Sometimes the world can be overwhelming – this year, in particular, has taught us all that. We recognise the need to take a step back from work, relax and readjust, and come back feeling refreshed. But if you run PPC campaigns single-handedly, how can you do that without everything you’ve worked hard for crashing down around you?
I think you deserve a break, so here are my top 5 tips for taking a PPC holiday without disaster striking.
1. Organizing your suitcase
Just as you would prepare for your trip by packing a bag, preparing your PPC accounts for your departure is highly important. If you don’t spend time thinking about what you’re packing, that’s how you end up going swimming in your pants.
Organization is what will allow you to relax during your break because you know everything is being taken care of. Choose to take a break when things are naturally quieter for you; with so many holiday events coming up, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, don’t try and give yourself too much to do by going away around an already stressful time.
Make sure you’ve got the basics covered: are your email permissions turned on so anything urgent comes straight to your inbox? Spend some time looking at the foundations of your ad campaigns – if they’re done well then you reduce the chances of running into any problems. Also, be sure to remove any time-specific offers before you leave as you won’t be around to make adjustments after they’re finished.
For added peace of mind, I recommend downloading the app version of your ad manager. Whether that be the Google Ads app or Facebook Ads Manager app, having a quick and easy way to check in on how things are going if you really feel the need will make everything a lot less stressful. The fact many of these apps have limited functionality will work in your favor too as it’ll stop you from getting drawn into making optimal CPC changes and ruining your break.
2. Run things at the right times
A good way to set up hands-off ad management is to utilise ad scheduling. By ensuring that your ads are only running on set days and times, you can focus your resources on your optimal performance times.
Furthermore, use the ad duration feature for ads or extensions which you may only want running for a set length of time, such as Black Friday weekend. This will make it easy for you to structure what you want running and when. If you have campaigns spread across multiple platforms, performance times will vary as different platforms have unique user habits. Creating a schedule for your absence which takes these into account will allow you to leave a smart plan in charge for a few days.
3. Setting house rules
Just like you would if you were leaving a teenager home alone, don’t leave without setting some strict ground rules. Rules are a great way to set in stone a level of control which will ensure things go smoothly when you can’t be there.
Rules I recommend setting up include:
- Budget caps
Depending on what time of the month you’re looking to take a break, and for how long, there are a variety of different rules that may suit you. For instance, setting up a rule that pauses campaigns that have spent a certain budget partway through the month will ensure you don’t overspend in the first half. Other options include an overall budget cap or receiving alerts if you spend over half the daily budget before lunchtime.
Either way, putting some rules in place will make sure you don’t overspend.
- Broken URLs
Set up a rule to pause campaigns which use a URL for a page that’s not working – that way, if a page of your site goes down, you won’t be wasting budget or making a bad impression to new customers.
- Under and overperformers
Just because you’re away from your computer doesn’t mean you can’t be optimizing your ads. Set rules which pause underperforming campaigns so you can look at how to make improvements when you get back. Similarly, allow a rule to increase the budget of a campaign which is knocking things out the park – you want to be able to bring in as many leads as you can, especially as you won’t be present to make real-time changes.
- Optimal CPA
Do you know your ideal cost-per-acquisition? Knowing the lifetime value of your customer is important at all times, but particularly when you’re thinking of having some time off. By having a rule which adjusts your keyword bids based on their cost-per-conversion, your ads will be much more manageable and it’ll be easier to stay on track. This rule will not only help you to maximise the number of conversions you can get but ensure they’re at a sensible price.
There are lots of different automation rules out there that can manage things on your behalf. Be sure not to set up any which contrast against one another. If possible, create your automation rules in the same place for all your platforms so you can clearly see what’s going on.
4. Use automation tools
Make life easier for yourself and use a platform which does everything in one place. If you have Google, Facebook and Microsoft ads running, for instance, it’s a lot of effort to manage them separately. By utilising software which houses all of your ad campaigns, you can make changes across them all in a third of the time.
Here are some of great free options:
- With a little know-how, you can set up PPC scripts to run 24/7. There are unlimited ways you can use them after the initial set up and use them to set up rules as mentioned above.
- Microsoft’s free Digital Marketing Centre holds lots of promise for managing your PPC ads and social media in one place. You can set up automated rules with it to streamline your departure and is well worth a look.
- Adzooma’s free PPC management platform has loads to offer with optimisation, automation and reporting for Google, Microsoft and Facebook ads all under one roof. Inside, you can action all of my tips from custom rule creations to ad scheduling and alerts. Nifty.
Last but not least, enjoy yourself! If you’ve taken the time to set things up and have sufficient backup plans in place, your PPC campaigns will be fine without you. Your campaigns might even be better for it if you return refreshed.
Consider leaving a friendly “back soon!” message for your customers and OOO email for other correspondence giving you extra peace of mind.
Your well-deserved PPC holiday
Many of these tips and tricks can be used all-year-round to make things easier, but even more so if you’re taking a break. Making the most of free platforms out there will take a lot of the workload off your shoulders too. If you’re struggling to do other aspects of your business single-handedly, consider outsourcing to experts for things like SEO, branding and PR. Using technology to support you can make things a lot more hassle-free than you realise.
5 Effective Ways to Run Facebook Ads A/B Tests
Facebook Ads A/B Tests or split tests help them try different versions of ads with various campaign elements. This process helps them arrive at the best version for the organization’s target.
A/B Tests offer a vast pool of resources to try out various versions. You may get caught up and lose your way to arriving at the best version in a limited time. To better understand this topic you can read the Facebook ad testing guide. Here are five effective ways to run Facebook Ads A/B Tests-
1) Start with the minimal number of variables
This approach will help you analyze the impact of a variable much better. The lesser the variables, the better will be the relevant results and more conclusive. Once you have various versions, you will need to run them through the A/B Significance Test to determine if the test results are valid.
2) The second way is to select the correct structure.
There are two structures in A/B tests. One is a single ad test, and the other is multiple single variation ad sets. All the variations will go under one ad set in the first structure. Each variation will be under a separate ad set in the second one. Out of the two, the second one works out to be better and gives better results.
3) Use of spreadsheets is important to stay organized.
These spreadsheets help collect and analyze data to get meaningful insights and arrive at data-backed decisions.
4) Do target advertising and set realistic time goals.
One approach is to choose an entirely new set of audiences. Also, the data pool should be vast and not the same as some existing campaigns. The reason for choosing a different audience is that Facebook may mix up your ads and give contaminated output.
Another approach to choosing the right audience is to pick geography. It works better, especially when you have business in a particular region.
It’s also essential to set a realistic timeline for your testing. Facebook suggests one should run a test for at least four days, but you can choose to run the test for up to 30 days.
5) Set an ideal budget.
The concept of a perfect budget is subjective. But, you can fix it yourself, or Facebook can do that for you based on your testing data. A large part of the test budget is spent on avoiding audience duplication. If the same audience sees variations, it could affect the test results.
Besides these top five effective ideas, you will need to take a few more action points to make the testing process efficient. Make sure you put the website’s domain link and not the landing page link in the ad, as that doesn’t look good. Put appropriate Call To Action Button, such as ‘Learn More,’ ‘Buy Now,’ etc. It’s also important to see how your ad is coming across on various electronic gadgets- mobile, tablets, etc.
Another strategy that works is trying to engage the customer. You may add social engagement buttons such as ‘Like’ or ‘Comment.’ Use high-resolution images as they work better with the customers. Low-quality, highly edited images are often not liked and trusted by the consumers.
You can learn more about the audience behavior patterns with A/B test results. Conducting these tests on Facebook streamlines the entire process and makes it smooth for you. With the test results, advertisers and marketers can work on the creatives they need to utilize.
To sum it up, you can run an effective A/B test campaign within the specified budget. You don’t need to spend massive amounts to get your advertisement right. You’ll make the correct assumptions about the performance of variations with a good understanding of business and consumers.
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