Last year, I wrote the posts “Metricless PPC Management” and “DKI For Small Business” about some basic efforts that I took to optimize the AdWords account of Tri-Cities Realtor Cari McGee, who is the wife of my good friend Matt McGee (search marketer extraordinaire).
My wife and I recently visited the Washington Tri-Cities over a weekend when we had dinner with Matt & Cari and saw their wonderful new house. During dinner, we did chat about AdWords, and I asked how their campaign (which I hadn’t looked at in nine months) was working for them. Cari was very happy with the activity from her website, and though she didn’t really know whether PPC, SEO, or social media had been driving potential clients to her, she was having a very good year professionally and attributed much of her success to the Internet.
Let me recap the steps that I implemented for Cari’s self-managed (well…Matt-managed) account when I took it over:
1) Turned off the stuff that was currently running.
2) Pulled a very large search query report.
3) Deleted the search queries that were irrelevant. For common irrelevant words (e.g. apartments), added them as negative keywords.
4) Added each relevant keyword to a single keyword ad group in the “Master” campaign at Modified Broad Match.
5) Created a generic “Dynamic Keyword Insertion” ad for each ad group. Removed the DKI portion of the ad for names of competitors.
6) Set the keyword and campaign bids at logical levels, though it was ultimately up to Matt/Cari to decide what they should be.
With no conversion mechanisms in place, this was the best I could do for them. I had no way to track which terms were going to drive them leads.
A few days after I had dinner with the McGees, I checked into the account after not seeing it for nine months. How was it performing?
The account had performed wonderfully. About 97-98% of the search queries were relevant to Cari’s business. The modified broad match algorithm, combined with the single keyword ad group setup, performed exactly as intended. I missed a couple important negative keywords (“Yakima,” since she didn’t work that market, and “manufactured” for “manufactured home”…I had added “mobile” in the original negative list but forgot this one). However, all the money that Cari previously wasted on people looking for apartments and rental properties now was being spent on legitimate prospects.
Barring some unexpected change in the modified broad match algorithm, I expect Cari to get 97-98% targeted traffic well into the foreseeable future.
We discuss many sophisticated paid search concepts on the PPC Associates blog. The great majority of paid search accounts will never need the level of sophisticated management that we give our clients. However, some of our basic tactics can be adapted rather easily to simpler account setups, and they can have a tremendous impact on small businesses.
I’ll never precisely know how much impact a few hours of my time has benefited and will benefit my friends…but I’ve seen the power of the PPC Associates process as it’s applied to our clients, and I’m certain it’s made a tremendous difference in Cari’s professional life.
– Todd Mintz, Senior SEM Manager