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One of the most common blunders of PPC is over management—making so many changes that you don’t give any change a chance to have an effect or making so many changes that it’s impossible to make definitive conclusions. Following the schedule below allows me to prevent myself from over-managing and ensures that I keep abreast of trends and regular maintenance. Change the schedule as you see fit but still make sure you run these reports. They’re important—for your sanity and the healthy of your account!
Ad Copy: Check to make sure CTRs are healthy. Pause under-performers. Run new test in their place. Have no more than 3 ads running per ad group. If it’s a busy week, I will leave ad groups with healthy CTR alone—no testing; if I have time, I will try to improve on them. I don’t make any decisions on results until there are at least 500 impressions on an ad. The impressions your account receives will determine if this will be a weekly or bi-weekly task.
Reduce Keyword Bloat: (Done before adding any new KWs for the month) Import previous month’s data into Editor. View all keywords at the account level. Sort by impressions. Delete low impression keywords. What “low impression” means depends on your industry’s volume. I usually start with keywords with less than 30 impressions a month since it means that that keyword gets less than one search a day. Lower search volume accounts will have a lower threshold. I leave low volume keywords with clicks >1 alone.
I do a similar exercise for high volume keywords with no clicks, since these words decrease overall CTR and thus, quality score.
NOTE: It is important to understand the order in which you do this work. If you remove bad volume keywords AFTER adding new ones through the search query report (below) you will have a hard time sorting and figuring out which words are bad in volume versus just recently added. For simplicity’s sake, always reduce keyword bloat first!
Search Query Report: Automatically schedule to run the first day of each month for the previous month’s search queries. I use this report to add keywords, upgrade match types to phrase and/or exact, and add negative keywords.
Day Parting/ “Ad Scheduling” Report: If I use day parting in an account, I will check the previous months day part trends to the previous 3 month’s average to see if there are any shifts in CTR, CPC, CPA, or Conversion Rate. I do this for both Day of Week and Hour of Day. I take this information into consideration for the coming month’s management. Rarely will I make a change unless there is a serious shift or a shift trend I have noticed month-over-month. I try not to make changes until I see data from the Quarterly Day Part Report.
Impression Share Report: More informational than anything, I use this to see what the search volume of the market was like for the previous month and what slice we got. If slice was low/high, I investigate why.
Day Parting/ “Ad Scheduling” Report: If I use day parting in an account, I will check the previous 3 month’s averages to see if my current day part scenario is the best. If hourly or daily trends have changed, I adjust the account accordingly. When this report is scheduled, it trumps the Monthly Day Part Report.
Ad Group Report: (For accounts that max out on budget each month, I do this monthly. On accounts with unlimited budget, I do this quarterly.) Import previous 3 months worth of data into Editor. At the campaign level, sort ad groups by cost/conversion. Ad groups with no conversions or high CPA get paused or noted as areas of needed work. Repeat offender ad groups get paused indefinitely. Sometimes if I feel an ad group might be getting a bad rap, I go deeper into the ad group’s keywords to see if I can find specific offenders that are bringing the whole ad group down. I either delete or pause. If I delete, this keywords becomes an ad group negative.
Overall this should keep your PPC account trim and healthy, worthy of high impressions and quality score. I schedule these in Outlook so that getting them done is a no-brainer. I suggest you do the same.