy needed generate high ROI. An effective campaign is made of many variables i.e. keyword selection, audience targeting, ad copy, bidding strategy…etc. Just getting one of them wrong can easily see your campaign perform poorly and give you a hole in the bank.
While PPC can also work for virtually any kind of company, I’ve discovered that it rarely works on the first day. Furthermore I’ve never seen an excellent “set it and forget it” strategy. The reality is that no matter how good your bank account is, you can always do better.
Thoughtful and consistent PPC account optimization activity is the road to achieving ROI from paid search. On the other hand, a “set it and end up forgetting it” method is somewhat of a death spiral that generally results in a cycle of lower Quality Scores, which leads to higher cost per clicks and lower ad position, which leads to lower ROI, and ultimately failure.
Because of this I believe that PPC account activity even trumps Quality Score as the single most important PPC metric within your account. Thoughtful and consistent PPC optimization experiments is the road to succeeding on all of those other PPC key metrics.
If I’ve convinced you in the importance of measuring and tracking your PPC account activity, here’s how to get it done. Set the date range for the time period you’re thinking about, then click on the Download button to export the report in a CSV format. AdWords groups together different changes by campaign and ad group; for instance in the screenshot you will notice xjarkb there was 39 bid changes within a single ad group. So, to process the exported data, you’ll need to do some manual data manipulation in Excel to decompress the alteration history log.
An Easier Approach to Determine Recent AdWords Account Activity
Another way to quickly visualize your recent AdWords account activity is always to just grade your money using the AdWords Performance Grader. This free tool can do an instant audit of your own PPC account across 8 different key performance metrics, including Account Activity.
The report will calculate and display your money Activity in the last 30 and 3 months and break it out by types of account optimizations are happening inside your account. Here’s a good example of just what the Account Activity portion of the AdWords Grader report seems like.
So in this example, you can see that the advertiser has created/deleted or modified 2 campaigns within the last 3 months, made 10 ad text changes in the last thirty days, etc. Because of the anemic activity levels in the typical PPC account, I think that PPC account managers ought to be embracing the idea of PPC activity as a success metric. When asked for important PPC metrics, PPC marketers tend to think of such things as CTR, cost per conversion, conversion rate, etc. – yet it is actually only our ongoing PPC experimentation and optimization activities which allow us to do well in many of these metrics.
Ultimately the way to succeed in maintaining a healthy quantity of PPC account activity is to really make it regular. For example, set aside a minimum of twenty or so minutes per week for PPC optimization, spending a couple of minutes on each of the most important PPC optimization tasks, like keyword expansion, negative niche research, bid optimization, and ad text optimization. Although this may seem like plenty of work, the use of PPC tools can add a ton of leverage with regards to time savings and ROI.
As with a diet plan or fitness plan, don’t overdo it by doing 1000s of alterations in one sitting and then not revisiting for 6 months, but don’t get complacent and fall into a sedentary PPC lifestyle either. The great thing is the PPC account activity bar is extremely low. Just 20 minutes of PPC work weekly would put you in front of 90% of the other accounts on the market.