We are able to reduce the wasted spend from 75%+ to below 15% in 3–4 months in almost all cases. This means that 85–90% of the budget is going towards high-intent search phrases worthy of their ad spend, completely changing the ROI dynamic.
While some of the processes are technical, other parts involve stakeholder conversations, particularly with the sales and customer support teams who can help you connect the dots between what looks like a good lead and how you need to adjust your Adwords campaigns. Solid optimization tactics informed by salespeople, customer support experts and strategic marketing team will let you win in the hyper-competitive PPC marketplace.
Here are the basic ways to reduce waste:
- Intent-focused campaign structure, including theme-specific adgroups. Most campaigns have a horrible structure.
- Build retargeting campaigns around the long-sales-cycle of B2B purchases. The search language will change as they progress, and the retargeting language needs to lead them from step to step.
- Initial keyword research (many tools, not just Google’s) – some from existing search terms reports (if they are not a total waste) but I also use 4–5 other commercial tools, plenty of spreadsheet macros, GSC and Google analytics data. Solid match type decisions need to be made at this time also.
- Initial negative keyword selection (~500–1200 phrases usually, coming from our agency resources and initial campaign review)
- Search Terms Reports-based negative keyword enhancements. I use the search terms reports to guide subsequent negative keyword activity. The resulting client negative keyword lists are around 5000–6000 terms large and becomes a valuable corporate asset.
- Continuous adgroup refinement / SKAGs (Single Keyword (themed) Ad Groups)
- Ad tournaments/experiments to establish the best ad structure, including site links, callouts and more
- Refinement of audiences with appropriate campaigns and/or bid adjustments.
- Landing page tournaments/experiments to find conversion / lead-generation sweet spots for this newly improved traffic.
- Feedback from sales team / CRM about Adwords-sourced lead intent. Are they good calls? What level is the intent? What should we enhance or suppress?