Struggling to see a good return on your PPC ads?

If that's the case, you've realized the importance of effective PPC campaign management and optimization...You want to know the process.

In this guide, I'll show you what we do at Ernst Media to get all those great client testimonials.

Every step we take to develop effective ad campaigns and significantly improve PPC performance regardless of the ad budget.

Let's get straight into it.

No experience with PPC advertising? I'm answering the most common questions in this post.

The PPC Campaign Management Process

The success of your ad campaigns requires a blend of strategic planning and proper execution. In this section, I'll go through the essentials of PPC management. Goals, audiences, keywords, platforms, ads, and so on.

the steps of ppc campaign management process

Defining Your Campaign Goals

That's the first step in launching a PPC campaign. What you need to do is align the ad campaign goals with the measurable customer demand for your product or service.

  • Look at the search volume trends for related keywords
  • Check your website traffic and engagement levels
  • Analyze sales data to pinpoint demand peaks and valleys

We do this to increase the probability of attracting qualified leads. Of course, well-defined goals also improve the odds of a successful PPC campaign.

Knowing Your Audience

Understanding your target audience is your roadmap to PPC success. Identify your customers' touch points and learn about their demographics, income, favorite social platforms, interests, etc.

Use tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to find out who is interacting with your brand.

Once you have the data, create your PPC ads according to their preferences and behaviors.

If done right, more engagement and better conversion rates will follow...I promise.

Selecting the Right Platforms

Obviously, Google is the best place to do PPC marketing. If you're already using Google ads, here are some tips on how to boost your strategy.

For clients in very competitive industries who don't have the budget for bidding wars with corporations, we pivot to Bing ads. There is less competition and a lower CPC.

Normally, we combine paid search engine traffic with at least one social media platform. I can't tell you which one will work best for your business...knowing your audience will help you figure it out.

If you're targeting young people, go for Instagram or TikTok. Folks older than 40 are still hanging out on Facebook. Company CEOs and decision makers are on LinkedIn.

Crafting Effective Ad Groups

A well-structured ad group will help you attract potential customers by matching their search intent.

I like to explain ad groups to our clients as individual stalls in a marketplace. Each stall should be organized by a specific theme or product category.

For example, if you're selling athletic footwear, a well-structured ad group might focus solely on "women's running shoes."

This ad group would include keywords like "women's running shoes," "best running shoes for women," "affordable women's running shoes," and "women's trail running shoes."

The ads would highlight features specific to women's running shoes...cushioning, fit, design, etc.

That way your PPC ads are more relevant, which also increases your Quality Scores.

Conducting Keyword Research

Choosing the right keywords is like setting the perfect bait for your target audience. Perhaps not the most appropriate analogy, but I'm sure you get the point.

To create an effective PPC campaign keyword strategy, we start by analyzing competitors' keywords. That's one way to find the relevant search terms for each business.

We also look for long tails and keyword variations. The goal is to discover hidden opportunities with a decent search volume that aren't too expensive.

Free tools like Google's Keyword Planner can assist you with that task.

Implementing Negative Keywords

Using negative keywords is a great way to step up your paid search strategy. That's how we filter irrelevant traffic, which allows us to:

  • Keep PPC ads more targeted and reach the right audience
  • Significantly improve ad spend efficiency and conversion rates

Last year, we had a client offering boats for rent. Here are a few negative keywords that helped us refine their PPC campaign:

  • "Boat sales" - To differentiate from those wanting to purchase a boat.
  • "Repair" - For users searching for boat repair services, not rentals.
  • "Lessons" - Because the business wasn't providing instructional services.

Writing Persuasive Ad Copy

Each ad copy should demonstrate a unique value proposition. If it's not persuasive, people won't click on your PPC ad, and all your previous efforts will be a waste of time.

I've met salespeople who think creating ads is a no-brainer, but they miss one the digital marketing world, our words are often limited.

Your goal is to paint a picture with fewer words. A picture that:

  • Presents a compelling offer
  • Includes relevant keywords
  • Connects emotionally with people
  • Has a short but strong call to action

Designing Great Landing Pages

A well-designed landing page will align with your ad messaging to provide a seamless user journey. It should lead people to the desired action without any distractions. Here is what I mean:

Someone clicks on an advert for a pair of nice shoes. They land on a page where they don't see these exact shoes. Instead, they're presented with 20 different models and a pop-up asking them to sign up for a newsletter...What do you think they'll do?

Each landing page should immediately display the advertised product.

Then, you need to make it a high-converting landing page. Create a responsive design, include some social proofs, and frequently do split testing with headlines, visuals, and CTAs.

How to Optimize PPC Campaigns

Once the ads are up and running, it's time for your PPC campaign optimization. To use your marketing dollars most effectively, you must experiment with both manual and auto bidding.

actions for ppc campaign optimization

Automated Bidding Options

Depending on your specific objectives, you can choose to maximize clicks, get more conversions, or focus on target CPA or ROAS.

Although it's a lot easier, I don't recommend going on auto-pilot from day one.

As you accumulate more data over time, the auto-bidding strategies will become more effective. Then, you can rely on those to optimize your bids for improved conversion outcomes.

Manual Bidding for More Control

Manual bidding is much more effective, but it also takes a lot of time. That's why many businesses choose to outsource their PPC campaign management.

It gives you the opportunity to set the maximum cost-per-click (CPC) for your ads, groups, and keywords. When you have full control over the campaign budget, you can achieve the highest ROI.

However, to get noticeable results, the bids must be frequently adjusted. I'm talking about daily tweaks until you find that sweet spot...Then monitoring and optimizing on a regular basis.

Google tells us to leave two weeks between changes. But if I was always listening to Google...Ernst Media wouldn't be in business for two decades.

If both your time and digital marketing budget are limited, you can try the enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC). It's a semi-automated strategy that combines manual bidding with automated adjustments.

Just don't expect spectacular results.

Allocating Budget Across Multiple Campaigns

Allocating your budget across multiple campaigns is like diversifying an investment portfolio.

The idea is to put more of your money into the current high-performers.

You can discover those by leveraging PPC tools for data analysis and recommendations. This will allow you to effectively distribute your ad spend and maximize your return on investment.

Monitoring and Refining PPC Campaigns Performance

If you follow this guide, at some point, you'll feel like your PPC campaigns are optimized to 100%...Great, but keep a close eye on the performance. There is always room for refinement.

Performing an SEM audit is also very useful for uncovering new opportunities.

Tracking Key Performance Indicators

Tracking the KPIs in your PPC campaigns is how you keep score in the paid advertising game. These are the metrics providing the most valuable insights:

  • Click-through rate (CTR) - A higher CTR indicates that users find your ads relevant and compelling. If your CTR is low, tweak your ad copy or refine your target audience.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC) - Compare the CPC across different campaigns and ad groups to identify where you can reduce costs without sacrificing performance.
  • Conversion rate - In most cases, a low conversion rate means that your landing page is not aligned with your ad or the user's expectations.
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS) - A high ROAS means you're getting more revenue for your ad spend. If it's low, reevaluate your bidding strategy or the products you're advertising.
  • Impression share - If your impression share is low, consider increasing your bid/budget or improving your ad quality to gain more visibility.

You can find most of the metrics within your PPC platform's dashboard. To get a more in-depth analysis, we integrate these platforms with Google Analytics.

A/B Testing for Continuous Improvement

We run as many A/B tests as possible to compare different ad variations.

That's how we isolate and assess the impact of specific variables on ad performance. It doesn't matter if it's a top-performing ad copy, keyword, or landing page...Everything we find helps us to increase the ROI of each ad campaign.

Time to Wrap It Up

I tried to cover all the steps in a relatively short guide. If you want me to elaborate on something...drop your question in the comments section below.

Do you need help with increasing your ROI?

My team and I are certified experts in PPC management.

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