“Without actionable data and clear metrics driven strategy, the marketing organization is being paid to guess.” – Team Position2
The Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) based PPC campaign seems to have become the go-to area for businesses to generate leads and achieve ROI. So, did your business outsource its marketing campaign to some PPC agency in the hope of achieving the above mentioned objectives? Even though a professional PPC agency is expected to deliver results, are you sure they are executing your campaign the right way and making every penny of yours count? Do you think Google Ads too expensive a platform to derive the right benefits? To help you ask the right questions to the PPC agency and understand the nuances of PPC campaign management, the blog provides you with a few guidelines and checklists. In fact, by going through the guidelines and checklists you will come to understand as to why Google Ads isn’t working for you and how you can turn things around.
To begin with, let us first understand that Google Ads is a powerful platform with plenty of customized options to drive your campaign strategy. It provides a rich source of data to run and manage your campaign.
#1 Account Structure: Unless the foundation is strong, the structure will not stand. This holds true for your PPC campaign as well, for unless the account structure is set up correctly (approximate monthly expenditure and ROI) by using suitable customized options, the campaign results will not be to their optimum level. This aspect, when not handled correctly, makes businesses wonder ‘does Google Ads still work?’
As mentioned earlier, Google Ads has many customized options to maximize the campaign deliverables. For example, under the campaign field, we can check the segmented ad group details whereas under the Ad groups, we can have ads, extension and search term (read keyword) details. Remember, the account structure should ideally have relevant search terms alongside a high count of the negative ones. It means your ad campaign/s have been optimized by keeping out irrelevant or negative search terms to diminish bad user experience.
#2 Tracking Leads: When Google Ads runs, it provides a slew of reports on metrics such as keywords clicked, keywords quality score, ad relevance, expected CTR(Click-Through-Rate), cost of keywords clicked, leads generated, and landing page experience among others. Moreover, to track the leads properly, a snippet of the conversion tracking code must be included at the website’s back-end. Once your PR agency gets details like conversions and their cost, it can come up with figures for metrics like Max CPC for Manual Bid Strategy and Target CPA, Target ROAS, Target outranking share & Top of the page location for Automated Bid Strategy. The marketers should focus on specific keywords that generate leads rather than wasting money on non performing keywords. The way out of this situation is to set up a proper conversions tracking mechanism. Decide whether to assign a value to the newsletter sign-up, leads, or actual sales. These attributes among others will set the goal and metrics for your marketing team to follow and measure. In fact, this can arguably be the real reason Google Ads isn’t working for many businesses.
#3 Consistent Activity: Setting up a PPC campaign and running on Google Ads is not a one-off job but should be pursued on a consistent basis. You can monitor the same by adding the change history column in the campaigns field. It is important to monitor the kind of changes your PPC agency carries out such as the changing of keywords bids, creating new campaigns, keyword management, and getting rid of under performing keywords. Also, it is better to alter the campaign budget on a daily basis rather than on an hourly basis to track the progress of the campaign in a better way. You can ask your agency to explain any low account activity or hourly bid changes.
#4 Periodic Reporting:An ideal relationship between the client and agency is underpinned on communication. The digital marketing agency should send periodic customized reports about the campaign on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis (or as demanded by you) explaining the various facets and outcomes of the campaign. The agency should red flag the areas where your intervention is needed such as non competitive pricing leading to low lead generation, quality of your landing pages etc. The agency should, during routine conversations, bring important topics for discussion to help your campaign build and not just remain the ‘yes men’.
#5 Keeping Updated: A professional digital marketing agency should keep itself abreast with every Google Ads interface update, the latest long tail search terms for products/services, change in consumer behaviour or performance of your site’s landing pages. As ‘knowledge is power,’ the agency can use the updates and performance of the KPIs to suitably alter its campaign strategy for best results.
#6 Bidding on non converting keywords: The ultimate objective of your PPC campaign is to generate leads. So, keep a track of the search terms that may be generating clicks but not leads. In fact, there can be a number of search terms (read keywords) displayed by Google Ads that have bids placed on them but do not generate any lead. A sound PPC campaign management should eliminate such keywords to achieve better cost optimization.
#7 Use of landing pages: An ad click on the search result page should take the user to a properly designed landing page to boost conversions. However, should the link be connected to any other page with inadequate or irrelevant information, it can lead to a poor user experience. This can send a good lead from your site to the competing ones. To explain the point further, if the user sees a link on pricing and clicks on the same, it should direct the user to a landing page where pricing is explained. However, should that not be the case, the user will feel disillusioned and cheated.
#8 Use of locations: Google Ads has a provision to select suitable locations where you want your campaign/s to run. For example, should you want your campaign to cover the city of Calgary in Canada only, the location should be chosen likewise. In the absence of the same, the money stands wasted. To target your campaign in a better way, Google Ads provides the option to exclude certain locations as well. This helps in saving your money by targeting the right areas. For example, if you want the search term ‘web development in India’ not to be viewed by the users of a certain country or region, you can use the ‘Exclude’ option to do the same.
In the competitive world of business, marketing your site/products/services online by using the PPC campaign is the need of the hour. This is for reasons of reach, effectiveness, and value for money. By considering the above mentioned points you can find out if your PPC agency is taking you for a ride or not. Thus, it is better to select a PPC management company with a proven track record or start your own PPC campaign.