3 Things to Watch for in a New PPC Campaign

You set up that new PPC campaign, pushed it live and its ready to perform. But sometimes, campaigns don’t measure up the way you thought they might. And if you know what to look for, you can make changes on the fly that make a positive impact quickly.

So today, we’re going to be talking about three things you want to make sure are on your radar when you launch a new PPC campaign:

  1. Suspiciously fast spend.
  2. Low click-through rate.
  3. No impressions or no activity at all.

1. Suspiciously Fast Spend

Look at the big picture when you’re monitoring spend. If a campaign goes live, and 30 minutes later you’ve already blown through $100 when the account usually spends $200 in an entire day, you’ve got a problem.

Sometimes when we see unusually fast spend, it’s often the workings of one runaway keyword. Here are a couple things to keep in mind:

  • Look at the keywords. Is there something wrong with them? For example, is the match type too loose or do you need to add in some negative keywords? When we run a new PPC campaign with a high-volume keyword, we usually start off with a tighter match type like phrase match and exact match. Then, if we feel comfortable enough, we can open it up to modified broad match or even broad match.
  • Look at the settings. You have two targeting choices within the settings: the display network or the search network. Make sure that if it’s a search campaign, you’re only targeting the search network.

2. Low Click-Through Rate

If you have a thousand impressions with zero clicks, there’s a problem with either your keywords or your ad. Our general rule of thumb is that if we don’t see one click out of 100 impressions, it’s time to investigate. Keep in mind that some industries do have lower click-through rate (CTR) because they’re so competitive in the PPC world.

Here are some things to look for when you see low CTR:

  • Check on Keywords: There could be one errant keyword in an ad group that’s causing the problem. If so, you may want to consider pausing just that one.
  • Analyze Ad Messaging: If everything else checks out, test out your ad messaging. One client was experiencing a low CTR when they included the price of the product in the ad. Once we tested a version without the price, CTR skyrocketed. One thing you can do is look at the ad copy for that product across your competitors to gauge the norm.

3. No Activity At All

What if you launch a PPC campaign, and all you hear are crickets chirping? That could be due to something that occurs when you create a new campaign from an old one. Sometimes, when you’re starting a new campaign, it’s easiest to retain the settings and structure when you copy it from an existing campaign.

What often happens here is that legacy negative keywords are copied over. And while this is often helpful at keeping that bad traffic out for a particular ad group or campaign, you want to double check that all those negative keywords still apply to the new campaign.

Dog at Computer

For example, say you own a pet shop that sells all kinds of dog leashes, but you never had harness-type leashes before, so you kept that out of your PPC campaign through your negative keywords.

But now, you do offer them, and you want to start targeting traffic for “harness dog leashes” in your ad campaign.

So you could copy over an existing campaign for leashes, then make sure all the negative keywords pertaining to harness leashes are taken out, and customize from there.

The other thing to look at when you have zero activity is the match type. Remember earlier when we talked about setting your match type in a new campaign? If you started off with phrase and exact match types, and you aren’t getting any activity, now might be a good time to explore modified broad match. If that still doesn’t do anything, open it up to broad match and see what happens.

Finally, no activity could just mean there’s no search volume for a keyword. Of course, you may know this going in, but sometimes the team wants to include a phrase that they believe is important to their campaign’s success, but proves not to be in the end.

Do you have anything you keep an eye out for when you launch a new PPC campaign? Tell us about it in the comments below.