There are a never-ending number of tasks needed for successful PPC workflow. Sometimes it feels like there is too much to do and too little time to do it. Establishing a routine for PPC optimization helps calm the chaos. Supercharge your PPC workflow with these daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks.
Daily tasks should be done even on your busiest days. If you have meetings most of the day, do these items first.
- Check performance on all accounts, first thing, and put out fires. Don’t let anomalies go by more than a day without investigating them.
- Budget pacing. We’ve all heard stories about a monthly budget being blown in a day. Don’t let this happen to you. And be sure to check for any budget-limited campaigns where you might be able to increase your budget, if possible, for more conversions.
- Social PPC performance check. Update promoted posts, and pause underperforming posts or ads. Also pause posts that are old or outdated. A current social PPC campaign is a successful one.
Set aside time each week for digging into deeper optimization tactics. If you’re managing high-volume campaigns, you may need to do some of these tasks two to three times per week or even daily.
- Search query reports and keyword research. Keeping your keywords, both positive and negative, up to date is crucial for optimum performance. Also take a look at your match types to make sure they make sense.
- Ad test review (for high-volume accounts or campaigns). Look at the ads in any campaigns with thousands of clicks and hundreds of conversions per week. Pause losers and start new tests.
- Quality score review. Take a hard look at keywords with quality scores of 3 or worse. If they’re not generating conversions at a good cost, pause them. If the keywords are performing ok, look for ways to improve your quality score.
- Week-over-week performance comparison. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds of PPC. Come up to a higher level by reviewing overall week-over-week performance. Set up an automated report in either your bid management platform, or from the search engines, to see how things are trending.
- Display network placement review. If you’re running display network ads, chances are you have new and low-performing placements serving your ads. Exclude them. (For high-volume display campaigns, you may need to do this daily.)
- Device performance review. Segment your results by device to see if any bid modifiers need to be adjusted.
- Read PPC blogs and/or listen to PPC podcasts. Search is an ever-changing field. Step away for even a month or two and you’re already behind the curve. Reading blogs and news sites will help you stay up to date on the latest news. I also like to listen to PPC podcasts such as PPC Rockstars and Marketing Nirvana to hear tips and thought leadership from industry experts.
Agency PPC managers are no doubt familiar with creating monthly reports for clients. But reporting isn’t the only task you should be doing on a monthly basis. Each month, do a deep dive on key PPC metrics.
- Strategy and goals check. We include a statement of goals and strategy in every monthly report we provide to clients. This not only reminds the client of campaign goals, but helps refocus the PPC manager on what’s important.
- Overall performance review. This sounds like a monthly report, and in many ways, it is. Step back and review account and campaign performance, comparing it with previous months. This will give you a roadmap for optimization in the upcoming months.
- Ad test analysis. Review ad copy tests, pause losers and start new tests. Take note of tests that don’t have enough data for statistical significance, so you can look at them next month.
- Remarketing audience performance review. Are your remarketing audiences performing the way you expected? Do you need to create new audiences or refine existing audiences?
- Social PPC audience performance review. How are your social PPC audiences performing? Do you need to refine them based on results?
- Check ad extensions. Do you have outdated sitelinks running, or campaigns without sitelinks that should have them? What about call extensions, location extensions, review extensions, callout extensions?
- Geo-targeting review. Are all your geographic bid modifiers and settings correct? Are there geographies you should bid up or exclude based on performance?
- Dayparting review. If you’re using dayparting, review the settings to ensure you’re meeting goals. If you’re not using dayparting, review performance by day of week and by hour to see if dayparting can boost your performance.
Every quarter, set aside time to look at long-term goals and analysis for your PPC campaigns.
- Overall business review. Are your PPC efforts meeting overall goals? Has anything changed in your (or your client’s) business that warrants a shift in PPC strategy? Are there new initiatives, such as remarketing, RLSAs, or social PPC you’d like to test? Look at what’s coming up over the next several months and plan for it.
- Projections. Some clients want projections weekly or monthly; others don’t need them at all. Even if no one is asking for projections, it’s a good idea to do this exercise quarterly to help establish performance goals.
- Ad test deep dive. Take a look at your ad tests in detail. Are there headlines or elements that seem to be performing best? Are there low-traffic ad groups that may reach critical mass if you look at a quarter’s worth of data? Any new concepts you want to test?
- Landing page review and creation. Make sure all of your landing pages are still applicable (and still work!). Navigate through the pages, including testing any conversion forms or actions to make sure the flow works properly. Does it make sense to create new landing pages based on PPC results? Anything new you’d like to test? For very high traffic accounts, you may need to do this monthly rather than quarterly.
Every year, take time to review your personal goals as a PPC manager. What new skills do you want to learn? What did you do well this year? What search conferences do you want to attend in the upcoming year? Spending time thinking about individual goals will not only prepare you for your annual performance review, but also help you become a better PPC manager.
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