How Lawyers Can Spend Less Money on PPC and Get the Same Results

PPC management is just like any other practice, such as SEO or even nutrition, in which there are many ways to accomplish a goal and everyone has an idea of the best way. We spend a lot of time talking about what to do and how to do it. And when all of those ideas find themselves in the same PPC campaign, it’s usually a disaster.

If you’ve ever looked at a new client’s account only to find that they have added every keyword in every match type and every possible word order plus they are running 10 ad variations at once and have their campaigns day parted to the point that you need a decoder ring to figure out when the ads actually run, you know what I’m talking about. Your campaigns may not be in that bad of shape, but it’s time to ask if your campaigns need to go on a diet to reduce bloating and make them more manageable. If they do, here are 7 places to cut the fat and make your campaigns more lean.

1. Find keywords that have never had any clicks or that have so few impressions they aren’t worth the space they’re taking up. Often, if you are short on time to optimize your campaigns, you’ll only look at the keywords that are costing a lot so these will go unnoticed. These keywords will have low quality scores because of the low impression level or low CTR. They aren’t providing any value to you anyway, so delete them.

2. Find keywords with extremely low quality scores that have not resulted in conversions. If you have already moved them to more granular ad groups and tried optimization to improve them and they are still very low, delete them. If they aren’t resulting in conversions and you have put in a considerable amount of work to improve them, they are most likely costing more time than they are worth.

3. Look for empty ad groups. This can happen after deleting keywords like you did in step one and two. If the ad group is empty, delete it. You’ll still have access to the data but it won’t clutter your UI or give you those lovely errors in AdWords Editor.

4. Review your negative keyword lists. See if you have phrase or exact match negatives that are overlapping. Choose the one that makes the most sense for the campaign and get rid of the other. For instance, if you sell water bottles, you wouldn’t want traffic from baby bottle traffic. So, if you have ‘baby’ as a broad match negative and ‘baby bottles’ as a phrase match, delete the baby bottles phrase match and just keep the baby broad negative. Vetting your negative keyword lists like this from time to time will ensure that you are blocking the keywords you want to be in the way you want and will make the lists more manageable.

5. Review the geographic data in the dimensions tab. If there is a geographic area that is far from meeting your performance goals, remove it from your targeting. If the area generates a lot of traffic that just isn’t converting, you may want to launch a campaign specifically targeted to that area that you can optimize more specifically to the geo target. But, if you remove that geo from the targeting of your current campaign, you can quickly have impact on your bottom line.

6. Review your day parting settings. See if they still make sense with the daily and hourly data provided on the dimensions tab. You may see more times of day that is not profitable that you want to exclude. Or, you may want to test adding some times back into your ad schedule if you’ve optimized your campaigns well and think you can get better results from times that you previously didn’t.

7. Review the ads you are running in each ad group. If you have too many ads running in a campaign, they won’t get statistical relevance quickly enough to properly optimize. Pause all but one or two ads, depending on how much traffic the ad group gets. And start scheduling ad optimization now that you’ll be getting enough traffic on the ads to make good decisions about their performance.

Even if you are properly and regularly optimizing your campaigns, it’s good to do quarterly reviews of settings and keywords that you don’t put regular thought into. Performance metrics change, locations start performing differently, user behavior changes. Getting out of your regular optimization rut and doing some broader changes will help keep your campaigns manageable and can help you find places to improve your bottom line.

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