What I love about our PPC advertising experts is that they’re always challenging themselves and looking for ways to improve performance for clients — it’s never just set and forget.
Because of that, we’ve had a lot of client wins in 2017. But along with that, there have been new changes and trends in the PPC space that have contributed to new lessons learned.
As with any good resolution one makes in the new year, we want to first reflect on 2017. That being said, we’ve put together a 2-part blog post series to round-up those lessons from our team and provide the best of the best when it comes to tips for how you can increase your PPC performance in 2018.
So, let’s get the ball rolling (now that the ball has dropped)…yes, I think I’m hilarious.
8 PPC Lessons Learned in 2017
“I think it’s important to take a step back and look at the overall picture when it comes to clients goals and how an account is performing. It’s easy to get wrapped up in day-to-day tasks — but once you start focusing on the bigger initiatives that move the needle faster, you’ll see better results quicker. So, work hard to understand your clients and their goals. As extensions of their marketing teams, it’s absolutely crucial to fully grasp each client’s business and their target audience to figure out how to accomplish these goals. Don’t think you’re working in a silo.”
“Google made some major changes this past year (ETAs, new interface, shifting focus toward AI/auto bidding, etc.) and it’s important to not be left in the dust. Falling behind will make it much more difficult to catch up. One of the areas Google has made some major shifts/improvements in is with data attribution. Marketers have traditionally used last click attribution, but we’re quickly learning that this can be a skewed way to look at performance. Make sure you look at conversions through different lenses.”
Check out some of Joel’s top articles of the year here.
Lesson 3: There Can Be Too Much of a Good Thing & Stability Is Key
“While I love granularity, you can definitely have too much of it. I’ve learned the simpler (but focused) structures can not only speed up execution, but set PPC accounts up with a stronger foundation that allows for better measurability, more accurate testing, and longer-term success. Hyper-granularity, on the other hand, can become a house of cards. In the same regard as there being too much, there can also be too soon. Results are fun to show, but I’ve also learned not to rush too quickly into account restructures. Instead, it’s become more important for me to consider the client’s bottom line first and transition gradually to achieve more stable growth in the account.”
Read some of Reese’s top pieces of the year here.
Lesson #4: Seek Continuous Improvement & Let Failure Be a Learning Opportunity
“I have learned more things in the past 9 months at KlientBoost than I ever have in my entire life, and I’m not exaggerating. The hard skills that this job requires and the continuous challenges to be overcome, keep me on my toes. Once you think you’ve learned the most you can, this notion is shot down. Don’t let yourself go on autopilot and expect the same results — but also, don’t get defeated by “bad” results. This industry is constantly changing, and that’s what makes it a cool industry to be in.”
Discover more insights from Missy in this Google Keyword Planner blog post.
Lesson #5: Take PPC Audience Temperature & Match Their Intent
“Understanding search intent and matching your offer accordingly is crucial. With a low intent search, you need to match the offer with a request that doesn’t ask for a lot of information and doesn’t seem too threatening such as a newsletter sign-up. Your higher intent searches should match up with offers more aligned with a macro-conversion that affects business revenue.”
“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned, and have seen results from, is how important it is to understand a specific target audience. Remarketing and saved audiences will react differently to the same copy. By tailoring your ad copy, specifically, to your audience, you can see huge results. Understand what a consumer wants to see to make a purchase versus what a business wants to see, can be very different. While consumers may be more focused on words like “FREE” or “Act Now,” a business may be more interested in the quality of the product over price.”
To discover more tips on ad copy, you can read Ally’s blog posts.
Lesson #7: Never Be Satisfied with Average & Don’t Let the Past Hold You Back
“There’s always something new to your toolbelt, whether it’s new industry knowledge, expanding into new platforms, or building new audiences. Small changes can make big impacts. You can’t let driving amazing results one day or a client leaving distract you from doing the very best you can today. Anderson Paak has a lyric: ‘And I can do anything, but move backwards. The hardest thing is to keep from being distracted.’ I find it’s super applicable to all advertising efforts.”
Check out Luke’s article on how to decrease CPC here.
Lesson #8: Be Transparent About Mistakes & Find Solutions to Remedy
“It’s important to own up to mistakes. When you’re looking to build long-term relationships with clients, transparency and honesty are important. Let them know the “Why” behind a result, or lack thereof. As long as you correct the mistake in a timely manner, you gain more respect than if a client finds out you haven’t given them the whole picture. So, once you know why the mistake happened, set up a process to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”
10 PPC Tips for 2018
So, from these lessons, what can you take into 2018 for actionable tips? Our experts have you covered there as well, and these tips happen to be complementary to their lessons learned. Some of our experts even has similar tips, which helps solidify their importance — so we rounded them up below, just for you.
Tip #1: Frequently Review Your Analytics
“Dive into Google Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights to get a deeper understanding of your audience’s interests and behaviors. Tools like these will help you gather insightful data that can be applied to display campaigns for clients. Some behaviors may surprise you.”
Tip #2: Test Rather Than Rely on Assumptions
“Continuously test new ad copy, landing pages, new audiences, and even new platforms. Not every test will be a winner, but you never know until you test it. It can be very intimidating to make changes to a client’s account, especially if you’re a new PPC account manager. However, testing is the only way to push the boundaries of success and moving too slowly is a sure-fire recipe for failure.”
Tip #3: Become Intimate with Your Accounts
“Anytime anyone asks you the goals of the account, you should know it like the back of your hand. Once you get to that point, you’ll have a better understanding of where you need to be and what you’ll need to do to get there.”
Tip #4: Don’t Underestimate Excel & AdWords Editor
“Learning Excel will just make your PPC life so much easier. With a good Excel foundation, you’ll be able to build AdWords campaigns, analyze them, and ad test in half the time previously. While you’re at being efficient, get familiar with AdWords Editor. This tool will save you ton of time editing campaigns and ad copy. If you’re familiar with Excel, the import/export feature is really helpful when making changes in bulk. Learning keyboard shortcuts for both AdWords Editor and Excel.”
Tip #5: Use AdWords Scripts Where You Can
“Learn how to use scripts as they can save a tone of time in analyzing search terms, especially when getting familiar with new accounts. With PPC heading toward automation, you’ll be ahead of the curve if you have a solid grip on scripts. Going along with this, use an N-Gram script to run through legacy and new accounts. This script pulls out all search terms into a Google Doc sheet, breaks search terms by words, and puts them into groupings. You can then filter the data and figure out which keywords you need to negative and create SKAGs off of.”
Tip #6: Communicate with Your Clients Often
“It’s easy to give a brief summary–but that often leaves clients with unanswered questions or the door open for them to draft own conclusions or take control of the conversation. Whether there’s good news or bad news, keep your client informed of what’s going on. The more you communicate, the more they’ll understand what’s happening with their account and with you. They’re more likely to take bad news better if you constantly keep them informed.”
Tip #7: Don’t Over Test the Account
“May seem contradictory to what we just said in Tip #2, but you need to let the changes to an account test out for a good amount of time or with enough traffic. Results don’t always happen overnight, so making the same adjustments multiple times in a week will be overkill when looking and identifying the issues as well as the results with the account.”
Tip #8: RLSA Is The New Wave of the Future
“When it comes to Remarketing Audiences for Search Ads (RLSA), you’ll reap more results if you enhance the bids at a higher rate (more than 50%). If the bid modifier is too small (10%), it’s almost not even worth it.”
Tip #9: Get More Real Estate with Extensions
“Actually look at the data from your extensions. If there’s a keyword that has a different product in the sitelinks, and that product is getting more conversions than the URL you’re promoting, consider testing the sitelink URL in your Final URL. Either way, utilize ad extensions when you can.”
Tip #10: Get Acquainted with New AdWords Interface
“As much as you may not like it, the change is going down – so learn the new AdWords interface right now. It’s going to be the only way to work soon and you won’t want to be fumbling around when it becomes standard.”
Wrap Up on PPC Advertising Experts Advice
Oh, you thought we were done? When we say wrap-up, we mean just for this week. We’ll be back with more lessons and tips next week from more of our team members.
Until then, we hope you find these tips helpful.
Are there any that you would add to the mix? We want to hear about your lessons learned and tips for 2018 — you just might make it in one of our upcoming blog posts.