How AI Can Improve Your PPC Campaigns

If you have ever invested in Pay Per Click or PPC advertising in Google or Facebook, you know that it can take up lot of your time and concentration. Setting up big budget ad campaigns and continuous monitoring of performance and budget is a full time job in itself.

As you may know, many of repetitive tasks can now be done by machines without any human intervention. Marker’s tasks such as email sending, impression counting and conversion tracking have all been automated in the recent past. This is also true for PPC campaigns. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are already monitoring and fine-tuning paid ads.

In this blog we will discuss how AI is improving PPC campaigns and also look at what the future of PPC campaigns look like.

How can AI Improve your PPC Campaigns?

  • Dynamic ads

Marketers put in a lot of effort in writing the perfect ad copy for their target market. Wouldn’t it be great if the ad changed itself to suit the person viewing it? It’s not magic and many PPC platforms are already doing it.

Facebook Dynamic ads show different products to different users based on their interest and browsing history. Dynamic Search Ads in Google Adwords generates ads that match user search with the products available on your site. This means that you don’t have to worry about missing out keywords. Google uses AI to learn about your website and serves up exactly what users are searching.

  • Ad delivery Optimization

Delivery of your ad to the right people at the right time can make or break your PPC campaign. Facebook ad optimization shows your ad to the right people depending on your ad objective set. For example, if your objective is website traffic, Facebook will show your ad to people who are most likely to click on the link to your site.

facebook ad campaign screenshot

  • Automated Bidding

Wondering what bid would land you top spot in Google search? Set your campaign to automated bidding and let machine learning do the guesswork for you. Google automated bidding adjusts your bid to achieve any of the below objectives chosen by you:

  • Increase Site Visits
  • Top spot in Search Engine Results
  • More visibility over other domains
  • Get more conversions

This is free and convenient tool offered by Google. However, it does not meet the flexibility of manual bidding. Consider a case where you would want to apply automated bidding only to a high conversion keyword and not the rest. Automated bidding will not allow you this flexibility.

In such a case you can go for AdWords scripts or AdWords API. These features let you make automated changes in your AdWords account. This requires JavaScript coding knowledge to play around.  These features can be time-saving and very profitable if you have a tech-savvy team.

  • Discover audience

Application of AI doesn’t always have to be in the PPC platform. Applying AI and machine learning on user searches and customers converted can also give insights into management of your PPC campaign.

Consider the case of Arteric, which is into cutting edge technology for healthcare companies. Analysis of 250,000 searches for a pharmaceutical company revealed an unexpected opportunity in Spanish language search volume. AI is good at discovering new opportunities which a human would easily miss. In fact it is impossible for us to look for every permutation and combination of possibility. On the other hand, AI can easily skim through large amounts of data and pull out unexpected opportunities for your ads.

  • Uncover relevant keywords

AI can discover relevant keyword by the same method mentioned above. Data analysis of search terms reveals real-world conversational language in your industry. For example, analysis of search terms may reveal that people search for ‘ideas for Christmas Gifts’ instead of ‘buy Christmas Gifts’. This can help marketers in finding keywords with buyers’ intent and wasting money on non-performing keywords.

  • Pause low-performing ads

Not all ads in you campaign perform the same. Some ads get more conversion than others because of the keywords, ad copy and landing page. Pausing or deleting low performing ads not only saves ad money from being wasted, it also boost your ad quality score (Quality rating assigned by Google Adwords to your ad).

Monitoring ad performance to delete low performing ads is a repetitive and time consuming process. This can be automated by using Adwords Scripts and API integrations.

Future of PPC Campaigns

PPC campaigns are far from being fully automated. Some of the functions such as optimized display and bidding rules can be set with free automated tool. Others can be automated using Adwords API and Scripts. However most of the tasks require humans to make sense of the data and take decisions.

As technology progresses we will see machine learning take up more tasks. Who knows, we might soon see a time where you simply input your goal and budget and the Adwords AI takes care of the rest.

A Checklist to Optimize Your Facebook Ad Campaigns

Facebook is the leading platform for Pay per Click (PPC) ads. The precision of targeting audience in Facebook is unmatched by any other platform in the history of marketing. Optimizing ads to get best returns has become easier with Facebook adding many new features for better returns on marketing spend.

However, the process itself has become complicated. There is a reason why pay per click advertising is now a profession within itself.

There are tools to optimize how your ad looks, where it is placed, when it is shown and who it is shown to. The acquisition of Instagram by Facebook has also led to integration of Instagram as an extended advertising platform.

Terms such as lookalike audience, Ad relevancy, bidding options can be confusing to many. Fast changes in Ad Manager and Facebook algorithm do not make things any simpler.

In this blog we will look at a checklist to optimize your Facebook Ad campaigns for maximum reach and higher conversions.

  • Optimize Ad Frequency

 Ad frequency is the average number of times each user see your ad. Too little exposure or too much exposure to your ad can hurt your campaign performance.

Too little exposure means that your message will not get through. On the other hand, too much ad exposure will lead to ad fatigue where the audience mentally blocks out your ad or even reports it irrelevant.

Ad frequency of two to three times is recommended for most industries though your optimum frequency may differ. So how do you test your optimum ad frequency? Keep increasing your ad frequency until your Click Through Rates (CTR) and conversions are good. Beyond a point your ad clicks will start to drop and cost per click will start increasing. This means that you have crossed your optimum ad frequency and should keep it lower than this point.

You can manage and monitor ad frequency from Facebook Ads manager > Edit Ad Set. To automatically limit reach, go to Optimization and Pricing to choose daily unique reach option which limits your reach to once a day per user.

facebook ad optimization and pricing screenshot

  • Optimize Audience

 Facebook’s ability to target audience right down to the micro level makes it so appealing to marketers. No other platform gets more specific than Facebook when it comes to choosing your audience. You must use full targeting features available to get maximum out of your campaign.

You can select your audience based on nationality, region, gender, interests, age and language. You can also input your ideal audience and create a lookalike audience.

Selecting custom audience show your ad to selected groups such as current customers, visitors to your site, or custom list of people you input. This allows you to integrate Facebook right into your conversion funnel. For example, with custom audience you can show relevant ads to customers who abandoned your shopping cart page.

facebook create a custom audience screenshot

  • A/B Testing

 The success of your Facebook depends on many factors. Some of them are audience selected (age, country, interests, profession etc.), ad frequency, images, ad title, ad copy, call to action, color scheme. You can have many ads by varying each of these parameters. How do you know which ad copy will perform the best? The answer is simple – A/B testing.

A/B testing is a way to run different versions of same ad and measure which ad performs better. You may find out that a green colored call to action button performs better than blue. Or that a particular image results in increase in click-through rate.

Setting up A/B testing is easy. Go to your ad manager in Facebook and create different versions of the same ad. Do not change more than two parameters in the testing version as you will not know which change led to higher success.  You can test both the version :

1. You can hide one version and start another or,

2. You can create two separate ads sets under one ad campaign. The new split testing features allows you to compare the results of ad sets within campaign.

  • Optimize for Ad Relevancy

Ad relevancy is a score of your campaign performance on the scale of 1 to 10. The score calculates how well your ad is performing with the set target audience. It is calculated based on factors such as:

  • Ad performance and engagement
  • Positive actions such as clicks, video watches, app installs
  • Negative feedback like someone clicking ‘hide this ad’

Many marketers suggest that a good ad relevancy score boosts your ad reach and lowers your costs. However, Facebook maintains that ad relevancy is just a measure of your performance and is not used in calculating ad reach or bidding price.

Whatever the case may be, ad relevancy is a good measure of your performance and should be optimized to maximize your ad success. Try the following to improve ad relevancy:

1. Narrow your target audience to make your messaging more focused

2. Improve your ad visuals

3. Create new ad to keep your audience interested. People grow fatigues of same ads again and again

4. Use split testing to learn what works best with your audience

  • Optimize Bidding

 There are many ways to pay for your adverts in Facebook. Spends could be per click, conversion or impressions.

Facebook automatically recommends the best strategy and daily spend for optimum result as per chosen objective of your campaign. You can also manually control the bids and daily spends according to your budget.

Optimizing for bids is subject to your objectives and budget available. For starters, you can trust in Facebook’s automatic bidding to deliver best results.

facebook ad budget and schedule screenshot

Let’s brief it up

Setting up Facebook ad campaign can seem daunting at first. However with so many options to fine-tune your ad it is well worth the effort. The important thing is to monitor and keep making changes to get maximum out of your ad spend.

Remember, what works today may not work next month. User behavior and Facebook algorithms are ever-changing. Continuous learning and optimization will give you most out of this most profitable advertising platform.