When prospects call about my SEO services, I always ask if they’re running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. Research has proven that SEO and PPC go hand-in-hand as each supports the other in various ways. The response I typically hear is, “We tried PPC but it didn’t work. We lost a lot of money and didn’t get that many leads.”

The reason PPC campaigns fail, says Pauline Jakober, CEO of Group Twenty Seven, a PPC firm based in Massachusetts, is that companies don’t actively manage them.

“A business owner or the marketing manager will set up the campaign,” says Pauline. “But this person is typically doing five million other things. The campaign is put on autopilot or is simply forgotten. What happens is that the account gets worse and worse – meaning lower quality scores, lower conversions, and higher costs.”

Actively manage = Stay on top of it — every day

Like SEO, PPC is dynamic — meaning things change all the time. Pauline says that her clients are amazed at how involved managing a PPC campaign can be. “It is overwhelming,” says Pauline. “Google gives you a lot of data and they’re constantly changing things. If you’re crazy busy, you just don’t have the time to sit and figure this stuff out.”

In addition to frequent changes, the default settings in Google AdWords are set to benefit Google, not the user, something most people don’t know. For example, Google recently added a new ad delivery option: you can set your account to rotate ads evenly or you can have Google show the ads most likely to receive the most clicks or conversions.

The default setting is to let Google show ads based on the likely number of conversions — which benefits Google, not you.

“Letting the system determine when and how to deliver your ads means you’ll spend more money,” says Pauline. “I want to control my ads and spend. For one client I’m currently rotating the same message with different landing pages to see which one gets the most conversions. [Note: This is known as an A/B split test. In this type of test, you test one variable and leave all others the same.] I wouldn’t get this data if I relied on the default setting.”

Mobile traffic has skyrocketed

Many people don’t know that Google tracks mobile traffic. If you use Google Analytics, you can look in your Visitors/Mobile report to see how many people visited your site using an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or Blackberry. (I track this traffic for my clients on the SEO side and have noticed a real increase in traffic from iPads.)

For some industries and companies, mobile traffic has skyrocketed, and according to Pauline, Google AdWords lets you specifically target this traffic.

“Two years ago,” she says, “you had the option to target desktops. Within the last year you could target mobile phones. Now you can target iPads. Why do you want this option? It’s because the ads on the iPads and the iPhones look different. And, the way people search using mobile devices is different — you don’t have the long-tail searches, for example. Looking at my clients’ data, I can see that search intent and queries are much different for mobile.”

Pauline is now isolating high volume and high ROI keywords into their own mobile specific campaigns as you get better bid pricing and control by creating separate mobile campaigns. For one client the top keyword is “tuxedo rentals.” She created a mobile specific campaign focusing on this keyword and has seen interesting results.

The mobile spend and desktop spend for the same keyword is different — as is the ROI. She can now use that data to make informed decisions on how to best move forward and further expose this opportunity.

You can’t set and forget

PPC is a constant learning process, says Pauline. You have to stay on top of Google’s changes as well as ensure your ads have good quality scores and conversions. In addition, you have to test, test, test: landing page copy and layout, images, ad copy, ad delivery and device usage.

What works for one campaign may not work for another. “I love proving myself wrong,” says Pauline. “It’s very natural to say, ‘That won’t work.’ But then I do a test and prove that it does work — for that particular campaign. I often run similar tests for other clients and will learn that what works for one doesn’t work for the other. So you have to test — and you have to analyze the data and make changes based on it, not hunches.”

If you have a PPC campaign that’s not working for you or is costing you too much money for too little return, give her a call at 781-777-2944 or contact her via her Web form.

I’ve referred Pauline to two of my clients — both of whom rave about her as she’s increased conversions while reducing ad spend. She’s the real deal.

Other places you can find Pauline Jakober:

PPC Blog
Twitter: @GrpTwentySeven