PPC Ninja Blog

5 Tips To Help You Optimize AdWords Campaigns

There are many strategies one can use to optimize a PPC campaign, here, I gathered for you 5 great tips you can use with nearly every strategy you’ll choose, and will probably improve your overall results.

1. Use math. It works better than your gut feelings.

Even if you didn’t like it that much in high school, being a PPC Manager, Math should become your best friend. Use simple calculations to optimize your bids and boost your ROI. For example:
Your CPL (Cost per Lead) Goal is $40 and you have a keyword that converts in $160. You don’t want to exclude or pause it, since it brings conversions. Yet, you’re losing money.
What should you do?

Adjust your bid so the keyword converts at your CPL Goal.
Let’s say that your Max CPC bid is $5 and your Avg. CPC is $4. If we rule out CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) and new ad copy, the only way to change your CPL is by adjusting the bids:

We’ll divide our CPL Goal by our actual CPL and multiply the result by the Max CPC.
40/160*5=1.25
If you need it for many keywords, you can download your data from AdWords and edit it using Excel as follows:

Excel Formula

At this point, you’ll get much less traffic from these keywords, but you’ll probably be at your CPL Goal

2. Use the right calculation to choose between 2 or more ads in an A/B Test:

The easiest and most accurate way to determine which of two ads can generate most Conversions is to multiply its CTR by its Conversion Rate.
We assume that we can’t generate more impressions for a keyword (although when we’re improving it’s CTR, theoretically we’ll have more impressions because our Quality Score will improve).

Example:
We have 2 ads, Ad1 has 5% CTR and 10% Conversion Rate and Ad2 has 7% CTR and 9% Conversion Rate. From here it’s very simple:
Ad1 score=5*10=50 and Ad2 score=7*9=63.

A small tip: the number we got from multiplying the CTR by the Conversion Rate tells us exactly how many Conversions we’ll have per 10K Impressions.

3. What to do when you see the message: “Limited by Budget” In one of your campaigns?

This message holds a great opportunity

Well, naturally, you can increase your budget and get more clicks in the same Avg. CPC, but have you ever consider decreasing your bids?
When this message appears, it says that yesterday we ran out of budget and missed impressions we could have. But another way to save budget is by decreasing our bid. We’ll pay less for every click and eventually will have more clicks for the same cost.

4. Things to check before you decide to raise the bid for a keyword that performs well.

Every campaign has a set of keywords that perform much better than the rest. In one of my campaigns I have a keyword that generates almost half of the conversions in about 40% of the average price. The natural thing to do is raise its bid so it’ll have more traffic, right? Not always… These two things must be checked before we raise any bid in our campaigns:

Avg. Position:

If a keyword has an average position of 1, it couldn’t get any higher so it’s just a waste to keep throwing your money on it.

Search Lost IS (rank):

That’s the cool one … This column lets you see how many impressions you lost due to your rank (A.K.A – the holly combination between your bid and the keyword’s Quality Score, which is 90% depends on the CTR).

If you didn’t lose any impressions and your average position is high enough, raising the bid won’t help you one bit.

5. Use the right time range.

Many times (especially in small accounts) it’s hard to find enough data to make a decision. But there is one thing worse than making a decision without data, it’s to base a decision on a 2 years old data.

No one can promise you that keywords, placements or any other targeting criteria that converted 2 years ago will keep converting. If you can’t wait until you have the data, try to use your logic and exclude words that are highly irrelevant (from the search term report) or placements that have nothing to do with your target audience (99% of the time, online gaming sites are eating a big part of your budget without you even realizing it because it spreads between a big number of sites)

In any case, keep an Excel with your current state so you can upload it again in case you were wrong…

If something wasn’t clear or if you have any questions, feel free to ask anything in the comments below, I promise to do my best to answer!

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About 
PPC Team Leader at a leading financial company, and author at PPCNinja Blog.

5 Comments

  1. Amit Bachbut

    December 7, 2015 - 2:28 AM
    Reply

    Great Post! Thanks for the great tips!

  2. Shuki Mann

    December 7, 2015 - 7:04 AM
    Reply

    Brilliant post Roy! Thanks for sharing

  3. Nir Ramati

    December 8, 2015 - 9:55 AM
    Reply

    Thanks for the advanced techniques

  4. Ami Shimkin

    December 9, 2015 - 5:21 AM
    Reply

    Hi Roy Great post – Thanks,
    On e question regarding #2 – I Understand that the combination you suggested will bring more converted leads but will it improve quality score? I know CTR is responsible for ~65% of the quality score so I guess we will get more leads but in a higher cost?

    • Roy Danino

      December 9, 2015 - 6:47 AM
      Reply

      As the CTR goes up, theoretically, the Quality Score should improve.
      That’s supposed to lower your costs.

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