October 10, 2018 | Sarah Danks

Optimizing Your Text Ads

With pay-per-click (PPC), we’re always testing, tweaking and optimizing accounts to perform their best. Which keywords convert the most visitors? Which landing page layout works best? And which ad copy is the most effective?

This little workout is a simple PPC management routine involving your ads.

PPC campaigns can be time-consuming, especially since we search marketers love data and can easily get bogged down in the minutiae of day-to-day management details.

That’s why it’s important to focus on streamlining the process: work on a little bit each day (or every few days; whichever your management allotment — and budget — allows) to chip away at myriad tasks you need to perform for each account.

Multiple Ads = Multiple Options

In regards to ad copy, you should have focused ad groups that revolve around a handful of keywords. This way you can write ads that are very niched to specific keywords, versus writing general ads that need to cover a wide variety of terms.

Of course, you never write just one ad per ad group; you want at least two — and ideally a handful — for testing purposes. The first ad you write isn’t necessarily going to be the one that yields the most leads. It’s almost a never-ending process determining the best ad copy for users.

Ideally you’d start out with three to four ads per ad group, with enough variations in the ad copy to make them unique. What you want to do is let the ads run and gather some click-through data, and then you can start weeding out the under-performing ad copy so the other ads can keep growing and thriving.

How To Determine Under-performing Ad Copy

Now, there are a couple of different ways you can determine ad performance. If you have clients who only care about sheer visitor volume, then you need to focus your efforts on ads with the best CTR. Each week can you zip into the AdWords UI and pause the ads with the lowest CTR.

To keep testing, write a new ad that deviates slightly from your highest-performing ad and the process repeats itself.

If, however, you have clients that are interested in lead generation, you need to pause those ads that aren’t leading to conversions, regardless of click-through-rate. The same process applies: each week you pause the ads with the lowest conversion rate, and write a new ad (or ads) with copy that’s similar to your highest-performing ad copy.

pause under-performing adwords ads

In this case, you’d axe the first ad (obviously), as well as the third. Keep the second and fourth and write more ad copy similar to those two (if you’re optimizing for conversions).

Sometimes it’s not quite so cut-and-dried as the above example, so you might need to do some math. Here’s an example of how to weed out the under-performing ads when it seems all the ads are converting:

  • Ad #1 — 2000 impressions, 200 clicks, 10% CTR, 6% conversion rate = 12 conversions
  • Ad #2 — 2000 impressions, 120 clicks, 6% CTR, 12% conversion rate = 14.4 conversions
  • Ad #3 — 2000 impressions, 60 clicks, 3% CTR, 15% conversion rate = 9 conversions

Which one of these would you keep and create more ads off of? Based off conversion data, you’d keep Ad #2. Why?

Because even though it doesn’t have the highest CTR or highest conversion rate, it produces the highest return on conversions.

It’s a pretty basic concept, but just one quick way to get in and do some PPC management on a weekly basis. Of course, it’s not just all about the ad copy — don’t forget to pay attention to how your keywords are performing.

Keywords are, of course, what trigger the ads, so you want the right keywords to bring in qualified traffic.

Don’t forget to manage your negative keywords, too!

There’s a LOT to know when you’re attempting to grow your pay-per-click campaign — be sure to look at everything as it works together; don’t focus on just one thing.







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