How To Qualify A PPC Prospect

Blog Categories:  PPC  

PPC is a terrific form of Internet marketing — but not for every business and not without a solid game plan. Before we take on a new PPC client, we conduct a thorough audit to gauge two critical things: whether the cost-benefit equation of a campaign makes sense, and whether a current campaign can be improved upon or needs to be completely replaced.

Here are the specific items we review in our PPC qualifying audit:

1. Exploratory Keyword Research

  1. Conducting exploratory keyword research using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool helps us understand:
    1. The potential size of the prospect’s market
    2. Estimated monthly search volume
    3. The most relevant keywords with the highest search volume
    4. The competitiveness of the keyword market
  2. We also look at the below projected monthly metrics for each keyword:
    1. Clicks — The estimated number of times a user would click on an ad on the search results page
    2. Impressions — The estimated number of times a user would view an ad on the search results page
    3. Cost — The estimated cost of each keyword
    4. CTR — The estimated click-through rate (clicks/impressions) of each keyword
    5. Average CPC — The estimated cost-per-click from Google AdWords, which provides insight into the value and competition level of the keyword
    6. Average Position — The estimated position for an ad on the search results page

2. Existing Account Audit (If applicable. We only do this if the client has an existing campaign it is currently running.)

We analyze the account to determine:

  • If we can take over the existing campaign and just make some slight modifications and start managing the campaigns from there
  • If we need to set up a new account and create all new campaigns from scratch

I. Account Level

  1. Adequate initial spend
  2. Proper campaign/ad group structure (for budget control purposes, based on services and/or website structure)
  3. AdWords conversion tracking
  4. Dynamic phone tracking
  5. Google Analytics tagging

II. Campaign Level

  1. Sitelink extensions
  2. Location extensions
  3. Callout extensions
  4. Call extension
  5. Review extension
  6. Snippet extension
  7. Customized ad schedule
  8. Customized device targeting
  9. Search and display separated into individual campaigns
  10. Remarketing lists on search ads (RLSA)

III. Ad Level

  1. Ads
    1. Ad group level customization
    2. Proper grammar
    3. Call to action in ad text
    4. Proper A/B ad split testing
  2. Landing pages
    1. Ad group level customization
    2. Messaging consistent with keywords and ads
    3. Offer/CTA
    4. Prominent phone number placement
    5. Prominent form placement
    6. Responsive/mobile-friendly
    7. Modern design

IV. Keyword Level

  1. Adequate number of keywords
  2. Active bid management
  3. Average or above average quality score
  4. Not using broad match (non-modified)
  5. Utilizing multiple match types
  6. Frequent negative keyword management

We look at all of these, but the main factors that usually determine whether we can take over a campaign or not are:

  • Proper campaign/ad group structure
  • Adequate number of keywords

If these two aren’t done correctly, fixing them is more time-consuming and the results are less effective than just starting over. The other audit items provide great insight about the inner workings of the existing campaign, which enable us to take advantage of or enhance the good campaign elements, and rework the less effective ones.

3. Media Budget Recommendations

After completing the exploratory keyword research and existing account audit (if applicable), we recommend a monthly media budget for the prospect. We provide the prospect with a minimum required monthly budget and a maximum potential monthly budget.

The minimum required monthly budget is the amount required to be competitive and gather enough data to properly optimize the campaign.

The maximum monthly budget takes into account the maximum projected number of clicks the prospect could receive with an unlimited budget.

The Two Big Benefits of a PPC Audit

This audit procedure has helped us in two very important ways:

First, even though we hate to turn down business, we do exactly that when the numbers don’t add up — there’s no sense getting started on a PPC campaign that’s doomed from the start; we’ll only end up getting fired. What’s more, prospects appreciate our frankness and this often leads them to explore other, better marketing options with us.

Second, when the audit proves favorable for PPC, which it does most of the time, we can hit the ground running with a solid strategy and tactical plan. This makes the ramp-up faster and far more efficient, so we can start delivering results more quickly while staying well within the budget.

If you’re not running a PPC audit along these lines now, give it some thought! It may help you land the right type of client and increase your odds of a highly successful outcome.

Ready to Make Every Click Count?