Sometimes as a paid search campaign manager, you get to a point with a campaign where you’ve done a really strong job with all of your standard “blocking and tackling.” You’re managing bids efficiently, your campaign structure is solid, you’ve effectively refined your match type strategy, you’ve done a thorough job of researching keywords, and you’ve put in place processes to consistently mine search queries and optimize ad text and landing pages.
Frequently, a logical next step is to look to drive more leads by expanding to new keywords and new campaigns. But the reality is that in a lot of niches, you’ll wind up driving a lot of your account’s volume (and spending a lot of your cost) on your biggest campaign or couple of campaigns, even after you’ve exhausted several expansion opportunities.
So in this post we’ll walk through five ways to get more efficiency out of your largest campaigns once you’ve gotten the basics down.
1. Day Parting
Day parting can offer you insight into times of day and days of the week when your campaign is more or less efficient. The dimensions tab is your friend here: you can pull reports for hour of the day and isolate under- and over-performers:
Under advanced settings in your campaign settings, you can then adjust the way your bids are allocated across days of the week or times of day:
Similar to day parting, geo-targeting is a tactic that can have a big impact on high-volume groups, and is a great “phase two” optimization to leverage once you’ve executed against the basics.
Simply select the “geographic” view in the dimensions tab and you’ll get a similar break-down to the report above:
From there, you can use our in-depth guide to Geo-Targeting with AdWords and to find out how to execute against the data you’ve analyzed, excluding locations that are underperforming.
Another area to analyze is networks. This means jumping in to the networks tab and looking at the breakdown of:
- Search Networks
- Google Search
- Search Partners
- Display Networks
- Managed Placements
- Automatic Placements
Once you take a look at your data here you can find more efficiency by executing tasks like turning off search partners if that distribution option is inefficient, better tuning your automatic placements if that’s been inefficient, or splitting out managed and automatic placement campaigns to treat them differently and manage them separately (unfortunately while you can run Google Search only campaigns, you still can’t create a separate campaign to target only search partners within AdWords).
4. Ad Extensions
Lots of posts (whether they be about getting more volume out of the content network or underused and hard-to-find AdWords features) talk about ad extensions as a great way to generate more volume from your PPC campaigns, and they’re absolutely right! By leveraging any of a number of different ad extension formats, you can dramatically increase CTR across your ads on the AdWords platform.
5. Campaign Settings
We’ve already showed you a few ways that specific reports can lead to modifications you’ll want to make within AdWords campaign settings, but ultimately the settings tab is home to a variety of different optimization opportunities including:
- Language Settings (which can lead to triple-digit increases in clicks and conversions)
- Devices (similar to networks, you can choose to serve ads only on certain devices; this can have a major impact on campaigns as well)
- Ad Delivery Settings (such as rotate versus optimize and the decision to leverage the new optimize for conversions setting)
- Frequency Capping (in many instances switching to the accelerated setting here can allow you to see opportunities to bid and budget more effectively to capture the maximum amount of qualified traffic for your campaign)
For more on AdWords campaign settings our friends at PPC Hero have a great in-depth guide.