Oftentimes we end up engaging with a new client after a well meaning online marketer has provided some type of free audit for their website, SEO, Analytics, or Paid Search.
With PPC, it really isn’t rocket science to get started with an AdWords account. So let’s set the stage for how the need for a PPC audit comes into existence….
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Starts Out Innocently
In a company not too far, far away, someone in the organization is tech savvy. A higher up says, “Hey, you get all this internet stuff. Can you make us appear at the top of Google?”
This opens the door to the self-managed account. Tech savvy employee gets a Gmail account and follows the AdWords prompts. Tech savvy figures it out.
“I need a campaign name so I’ll call that Campaign #1.”
“Oh I need an ad group so let’s call that Ad Group #1.”
“Google is saying call it that so it must be right.”
“Now I need some keywords. OK, what do we sell..?”
Here Comes Trouble
Here’s where it heads a little south… a smorgasbord of broad match keywords get dropped into Ad Group #1 with an irrelevant ad that sends people to the home page. Sure, people might click on the ad and visit the site… but then, nothing.
Google wants people to have a good user experience so they will send tech savvy employee suggestions on how to make the campaign hum! These are actually suggestions on how you can give Google more money. I’m not knocking Google. Let’s face it, they figured out how to monetize the click of a mouse. Rather brilliant.
Eventually the call comes in. “Can you take a look at our PPC campaigns, it’s just not doing what we want, and we can’t quite figure it out.”
A truly effective PPC audit provides insight to what you may be doing right and how to make those “right” things work even better. It should also provide you with a list of best practices and how to implement those changes in your account. In part 1 of this PPC audit series, we’ll cover the harmony of keywords, ad copy, and landing page.
The problem with a smorgasbord of keywords is not the keywords themselves. Imagine if you went to a buffet and all the different types of foods were heaped together on a big table with a little sign that said “FOOD”.
Not too appetizing, not distinguishable, not even sure what you may be getting.
However, if each one of those meals was placed on its own plate or catering pan and had a little sign in front of it saying what it is…. well then, now we’re talking! Voila! Genius! Again, not rocket science.
This is what Google, and users, really want from us – sound structure and good organization. Keywords that are similar in meaning or topic ought to be grouped together into an Ad Group.
PPC Ad Groups
An ad group with similar keywords can now have a relevant ad pertaining to just those keywords. We could commit an entire blog post to ad copy, but for the sake of brevity, your ad copy ought to answer some of these questions:
- What pain are you relieving for the searcher?
- What benefit are you providing?
- Have you given them a call to action?
- Are some of the keywords in your ad copy?
- Or are you using dynamic keyword insertion?
The last part of your all important equation of keyword = ad copy = ??? ….. is landing page.
Your landing page must match your ad copy and the keywords in that ad group. If someone is looking for black formal shoes for men, then give this to them. After qualifying searchers with your matching long tail keyword and ad copy promoting a special deal on black formal shoes for men, you need to get them to a landing page that clearly reflects that special deal on black formal shoes for men. Not white canvas sneakers. Simple fix, right? So don’t just say “shoes” to get as many clicks as possible but no conversions.
Of course, many other pieces and best practices make up a complete PPC Audit. Keywords in an ad group, an ad group with relevant ad copy for those keywords, and a matching landing page for that ad copy – these all MUST work harmoniously.
Remember, the smorgasbord of keywords is not so much a problem unless you serve them altogether in the same place at the same time. Each meal (similar meaning keywords) is best served on its own plate (ad group) making its own presentation (ad copy & landing page).
In part 2 of “When is it Time for a PPC Audit”, we’ll cover campaign settings.
Need help with your PPC campaign? Call us at (443) 475-0787 or Contact Us online.