There’s a definite formula to starting your PPC day off right. No, we’re not talking about drinking your morning coffee or starting the day with exercise. We’re talking about following an easy to follow checklist of PPC tasks to accomplish each morning before 10am, to set your day in motion and improve your campaign performance by the end of the day.
We’ll be looking at setting goals early, strategizing tasks, checking campaign performance and adjusting bids and budgets. But to start, it all depends on whether you are an early bird or a night owl.
The early bird gets the worm
We surveyed a select group of Acquisio clients and asked them what they do to be as productive as possible in the morning. The first thing we learned was whether these clients were morning people or night owls.
Of the surveyed clients, 44% were night owls. Of those who felt they were more productive in the evenings, all of them required some sort of boost in the morning to feel productive, whether it was coffee, exercise, or simply water.
The morning people got straight to work, checking campaigns, monitoring budget performance, and aligning their goals for the day.
Finding out that morning people are more productive in the mornings is a bit of a tautology — by definition that’s what a morning person is. What is interesting is that morning people are more productive and successful, in general. According to the Harvard Business Review, a study surveying 367 university students found the following about morning people
They tend to get better grades in school, which get them into better colleges, which then lead to better job opportunities.
For all you night owls who are dependent on stimulants to get you through the morning, there is hope, but it entails adjusting your circadian rhythm, aka your inner clock.
A circadian rhythm, the reason you call yourself a morning or night person, is both genetic and circumstantial. According to a study shared by Psychology Today, rising early, or not, is determined by genes. But ask any parent and you know rising early stops being a choice, or even a genetic predisposition, after kids. By pushing yourself to get to bed earlier and to start your day earlier, you can turn yourself into a morning person, according to Joe Apfelbaum, a contributor at Forbes.
Essentially, part one of running a profitable PPC campaign is getting up early. The next step is all about working on strategic tasks.
Setting goals and tackling big tasks
The first thing on any PPC manager’s morning checklist should be setting goals for the day. Realistically, the first thing many professionals do is check email.
Don’t check emails first. According to Forbes,
Decision-making is an energy-hungry task. Our tanks are full in the morning, so that energy should be reserved for something important.
Checking email as soon as you get into the office, or worse, as soon as you wake up in the morning, is a way to distract you from actually completing tasks and reaching goals.
Instead, work on “top priority tasks,” says a source from Business Insider.
Ignore the collection of spam emails in your inbox, and instead focus on the campaign goals and the actions needed to reach those goals. For example, every PPC campaign is focused on either:
- Collecting more leads
- Getting more sales, via an ecommerce channel
- Improving branding
Or a combination of these goals.
The best way to set your daily goals is to work backwards from your target, according to our friends at Wordstream.
Here’s an example to help you visualize:
- Let’s say your annual goal is to make $36,000 in sales from a given campaign.
- Each month your campaign would need to generate $3000 in sales, which is about $100 a day.
- If you know that it takes about a dozen ad clicks before you make a sale, and each sale is an average $50, you can set accurate targets each day.
With these clear goals and insights, you can prioritize your actions to ensure campaigns are on target. If they’re not on target, you need to make adjustments to keywords, ads, landing pages or anything else that may be affecting conversion rate.
Having a laser focused goal in mind, even at a daily level, will help you get focused from the moment you get into the office. Remind yourself what the most important actions and goals are for the day, and build a to do list accordingly.
At the top of that to do list should be your biggest challenge of the day. Setting up a new campaigns, meeting with a new client, finalizing reports…if you start your most daunting tasks in the early a.m you get more done by the time you’ve exhausted your mental energy.
Check KPIs and make adjustments
Running PPC campaigns means you need to be best friends with your KPI dashboard. Once you’ve set your days goals, and strategized what tasks to tick off your list first, you’ll want to check in on your campaign performance via a key performance indicator (KPI) dashboard.
If you know what your goals are (that was step one) you can easily see if a campaign is on target or under performing.
To assess performance and see if adjustments need to be made, you should be looking at:
- Conversion Rate
- Cost / Conversion
- Impression Share
In a previous post, we mentioned the importance of using KPI data to tell a story. Your clients don’t want to hear that their campaigns are getting 22% more clicks and spending 98% of the budget. Those clients want to know why. The numbers have a story to tell, and it’s your job to figure out what it is. Are campaigns performing better because of the time of year or did you make adjustments to copy which improved the click through rate?
Looking at the numbers is necessary to understand what’s really going on with your campaigns, but it’s not the end result. There’s just a little more digging involved.
Helpful hint: Look at performance in relation to device type, audiences, landing page copy, ad rank and any other factors that would affect success. Just because it’s the morning doesn’t mean you can overlook key details.
You can spend all day analyzing the performance of all your campaigns and fussing over bids and budgets pacing, which is why step two, about checking your accounts, follows step one, where you strategically decide what to focus on, what to check into, and (depending on how detailed your to do list is) how long you should spend on a given task.
So far you’ve come to work, made a list, set your daily goals, and checked your account performance trying to uncover what story you are going to share with your clients. Now, finally, you can check your email. Those are all the big tasks to cross off your list before you can get to the nitty gritties of the day.
Here’s your PPC morning checklist
As a quick and easy recap, here is a list of the most productive activities to get you through the morning.
PPC Morning Checklist:
- Determine your goal for the day, and decide the main issue or project you want to tackle
- Work on top priority tasks first to knock out heavy tasks early
- Check budget pacing to see if you are burning through budget too quickly
- Check bids and adjust according to campaign performance
- Check KPI data in Acquisio to see cross publisher information in one place
- Analyze KPI and conversion data to tell a story
- Make necessary campaigns adjustments based on performance
If organizing your morning isn’t enough, or you’re hungry for more checklists, download our PPC Checklist ebook,to help shorten your work week.