This post is sponsored by Adzooma. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the sponsor.
Running paid campaigns is a lot like driving a car: it starts out overwhelming, but quickly becomes fun and second nature.
The key to unlocking PPC account management is to cut down on the workflow, but there are a few common pitfalls:
- Analysis paralysis.
- Using the wrong metrics to guide improvement efforts.
- There is no test.
- Do everything manually.
Do you want to avoid these pitfalls and improve your PPC workflow?
This article will show you how. The secret is to look at paid campaigns holistically.
Overcoming analysis paralysis
Analysis paralysis is the inability to act in the interest of the account due to fear of insufficient data. It often stems from a lack of confidence in the amount/authenticity of a person’s data.
Campaign learning periods last from 7 to 14 days in best conditions:
- You trust your conversions.
- Budgets and bids do not limit size.
- You are not in a restricted industry..
If your campaigns have been running for at least a long time, chances are you’ll have some data to go with. Some brands will have less data due to the budget/scope of the campaign, and as long as you have at least 1000 impressions you should be able to act.
On the flip side, you don’t want to get used to making a lot of changes. Campaigns need their learning period. Daily performance often leads to false positives/negatives.
Consider scheduling a “check-in” of your campaigns once a week to review them for success/opportunities for improvement.
Use the right metrics to guide improvement
Understanding what’s going on in your campaigns is key to confidently owning your workflow.
Metrics can be divided into:
- directional: You have to do something based on it.
- KPI: This metric directly affects campaign and business success.
- ego: It’s nice to have/know, but ultimately not incredibly important for business or success.
Depending on the campaign objective and ad channel, certain metrics will change categories.
For example, a search campaign is more focused on conversions/impression share/CPA vs customer value, while a display campaign is more focused on impressions/brand optimization/audience development.
It is important to keep in mind the standards for each channel. The CTR of the video campaign should be lower than the search campaign, while the CPC should be higher on the search side.
Build in profitable test
Testing will always pose some degree of risk. Not testing will eventually lead to stagnation and entropy.
Tests need controls and variables. Once you have decided what you are going to test, be sure to set success and failure criteria.
The success measures and strategic objectives of the campaign should be agreed upon across your team. If goals are constantly changing to accommodate new initiatives, you won’t be able to deliver meaningful testing.
Make sure you have budgeted at least 1-2 months for testing (depends on traffic). It is just as irresponsible to ask a smaller brand to get 10,000 sessions in a 30-day period, just as it would be irresponsible for a larger brand to test 1-2 days later. Determine how long it takes you to run your test against the amount of natural traffic for your brand.
Pick a key campaign component each quarter and stick to that variable. If you’re testing creatives, make sure your landing pages and campaign structure are the same. Campaign structure changes should have consistent creativity.
Boring work automation
The biggest area to improve your PPC workflow is automating tasks that you don’t enjoy or take too long to complete. Automating these tasks will free up time to focus on more profitable activities.
Opting into native ad automation (Smart Bidding, auto-applied creatives, etc.) can save time and improve performance. It can also lead budgets/branding astray, so it’s important to make sure conversion tracking is working before you turn on native automation.
Screenshot from Adzooma, Opportunities, October 2021
Creating the best PPC workflow takes time. It is as much art as it is science.
While there are some standard best practices you can implement, it takes a lot to understand how to process information and what tasks are best for you.
- Create time for learning periods in all campaigns you launch or edit.
- Do not indulge yourself in daily analysis, as this may lead to false positive or negative results.
- Automate tasks you don’t enjoy or don’t have time to do, so your brain can focus on the most strategically valuable tasks.
It might make sense to build tools like Adzooma into a PPC workflow or format manually.
Featured image: Adzooma image. Used with permission.