As cash flow and economic concerns fluctuate, so may your budget for advertising. Big or frequent changes to monthly budgets could wreak havoc on your PPC campaign performance, affecting its efficiency and unfortunately, also wasting money at a time when every penny counts. Here are some tips to restructure and optimize your account to perform well at any spend level!
Start Strong with a Plan
What are your goals? What tools do you need to achieve them? For example, if your goal is to get more people to fill out a Contact form on your site, then you’ll need tracking on your site (like Google Analytics) that counts how many form fills you get. Google Analytics connects back to Google Ads and then you can optimize your ads to get more of those conversions.
Identify what success looks like for your Google Ads campaigns and then create the plan to make it happen. For more information on measuring your success, check this out.
Reach for the Low Hanging Fruit First
Some companies prefer not to advertise on their brand name because their organic listing and Google My Business profile are already visible on page 1 of SERPS (search engine results pages). But depending on the industry and competition, you may have competitors running paid ads with your brand as the targeted keyword – showing up high in SERPS and potentially stealing business. For this reason, I encourage all businesses to include a “Brand” campaign.
After Google has time to collect data on your active campaigns, check your “Auction Insights” for the ad groups in the “Brand” campaign. If there is any competition there, then you want to leave that active so you can push your competitors down the page and not lose business to them. If there’s no competition, you can pause it, or just decrease the bids or budget to limit your spending on that campaign, but leave it active so you can check back in on the “Auction Insights” later.
Utilize Multiple Touchpoints in the Lower Funnel
Long-Tail Keywords and Geo-Specific Keywords
Your “Brand” campaign is connecting with people who are already familiar with your company and thus most likely to convert. If we work our way back up the sales funnel from there, we want to make sure we interact with those in the consideration stage, which is still considered “lower funnel”. This is best done with long-tail keywords and geo-specific keywords.
For best results, break out each modification of a main keyword into its own adgroup and add in similar variations.
The more specific you can be in your targeted keywords, the more specific your ads will be, which leads to a higher quality score and allows you to have a lower cost-per-click (CPC). This creates a better opportunity for conversions at a lower cost-per-acquisition (CPA).
For example, if you are advertising a senior living center in Atlanta that specializes in active lifestyles and independent living, you may have an Independent Living – Geo campaign and ad groups in that campaign might be Independent Living – Buckhead if your location is in that area. Your keywords might include “independent senior living apartments in Buckhead” which is much more specific than “senior living Atlanta.” You have a better chance of connecting with the most relevant searches that way because Atlanta is huge, and one side of it could be hours away from the other side of it depending on traffic.
There is also the likelihood of high competition for more general terms, meaning your clicks and conversions will be much more expensive if you bypass neighborhoods and residential areas and go straight to metro city names, such as “senior living Atlanta”.
Utilize Multiple Touchpoints in the Upper Funnel
Generic or Educational Campaigns
After you’ve thoroughly covered your brand name and lower funnel keywords, then you can add in upper funnel campaigns with more generic search terms that will capture casual browsers and those maybe just starting to educate themselves or research a topic relevant to your company. This is where the search for “senior living Atlanta” comes in. Just ensure it’s done with purpose.
You should regularly look through the search terms that are captured in generic campaigns and weed out irrelevant searches by adding them as negative keywords. Then look through relevant searches for more ideas for your lower-funnel campaigns. Maybe you notice a lot of searches for “senior living communities in Atlanta that allow pets” and your facility accommodates that. If it’s relevant, then break that out into a campaign targeting high-demand amenities with customized ads for each ad group detailing those amenities.
The work may be tedious and detailed, but the result is an incredibly efficient strategy that can operate with a reduced budget (pull back to brand and lower funnel only) or accommodate a broad strategy to permeate the market and increase awareness (enable everything including upper funnel). If the task seems daunting, ask EVG for help with your PPC strategy! Our experts are passionate about maximizing the impact of your budget and optimizing accounts to achieve your goals.