In order to be successful with paid search marketing you will need to constantly test and optimize your campaign. PPC isn’t a “set it and forget it” solution, and that approach will lead to depleted budgets with little return. A successful paid search effort requires constant testing and optimization in order to improve the return and keep it performing well. The optimization cannot stop and must continue throughout the life of the PPC campaign.

So, when is it time to make changes and optimize the campaign? The accurate answer is “all the time,” but below are five tell tale reasons your PPC campaign needs to be optimized right away.

5 Reasons Your Paid Search Campaign Needs Optimization

1. Conversion numbers are down

If your conversion number drop suddenly then that is a very good reason to dive into the optimization of your campaign. Numbers are going to vary and go up and down on a regular basis, but a sudden drop should set off an alarm. Conversions can vary and you will get a sense of how they fluctuate, but a continued downward trend is a bad sign and requires immediate attention. Take a look at your ad copy and make sure that it makes sense and gels well with your offer and then analyze your landing page to figure out why the conversions are dropping. Sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest differences so do not be afraid to try several changes regardless of how miniscule they seem.

2. Click through rate has dropped

Even though your click through rate doesn’t directly impact your revenue it is a very good indication of how your ads are appealing to users in the search results. If less people are clicking them then they ad copy isn’t as effective as it once was and needs to be revamped. Other businesses selling the same products and or services as you enter the paid search results daily, so there are always new and more enticing offers out there. One of the biggest benefits of having a strong CTR is the higher quality score your ads will generate. This leads to a lower overall cost per click and higher ad positions. Don’t ignore the CTR, as it helps your campaign in several areas.

3. Quality scores have fallen

Your quality scores will go up and down and it is not uncommon for a quality score to fluctuate by a point from day to day, but if you see major drops then the ad needs to be optimized. Make sure that your ad copy and keywords are related (it is a good idea to include your keyword in the ad copy) and that your landing page is related, again having your keywords in the content of the destination page impacts the quality score. Create several ad groups and ads in order to get them really targeted, as this will help you pull high quality scores.

4. Your bounce rate is through the roof

You should have your AdWords account linked to your Google Analytics account to fully dive into your optimization, and your bounce rate is a metric that you can access via your analytics account. Not many people will even look at their bounce rate when analyzing their PPC performance.

Your bounce rate should be fairly consistent and a sudden increase is a signal that you need to dive into the optimization. The blow image is a screen shot of a website for a PPC campaign that we were just auditing. Their conversion rates were very low and they have an alarmingly high bounce rate. There is a lot of optimization that needs to be done to this campaign before we re-launch it under our professional PPC management umbrella.

5. You are sending all PPC traffic to a generic landing page

Many companies that are new to PPC will just create some generic ads, load up a bunch of keywords and point that traffic to their home page or a generic landing page on their website. This is the wrong approach, as it will lead to a low quality score, lower ad positions, higher CPC’s, a higher bounce rate, and less conversions.

You need to create targeted landing pages that are created around each ad group and set of keywords. This will not only help you to achieve a higher quality score and ad position, but it will result in your visitors sticking around longer and converting because the page is related to the terms that they searched in order to find your ad and then ultimately your website.

These tips will help you determine good times to further optimize your PPC marketing, but it is really something you should be an ongoing practice. If you are interested in professional pay per click management then contact us to learn more about the 100% hands free paid search marketing service that we offer our clients.