PPC has many components, and is constantly evolving with new technologies, feature improvements, and tactical tips.
Today, our recommendations focus on the following key concepts for a new perspective or next-level improvements.
- measurement: Conversion goals and tracking analytics.
- Automation: Smart settings management.
- Ad types: Ideas to try to improve.
- Targeting: Use of First Party Data.
Whether you’re looking for improvements to update your existing strategy or looking for entirely new ways to reach your audience, these PPC account areas are great to explore and focus on now.
1. Transfer procedures
Measuring current goals and key initiatives is the foundation for your PPC strategy.
As tracking in ad platforms and analytics platforms becomes more complex, the number and type of actions that advertisers can track increases.
Advertisers usually track multiple conversion actions per account.
For example, common PPC conversion goals include:
- Online contact forms.
- Request a quote or estimate.
- Phone calls: first time / repeat.
- Chat conversions.
- Location sharing.
- Local actions: directions.
- Offline conversions: corresponds to an ad click.
- Custom goals.
Do you measure everything you can measure?
We often forget to reassess our goals, especially when we’re down the road; The best time to start is now.
If you’re using Google Ads, importing goals from Google Analytics, and moving to GA4, read on to find your homework for the first half of the year.
2. PPC and GA4 ads
No matter where you are in your GA4 migration journey, there are some planning and preparation questions that need to be addressed:
- Determine what targets are in use.
- Are the goals tracked correctly?
- Do you want to use the same target or modify it?
If you are using Google Analytics and importing into Google Ads, you have to re-create it in GA4, then import the target again.
You must create a new conversion action, then select Import data from Google Analytics.
It is necessary to define the characteristics of Google Analytics 4 for this new conversion.
For other ad platforms, it will be necessary to create custom URLs by adding tracking parameters to the destination URL you use for ads.
Many marketers are big fans of this handy tool from Google to help out Create custom URLs.
Here are some winning pointers about this:
- Check to ensure that all destination URLs for other ad platforms contain additional tracking code, so you don’t miss any data.
- Create a standard form use/name for each parameter for each platform to maintain data consistency.
- Consolidate into reports using this powerful data.
3. Your automation man
While ad platforms continue to roll out automation options to simplify ad management, it’s not as easy as flipping a switch.
Human PPC managers must direct and control automation to get the most out of it.
For example, campaigns using Smart Bidding strategies that consider conversions should be monitored and adjusted from time to time to adjust for your target CPA or target ROAS.
Smart creatives, such as responsive search ads and responsive display ads, should be reviewed for performance on individual assets, which we’ll cover later in this post.
As part of your PPC strategy, define which components of your account can be automated, from bidding to designs to using scripts. Then evaluate and monitor the results.
You may want to compare previous “manual” campaigns on different data points.
4. Video ads
We’ve seen incredible growth in video ads in the past few years, yet it’s still an area that most advertisers haven’t jumped into yet.
Let’s look at two ways to test video with similar video assets and strategies.
YouTube video ads are now easier than ever to start testing. My beginner’s guide will hold your hand step by step on this journey.
This is also a great opportunity to gather data at scale on targeting and what creativity is successfully rolling out on other paid video ad platforms, such as Microsoft’s newly released Video Ads feature.
Microsoft video ads are now widely available and displayed on the Microsoft Audience Network.
What a great way to get into YouTube’s past, Microsoft shared a compelling post Video statistics That 39% of users watch videos on MSN but not YouTube.
5. Responsive display ads
Some advertisers have used display advertising as a key part of their pay-per-click platform strategy, either out of habit or a desire to control brand messaging.
Responsive display ads can provide better reach while simplifying the process of creating and receiving the brand messages advertisers want.
Besides simplifying the creative process, responsive display ads open up more inventory opportunities on the Display Network.
This is because they dynamically combine titles, descriptions, and images to “fit” whatever space on the web your audience is in.
By comparison, static display ads can only be shown in the exact ad space dimensions for which they were created.
Another advantage of responsive display ads is that they allow you to use Google Ads performance feedback to improve ad assets.
Responsive display ads can run alongside any display display ads, giving you a chance to test and compare reach and results.
6. Customer matching
Finding the right audience at the right time has been a mantra for many years, long before pay-per-click advertising platforms improved targeting on display networks.
With cookie suppression, first-party data is important to advertisers. Enter this underrated targeting strategy: customer match.
Using your own internal data (that customers have shared with you) enables you to reach them again – or target how your ads appear to be liked.
Upload a list of clients to the ads platform, and it will attempt to match those clients with known users.
The concept of Customer Match is available on almost all platforms, so your new strategies on how to slice, segment, and target messaging can be replicated.
One point to keep in mind is that the match rate on ad platforms will vary from around 30% to 60%, so keep expectations realistic.
The advertising platform will not be able to match every user on your list.
Additionally, our 9 Ways to Optimize Pay-Per-Click Campaigns With Customer Information would be a great complement to this targeting strategy.
The PPC strategies here are inspired by modern advertising techniques and some of the older ones that are overlooked not to be missed:
- measurement: Check your existing conversion goals and make sure you’ve upgraded them to GA4 if you’re using Google Analytics tracking.
- Automation: Decide which components of your account can be automated, from bidding to designs to using scripts and monitoring results.
- Ad types: Experiment with our recommended ad types to increase the performance of video and display networks that you may not be reaching right now.
- Targeting: Use first-party data to offset potential loss from cookie restrictions.
Take a look at this comprehensive summary of PPC features and improvements.
Another great SEM planning piece, which contains my favorite piece of advice, “Evaluate What You Don’t Do,” could keep us all busy for a year.
I wish you improvement!
- What PPC metrics should you focus on?
- The PPC Dilemma: Why Your Agency’s Growth Is Limited and How to Fix It
- PPC 101: A Complete Guide to the Basics of PPC Marketing
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