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PPC Task Checklist For Account Success

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When I first began learning pay per click let’s just say I was a little confused, okay incredibly overwhelmed, by all that I had to learn. Bid changes, keyword additions, something called DKI… not only did I have to learn what each of these ppc terms meant but I also had to learn how often to do each task. Luckily I had a great trainer who created a PPC task checklist to help ease me into the pay per click world.

I’m no longer a PPC newbie, but I still use the list when I plan out my schedule for each month. Whether you are new to PPC management, or been have been running accounts for awhile but like to have a reminder of regular tasks you should be doing, this PPC task checklist is for you.

Weekly PPC Tasks

Project Performance. Project the performance of your account to see if you are over or under goals and adjust accordingly. The two metrics I focus on with my accounts are spend and conversions. If I am projected over spend, I know I have to decrease keyword bids.

Display network review. Exclude placements that have spent a lot of money without converting. If you have placements where you are performing well or converting for a high CPL, consider adding them to management placements to bid separately.

Bid Changes. Adjust bids on keywords that are generating the most of your daily spend, converting but in lower positions, spending without converting, converting above CPL.

Check Budgets. Run a report for the past seven days to see if spend is hitting your daily budget. Re-allocate budgets accordingly, giving a larger portion to higher converting campaigns.

Pause Underperforming Keywords. Pause keywords that have spent without converting or have a low CTR and could harm account performance and lower Quality Score.

Bi-Weekly PPC Tasks

Negative Keyword Additions. Run an SQR to find irrelevant search terms you can add into your account. Eliminating these keywords will increase CTR by preventing unqualified traffic from seeing or clicking your ad.  You may want to do this weekly for newer accounts until you build up a solid negative keyword list.

Keyword Expansion. Use SQRs, keyword tools, and monitor the competition for potential keyword additions. If a certain search term is converting, or you start seeing keywords appearing again and again, build out new ad groups and test.

Ad Review. Pause underperforming ads and write new ads to test. You should be testing at least two ads per ad group at all times. Make sure you have gathered enough impressions data to truly evaluate performance.

Impression Share Report. If your Exact Impression Share is low, consider either increasing your budget, tightening up your match types, pausing less targeted keywords or a combination of the above.

Monthly Tasks

Check Campaign Settings. Look at the settings of each of your account’s campaigns once a month to make sure they are correct. Check that you’re targeting the correct locations, languages, networks, and devices. You make a lot of changes to your account in a month, and it’s much easier that you’d think to accidentally select the wrong setting.

Landing Page Review. Run a Destination URL report to see if you have any weak performing landing pages that can be removed in order to devote more traffic to top performing pages. Create new landing page variations based off of the top performing pages to continue testing. Test different form lengths, copy, images, headlines, etc.

Monthly Keyword Comparison. Run a monthly keyword report to identify any major changes that have occurred and compare the performance to previous months. This is also the only way to have a record of a keyword’s quality score as past quality score is not available in AdWords.

Bi-Monthly Tasks

Geotargeting. Run a Geographic report to determine locations where performance is above or below average. Consider excluding poor performing locations or breaking out campaigns to better target different areas.

Day Parting. Look at performance by day of week and hour of day. Lower bids or pause campaigns during hours of low or no conversions and boost bids during peak performance times.

Historical Performance Review. Analyze account performance over the past two years to evaluate any seasonal or other long-term trends in the data.

Obviously these are not the only things you should be doing in your PPC account, but this checklist provides a good foundation for PPC management.

PPC Task Checklist

Click below to download your own copy of the checklist and please post any tasks you think should be included below!

PPC Task Checklist

About the Author

Bethany Bey

Bethany is a former Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through pay-per-click advertising.
  • Justin S.

    A good checklist to refer back to, Bethany! 

    Could you elaborate a little more on “Day Parting”? For those of us who cannot measure conversions online due to the nature of the business (the service industry measures in phone calls as leads), how would one go about getting the account information for when clicks & impressions are at their highs & lows throughout the day/week/month? Is there a tool that enables you to do this?

    Just to add, I think the list is complete but the timing of each task is probably different due to the size of the accounts and how much action they get. Smaller accounts may take more time to accumulate traffic and therefore certain maintenance tasks may need to be delayed a little longer. Giving ads a fair shot before pausing them is important!

    Thank you!

    • http://www.hanapinmarketing.com Bethany Bey

      Hi Justin,

      For Day Parting, if you can’t track conversions online you can still see data for clicks and impressions as well as other account metrics. Just go to the Dimensions tab and view by the Time metric of your choice. You should see the impressions and clicks columns in your report.

      For the timing of the tasks, it is definitely different depending upon the account. I have accounts that get hundreds of thousands of clicks per day and some that just get hundreds. I adjust my schedule accordingly since the smaller accounts take longer to gather data. The more familiar I become with my accounts the better I know how to plan my tasks.

      Thanks for reading and let me know if you have trouble finding click and impression data for day parting!

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  • http://www.ppcomg.com Scott

    Nice checklist, it always helps to have a list to go to so something doesn’t get forgotten.  I can remember when I first started PPC campaigns I would find myself thinking “oh crap, I can’t believe it has been over a month since I checked my (fill in the blank).” After making similar lists I have really saved time and stress in managing accounts.  Any new account manager will benefit greatly if they read this post.

  • Melanie

    Thanks for sharing your checklist! I also watched the
    accompanying video and found that to be very helpful as well.

     

    A challenge I am often faced with when managing my PPC
    accounts is how much time I’m spending on them in relation to the amount of
    money we’re making off of the account. We’re a small agency and our clients
    budgets typically range from $500-$1,500/mo. so while I completely agree with
    the importance of each of these items, often times we find ourselves spending
    more time managing the accounts to where they are not being profitable for us.
    How would you recommend we balance managing an account properly and still being
    profitable on them?

    • http://www.ppcomg.com Scott

      Melanie, I think that the first step to doing this is to create a list such as the one Bethany suggested.  This will assure that your are putting effort where it is needed and not wasting your time.  As you manage more accounts you will be able to customize the list so that it meets your needs and you are maximizing your clients accounts while at the same time reducing the time and effort it takes to run their accounts.  I have found it very helpful to create excel documents with customized equations that assist in my decision making process.  This way I don’t have to repeat the math, I can input account data and then the document does the math and helps me make quick decisions.  I believe that PPCHero has a posting about using excel to assist in managing your accounts, this would probably be a good place to start getting ideas as to what would meet your needs.

    • http://www.hanapinmarketing.com Bethany Bey

      Hi Melanie,

      Scott’s advice below is great. Planning out your tasks ahead of time is the best way to make sure you are utilizing your time wisely. I also like to batch tasks when possible. For example, when I run an SQR I pull out both negatives and keyword additions as well. 

      An issue I was running into in the past was making adjustments too often. If you have an account that’s been running for 5 years you can probably get away with doing negative keyword additions once a month or once every few months. If your client doesn’t get a lot of traffic you should wait to do ad reviews until you accrue enough data. 

      Take a look at your accounts and develop a strategy to really maximize your time.

  • Kristin Wall

    Good checklist. I would add Search Query Report to the bi-weekly tasks (which would easily go hand in hand with negative keyword additions).

    Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.fishtankmedia.com/ Matt Commins

      Totally agree with Kristin. Running Search Query reports is a must and I recommend should be run every week.

    • http://twitter.com/ECEitel Christine

      Excellent addition. Search Query Reports are vital to my micro budget campaigns!

  • Andy

    I have always been meaning to get more organised and this post has prompted me to spend an hour sorting that problem.
    One question though about the Dest URL report. We use query strings on every keyword to see which ones are bringing good leads, and which are bringing bad leads. So, when I look into Dest URLs in the dimensions tab there are technically as many Dest URLs as keywords. Is there a simple way to see the Dest URL by actual web page?
    Cheers,

    • http://www.hanapinmarketing.com Bethany Bey

      Hi Andy,

      We have the same issue as well, where each destination url has unique tracking. What we do is use the Text to Columns function in excel to separate the actual destination url from the tracking. You can find the function under Data > Text to Columns and then enter in the character that separates the url from the tracking, usually a ?. 

      Hope that helps and thanks for reading!

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  • Ryan Campbell

    This is a great list. Thanks for sharing. I’ve used a list that I took from your blog years ago but this one is improved.

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  • Wouter

    What software do I need to open the checklist? I have downloaded and extracted the zip file and see in the main folder the following:

    Folders
    _rels
    docProbs
    word

    File:
    [Content_Types].xml

    In the above folders I see other xml files.

    I’m using Office 2007

    • http://www.hanapinmarketing.com Bethany Bey

      Hi Wouter,

      We use Macs at the office so that might be the problem. I’m going to re-upload the file in the link so try it again and see if it works.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/gdagustini Gustavo D’Agustini

    Hi, this is another great post from PPCHero, I’m from Brazil and a lot of things that I’m doing right now is based on yours posts.

    So, I’m trying to understand HOW to put all of this things in one project on Basecamp. I’ve been studying a lot of techniques like GTD, Pomodore, and others.

    Can you help me with this little help? :)

  • Jeroen Maljers

    Hi,

    Great list. I would really advice a regular check on real search terms to discover negatives and new keywords. Also a run on quality scores and check all below 4 is really to be advised. 

    For task management we made a free task management tool called Swydo (i’m the ceo), there’s a free version that you can use to manage your tasks. 

  • http://twitter.com/GnosisArts Gnosis Media Group

    This is a good post. I probably need to firm up our checklist. It isn’t as exhaustive as this and the elements aren’t broken out by weekly, daily, monthly.

    Eric Bryant
    Gnosis Media Group

  • Nancy Martinez, SEO

    Great Checklist! I’m going to start implementing these ideas ASAP!

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