15 PPC Tips for 2015

Why not take some time to review your most established campaigns so you can reap the benefits in the New Year?

Now that we are a few weeks shy of 2015, it’s definitely good timing for those well-meant New Year resolutions!

As a seasoned marketer, you have probably been running AdWords campaigns for a while with undoubtedly great results. However, there is always room for improvement and even properly optimised campaigns need a bit of a refresh from time to time.

In this article, we cover 15 PPC tips for 2015 – to make sure you start the year with a bang!

Tip 1 – Look at your campaigns with a fresh pair of eyes

You might have been running this campaign for a while and everything seems to fall into place but even in the most optimised of campaigns there are opportunities. Is the overall campaign structure correct? Do you need to separate a few large ad groups into smaller ones? Review your targets? Try to look at the campaign with a fresh pair of eyes to discover new options for optimisation.

Tip 2 – Review your KPIs (notably CPA)

If this campaign has been running for long, then the market is obviously now different and numbers have changed. There might be more or less competition; your products or goals are definitely different. Do not rely on previous KPIs such as Cost Per Acquisition: they need to be refreshed and updated according to the market as it is today.

Tip 3 – Redo your keyword research

You should go over and redo your keyword research at least every 3rd month. Trends emerge, new opportunities come and go – make sure your keywords are current.

Tip 4 – Implement small Ad Groups

Do not use Ad Groups larger than 30 keywords; large groups tend to dilute themselves and be less focused on a single theme. Over the course of the campaign, you have obviously added more and more keywords to those Ad Groups as opportunities appeared. Review the larger Ad Groups and split them when necessary. Be sure to only focus on one idea, product or topic for each Ad Group.

Tip 5 – Check your ad positions

If you have promising or good converting keywords but they generally appear in lower positions, they need a CPC boost. Consider increasing bids by 20% for a start to get more clicks and conversions on those keywords that have proven to be successful.

Tip 6 – Monitor your spend trends

Not only your overall daily, weekly or monthly spend, but also on Ad Groups and keywords’ basis. There will always be a trend or a group of trends that you can spot and use at your own advantage to shape your budget allocation for maximal benefits. Whether it’s increasing budget during low demand period, slowing down to align with recent inventory updates or adapting to projected demand, your budget will need some fine tuning.

Tip 7 – Implement/review extensions

If you have not implemented ad extensions at this stage, then it’s time you do so. Ad extensions are great for generating a better exposure and maximising your chances of getting clicks. Make sure you use the newest extensions as well (such as Call Outs) and link your account with Google MyBusiness for location data to flow across your ads.

Tip 8 – Review your hourly trends – amend bidding

No need to display your ads 24/7, this would be poor use of your budget. You now have the data that tells you when to increase or decrease during times of the day or week. If you need to keep your ads visible at all time for brand awareness, then do so but at lower CPC levels to minimise spend volume.

Tip 9 – Review your geographical trends – amend bidding

You might be getting far better click and conversion results on selected regions. Fish where the fishes are and increase your bids by minimum 20% on those areas.

Tip 10 – Review search queries and add as negatives

Go to the Keywords tab and click on Details > Search Terms to display a list of keywords users have entered before clicking on your ads. Some will be way off target and that’s ok. However, those clicks while having lower chances of generating conversions are increasing your overall cost. Add them as negatives (Phrase match type) to make sure they won’t lead to your ads for being shown.

Tip 11 – Review ads from same group and remove clear losers

You have multiple ads in each Ad Group which is best practice. When you have accumulated enough data, you will be able to discern clear losers: they have enough impressions but a CTR that is not up to the standards in that same Ad Group. Sometimes, even the best crafted ads do not work and that is not a problem – however, keeping them as active could mean a potential lack in lead generation. Pause them.

Tip 12 – Do you need those Low Search Volume Keywords, do they get clicks and conversions?

Yes – keep them. No – remove them. They are not useful and can make a campaign look very clutter.

Tip 13 – Focus on Quality Score

This is by far one of the most important metrics and should be one of your main focuses. Look for keywords that do not pass the mark (Quality Score equal or above 6) and if their clicks and conversions numbers do not satisfy you, pause them.

Tip 14 – Review your landing page message

It has to highlight your Unique Value Proposal and align with your whole campaign (from keywords to ads). Does it convert well? Can you do better? Do you ask too much information? Have you recently looked at Google Analytics to gain a better understanding of what happens on that page? Why not try implementing a heat map to have an even better understanding of users’ behaviour? This would allow you to simplify it to the core.

Tip 15 – Improve your reporting

Have a chat with your clients and ask them what they would be interested to know. Some want to know conversion numbers, cost per lead, or where those clicks are coming from. Now is the time to get to know their aspirations better and shape your reporting accordingly. Make sure this is highly visual and digestible in 5 minutes.


2014 was an interesting year for online advertising and Google AdWords was not an exception: from extensions to reporting and campaign management, the entire platform has seen some massive updates which are here to stay. Why not take some time to review your most established campaigns so you can reap the benefits in the New Year?

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