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PPC Reboot: Planning for Fall and 2015

  |  July 2, 2014   |  Comments

Now that we've passed the halfway mark of 2014, it's time to start prepping for the fall and the start of 2015 when it comes to your pay-per-click (PPC) marketing strategies.

While you would probably rather be on vacation or lying in a hammock, the summer season is the perfect time to review and reboot your pay-per-click (PPC) marketing strategies. Activity is sure to increase by Labor Day and 2015 planning is just around the corner. Here are a few ideas for revamping and rebooting your PPC campaigns to get you headed in the right direction.

Budgets

Halfway through the year is great time to review PPC and online ad budgets. Three key areas to review include:

  1. Monthly budgets: Check monthly budgets to determine if the overall spend is over or under where it should be for the year and allocate overages to remaining months. Determine if shortages mean remaining months will get less budget or if this represents an opportunity for growth.
  2. Campaign budgets: Review campaigns to determine if daily budgets have been fully spent per day. Consider day of the week, in the cases of B2B where weekends may show lower volume. Reallocate to better-converting campaigns based on goals.
  3. Growth opportunities: Determine if additional company budget can be assigned to PPC or social ads. Re-examine the budgets across channels.

Channels

Review your current advertising channels such as AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and retargeting networks for performance. Scale back on low performers or expand into new channels for testing.

Messaging

Have you used the same ad copy all year? Now is a good time to revisit the ad copy from minor tweaks to overhauling messaging. This classic post on ClickZ takes marketers through the key considerations for an ad makeover.

Don't forget that the calls-to-action (CTAs) in your ads can make or break them. This post on ClickZ outlines most common CTAs.

Bid Strategy

There are several different bidding strategies, all with advantages and disadvantages to meet PPC goals. AdWords bid strategies may be used most often by PPC advertisers, so a brief description follows.

  1. Manual CPC: Allows total control over bids for advertisers and AdWords will take the ad group default bid first, unless a different bid is manually specified at the keyword level.
  2. Automatic CPC: Advertisers give AdWords control over individual CPC bids. AdWords automatically adjusts your bids with the goal of getting the most clicks for the daily budget. A CPC bid limit can be set.
  3. Enhanced CPC and Conversion Optimizer: Both strategies focus on conversions and allow AdWords to set bids to gain the most conversions.
  4. Flexible Bid Strategies: Five types of bid strategies can be mixed and matched for campaigns, ad groups, and keywords, allowing more customization and flexibility account-wide.

Devices

Many advertisers are not ready for mobile and it seems to be largely connected to the mobile website experience. Determine how you are reaching customers on mobile now and think of ways to improve the experience. Both AdWords and Bing Ads provide mobile-specific settings to make the most of mobile campaigns, such as targeting, ad copy, and bid adjustments. This post covers the basics for a PPC mobile strategy.

Company goals and campaigns performance can change over time. Often, giving advertising efforts a hard reboot and reconsideration can be the way to optimize performance or reach growth objectives. What is your number one area for rebooting? Share in the comments.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Raehsler

Lisa Raehsler is the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co., an online advertising company and Google AdWords Certified Partner, specializing in strategy and management of SEM and PPC for search engines, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. Lisa has led strategy on dozens of PPC accounts and puts her experience into practice every day as a thought leader in integrating clients' search campaigns with ecommerce websites, behavioral targeting strategies, and web analytics. She has participated extensively in the local interactive community, as well as at national search engine marketing conferences. Lisa's recent speaking engagements include SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX conferences, as well as numerous private and public training engagements. As a columnist for ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, she writes on the topic of paid search. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRocksSEM.

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