PPC Management – Quality Scores

When running a PPC campaign, you can actively check every day and still miss out on learning how to monitor your ‘quality scores’ to optimize your strategy.

That’s because if you look at the campaigns, the ad groups or indeed the ads, you can see the number of clicks and other important data like average cost per click (CPC), the number of impressions and the number of conversions but you have to dig a little deeper to see the quality scores that google assigns to each of your keywords.

How to check your PPC Quality Scores

When you are inside your PPC campaign, you must click on the ‘keywords’ tab. In the ‘status’ column there are rectangular white bubbles which reveal the quality score for each keyword as they are hovered over. The lowest value is 1/10 which indicates ‘below average’ performance in each of the following factors

  • Expected clickthrough rate
  • Ad relevance
  • Landing page experience

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At the opposite end of the scale, the best possible quality score is 10/10 where all of the factors record ‘above average’

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The resulting box will also show if your ads are currently being shown right now. Even with a perfect quality score, your ad may still be not being shown currently. In this example ‘another creative in the ad group was selected over this one’. Quality score is a good guide and tool to help you manage your keywords but should not exclusively determine your actions.

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My quality score is missing

It takes time for the campaign to gather enough data to assign a quality score to any keyword. Rather than assign an arbitrary 5/10 as a mid point, instead the quality score remains undetermined until it can be assessed. When hovering over the bubble in the keywords tab you may see this explanation:

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Does a better quality score matter?

Yes! A higher quality score represents a ‘successful’ ad as measured by it’s history. The assumption is that if a click has performed well up to now, it will continue to do so and the system is set up to reward those interactions in which customers  look for something, choose to click in and then find relevant material at the resulting webpage. A lower cost and a higher ad position can result.

ppc management goals

How can you act on the information?

Make checking the quality scores a regular part of your PPC review strategy. Understand which keywords are seen to be performing well and see if they have something in common like particular wording or a specific landing page that is giving above average customer experience. Use that knowledge to help improve your keywords with poor quality scores or focus in on the best performing keywords by suspending some of the terms which are not performing well.

 

The bottom line

If you are measuring conversions in your campaign and they represent genuine leads then that rightly should take top priority in your strategy. Even if you are seeing a poor quality score, if a keyword is generating conversions then it makes sense to only make changes if your CPC is too high. A campaign with multiple keywords scoring 10/10 is not the goal – the goal is to connect with new customers. Quality score can guide your attention and efforts to improve the overall quality of your campaign but it is only one of the indicators you should be managing.

If you are looking to start a new PPC campaign, contact us today info@trulium.com

PPC Negative Keywords

PPC Negative Keywords are a way to exclude search terms or words which could cause your ad to show but are not relevant to your campaign. When running a Pay Per Click campaign the goal is to reach the optimal  target audience and connect with potential clients. If your ad is reaching a sector which you are not appealing to, it may be for a good reason. One reason could be ambiguity in your keywords. For example, perhaps you sell fishing nets and consumers looking for your product are searching for ‘nets’. Instead of fishing nets, they may be searching for soccer nets, the latest result for the Brooklyn Nets, mosquito nets or butterfly nets.

ppc negative keywords

This has a negative effect on your campaign for several reasons:

  • You are paying for each click
  • Every click is spending a portion of your daily budget and therefore potentially stopping the ad running to reach someone else
  • When someone clicks into your ad and doesn’t see what they expect, they are more likely to flag a reaction of a poor ‘landing page experience’ which will contribute to a lower quality score and therefore potentially a higher Cost Per Click (CPC) in the future.

There is a feature within ad words to help with this – negative keywords.

After spending so much time finding the keywords you need to reach your niche market, it’s important not to overlook this facet of the campaign.

If you have different ad groups under one campaign you have a choice:

  • Apply negative keywords to the entire campaign
  • Apply negative keywords at the ad group level

Negative Keyword formats

Broad Match Negative Keywords should be entered with synonyms, plurals and other variations – these are entered as words. Example:  soccer mosquito mosquitoes

Phrase Match Negative Keywords should be entered within quotation marks and will block the ad from showing if the exact term or a similar term is searched on. Example: “Mosquito nets” (which will block ‘mosquito nets’, ‘buy mosquito nets’, ‘mosquito net sale’).

Exact Match Negative Keywords should be entered within brackets and will cause the ad not to show if the exact term is entered. Example: [Butterfly Nets]

 

How to Find Negative Keywords

You know your good keywords and may already know some terms you want to add as ‘negative keywords’. If not, help is on hand.

Within your PPC campaign, click on Keywords and then the tab ‘negative keywords’. Here you will see  two columns – the first for ad group level and the second for campaign level. If the columns are empty then no negative keywords are currently set. When either column is empty, there is a clickable link to ‘find negative keywords now’ step by step. Clicking on this link will take you through the following process:

  • Click on the Search Terms tab – this shows the actual search strings entered by the people who then clicked into your ads
  • Scan through the list and select any terms which you know are not your potential clients – they are your unwanted search terms
  • Click on ‘add as negative keywords’
  • Click on ‘save’

As with all changes to your PPC campaign, you should carefully monitor the impact of adding negative keywords and amend the list as required. The ultimate aim is to maximize your ROI (return on investment) and focus the campaign to reach the right people at the right time.

If you need help identifying negative keywords for your campaign or are looking to start a new PPC campaign, contact us today info@trulium.com

Social Media Posts – Look for the Anomalies

Keep the Ball Rolling

If you are working hard to provide new exciting content to engage visitors, that is a sound base for your marketing campaign. On a one-to-one level the most important thing with an individual who takes the time to interact with your page is responsiveness. That could be ‘liking’ a nice comment or replying to a positive review. Perhaps the most critical in terms of winning new business is answering messages asap. Leaving a question unanswered for even one hour during the working day could mean the difference between ‘being on the ball’ and losing that potential client to the next vendor on their list. (Expectations do vary – if you are messaged at 3am then nobody really expects an immediate reply, but if your business hours are ‘open’ then nowadays messaging a business is expected to be almost as immediate as picking up the phone). If you keep on top of your emails then an easy way to mange this is to set up email notifications – that way you can see messages through your inbox instead of constantly monitoring  your portfolio of social media accounts.

 

Statistics

Statistics can be wonderful – they can also be confusing and can be deliberately used to mislead. If you have an account and are hoping to see growth week on week then a 10% increase in followers sounds amazing. Boiling it down though. If you have 10 followers at the start of the week and 11 at the end, that is a 10% increase!

If however you see a 3% increase but you started at 700 followers, that translates to an extra 21 potential clients who are now taking a more active interest in your brand.

 

Look for the Anomalies

Over time, posts, engagement and reactions will generally even out.

Exceptions include:

  • Seasonal campaigns
  • Promotions
  • Paid advertising
  • Shorter months – February is here and 28 days can make a significant difference to monthly stats over the 31 days in January – expect to see lower overall traffic, especially if your traffic is primarily weekend or weekday based depending on where the weekends fall.

Even pages which are primarily viewed Monday – Friday will show standardized statistics week on week.

This sounds as though looking at statistics can always be explained by some factor or another – playing a video slideshow presents multiple images to viewers without them having to ‘click in’ to see them all, there was a holiday, there was bad weather .. the list goes on.

That’s why when you find an anomaly in your data, it reinforces all the times you doubted if the investment in time was worth it. If you look at a chart and even a cursory glance tells you something magical happened in your campaign, it’s worth investigating because what happened then can happen again. Learning from your successful posts helps create more engaging posts for the future.

Within Facebook, this data can be accessed within the Insights tab. On the left of the screen you can drill down into videos, posts, events etc and one of the choices is ‘reach’.

From this chart we can see a few spikes although nothing causes too much alarm.

facebook reach

The next chart shows reactions, comments and shares and now the data takes on a dramatic new insight.

data anomalies

Whereas most days are averaging out with some doing slightly better than others, it is clear that whatever was posted on Jan 9th (and was then again viewed many times on Jan 10th as people caught up with their Facebook feed) was special.

When you hover over the spikes, each day can be highlighted in turn. Clicking on any date will take you to the post so you can see which particular post garnered so many reactions.

facebook reactions

So yes, statistics can seem monotonous sometimes and generally may demonstrate only minor shifts or trends in your campaign. Sometimes however, by searching for the anomalies and by learning from what your audience truly appreciates, you are able to improve your connection and thereby improve your chances of success.

 

If you are looking for help with a social media marketing campaign or help interpreting the data you already have, we can help. Contact us at Trulium today.