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The Best Things in Life Aren’t Free…

Piggy_Bank_MoneyAfter four years in the SEO game avoiding PPC like the plague, I saw it working too many times and with too many clients not to take note. With all the changes in the SEO world, this complex Google-favoured tool seemed to generate the leads I so craved with ease. So I joined the club…and two weeks into my first campaign couldn’t spend my client’s budget.

As a PPC pessimist my problem was I had the parameters on the campaign set too strictly. This was a rarity as the majority of first time users tend to see their budget disappear with no return – however as that seems to be my skill and not my downfall, I’ve compiled the below to make that precious PPC budget last just a little bit longer…

1. Log on…Every Day
Your PPC campaign needs a bit of love. Ok, a lot. Some of the pros spend all day every day on just one campaign and it’s surprisingly easy to wile away an hour a day optimising this. Log on, take a look around and keep an eye on your spend. Additionally, take a look at the traffic coming in on Google Analytics and what PPC visitors are searching on to land on your site – you may be missing some obvious negative keywords that might be wasting budget.

2. Test, Test and Test
Test everything: your ads, your keywords, your keyword matches, your maximum bids, your sitelinks, your other ad extensions, the devices you use. By logging on every day as above, once your campaign has gathered historical data you can start to assess where your traffic is coming from, what’s working and what’s not with regards to getting you conversions pretty swiftly.

3. Mobile Ads
If you don’t have a mobile site, reduce your mobile bid adjustment to -100% (this can be found under settings, devices). If your site doesn’t look good on mobile, don’t waste budget on clicks from mobile devices.

NB: From personal experience simple sites not mobile-optimised tend to show up well enough on tablet.

4. Set Up
Take your time when setting up your campaign and go through all the Google options – think about whether you want use of Google’s Display Network, your budget limitations and the Ad Groups suggested to you by the Keyword Planner. If you rush the set up, there’s a risk you could miss a setting that could save you budget.

5. Ad Scheduling
This feature can be enabled in settings; under campaign type select the “All Features” option. This tip takes a little time, but is worth the extra effort. Once the setting is enabled, go to settings, then ad schedule. Depending on the nature of your business, set up time slots for each day individually – for example, you could set ads to show:

5AM – 9AM MONDAY
9AM – 5PM MONDAY
5PM – 12AM MONDAY

Then follow suit so for each weekday, Saturday and Sunday schedules might go something like this:

12AM – 12PM SATURDAY
12PM – 12AM SATURDAY

The beauty of this is once you have some historical data and can see where your impressions are coming from, for time periods where you don’t get clicks and conversions, reduce your bid – and reduce your spend.

6. Locations
Perhaps most importantly, DON’T set your campaign to the whole of the UK! This will wipe your budget out. If your business is not location based, pick some large cities to target. Ideally, drill down to 10+ towns or cities, even counties. This also enables you to reduce the bid on non-profitable locations once you gather historical data.

7.Ask for Help
The response team for enquiries is phenomenal and you can have a phone call with a representative at the click of a button – use the help facility, it’s a brilliant tool.

PPC doesn’t have to break the bank as I previously (and incorrectly) thought…do it right, give it lots of attention and remember – Google gets paid generously from Adwords, it wants it to work for you!

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