One of the really popular posts here on PPC Ian is my post about Six Essential PPC Campaign Checks. These checks are great and make sense any day of the week. However, let’s say it’s the weekend and you’re super busy. Let’s say you don’t have a lot of time for paid search. That’s ok, but there are still some essential checks you just need to do, even if you are on a tight schedule. As such, when I got the opportunity to guest post today on the PPC Associates Blog, I wrote a post about Four Essential Weekend Campaign Checks. I highly recommend checking it out. I’m passionate about the checks, especially the part about Protecting Your Brand Keywords (link hijacking tends to ramp up on weekends). I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank David, Hillary, and the entire PPC Associates team for the opportunity to guest post on their awesome blog. If you’re looking for a PPC Agency, I highly recommend contacting PPC Associates. They are awesome!
Update: Hillary from PPC Associates just informed me that my guest post made it to Marketing Day for May, 24 on Marketing Land. You can check it out here – just scroll down to the “Search Marketing” section. Sweet!
Pay per click is like Wall Street except the PPC exchanges (Google AdWords and Yahoo!/Microsoft adCenter) never sleep. There are certain campaign checks that I perform several times per day (almost excessively). These checks can truly make or break your PPC program. Today, I’m thrilled to highlight my top six checks. If you operate PPC campaigns, I highly recommend performing these checks around the clock.
My Favorite Pay Per Click Checks
Check one is easy: Just go to Google.com, type in your most important keyword, and then observe the results. Do you show up? Do you show up in the right position? You’d be surprised, this simple tip is quite effective at detecting problems. When your credit cards fail on Google (both primary and backup) this check is often the easiest way to understand a problem exists.
Check two: Perform check one again but this time on Yahoo! and Bing. Yahoo! and Bing are getting huge and it’s critical to ensure your ads are delivering correctly 24/7.
Check three: Perform check one again but leverage the ad preview tool on Google. Check your top keyword in a variety of different geos. Look for anything strange. This check is essential for the simple fact that you can observe geos different than your current location. Want to perform the same check on Yahoo? Here’s a cool hack: Go to Yahoo! weather and set your default location to the geo you’re interested in checking. Then, go and search for your test keyword.
Check four: Go to Yahoo.com and look at the “Trending Now” terms. Are any of them terms I’m buying? If so, I click the trending now term and observe the search results. It really depends on your vertical but if you rank well on a trending now term, you want to be ready for a lot of traffic (and a lot of spend). There are verticals where you will embrace the flood of traffic and others where it makes sense to pause your account until the term is no longer trending.
Check five: Search for your trademark terms on all major search engines and click your ads. Make sure your tracking URL looks correct and has the correct affiliate id. Since trademarks terms are end of funnel, they are ultra profitable and will often get abused by others (including your own affiliates). Sure, you’ll rack up some spend but it’s worth it if you drive a lot of conversions on your trademark terms.
Check six: Perform check one again but on Ask.com and AOL Search. These Google search syndication partners are huge and comprise a good amount of Google’s search volume.
So there you have it, my six favorite checks. I perform these consistently myself without automated tools. Since these can make or break an entire program, its essential to perform the checks yourself. I have caught hundreds of bugs over the years with these checks and sincerely hope they help you!
Due to great feedback from everyone, I’m excited to share my fourth PPC Ian video today. Specifically, I’ll be discussing some practical tips for launching brand new Google AdWords campaigns in a brand new Google AdWords account. From both personal experience and also questions from PPC Ian readers, I know this is a topic at the top of everyone’s mind and I sincerely hope my tips help make your launch a tremendous success!
There are two different career paths within the corporate pay per click world. Those in the first bucket take on large existing campaigns and are tasked with maintaining the baseline while slowly growing. This line of work is very challenging because many of the easy growth initiatives are already completed. The second PPC career path involves launching brand new search engine marketing accounts from scratch. It goes without saying that this is a difficult task. Sure, the sky is the limit in terms of opportunities, but there are numerous hurdles one may face in launching new campaigns, in a new account, for a new site.
I personally live both of these career paths each and every day as someone who has managed PPC teams in the corporate world for over five years. Large companies always have baseline businesses (bucket 1) which are supplemented with new, higher growth businesses (bucket 2). Earlier in your career, you will sometimes fall into one of these two buckets, but as you progress, there’s no doubt you will enjoy experiencing both of them. I hope you enjoy today’s video!
All the best,
PPC Ian (Ian Lopuch)
P.S. As a related post, you may wish to check out my landing page quality score tips, a very important aspect of launching a new AdWords account.
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I'm PPC Ian (Ian Lopuch), one of the most recognized search engine marketers around. I've grown from PPC Marketing Associate at a startup to Vice President, Search Marketing at a large public company after graduating from Stanford University. Read all about my personal story...