Google adwords in DorsetAs Panda and Penguin wreck havoc on rankings, I have noticed that more clients are trying to recoup traffic losses by setting up PPC campaigns.  Good news for Google all round really.

The bigger players spend millions on their advertising and  are managed by professional teams of staff and agencies.  However for the small business, PPC needs to be managed very carefully.

In most instances the small business owner will be managing the account themselves.  If so here are some top tips to get the most of PPC.

Tip #1 – Don’t expect too much in the beginning.   Your success will be determined by a lot of factors, the main one will be Quality Score.  This is Google’s way of making businesses pay more for irrelevant adds.  Google’s aim is to deliver the most appropriate ad for the Keyword being searched.  Most new account will suffer in the short term with a lower quality score.

Tip #2 – Don’t spread yourself too thinly.  If you have a small budget it makes sense to concentrate on a smaller group of campaigns, ad groups and keywords.  Having a list of hundreds of keywords means you have more to manage. You may get nice click through rates, but most likely this will translate into only a few clicks.

Tip #3 – Keep an eye on the ‘details’ – Within the details you can view all the keyword searches that resulted in a click.  It is really important to keep a watchful eye on this.  This is where you will find out quickly whether the traffic is relevant or not. When you find irrelevant search queries, ensure you add them as a negative keyword.

Tip #4 – First is not always the best. Whilst 1 place might bring you a higher CTR it may not bring you higher converting traffic.  By repositioning your ad to a lower position you can reduce ‘mindless’ clicking.  Test this for yourself.

Tip #5     Poor Quality Scores can cost you money. Your quality scores is a measure of the relevancy of your ad against the keywords, landing page and your adwords account . Measured out of 10, the higher the number the lower your ad will cost.  I have seen estimates that suggest a 10/10 qualty score can have a 80% discount, whereas a 1/10 quality score may have a 65% mark up.

Tip #6 – Branded Keywords – Lots of PPC pros advocate including your business name within your PPC campaign. This can indeed leverage SERPs real-estate and give you a great presence on the page.  But, you should never apply a rule without analysing your own market place.  Every tip you receive should be applied on a case by case basis.  If you only have a limited budget you may consider focusing your efforts on other keywords rather than traffic you may (or may not) get already.

Tip #7 – Continually Assess. You should never use adwords in isolation.  Ensure your analytics is linked to your adwords account and conversion tracking is setup. You maybe getting traffic, but is that traffic converting and buying your products or services?

Finally

It’s important to remember that when you take advice ensure that it makes sense for your business and sector. General blogged advice almost never differentiates itself by sector or size.

If you have a small budget but are in a competitive market, say…’Web development’, your £5 per day advertising budget (annual £1825), won’t even get you a click.

Strategies that work for some, will not work for others.