Having worked as a Biddable Executive for just shy of a year now, I’ve got to grips with the day-to-day running of PPC accounts.
Upon creation of a campaign, there is a fair bit of TLC required to keep a PPC campaign firing on all cylinders. Some of these actions need to take place more regularly than others, so here is a breakdown of which checks and optimisations need to happen on accounts and when they should be carried out. Once these are ingrained in your daily routine, life should become easier managing accounts & client, as well as kicking on performance.
Daily: these actions are ones that need to be taken every day so you have a good idea of how the account is performing day-in-day-out.
- Are all accounts active? This is the most basic of daily checks to make sure that all of your best laid plans aren’t lying inactive because of budgeting or targeting issues.
- Daily budget checks. For every PPC account you should have an idea of daily budget run rates, whether that is £10 or £10k. It is important to check every day to see whether the campaigns are coming in around the right mark looking at the previous days spend. If there are any anomalies you will need to take a deeper dive into the campaigns, fighting fires like non-converting high-spenders and high bounce rate keywords.
Weekly: it’s important to set aside time at least twice a week for each account to carry out optimisations. A lot of the data analysis can happen alongside weekly client reports, and this is an opportunity to inform clients about actions you have and/or are going to carry out that week on the account.
- Weekly reporting. As important as optimisations and data analysis are to a PPC account, there’s arguably nothing more important than client relationship. Make sure your reports are in-depth, precise, clear and understandable, maybe including week-on-week and/or year-on-year comparisons if relevant. Be transparent about optimisations you have been carrying out and are going to. Understand what KPI is most important to the client and ensure this is clearly visible at a glance.
- Bid adjustments. This could sit somewhere in the middle of weekly and daily categories, but always make sure that you look back over a significant period before drawing conclusions. An ad group might not have converted in the last few days, but over the last 30 or 60 days it could be one of your top performers, so ensure your data is as accurate as possible before slashing bids or pulling the plug on non-converters.
- Week-on-week performance comparison. This should come with your weekly reporting, but it’s worth taking a step back from the intricacies of the account and taking a broader view of how weekly performance is comparing with the week or couple of weeks previous, taking into account any seasonality.
- Performance by device. Again, this is something which I would recommend has a permanent place in your client reports, but it is important to see how each device is performing in terms of traffic volume, CTR and conversion rate. This would also be the time to review your mobile bid modifiers, as capturing that “micro-moment” mobile traffic is essential, but looking in silo on mobile performance may suggest it’s “not working”. Ensure clients are on-board with mobile investment, and the crucial role it plays in piquing interest with your brand.
- Search Term Reports. By pulling a report for what terms are triggering your keywords you can flesh out your campaigns and refine them. Make sure that you use it to create new ad groups as well as bulking out negatives in broad and phrase match campaigns. Perhaps use those strong converting Google Shopping terms to inform text ad campaigns, or even keyword targeting on the GDN.
- Display network placement review. Just like with paid search, it’s important to check in on any GDN and remarketing ads. If there are any poor-performing websites, or sites that are just plain off-brand, then exclude them from your campaign.
- Read PPC blogs and/or listen to PPC podcasts. Understanding trends and new features in the industry is invaluable to ensure you are constantly evolving as a marketer and will more than likely give you a couple of great ideas to test in your own paid search campaigns. A couple of great sites are PPC Hero and Search Engine Watch.
Monthly: it is important to dive into some other metrics on a monthly basis. These are a slightly broader look at the account to ensure you are successfully implementing some of the more sophisticated features to make the account as intelligent and efficient as possible. There’s also the fact that longer-term analysis gives a better gauge of growth trends and performance.
- Monthly reporting. Similar to weekly reporting, but this should consider the performance of the month as a whole compared with the month previous and/or the same month last year. Has the client launched a new website or a new range in store? Is seasonality affecting performance? These are all things to consider in a monthly report.
- Ad extension review. Check your sitelinks, callout extensions, review extensions etc. are all up to date. If there are any sitelinks with particularly high CTRs then perhaps test new copy variations based on that.
- Ad copy analysis. See which ads are driving high CTRs and which are misfiring. Pause the worst one or two ads in each campaign and test new copy for the next month.
- Geo-targeting review. Was last moth super for Scarborough or terrible for Torquay? Check your location bid modifiers and increase or decrease accordingly – ensuring you look at a significant wealth of data of at least two to three months.
- Ad scheduling analysis. If you have ad scheduling implemented, review the settings to see whether they need to be narrowed or expanded depending on budget restraints. If you don’t have ad scheduling in your account then it is a good idea to see what days of the week and time of the day are converting most efficiently and start modifying bids accordingly. Need more information on ad-scheduling? Say no more, the biddable team have already written a handy blog on the benefits of ad-scheduling.
- Remarketing audience performance review. Are your remarketing lists performing efficiently? Do you need to create new lists to test? See our blog on GA audience lists for some inspiration.
There you have it, a quick rundown on what it takes to be a PPC aficionado (if I do say so myself). Although this list is a good starting point, bear in mind that some of the monthly tasks might need to happen fortnightly for larger clients. Just always remember when optimising to have a significant look-back period of 14, 30 or even 60 days to ensure that the insights you are drawing are as accurate as possible. Finally, just remain curious, communicative and hard-working, for as your accounts grow from strength-to-strength, your clients’ brands (and your own agency) will grow too. Here’s to my second year!
Will Kynaston, Biddable Account Executive
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