First off, congrats. Take a breather…the countless hours of competitive analysis, keyword research, ad copy writing and client meetings have finally paid off. Before any tweaks or drastic changes are made, you should let it accumulate enough data. So now, be patient. I know it’s hard, but give it a shot. Otherwise you’re going to drive yourself crazy. The cool thing about PPC is its immediacy. Because of this, you can usually tell right off the bat whether or not your campaign was launched successfully. Here are a few things I look at when I launch a new campaign (These should all be checked periodically over the course of the campaign’s duration, but are extremely important in the post launch phase).
- Make sure the campaigns are pulling through in the client’s analytics profile. It’s very hard to tell how the campaign is doing if it’s not synced up with analytics.
- Check the keyword and ad statuses. The four statuses are disapproved, eligible, approved, approved-limited. If it’s disapproved or “pending review” for more than 2 days, give Adwords a call and figure out what steps need to be taken to get approved.
- Use Google’s ad preview tool to make sure ads are showing up and in the desired position. (Be sure to utilize this tool in order to not affect campaign performance)
- Further down the road (I like to wait at least two weeks) when the campaign has accumulated a fair amount of data, you can start to make any tweaks or big changes. The metrics I focus on at this stage are click through rate, cost per click, impression share (lost IS as well), cost per conversion and search query reports for any negatives and/or keyword expansion opportunities.
- Going back to analytics, what is user engagement like for the PPC campaign? Check out the bounce rate, time on site, pages per visit, goal conversions. You can do this either at the campaign, ad group, keyword or matched search query levels. Get as granular as you want!
- Another avenue you can take for campaign optimization if you have call tracking in place, listen to some of the calls. What are people saying? What are they not saying? Are the calls relevant? Use that information and apply it to keywords or ad copy.
The most critical time for a new PPC campaign is the first two weeks. This timeframe either sets you up for success or complete failure if the right steps aren’t taken and the campaign isn’t handled with care.
What is your campaign launch process like? What kind of metrics do you look at after the first two weeks? Send us a tweet and let us know!