The Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on businesses around the world, and whenever there is economic uncertainty, one of the first things to get axed is marketing budgets and campaigns.
Show me the money!
While that would make sense at first glance, what this has meant is that average Cost Per Clicks has dropped by over 50% across the board, which means that for those advertisers who do continue with their campaigns, they get to enjoy leads at significantly lower costs than before.
Average CPCs drop due to advertisers pausing their campaign during the Coronovirus pandemic
So, rather than pausing your campaigns altogether, a better strategy might be to try and leverage the market opportunities by reducing your spend and getting more bang for your buck.
Here are some really simple changes you can make to your PPC campaign, which, combined with the lower CPCs more advertisers are seeing currently, will help reduce your Cost Per Lead by as much as 150%! ?
When it comes to Cost Per Lead, less is more!
#1: Adjust Your Ad Schedule To Show Up During The Best Performing Times
If you head over to the Overview section of your Google Ads dashboard, towards the end, you are going to see a Day & Hour chart, which you can adjust to see what day and hour of the week you tend to get the most conversions.
Make a note of the top 2-3 days you tend to get most of your conversions, and you can decide to either exclude other days from your campaigns for the time being or reduce the bids on those days so you still show up, but your spend will be much less on those days.
Best performing days in terms of number of conversions
Depending on your type of business, another relevant metric might be to look at the Cost Per Conversion or Conversion rate and depending on your campaign's objective. If other non-conversion related metrics such as clicks, impressions, etc. are more suitable, you can make a selection from all the options available by clicking on the drop-down on the top left.
Other non-conversion related metrics available on the Overview tab
#2: Look At The Device-Level Performance Data To Cut Out Waste
On the Overview tab, you will also find a chart showing your campaign's performance on a device level, and as with day and time data, you can use this info to reduce your Cost Per Lead by adjusting your bids for the devices that are performing the best for you.
The first thing to look at is the Cost Per Conversion, and as you will see from this example, computers have resulted in the lowest cost leads while tablets have been the most expensive, so the obvious thing to do here is to either reduce how much you want to bid for tablets or exclude them altogether.
Adjust your bids via the Device tab info.
#3: Deep Dive Into Your Keyword & Position Level Data To Find Quick Wins
One of the most valuable pieces of keyword-level performance is analyzing how much you have been paying for your clicks compared to what the market rates are.
Very often, the numbers Google tells you that you need to pay to appear within the top, or the first 4 positions, is hugely overestimated, and the worst thing you can do for your ad budget is to keep increasing your max CPCs just because Google says so!
For example, you can see below that the max CPCs Google says you should bid for a top 4 position is several times higher than what we have ended up paying. And, the reason we were able to make these cost savings is by regularly looking at the CPC data and reducing it incrementally so that we always stay within the top 2-4 results while being able to pay as little as possible for those positions.
Don't get tempted to keep increasing your CPCs!
#4 Refer To Your Auction Insights Data
The Auction Insights tool allows you to see all other websites that are also advertising for your target keywords, and it gives you an idea of how your ad is performing compared to that of your competitors.
As a rule of thumb, you never want to appear too far ahead of your competitors, as that means you are paying quite a bit more for the same keywords and reach.
If you find you are showing up too far ahead of the competition, the first thing to do is to experiment with reducing your CPCs until you are showing up just ahead of the competition. Otherwise, you are unnecessarily paying over the odds to get higher positions.
After all, you can't get any further ahead than #1 ?.
Is there ever a reason to NOT show up as position 1?
Why, I am glad you asked, and the answer is a resounding yes ?.
On average, the #1 position costs twice that of the remaining 3 within the top 4, and in many cases, the differential is much higher.
Top position CPC compared with other 3.
Too often, advertisers think that if they don't appear within position 1, they aren't going to get good quality clicks and traffic, but that is simply not true.
By focusing on improving the messaging and words you use in your ad copies and making them more creative, you can get high CTRs and conversion rates even if you are not in the first position.
Conversion rates based on positions
#5 Adjust Your Keyword Mix Based On Their Performance
You can find several quick-win opportunities on a keyword level by analyzing your target keywords — which ones are resulting in lower cost conversions and which ones are costing you more?
The obvious thing to do here is to pause the keywords, which are resulting in the most expensive per lead cost, so you can use your available budget to show up only for the keywords that are costing the least to deliver leads.
Cost per conversion of your keywords will vary, adjust accordingly.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been making the above changes to all the campaigns I manage, and on average, I have seen Cost Per Leads drop anywhere from 50% to 200% as a result of smarter bidding + lower Cost Per Clicks because so many advertisers are putting their campaign on pause.
It is a good idea for you to make a note of all changes you are making and then observe the impact that has as these insights will help you become a smarter PPC advertiser not just during these difficult times but also when things return to normal, and we are once again complaining about how expensive Cost Per Clicks have become! ?