With 2018 fast approaching a lot of us are preparing for some well deserved time off or maybe preparing for a holiday over the festive period. Others, on the other hand, have prepared or are preparing to hit 2018 head-on by providing their campaign with an ‘MOT’ and we’re going to explain why these types of self-audits need to be performed on a regular basis.
By working agency side with a solid team and with the huge range of clients we work with, we have the resources to monitor and audit our campaigns consistently through the year, however, others may see Christmas as a perfect opportunity to audit your account as generally, particularly for B2B companies, things slow down in the run-up to Christmas.
You could literally sink hours into running reports and analysing the most granular pieces of data available (yeah, we know it’s hard not to) but when it comes to this auditing period you should rewind, step back, to look at the account from the ground up and this could be with the most basic of settings.
Take a look at your Ad rotation and your automation settings – are there any quick wins that may have been overlooked during the time that has elapsed since your last audit? It sounds extremely simple – because it is – but it’s so easy to forget about the simplest of checks/changes whilst trying to properly optimise your PPC campaigns performance.
There are other areas you can look at – are you running accelerated delivery so that you’re using your budget early? Is this positive performance or could it potentially be harmful to your campaigns?
A return to the roots and fundamentals of your campaign at regular intervals is one of the biggest pieces of advice that an account manager can take onboard.
Many years ago, automation was a little ‘taboo’ in the industry but the truth is that if you’re not capitalising on the bid strategies that are available to us then you are certainly going to be receiving less than optimal performance. Machine learning technology, in the simplest way possible, will always beat a human in terms of speed of analysis. While you’re running reports and monitoring trends – the algorithm would be ten steps ahead of you.
You may want to run a ROAS strategy to try to maintain strict guidelines in terms of cost for revenue to maintain profitability or you may want to run a target CPA campaign as you know that if you receive a lead for £40 on average then you maintain profitability. These types of situations are exactly the reason why automation has been introduced and with careful and intelligent optimisation and analysis working alongside the automation, you can see extremely positive results from it.
A complete balance of PPC automation and PPC management is required and they both work perfectly with each other when it’s done correctly. A campaign should not, in the current climate, be fully automated nor should it be completely manual and which automation you require is down to personal targets and preference but it will harm you if you don’t explore the options available.
Another fundamental step that gets overlooked is the refreshing of your ad copy and keyword grouping. Regularly optimising your campaign is a given with account managers but looking at the way you approach and group your keywords is essential to success.
The first step you should take is looking at the keyword grouping and organisation. Are your ad groups a little too granular or are they bursting at the seams with unorganised keywords?
Now is the time for you to take stock and re-evaluate as you have been maintaining growth by introducing new keywords, but are they organised in the absolutely best way possible?
So much can change in such little time – have you introduced new services or bolt-ons? Maybe you have a completely new range that hasn’t been implemented correctly and you need to freshen it up?
Different campaign types are also applicable here – are there any new opportunities to increase your scope and branch out into other campaigns and build on any foundations you have already?
In summary, there are 100’s of changes that you can make and analysis procedures that become extremely technical. But going back to the foundations and ensuring that your house is being built correctly is one of the most important steps and we advise everyone to dive into your campaigns and give them a health check in preparation for the new year.