Following strategy and implementation, the next stage is optimisation. A perpetual process of test, measure and refine is essential to drive progress. Please note that the below examples are not exhaustive.
To optimise a PPC campaign correctly a deep understand of all available metrics and how the impact one another is essential. By studying these metrics regularly we can decide which metrics to target in order to positively affect campaign performance.
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
Whilst acquisitions is a key metric, we understand they cannot come at any price. Cost per Acquisition is also a key metric for most advertisers and should of course be profitable and in order to achieve this a process must be adhered to.
CPA is a result of the performance of several key metrics. Positively influencing these key metrics results in CPA improvements:
- Cost per click (CPC): Positively impacting CPC’s can have a significant affect on CPA and there are a number of ways we can achieve this.
- Raising / Lowering Bids: Maximum CPC’s will directly affect CPA but it’s important to note that a stated maximum CPA is not the actual cost per click you’ll pay. The actual CPC is based on a number of factors including performance history, quality score and factors such as bids from other advertisers.
As part of our optimisation process we carefully consider what reaction any bid adjustment may occur.
A higher bid does not always result in a higher a CPA. If a higher bid results in better positioning and performance of an advert leading to a higher conversion rate, it’s possible to have a lower CPA from a higher maximum CPC.
- Where budget limited campaigns are concerned, increasing bids will likely elevate CPA’s and reduce the overall number of acquisitions.
- Where budget isn’t limited, a higher bid which results in a higher position may lead to more clicks (and higher CTR) due to increased visibility.
It’s important with any campaign to strive for the most relevant impressions. Impressions from irrelevant searches lead to wasted clicks and ad spends and the primary way we control this is by adding negative keywords.
- Adding negative keywords increases impressions as they limited the number of search terms your ads are eligible to show for. The result of this is ads showing for proportionally more relevant terms leading to a higher quality of visitor due to increased relevance.
- Raising or lowering CPC’s (as mentioned above) can also affect impressions: A higher bid leads to higher ad positioning and more impressions and vice versa.
- Devices: Controlling bids and preference for mobile and desktop devices can also affect impressions. We may reduce impressions from mobile devices by adding negative bid adjustments for example.
- Match Types: Targeting keywords with more precise match types will also affect impressions – in fact reduce them. Broad match keywords will receive a higher number if impressions compared to phrase, exact and broad match modified keywords.
- Overall Budget: An increase or decrease in daily budget will affect impressions proportionally.
Click Through Rate (CTR)
Click through rate can be affected in a number of ways:
- Reducing impressions (by adding negative keywords) can lead to increased click through rates.
- Ad copy improvements: Making adverts more compelling and qualifying traffic will lead to increased CTR.
- Additional keyword optimisation / ad group splitting: By creating more ads which more closely represent a given keyword increases relevance and thus can lead to increased CTR’s
- Ad Extensions: Adding highly relevant Call outs, Site Links and other extensions can positively affect CTR.
- Bid Prices: Increasing bid prices can lead to higher ad positioning and higher CTR’s.
- Quality Score Improvements: Increasing quality score can lead to higher positions without an increase in bid prices and yield higher CTR’s.
Converting more of the traffic you receive is a sure fire way to decrease CPA. How a visitor progresses through the websites conversion funnel is a key metric to understanding what factors both positively and negatively affect conversion rate.
Whilst the above PPC metrics can contribute to a websites conversion rate, how visitors interact with your website is hugely important.
- Increasing / improving calls to action and displaying them more prominently can lead to more acquisitions . Optimisations such as simply repositioning a telephone number can lead to increased
- Increasing landing page relevance: Ensuring visitors land on highly relevant landing pages relating to their search query can have a significant impact on conversion rate.
- Simplifying the conversion funnel: Removing conversion steps and streamline the check out process (in the case of E-Commerce websites) can increase the rate of conversion from existing traffic.
- Converting Keywords: We know it’s not possible to have 100% of keywords converting 100% of the time but we can take steps to maximise the likelihood of a conversion. Ensuring we maintain a list of converting keywords is the most obvious step but removing troublesome keywords which convert poorly may lead to a higher proportional conversion rate. Caution should always be applied here: Keywords should be permitted to incur enough cost to give them the opportunity to convert before they are discounted.
- Ad Testing: A constant multi-variant testing process is essential to pushing up conversion rates. We regularly A:B test varying ad headlines, description lines and even display URLs to test new combinations and observe changes in performance.