Tips for Startups: Analyzing Your Pay Per Click (PPC) Account

You are well-funded, you got out of stealth mode and now you are officially “live”. Your startup website is getting more traffic each passing week and your marketing folks decide to launch a PPC campaign to augment your customer acquisition strategy. You have a live ppc campaign, now what?

Do you have an account plan for the month? If you don’t, here’s how to get one started.

First, pick a good time to run reports every month. Running the reports in a consistent manner will help you have enough data to analyze. Run a keyword report for the month and then export it.

After you’ve done the exporting, create the same keyword report for the previous month. Copy the data for the second month into the same Excel file as the first month’s data. Put the keyword and the match type in one cell by adding a column after ‘Match Type’.  Combine the keyword and match type by typing Concatenate=(Cell1, Cell2).

Keywords aren’t in the same order on both sheets so to save time and energy a VLookup may be completed. To do this, add a column after the item you wish to compare on the first sheet and type in =VLOOKUP(. Click the newly combined cell, add a comma after the cell number and then highlight all the columns from the combined cells that you are looking up. Add another comma and count the columns from the reference cell to the column you are looking up. Use this number, another comma and the word ‘false’. Do this for every column you want to pull from the month.

To find the difference between months, subtract the past month from the current month. In order to check each number, hold down control (command if you are using a Mac) and highlight each difference column. Click conditional formatting from the format drop-down menu. Change the second drop down to ‘less than’ and put a 0 in the last query. Click format; patterns at the top; and select a color. Hit okay and any cells that show a negative difference will be highlighted. You can see any negative changes that have occurred over time using this view.

Create a whole new file to check seasonal trends such as the difference between December 2009 and December 2010 (holiday trends) or compare the month against the best performing month year to date. Run these checks every month so you can use your account data to make the best decisions when it comes to improving your account.

Sparkplug Digital has deep experience in working with local startups and local tech companies. If you have a PPC question please email us or post it in the comment section below.