It’s a new year, and that means you’ve got another year’s worth of data in your PPC account. Don’t let this valuable data just sit there, it’s time for your annual new year analyzations! Account Executive, Sarah Storm (winner of coolest name in the office), tells you 5 tips for your new year account analyzations! And, for this week’s WYKW, I’ve included the transcripts below for those of you without access to sound at work. Enjoy, and feel free to let me know if that was helpful for you.

New Year, Old PPC: Year Over Year Review

Welcome to Whad’ya Know Wednesday. I’m Sarah Storm, Account Executive here at Hanapin Marketing, and in today’s episode of Whad’ya Know Wednesday I thought I’d honor the spirit of the recent holidays and give you some tips for data comparison at the start of a new year. I’m sure you’re all digging into monthly and yearly reports this week, so I thought I’d share some good tips in making sure you’re looking at the most comprehensive data and the most effective points of comparison. My list isn’t incredibly long because I know you’re all busy this week, but I’ll count this down for you New Year’s Eve style, though these tips are not ordered in any sequence of importance…

5) Look at month over month comparisons for your accounts, but also compare your annual totals. How did your metrics total for 2010 and 2011? Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees if you’re used to compiling monthly reports. Take the time to look at the year as a whole.

4) Get visual. It’s a lot easier (and faster) to identify trends when you’re looking at a visual graph of your data. Stay tuned for my blog post later this month on creating graphs in Excel. You can use your existing reports to do any number of visual representations, so there’s not even a lot of extra work involved.

3) Identify any trends year over year and use these in your strategic planning for the upcoming year. Do conversions always decrease in July? Does your account spend more slowly at the beginning of the year? Dig in and come up with actionable items to combat any negative trends you identify. Go back as far in your account history as you can.

2) Take the time to analyze your competition. Ideally, you’ll create competitive data snapshots too to see how you’re stacking up comparatively over time. If you’re in AdWords, click on the Opportunities tab and you’ll see the link to analyze your competition in the top left sub menu above your campaign list. You can choose to see how your PPC ads are performing against your competitors by impressions, clicks, click-through rate and average position. Google will give you categories and sub-categories for your ads that have been used for this comparison. These are simply categories Google has determined for your ads, and are not something you can select or edit yourself.

1) Do some extra reporting for your own records. What were you top 10 performing keywords for the year? Your most successful campaign? Use these consistent performers to do some beginning of the year account expansion. Keep this information in mind when you do your monthly account maintenance. You might want to optimize your high performers differently in the face of a slow month, knowing that their annual performance was superior.

Well, I hope these tips help you kick-off the new year of your PPC account management with some more efficient and in-depth reporting. That’s all I’ve got for you on this lovely first Wednesday of 2012. Thanks for watching!