The great thing about PPC is every dollar of your investment in this particular channel can be accounted for and clients can be provided with a clear picture of their overall ROI.

The most important step of any PPC campaign is the client discovery and strategy phase. Creating realistic goals based on your client’s needs alongside your prior research is critical to start a PPC campaign off on the right foot.

Before even creating a PPC campaign, build a template based on your goals that you can provide to your client on a monthly basis. Some of these goals may include CPL (cost per lead), CPA (cost per acquisition), ROI (return on investment), ROAS (return on ad spend), total lead generation from form completions, or total calls generated. This will be in addition to the usual metrics of clicks, impressions, CTR, Avg. CPC, total cost, conversion rates, and other base metrics. You and I pay attention to base metrics in the optimization of a campaign. However, the client’s eye will go straight to their overall goals and ROI.

PPC campaigns are often undervalued because different forms of tracking are not always utilized. Tracking lead gen forms is a given, but what about adding a snippet of code to replace the phone number with a unique phone number for visits coming from your PPC campaign. It is true that most phone tracking services can’t track back to the keyword and you will have to pay a good chunk of change if you use a service that does. However, there are affordable ways that you can track the time of call, duration, and have your client alerted that the call came from the PPC campaign. Furthermore, you may try testing out call extensions within the AdWords interface. Google will display a phone number within your ad and forward the call to your client. These calls can be tracked back to the Ad group level at the moment.

In each weekly or monthly report, provide a summary of what you did and what you will be doing in the upcoming month to help optimize the campaign. This may include the usual addition of more negative keywords, ad review, ad testing, keyword testing, bid optimization, pausing underperforming keywords, and so on. Keep your client engaged.

Going even further, you will want to include recommendations for getting the best possible results from the PPC campaign. Landing page testing is an excellent place to start to see what converts best b/t different variables of messaging and shortened forms. Simply adding video and trust factors such as partners, secure site logos, and testimonials can go a long way.

If the client’s campaign is performing well, make sure to take a look at their impression share report. This can be a quick indicator as to whether or not you recommend opening up the budget a bit more.

Creating a collaborative effort with your clients to improve your PPC results month over month is a win-win for both of you. Share what messaging is working best and perhaps they can use this information for other channels. After a strong foundation has been established, keep them informed about opportunities within the display network, re-marketing and other areas. Also, do not forget to utilize multi-channel funneling to help show the additional value of the PPC channel.

Finally, use the annotation field within Analytics to record when you made specific changes. I find it easier than looking through the change history. There’s also Google Experiment within AdWords (beta) that I intend on testing out more as well. This allows you to set up experimental changes to bids, keywords, and Ad groups within each campaign. It’s similar to A/B testing.

I know this is a general overview; however, it hopefully has you looking forward to monthly reporting, and will provide you with some new ideas to present to your customers.