Historical performance data gives pay per click (PPC) managers insight into what keywords, ads, and targeting are working effectively. It’s their job to then control the budget accordingly using this valuable information. But what about new PPC accounts, or even new products or services where you don’t have as much data or information to draw from? We can utilize previous knowledge and experience in the industry, or bid simulators via Adwords, but what works for some companies may not work for the same for others, even within the same industry. This can be due to a number of different variables such as landing page quality, geographical area, and so much more.
Here are 5 tactics you can use in order to manage the budget like a pro for a brand new PPC account:
- If you have access to Google Analytics, use it!
Google Analytics will give you a bird’s eye view of how people are coming to your site organically (or in other words, from an SEO perspective). You can often see which keywords are drawing people to the website and create your PPC account based on this information.
- Adjust keyword bids.
Although this may seem like an obvious point, it’s a must when launching a new account. We have an idea of the range at which the bids should start, but we don’t really know where bids will start falling until clicks start coming in. Examine your campaign closely in the first few months and make bid-adjustments accordingly. You may even set bid adjustment rules to target your ads to show up at a certain position on the page. Even better, you can set a maximum price you are willing to pay for that particular targeted position.
- Modify keyword match types.
If budget is really tight, you can focus on exact match keywords or phrase match keywords to hone in on the most relevant searches. If you find that exact and phrase match is a little too restrictive, incorporate modified broad, and try to stay away from broad match as much as possible. Continue to add negative keywords as your historical data builds. This will save a lot of money on wasted clicks.
- Rethink keyword strategy.
Consider changing your keyword strategy once you have a little bit of data. “Long-tail” keywords are usually extremely specific and less expensive, giving you the biggest bang for your buck. At the same time, you want to make sure you have enough volume and exposure without limiting yourself too much. Usually PPC managers will have to strike the right balance between both to be the most effective.
- Adjust location settings as needed.
Where are your geographic “hot spots”? Can you solely focus on cities or neighborhoods where the bulk of your business is coming from? You can even exclude towns within your targeted area that you know will not be the most profitable. Within the first few weeks of launching, you can look to see what areas are converting best, and focus on that location. To further maximize your budget, you can even increase or decrease your bids for specific neighborhoods.
Launching new PPC accounts with no historical PPC data takes a little courage, time, and patience. By keeping these strategies in mind and examining the results immediately, you can fine-tune your strategy accordingly. Every penny counts, so it’s important to manage the budget like a pro, even right from the beginning.