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Believe it or not, a good number of people don’t know that a Pay Per Click campaign as an ongoing process can be just as intense as the initial setup. Sure, for the first few months of PPC, keywords are created, bids are set, adgroups are organized and ads are written, but after the keywords are chosen, they need to be analyzed on a weekly basis, and bids need to be adjusted, which can be pretty time consuming if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

The general idea is to adjust bids for each keyword based on a number of different factors, so you may very well be adjusting the bid on the same keyword multiple times. It is best to use Adwords Editor for this process, and depending on your niche, you should download the data for all active campaigns (choose the Selected Campaigns option from the menu) over a good chunk of time (a month or two is the standard), and view all of the keywords at once.

  1. Start by checking the cost per conversion  on keywords that are converting – organize the column by descending order, with the greater values at the top, and the lower values at the bottom. This is important, because the cost per conversion tells you exactly what you are paying, verses what you are making from the use of that keyword. If you come accross keywords with a high conversion rate and a good position (1-3) you may be able to trim the bid a little, but not any lower than your average Cost Per Click (CPC), as this would likely lower your position, which can have a large factor in clicks. Generally, if a keyword that converts at a good rate is in a high position, you may be able to spend less per conversion.
  2. Next, look at the Position of keywords. For keywords that are in position 1-3, you may not need to adjust them at this point, as those positions are likely leading to the most clicks. For the rest of the keywords, if they have a good conversion rate, try raising the bid just enough to get them to show up in the top 3 positions. If they convert well with a few views, they will probably convert well with more views, and the conversion rate should be similar, but also lead to more conversions.
  3. You should now have a good number of keywords with adjusted bids. The next step is to check the overall Cost of each keyword. See how much each one is costing overall, and then compmare them to the conversion rate and CPC. Some keywords may be converting great, and at an excellent rate, but costing you the majority of your budget for that campaign or adgroup. If this is the case, you have two options – adjust the bid to allow for other keywords to perform, or lower the bid on other keywords to improve the number of conversions on that keyword. Basically, you would only want to limit the well performing keyword if your budget is tight, and/or your other keywords have not been in high enough positions to have the chance to show their conversion potential.
  4. Lastly, organize your keywords by clicks. Reference all other information in the campaign while checking how many times people actually click the ads for that keyword. However, instead of changing bids, check the ads in that adgroup. If the clicks are low, the ad might not accurately represent the keyword. If there are only a few like this, you can pretty much let those keywords continue to run, as they will not cost much, and may change. If there are a lot of keywords like this, you may want to consider creating a new adgroup which shows ads more relavant to those keywords – or put them into an adgroup with an ad using a dynamic header.

For more information on Pay Per Click, please consult an Internet Marketing Firm like ReciprocalConsulting.

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