Mar 20, 2014

Have You Optimized 7 Crucial Metrics in Your Paid Search Campaign?

Paid Search Campaign Optimization Checklist
For any SEM campaign, it sometimes gets really very hard for an expert to see what’s working and what’s not. There are various alerts that can help to run your campaigns successfully. If you have multiple campaigns in multiple platforms like Google, Yahoo or Bing, then you definitely need action triggers that can help you in solving the issues step-by-step.

The table below will help you to take decisions on the basis of concerned areas. We at clickadtrix, use this checklist to ensure all our campaigns are healthy and optimize them as soon as we see any irregularities in any of the following areas:

Concerned Areas
1. Impressions Drop in impressions could be due to:
  1. Drop in average position
  2. Drop in general search
  3. Volumes for the specific vertical
  4. Changes in campaign settings
This could mean:
  • Ad scheduling
  • Change of geo targeting
  • Addition or removal of content targeting
  • Change in ad serving (optimizer or accelerated)
Remedies for a drop in impressions:
  1. Increase bids on keywords that has drop in avg. position
  2. Retracting to original campaign settings
  3. Both point 1) and 2)
2. Clicks Drop in clicks could be due to:
  1. Drop in impression volumes
  2. Drop in average position
  3. Poor ads
  4. Improvement in ads of competitors.
  5. Change in ad type (text ad, image ad, video ad etc.)
Remedies for a drop in clicks:
  1. Increase impressions
  2. Improve average position with a better bid
  3. Improve ad text
  4. Restructure account - better quality score
  5. Combination of all of the above
3. CTR Drop in CTR could be due to:
  1. Increase in impression volumes
  2. Drop in click volumes
  3. Combination of 1) and 2)
  4. Drop in Average Position
  5. Poor ads
  6. Improvement in ads of competitors.
  7. Change in ad type (text ad, image ad, video ad etc.)
Remedies for a drop in CTR:
  1. Improve ad text
  2. Improve average position
4. Average Position Drop in average position could be due to:
  1. Reduction in bids
  2. Increase in bids from competitors
  3. Drop in quality score
Remedies for an improvement in average position:
  1. Improve ad text
  2. Improve account structure
5. Cost Per Lead Increase in CPL could be due to:
  1. Drop in conversions
  2. Increase in CPC
  3. Increase in clicks
  4. A combination of 1), 2) and 3)
Remedies for a decrease in CPL:
  1. Reduce clicks from non-converting keywords
  2. Improve quality score for a cheaper CPC
  3. Increase the CR with a better landing page
6. Conversion Rate Drop in CR could be due to:
  1. Increase in the number of clicks
  2. Drop in conversions
  3. Combination of point 1) and 2)
  4. Non-performance of the landing page
Remedies for a better CR:
  1. Increase traffic from search
  2. Improve landing page
7. Conversions Drop in conversions could be due to:
  1. Drop in impressions
  2. Drop in clicks
  3. Drop in CR
  4. Combination of all 3
For an increase in conversions a combination of all above mentioned remedies is required

Some Out-of-the-Way Tips

  • Build a time table: You may feel like a school going kid to set a time table for you day-to-day optimization activities but it is very important to keep a track of what has been done and what is going to be done in order to keep campaigns in your hand. You can refer Typical Paid Search Campaign's Optimization Schedule to find a regular optimization schedule.
  • Wear user hat: It has been said millions of times that to understand someone’s opinion you have to think like him. But once again I would say that while writing an ad copy, do think like a targeted user, for example – How would I act if searched for something and found this copy; is this copy different from other copies found on search engine; is the language of copy good enough to persuade me for a sale etc. Ask these questions to yourself and you will come up with most promising ad copies.
  • Become your own critic: Anyone would hate to face a criticism, but in any field everyone believe in a critic more than the creator, so become your own critic or take someone’s help to criticize your campaigns. At the end you will kill all those loop-holes costing you money.
  • Use any free time to write ad copies: Writing ad copies is a time taking task and doing it along with optimization is a pain in neck. You can never write enough ad copy variations to test, so build a backup stock for the time you actually need them. Don’t have to write for all the groups but for those you optimize very often.
  • Give any optimization 3-4 days: Any optimization will not start showing correct results in a day. You can start next cycle of optimization at least after 3 complete days of recent optimization and don’t count the data of previous optimization date and current optimization date while generating the reports, only the data in between will give you a correct picture to take decisions on optimization.
  • Track assisted conversions: Your target audience may choose to convert through other sources even after entering website via paid search, so you have to prepare your conversion path to capture the first touch source. Many lead capturing software are equipped to do that, but if it is not possible for you, then easiest way is to ask your prospects. For example if someone visited your physical office, you can ask casually during a conversation like – “from where did you got the reference” or on the lead capture form add a field “How did you find us?”. This will give the real result of your marketing efforts.
  • Share your ideas with others: Literally, please share your ideas in comments section of this blog. Paid search knowledge can never be enough to share, because money is involved at every step, so any help coming from anywhere is equivalent to getting more clicks out of same budget.
Do send us your feedback and let us know if these tips to paid search campaigns optimization work for you or not. Also let us know if any further assistance is required. You can write us directly to

image credit: cooldesign/

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