5 Things to Make You Better at PPC Marketing

By Lauren Rosner | @lkrosner | Sr. Project Manager at Hanapin Marketing |

I Love Us

I love the PPC community. We are funny, smart, and, for the most part, do our work without much hubris. And one of the greatest things about PPC Hero is this: we are dedicated to making the funny, smart, humble PPC community better. PPCers are very much interested in knowledge-sharing and the old adage “a rising tide lifts all boats”. So in this post, I am going to give you 5 things you can do today to become better at your job tomorrow. And I will admit, I am probably not going to be telling you anything you don’t already know. But maybe you have lost your way and can’t see the forest for the trees (How many more adages can I fit into this blog post?). Maybe you have gotten away from the basics. Or maybe you just need a little reminder: we can always be better PPC Heroes.

PPC Expertise

Get Supermetrics

In many conversations with Jacob Brown he has said something to the effect of, “I really don’t think the creators of Supermetrics realize the power of the tool they created”. Word.

The creators of Supermetrics are basically Mark Zuckerburg when he registered the domain “thefacebook.com”. I love this tool. It is so unassuming and there isn’t much gravitas in how it looks. It is just beautiful, raw data in any shape you want. We have written a few posts about Supermetrics but really all we have done is scratch the surface of the capabilities.

Close your eyes (not really because how else are you going to read this?). Imagine what you want to know about your account. All the tiny bits of information diced and spliced any way you want it. If you are managing multiple accounts, imagine being able to create a dashboard where you can see larger trends spanning accounts and platforms. It gets even more fun if you are employing a standard campaign naming convention (ie Platform_Network_Campaign Name_Geo Target_Device Target). Think of all the querying you can do! Doesn’t that sound nice? Good. Now open your eyes. Now go get Supermetrics.

My current favorite way to use Supermetrics? Combining metrics from AdWords and Bing alongside Analytics and segmenting by country. Supermetrics? More like SuperFUN!

ABP

We shouldn’t always be closing, per se. But we should always be projecting. With all of the automation at our fingertips, it is really easy to come up with bid rules and set them live and watch things happen. But before you actually start relinquishing all bid management tasks over to the automation world, do a few trial runs manually first.

I have this great ROAS bid template that uses Supermetrics to pull my data. Supermetrics runs, dumps the data in, and it spits out an upload sheet. Voila! Presto! Alacazam! I’m done.

It is time-consuming to build these types of templates and we often forget to add in columns that will calculate the effect of the changes on the performance of the account. We need this. So badly. If you don’t project even with your automation and all of your knowledge of the account, you could end up in a situation where 4 weeks down the road traffic is dipping and you start looking for lost clicks in all the wrong places. PROJECT.

Think Big. Act Small.

When I started in PPC four and a half years ago, I was drowning in keyword data. I felt I could not keep my head above the water long enough to understand account strategy. I would get so hung up on one rogue (not to be confused with Rogue One) search term and think the account would crash to the ground if I didn’t act immediately.

So it is four years later, and I’ve seen some things. I know some things. You must keep your eye on the prize (is that adage #3?). Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your goal for the account in the next 3 months?
  • What is your goal for the account in the next year?
  • What is the company’s or organization’s goal for PPC?
  • How does PPC fit into the overarching marketing strategy?
  • What does it mean for the company or organization to be profitable?

Growth and profitability don’t always play nicely together. Knowing the larger picture will help you prioritize tactics and focus on the right little things. Maybe that rogue search term is pulling in a new audience and you are really focused on growth and wanting to expand your reach, if so, then no need to worry about it. But if profits trump growth, that tiny little search term pulling in a new audience may not be contributing to the overall health of profitability and therefore it needs to go.

When I say Think Big, Act Small, I also mean you shouldn’t be reinventing the wheel every month. Small, impactful changes can compound upon each other and create movement in the right direction. When we say we want to “move the needle”, we don’t always mean we need to move it the length of a football field. Slow and steady wins the race (I am on a roll).

Know Your Competition

PPC Hero has many great posts about competitive analysis through tools such as the Auction Insights Report. Competitor analysis is key to understanding your auction. Understand who is in the auction with you and you can build strategy for everything from dayparting to ad copy.

Recently, I learned another simple way to understand your industry and competitors. Google Alerts! Go to google.com/alerts and type in any business, industry, or topic. Select how often you want to receive alerts. And you are done! News about your keyword will start appearing in your inbox.

Company mergers, bankruptcies, news stories, among other things will all effect performance of your keywords. This is super helpful if you want to stay in the know about external factors contributing to the success or decline of your efforts.

Have an Opinion

Have you been on Social Media lately? Everyone has an opinion. I think we as humans are becoming inundated with other people’s opinions. I’ll try not to get too heavy for a PPC blog, but we shouldn’t become so hardened to others’ opinions. Also, opinions are not always arguments. I want to be challenged by opinions and I want to have my own opinions and have others challenge my opinions!

What I mean to say is this: it is okay to disagree on strategy. It is okay to disagree on tactics. There is no such thing as “Best Practice” (though I am guilty of tossing around that phrase a time or two). Focus on what you know to be true and focus on the account goal. There will always be more than one way to peel an orange (Adage!).

Homework time! I want you to seek a differing opinion on PPC Strategy and do two things:

  • Listen to understand, don’t listen to form a rebuttal.
  • Then use your voice to challenge the opinion and share your own view.

Note that I did not say “raise your voice”. Though the PPC community is a civil one, it is always a good reminder to be respectful of one another.

Birds of a Feather…

At the end of the day we are all just a bunch of PPC nerds trying to turn hard work into (insert passion here). In summation, to be a better PPC manager, you need to try out new tools, understand cause and effect, focus on strategy, keep an eye on the competition, and speak up. I believe these 5 things will make you a better PPC Hero and in turn raise the bar in our community.

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