My PPC New Year Resolutions

New Years tradition is drinking Champagne, singing Auld Lang Syne, and making resolutions you try to follow in the new year. While the most common resolutions are losing weight and getting in better shape, the same principles can be applied to improving the health of your PPC accounts.

Here are my PPC resolutions for the upcoming year.

Track everything

We all know we should track everything, but are you really tracking all the conversion signals and conversion types across your website? The most overlooked leakage is call tracking. But really, you can track just about anything. Do you know the average profit received from someone who signed up for your newsletter via a PPC click? Are those email subscriptions valuable or a waste of marketing dollars?

This year, I will segment traffic to learn what is making money after non-revenue conversions occur.

Lose the long tail weight

It is easy to run a report for the previous year and note that a keyword has received 300 impressions, 2 clicks, $2 spent, and no conversions. Due to the lack of data, you just let the keyword continue to run.

If you have 10,000 keywords with the same metrics, then you haven’t lost just $2, but $20,000. Find ways of combining the data from long tail keywords to ensure that the tactic is still brining in revenue. Those keyword groups that are not converting? Delete them.

This year, I will combine and manage more long tail keywords to ensure they are making money.

Try more rich media ads across the content network

Over the past three years, I’ve found a lot of success across the content network. I’ve also found that on a global basis, rich media outperforms text ads. However, it takes more time to create a video ad than a text ad, and hence these ads are often relegated to the “some day” list of things to do.

This year, I’m going to create more video and image ads, especially for placement targeted campaigns that I wrote about earlier this year.

Increase mobile reach

Mobile usage has been steadily increasing for several years. However, ecommerce transactions have lagged behind traffic. This year eBay reported that 1.5 million items were purchased on their mobile site over the holiday season, triple what they sold last holiday season via mobile devices. Creating a mobile campaign is not difficult, and with a little WordPress hacking its easy to test whether a site is mobile compliant.

This year, I will create more mobile ads and landing pages.

Focus on post conversion communication

I walked into an Austin restaurant last year and the first question the waiter asked was, “have you been here before?” I said no, expecting to have the menu explained to me. About five minutes later the manager walked over and thanked me for coming, offered to buy me coffee and desert, and then informed me that if I knew anyone who might like the restaurant to just let her know that it was their first visit and she’d do the same for them. I told this story to over a hundred people at an AdWords Seminar across the street and the next evening they were flooded with new customers.

Hand written notes tucked into packages, personalized welcome messages, a free gift for a friend and even the typical newsletter subscriptions can help increase not just word of mouth marketing, but lifetime visitor values from your PPC clicks. If you can increase your lifetime visitor values, then you can significantly increase your bids while maintaining the same margins. This is an important consideration in today’s economy.

This year, I will reach out to more customers to offer my thanks and incentivize them to become repeat customers.

Be more creative

Doing PPC by-the-book is not difficult. However, being creative by using demographic targeting, day parting, testing CPM with placement targeting, or anticipating changes can have dramatic effects on the returns from your account. With paid search, if you ever wonder if something can be done or what effect it would have on whatever variables you’re measuring, test it. PPC makes it easy to test new ideas and then apply those ideas to other marketing channels.

This year, if I have a new idea, I won’t procrastinate: I’ll just test it.

Remember, before you start to focus on 2010’s goals, it is a good idea to clean up your account from the previous year.

Welcome to 2010. Happy New Year!

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Paid Search Column


About The Author: is the Founder of Certified Knowledge, a company dedicated to PPC education & training; fficial Google AdWords Seminar Leader, and author of Advanced Google AdWords.

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  • alanmitchell

    Hi Brad,

    Excellent point about long-tail keywords and how it’s useful to group similar-themed keywords together for a more insightful measure of their performance. One practical method I often use for long-tail keywords is to look at ad group performance, especially where the search volume of the ad group’s individual keywords are low. Another useful method is to simply extend the date range you use for analysis – perhaps look at a year’s worth of data or even longer.

    However, I won’t tend to delete long-tails unless I am very confident they are not working. I recently did some research on long-tail keywords and found that searches of 5 words or more (what I described as ‘long-tails’) accounted for 21% of clicks but delivered 40.5% of conversions, most at a considerably lower cost per conversion ). Long-tails can add a huge amount of value to a paid search campaign, so I would tend to be careful in pausing or deleting them unless it’s clear they are vastly under-perfoming.

    Couldn’t agree more about the value of tracking. Lack of outcome-orientated data, especially call data as you point out, is one of those things that can really hold a PPC campaign back, so it’s essential to invest time and effort to ensure effective and comprehensive tracking is set up as soon as practical.



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