There are so many details to managing a good Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign that many people outsource the task to those who know the systems very well. Others try to manage their website’s keyword lists, advertising copy and landing page on their own – Some do it well, others do not.

It’s important to go back to the basics of a PPC campaign (keywords, advertising text and landing pages). Google is constantly changing the aspects of how advertisements are ranked for certain keywords (it’s not just about the bid), that having the core fundamentals in place is important and needs constant review.

I’m going to be presenting this subject in three parts, starting with keywords:

Your keywords are how people find your website, your products and your services. The terms that potential customers type in when searching can be everything from your website name to a very obscure misspelling of your top product.

Doing research on which terms people are using to find you is critical. You want to be in front of those potential customers. Google AdWords has a good keyword tool that lets you enter a term, such as one of your product names, and it will give you the average search volume for the past month as well as other related search terms. This tool is one of many that give you the power to find out what your potential customers are typing into the search engines to find your business.

For those who already have a keyword list, it is still beneficial to get back to the basics and see what others are searching for. Trends change, language changes and seasons change. Many different external factors could have an impact on user behavior.

Once you have finished researching your terms or refining your keyword list, review your list of terms. Ensure that these are the terms you still want to bid on. Perhaps your business goals have changed and you no longer want to promote Red Widgets because you have found that Blue and Green Widgets are what potential customers really want.

Change is good – as long as it follows a plan.

Bonus Tip: Use the Search Query Report. Among the reports in Google AdWords is a search query report that aggregates the actual searches that people used to find your ad and site. This is a great place to get additional keywords (straight from the user!) and also to find negative keywords. Negative keywords are important to help qualify your customer before they see your ad (and before you get the impressions and clicks that you know will not convert).

Nicole Poole
Online Marketing Manager
Palo Alto Software