Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC) Certification Program

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Creating, Launching, and Managing a PPC Account, Part 1 Tutorial

1.2 Introduction

Hello, this is Brad Geddes, the author of Advanced Google AdWords. The founder of Certified Knowledge. And the PPC Faculty Chair from Market Motive. In this video, we're going to look at creating, launching, and monitoring your account.

1.3 Planning the Account

So first we have to get into the planning stage of what we want to do. And the very first step of the planning stage is learning about the advertiser. What are their account's goals? How are they going to measure success? What would they consider a successful AdWords account? You need to gather information from the advertiser so you know what you're trying to accomplish with the account, and you can set everything up properly. And it's always important to define your objectives using the company's KPIs. So what I find a lot of times, is that you may see account that does wonderful, and it's got great CPAs and lots of sales. But they're optimizing based upon a revenue goal, or return on ad spend, or a CPA goal. [ But internally, they measure their goals based upon new customer acquisition versus returning customer acquisitions, or some other metrics. And if these two items are not aligned, how you're managing the account and the goals you're trying to achieve, and the internal KPIs, you may have issues later on with reviews of the company. Then you need to look at, how does a company track sales. This is really important. Because if they have an analytics system, you need to make sure analytics is installed. If they're using another party's system to track sales internally, then you need to make sure that data can get to AdWords or Bing or the analytic system so you can use it as a goal. If they're doing phone call tracking, you need to make sure the phone call tracking is hooked up to analytics, so you can import that data into AdWords and see the phone call tracking information and this various systems you need access to to be able to make good decisions for the account. So then once you understand how they track sales, you need to make sure you have conversion tracking and analytics and any phone call tracking and other scripts installed so that you will have visibility into the information once the account goes live.

1.4 Researching for the Account

So next then, we also need to research how the advertiser's website is set up and what their URL structures look like, because this is going to determine your landing pages. So some sites, if they're e-commerce, they have things like color selection at a category level. Others have that same selection at a product level. Two sites set up differently like that. One where selection items such as colors and sizes or category, another one whether our product level will change how you're setting up the account. So you need to have a good idea of how the advertiser's website works and functions, so you can determine how you're going to create various ad groups based upon goals, to make sure you're sending the traffic to the correct pages. So once you have this idea, you're going to start doing some initial keyword research, and if you're going to use Google Display Network, some initial Google Display Network. You don't have to find every keyword right now. What you need is an idea of the keyword universe, or your targeting universe for the displayed networks. So that you have an idea about the campaign structures, and the way the ad groups are going to flow in the campaign. So, do some initial research here. And then once we have our keywords, we also need ads. So then we'll start doing either some internal research based upon materials we're currently using, or other campaigns are using, or competitive research, to get an idea of the ads you want to write. What are our different benefit statements going to be? What do our calls to action look like? How are we going to set up our headlines? So this is again just this initial research of keywords and of the ads.

1.5 Determine the Basics of the Account

You can take that data to determine the account structure, and start listing out, here's the various campaigns we're going to use, here's the purpose of these campaigns. Based upon our initial calls with the company, or internal meetings, here's our budget for these campaigns. Our networks, our targeting options, our locations, bid types we're going to use, device types, so forth. So with the initial research for keywords and adds, with the company's goals and how the website works, you can determine the account structure. So now once you have this account structure in place, you need to double check the budgets for all the campaigns, make sure you're not going over budget. And then get an idea of the initial bid you're going to use. So if you have a list of their goals, and hopefully some prior data, via analytics, you can start estimating conversion rates, profit per conversions, revenue per conversions, whatever metrics they're using, to set their goals and use their internal KPI's to get an idea of how much you can bid for a keyword. So by having some overarching numbers around our bids, we get into more detailed keyword research. We can look at this information of estimated traffic based upon some starting bids we can use. Now as you go through this research you're not going to use it all immediately, but it's good to keep notes of information of keyword buckets you might not start with, but you're going to use in the future or targeting types you ran into that might work really well for them, but they're not ready to go into display yet. So then by having a list of notes for the company, when you are ready to expand, or you're going to analyze your ad test, or your looking at why you created certain ads in particular ways, you have notes you can refer back to of why you made these certain decisions, so when you analyze the data or look at expansion, you have a baseline to start from. So this'll get us through our initial research of what we need to create everything.

1.6 Creating the Account

So then it's time to start creating, and we'll first start by creating our account first. Now, we don't even have to add our billing yet. We can wait to add billing just as we're adding everything, we don't accidentally go live. So often you'll create your account, set your time zones, get everything laid out at the account level, but you may skip the billing process until you're ready to launch. Then create your campaigns based upon this initial research. When you create the campaigns, you'll add your budgets, all your targeting options. And you'll have an idea then of where the ad groups flow that you're going to create next, via how your campaign structure's laid out. So then next you want to create your add groups, now you don't even need keywords and ad check. We just want to start looking at here is all the ad groups we're creating by campaign, do these ad groups fit into our campaigns? And if not, we may need to change our campaign structure some. If once we get all of our ad groups situated in the campaigns, then we need to populate the ad groups with information. Now it's best to start populating your ad groups with ads. Ads are the only part of your account visible to the searcher, so we always want to create our ads first, so we know what a searcher's going to see in our keywords second to make sure our keywords match the ads. So when you cerate your ads, look at the ad group's purpose. And so using a descriptive naming convention for your ad groups let's you make sure the ads in that ad group sort of fit the overall theme. When you create ads for ad group, make sure you have at least two ads per ad group. It's okay to have more, if your campaign's going to be launched on desktops and mobile devices, then often you want two ads for desktops and two ads for mobile devices. And that really depends on, is it one website for both device types, or do they have separate mobile sites? And that's why analyzing the website's structure is important, because you may need different destination URLs for the mobile ads versus the desktop ads. And then, keep notes for refer back to the ads for reading the tests. If you're going to create two or three or four ads per ad group, then have an idea of why you chose certain benefit lines. Are you testing dynamic queue insertion versus static ads, or benefit description line twos versus calls to action? So have an idea of the reason you're creating multiple ads for when you examine the ad data once you finish your first round of tests.

1.7 Finishing Keyword Research

Now next we want to finish our keyword research now. We have an ad group with ads, so we know what the search is going to see. So then we'll finish our keyword research and populate these ad groups with our keywords. So as we add every keyword, consider the ad text. If the ad does not describe the keyword well, we want that keyword in another ad group. So often, we might end up creating a few more ad groups if we haven't thought through all the ad group structures yet. Then as we find keywords, we want to consider our match type. So look at the overall budget, the estimated conversion rates to see what match types we're going to use. If it's a very small business account and a very specific locality, we might use a lot of modified broad match. If it's a very large account that's going to use some more general words, probably want to use some exact match. And then on our more specific words, maybe modified broad match or phrase match. So consider those match types. Then think about negatives. Now you may not always add negatives at launch. You might add the keywords, decide you're going to look at the search query data, what users are really doing with your keywords before you add negatives. But often, when you're creating accounts, you'll see some words that you're not really sure about on certain queries. So you might just keep a list of possible negatives, of things you want to really keep an eye out for. But if they don't convert, we're going to make these negatives. But there are some cases you'll see words that they just don't fit the product, or this keyword happens to describe multiple types of products or services. And we want to make sure we're just not capturing the second one with our searches and add those negatives right away. So now once we have our ads created and our ad groups, next we want to add any ad extensions as necessary to enhance our ads. So site links are always good to add. You make them at the campaign level, optional at the ad group level. So when you first create the account, you're going to want to make sure you use site links for every campaign. And then you can make them by ad group, or you can wait, look at the data once it starts coming in, see the majority of ad groups that have a lot of their impressions above the fold because that's where site links are displayed. And then add site links as necessary at the ad group level based upon the information you're seeing. So add group level site links are really optional when you first start, but once you start optimizing you'll probably want to add some. If you're a local business, then do you have a local business account up and running? If so, then create a local ad extension. If you don't, then you probably want to create one so you can use the local ad extension. If the company relies on phone calls, then you want to make phone call extensions. So generally making one to three types of ad extensions is useful at launch just to spice up the ads a little bit and make them stand out more.

1.8 The Double Check Before Launch

So now, once we've created everything here, we have our campaigns, our ad groups, our key words, our ads. Before we put in billing, and before we unpause everything and set everything right, we want to just double check some information, you know, make sure tracking's installed. If it's it's not installed you're not going to know how your launch goes. Double check your destination URL's. Make sure you don't have broken pages that you're sending traffic to. Make sure that every search ad group has keywords. Well, this might sound silly. It's amazing how often larger accounts get billed. You'll have some ad groups that have zero keywords or they had zero ads. So just by quickly taking the data, putting it into a pivot table, looking at ad group, number of keywords, number of ads. If any one of those information is zero, then you know you need to populate this ad group with keywords or ads in it. If you're using the Google display network, then check the targeting in the ads being used on the Google display network just like you would with search. If you're going to start with re-marketing, make sure you're re-marketing tags are installed. Double check the daily budgets. Missing a decimal point can cause you to way over-spend or under-spend, so just double check the daily budgets one more time to make sure the budgets do fit what your initial estimated budgets were. Then double check the starting CPC's. Just make sure you don't again miss a decimal point or have a CPC that is way higher or way lower than the others because that's indicative that there's something off with this ad group, data to begin with you want to fix before launch. Now one you've double checked everything, your tracking's installed, your campaigns are built, your ad groups are built, then it's time to make the account active and to launch the account.

1.9 Launching the Account

So that once we launch the account and it's active, what we really want to make sure of, is that we're getting traffic and that it's high quality traffic. We don't need to obsess over the conversions quite yet. We need to make sure we get good traffic first, and then we can look at the conversions. So the first thing to look at is the search query data. Because if you've chosen anything except exact match, you don't truly know every search query you're going to show for. So look at the search query data to see the actual words you're being displayed for. See if you need to change match types around or add negatives right away. The other thing we want to look at is balance rates and time on site, interaction for our keywords. To make sure that we're getting good solid quality traffic from the keywords and search queries we have chosen. So, if you see really high bounce rates, then you're, again, probably going to want to look back to the keywords, the ads, how are you qualifying someone, in the ad groups where you have higher bounce rates. Know again, there is no good or bad bounce rate, this is all dependent on how a website's set up. If you have a landing page, which is all focused around an exact form fill. And that's all the major option on the page, you may see an 80% bounce rate and an 18% conversion rate. In that case, it's okay. If it's an ecommerce site and you have to have a user go through multiple steps to buy something, then seeing a 60% bounce rate is not very good. So, bounce rate by itself doesn't mean anything. Bounce rate's only useful with how the website functions. And then finally we want to make sure that we're actually getting traffic. So we can look at our CPCs, the estimated first page bid, the estimated top of page bid, to make sure our CPCs are high enough that we're getting some traffic. But of course, not so high that were overpaying for the conversion of the goals we're eventually going to want to get. So we plan our launch, we launch it, we check the quality first. And now, if the quality of traffic is correct, then we need to move into the optimization stages of the account.

1.10 Optimizing the Account

So, the very first thing to look at is, of course, your goals. You have a set of goals that you're attempting to reach based upon how the advertiser makes money or what their purpose of advertising is. So, we want to see, are we hitting our goals, are we not hitting them? What's this initial data say to us? And so now, if we're hitting our goals, great, we can keep moving through the optimization stages. If we're not hitting our goals, then we need, again, dig into our the key words, the match types, the ads we're using, the landing pages we're using, and see why we're not hitting our goals, and do some diagnosis work. Now once you do start hitting your goals and you're getting consistent traffic that's repeatable, then we can look back to our bid system. So if we are focused on clicks, we're going to set bids based upon our goals whether its a target CPA a target return ad expense, so forth. If you want to use conversion optimizer, which of course you can't do at launch because you don't have the minimum conversions yet, then it's time to look to see, have we hit the minimum numbers for conversion optimizer so we can try it out, see how it's doing. So then setting our bids and refining our initial bids based upon our actual goals would be our next step. And then we want to start looking at the search query data, and then we look at the search query data there's some questions we want to ask ourselves. Is the word profitable, but not in the account? If yes then add it to the account. Now is the word being shown from more than one ad group, so you lost ad serving control from the ad standpoint. If yes then you're going to make a negative at the add group level to force the search engine to show that search query from the correct ad group. Is the word unprofitable? And if yes, is it being displayed from poor ad group? And this often happens with larger accounts, is it may not be the search query is poor, is that the ad and landing page combination with that search query is poor. So in that case, make it a keyword in the correct ad group to see if this word could be profitable. Or do you see keywords and queries you just never want to show for? If yes, than make them campaign level negatives or make a campaign list and apply that negative list to multiple campaigns. If you see a high volume of queries not in the account, make them exact match keywords. So, our next stage is always going back to the search query in seeing what queries exist, and are they good or bad for us? And then, based upon that, taking some action with those queries.

1.11 Examine Ad & Landing Page Tests

Since you created two or three or four ads in an ad group when you first started, after a few weeks after launch you'll have data to start looking at the ad test to see which ads are doing best, which are doing worse. And this'll give you a lot of insights into even new ads you want to write. So you look at the ads that are doing the best, you keep notes of why they're doing best, your hypothesis for it. Delete the losers, create some more ads, and now you're continuing to test your ads. Now after a while, you won't test ads in your long tail ad groups that often, because they don't get that much data. And then in your top ad groups, you'll test ads more often. Then after a few weeks, we need to start looking at quality score. Now when we first launch, when we start getting some initial data, we've been live for a week or two. Don't obsess over quality scores too much, unless it's a landing page issue. because landing pages, again, can cause quality scores to drop a lot. But you don't have your true quality score, until you have somewhere between 500 and 2000 impressions. So if you see words that have just launched, they 100 impressions, and a three quality score, don't drive yourself crazy yet because it probably isn't really your quality score yet. Once you get to 1,000 and 2,000 impressions you have your own quality score, so now it's time to start looking at quality scores based upon organizational factors and landing pages to see how to increase those quality scores, if necessary. Or you might look and say, wow we've got great quality scores, we don't have to worry about this, let's go back to running more tests.

1.12 Bid Modifiers

Then once we have some data, we're going to want to look through our bid modifiers. So when we first start, we're probably not going to use any bid modifiers, except maybe minus 100% on a mobile device if you don't have a mobile compliant website. Or if you only answer the phone eight to five, Monday to Friday, then you're going to probably only run the ads eight to five, Monday to Friday. So your bid modifiers, when you first start, are probably around not being on mobile devices, or assuming mobile devices is going to be a little worse than doing a minus factor or a plus factor, we think it'll do better. But that's just an educated guess. And then maybe some ad sketching, but once we have some data, now we can start to go back and say do we have different CPAs by geography, by time of day, and by device type to start using our bid modifiers appropriately. And then finally, we're going to want to re-examine our structure to make sure we pick the correct structure. So if we start to see that while these keywords have incredible volume and conversions for us and they're kind of pulling everything away from the other keywords in that campaign, you may move them over to their own dedicated campaign. Or move the long tail ones to a different campaign and manage them differently. Take a look back through the structure to see if it needs changes. It might not. It may need no change at all, just take a secondary look. And so these various stages of optimization, setting bids, bid modifiers, conducting ad tests, and then eventually conducting landing page tests, will let us continuously increase the account. But the problem is, this doesn't help you make these changes faster. So next we need to look at different ways of being able to drill down into the data necessary very quickly.

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