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 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 or decrease my budgets. If I am trailing on conversions I could raise bids on keywords or shift budget away from poor performing campaigns to top performing campaigns.
Display Network Review
Exclude placements (websites/apps/etc…) 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. Also check to make sure your campaigns are utilizing site category exclusions to help keep your ads from running on unwanted sites like sexually suggestive content, sensitive social issues, or in game placements you might find on mobile apps.
If you are using manual bidding, adjust bids on keywords that are generating the most of your daily spend, converting but in lower positions, spending without converting, converting above CPL. If you are using automated bidding then pause any keywords that have high spend but no conversions.
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 a SQR (search query report) to find irrelevant search terms you can add as negative keywords 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.
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.
Pause underperforming ads and write new ads to test. You should be testing at least three extended text ads per ad group at all times. Make sure you have gathered enough impressions data to truly evaluate performance. If you have low traffic in your campaigns you might push this to a monthly task to ensure you have a large enough data set to make an informed decision.
Impression Share Report
If your Impression Share is low, consider either increasing your budget, tightening up your match types, pausing less targeted keywords or a combination of the above.
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 Final 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.
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. Another option is to add negative bid modifiers on poor performing locations and positive bid modifiers on high performing locations.
Time of Day/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.
Post originally published in September 2011 and updated by Aaron Childs.
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