Ah, springtime. The days are getting longer, the flowers are in bloom and baseball is right around the corner. Now is the time to get yourself out of your winter hibernation and finally take a crack at some of the things you put off in the wintertime.
Don’t worry; cleaning up around the house never even crossed this marketer’s mind. I’m talking about sitting down and taking a good look at your Adwords campaigns. It’s easy to get wrapped up in counting conversions and creating reports without taking the time to do a little clean-up work, so here are a few tips on how to Spring Clean your campaigns.
Cull Your Keywords
First things first, pause any keywords that have zero impressions for the past two months. You know exactly which words I’m talking about – the ones you picked up a few months ago and they still haven’t had one single impression – these are total deadweight keywords and they aren’t helping you achieve your ultimate goal. Don’t get me wrong, always experiment with new keywords and it’s great to have a nice reserve of them on hand, but at some point you have to realize that enough is enough and cut the proverbial keyword cord.
Okay, so you’ve removed the keywords with no impressions – What else? – You see those keywords that have a ton of clicks and not one single conversion? These keywords are great at one thing: costing you a ton of money. So go ahead and ask yourself, “Is it really worth it?” Will this ever get me a conversion? Ultimately the answer will be “No.” These keywords are the “Fredo Corleone” of your campaign: sure, they mean well, but at the end of the day they are weak and need to be disposed of.
Think Like a Consumer
Now you probably haven’t peeked at your ads all winter so go ahead and take a nice, long look. Forget about the conversion rates and clicks and focus on the ad as a consumer. Ask yourself: does this ad inspire you to learn more? Does it create want or knowledge of the product advertised? Most importantly, is there a call to action? A great PPC ad incorporates all of these elements. Sometimes it’s tough to look at an ad objectively after working on it for so long so send the ad over to a non-marketing co-worker and ask their honest opinion. Would they click on the ad? If not, why?
Remove the Superfluous
Ads have become way too wordy lately. Short and concise is the name of the game. People’s attention spans are very short (and in this time of 140 characters they are getting even shorter) so you need to hit them over the head very quickly. Short and concise is the name of the game.
A few copywriting tips:
- Use “&” instead of the word “and.” It cuts down on the clutter immensely.
- Please, please don’t include exclamation points in your ads. They waste a perfectly good character and they don’t positively impact your ad. Have you ever picked one brand over another due to the inclusion of an exclamation point? No? Your Honor, I rest my case.
I recommend that you run through your campaigns at least once a month, and be ready to change your approach because the digital world changes quickly and we must keep up with it. There’s a good chance that a strategy that works in October will not work as well in April.
It’s always tough to go back and evaluate some of the decisions you’ve made but it’s a task that we as marketers have to face. So if you “Spring Clean” your campaigns monthly, your ads will perform better, your keywords will all be batting .300 (or above!) and, most importantly, those monthly campaign reports will have the boss buying you that super-pricey beer at happy hour.