If I had a penny for every time I’ve seen the ‘#NewYearNewMe’ hashtag on social media since late December, I’d have enough to buy myself a Nando’s with fino sides. New Year’s resolutions and how short lived they are always seems to leave a sour taste in my mouth, though that could be attributed to the cheap prosecco I inevitably drink on New Year’s Eve. Nevertheless I’ve decided that if you can’t beat them, join them. Plus, if this is my first full year in PPC then it seems timely to set out how to approach 2017 now I know my paid search onions, especially when 2016 was such a big year for the industry.
Keep on top of your account on a daily basis.
Here at Digital Gearbox we call this process housekeeping. Throughout the month I’ll regularly go into my clients’ accounts and ensure that each keyword is performing to the best of its ability; not restricted by budget or spending without results. I’ll also perform some more in-depth optimisation by rooting out bad search terms and adding them as negative keywords, as well as ensuring Remarketing audiences are bringing the right kind of traffic in by assessing their placements.
Regularly reviewing performance is essential to PPC success and only by actively managing it with a defined strategy will it have a chance of really working for your business. It is easy to waste a lot of money if left unattended, so you need to take the time to check your account is running within your KPI targets and to identify which campaigns are performing well and which ones aren’t so that you can then optimise by focusing your efforts and money in the right areas.
Don’t underestimate channels that aren’t Adwords.
Of course, Adwords is the main online ad channel out there so it’s completely understandable as to why so many people flock to it. However, when you consider how far other platforms have come in recent months and years, it really doesn’t make much sense to ignore the potential that they have for businesses.
Bing, for example have rolled out many new developments in the past year that should definitely not be ignored. Following in Adwords’ footsteps, they now have Expanded Text Ads, Shopping campaigns and match type modifications which place them to be a platform that should be taken just as seriously as Adwords. Indeed, for us at Digital Gearbox Bing tends to have a higher click-through rate than Adwords; with one client’s average CTR being 5.25% on Bing in comparison to 1.59% on Adwords. As well as this, Bing’s engagement data tends to be a lot stronger than Adwords; an average session duration of over 2 minutes is not to be sniffed at!
If your product is particularly visual, Instagram might be a worthwhile platform to explore in 2017, too. We delved into this prospect late last year, and you can find out if it’s worth a go for your business or clients in our blog here (link).
Push yourself out of your advertising comfort zone and explore some less weathered territory, it could well pay off for your business or clients.
Keep in the know and read blogs from fellow PPC marketers
This is one I’m definitely guilty of. I read blogs when I need inspiration, or when there’s breaking news in the industry, but beyond that I don’t ever really bother. This could mean that I’m missing out on some small changes that could make a big improvement to my workload. This is definitely true for platforms that aren’t Adwords. For example, I had no idea that Bing had match type modifications until today!
Blogs are put out left, right and centre, and with Digital Gearbox being a Google partner there is so much information to absorb that there’s sometimes just no time to let it all soak in. Whilst I get a pretty detailed view of what’s hot in the PPC world, I’m missing a trick if I don’t get in the know about the really small things. This is definitely a good one for us all to bear in mind to ensure that we could win the Nobel Prize for PPC if there was such a thing. Let’s make this resolution together, yeah? PPC Hero and Search Engine Land give a great overview and are brilliant places to start.
2016 was a crazy year in every way possible. For PPC, 2016 will be a tough act to follow but I have faith that 2017 will bring so many new innovations in the industry that it will even more things for us marketers to play about with and juggle at the same time. When these all inevitably come along, it’s best for us all to be on our A-Game so we can pour as much time as we can into them. In 2017, let’s make our resolution to be the best PPC’ers that we can be.