Pay Per Click Campaign Management: Dig, Prune, and Plant Your Way To PPC Profits

One of the key things I’ve done over the years in all of my PPC accounts (especially Google) is something I call the “dig, prune, and plant” method.

Yes, I just came up with that off the top of my head, but as you’ll see in a moment it applies.

This should be something you do at least once a week. Also, before doing it, you need to have a “mature” PPC account with lots of activity over a period of time.  Never “dig, prune, and plant” too early!

Here’s what you’ll do:

Dig: Sort your campaigns by cost in descending order. The campaigns you spend most on will be at the top.

Click the first one.

Next, sort your ad groups by cost in descending order.

Click the first one.

All done…you’ve successfully “dug in” to one of the single most important ad groups in your campaign.


Prune: Sort your keywords by cost in descending order. For the top 5% or 10% of them, go down and look at cost, and compare that to conversions.

Prune keywords and ads that aren't working. Stop the waste in your PPC campaigns!

Prune keywords and ads that aren't working. Stop the waste in your PPC campaigns!

If you’re not tracking conversions, you’re out of luck here.  You MUST track conversions at the keyword level… just use Google Analytics for this.  It works great…and it’s free.

Do you see any of your top keywords in this group that you’re spending too much on? Any that you’re losing money on?  If so, either pause the keyword or drop the bid. Shut off the money leak.

Now you’ll wnat to do this to the ads in that ad group.  Don’t have multiple ads?  Always have at least 2 ads in the ad group being tested against one another.

If you’ve got a clear loser, prune it off…pause it.  Let the winner run free.



Look for keywords in this top 5-10% that are doing well, making a profit.  Do you think you can bump up the bid to make more profit per day on that keyword? Your cost will go up a bit, but you’ll get more clicks, and theoretically more sales per day or month.  The question is, will you make more profit?  Only 1 way to find out…bump the bid up and test.

You’ll also want to quickly visit your favorite keyword tool, plug your best keywords into it, and brainstorm some new, related keywords.  Make sure to use the thesaurus options, misspelling options, etc to get a bunch of closely related keywords.  “Plant” them into your adgroup and revisit them next week or month.

Then, you’ll want to quickly brainstorm and write a new ad to test against your current winners in the ad group.  Write an ad that is radically different. Use news headlines, quotes, and any different angle you can find to be interesting and get the click. Plug it into your ad group and let ‘er run and see what happens.

That’s it for this week…your simple blue print for managing your PPC accounts using my “Dig, Prune, and Plant” method.

For some simple website tweaks you can implement immediatly that are sure to put more profit in your pocket, dance on over to Get on the list, and you’ll get immediate access to 2 eGifts filled with profit producing nuggets.

See you tomorrow…

Eat up, and profit.

Chef Dan “the eMarketing Man”

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PPC Keyword Research Nitty Gritty: Gather, Group, And Comb (HO Internet Marketing Hors D’oeuvre #112)

If you get an idea to implement in your business, and it seems like it will be “hard”… DO IT ANYWAY — especially if you believe it will get profitable results. The more “hard to do” profitable ideas you implement, the further away from your competition you get… and more solid your business becomes. Do the things most other people aren’t willing to do. Only the strong will survive.

This is Chef Dan with HONESTe Online Internet Marketing Hors D’oeuvre #112.

These are bite-sized eBusiness money making morsels served fresh daily… in under 2 minutes.

The title today is: “PPC Keyword Research Nitty Gritty: Gather, Group, And Comb”

When it’s time to start your pay per click campaigns, or add keywords and groups to your existing PPC campaign, here’s the grueling process I go through to give a campaign the best chance for success.

I’m not going to lie… this one is brutal, and I despise it. But it only has to be done once per keyword group.

Many of your competitors aren’t willing to do this. Don’t be one of them. If you dig in and get this done (and get a bunch of other things right…all subjects for different Chef Dan videos), you’ll have a better chance at higher profits from PPC. When you visitor value from PPC is higher than everyone else’s, it’s simple: you leave ’em in the dust.

Let me preface this by saying that 5% of your keywords will give you 95% of your results. But when you’re starting, you’re not exactly sure which 5% will be the big boys. You can guess…you can do research…but you never actually KNOW until you start your campaign.

Sure you can start with just a few keywords and get them working…but I like to do a thorough job of keyword research and campaign building from the outside…get a broad swath of keyword traffic, and refine from there.

So, here’s the first step.

Use any keyword research tool…I don’t care what – Word Tracker, Keyword Discovery, Word Stream…there’s a ton of them out there. Just make sure you tool makes it easy to search keywords in the list, and break them into a separate group.

First, you’ll gather as many keywords as you can…and put them ALL into 1 main group. Just go nuts. Type in your main keyword, dump all those words into the group.

Next use your brain to think of all the related 2 or 3 word keyword phrases people will use to search for what you’re offering. Dump each of these results into your main group as well.  Your “catch all” group.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Open a notepad document and “log” each of keyword phrases you search and gather for so you can filter out the words into specific groups later.

Next, use any of the “get related keyword” functions of whatever keyword tool you’re using. Misspellings, synonyms, thesaurus, whatever…

Continue logging the main keyword phrases you use to get the results you dump into the main group.

At this point, you’ll have ONE huge group of thousands of keywords.

Now, we begin to filter them out into groups. Doing it this way will prevent duplicate words from appearing in multiple groups.

So, you’ll use the keyword phrase log you’ve been keeping, and you’ll start with the more specific search phrases you used first.  So you’ll search your mega group for these one at a time, and you’ll great a new group to move them into.

For example, I’ll search my mega group for “red wagon wheels”, and I’ll MOVE those words to a new group called “red wagon wheels”.

Gather those keywords, put 'em into groups, and comb for negatives!

Gather those keywords, put 'em into groups, and comb for negatives!

You with me?  Good.

Once you’ve done this with every keyword phrase in your log, you’ll begin the final phase. The hard part. The part that separates the men and women from the boys and girls.

Go through each of your ad groups 1 at a time… and go through every word in them.

If the group has more than 500 phrases in it, no need to look through more than 500.  Use your best judgment here.

You’re looking for keyword phrases that don’t belong…and you’re deleting them.

More importantly, you’re on the lookout for single words, or a 2 word phrase at most, that would instantly disqualify a person from being interested in what you’ve got.

When you find a word or two like this, you’ll put it on a list of “negative keyword phrases” for that specific ad group.

I can’t over estimate the power of building good negative keyword lists for every ad group in this way. This will eliminate so much waste… you’ll get a higher CTR on your ads, and you’ll pay less for the clicks you do get.

Again, comb through each of your groups of keywords in this way, build the negative keyword lists for each, delete bad keyword phrases…and import it all into your PPC account — including the negative keywords for each group.

There you have it. It’s a lot of work I know, but you only need to do it once for each ad group.

Once your campaigns are running you ONLY focus your efforts on teh top 5% of the keywords that are giving you the best and biggest results.

Remember to head on over to to download 2 special gifts head Chef Jimmy and I have cooked up for you. You can plug this stuff into your biz and see instant, profitable results.

See you tomorrow…

Eat up, and profit.

Chef Dan “the eMarketing Man”

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Secrets For Writing Radically Different PPC Ads That Have A High CTR And Convert Like Crazy! (HO Internet Marketing Hors D’oeuvre #106)

(Got a nice visit from a miniature Cinderella this morning. Working from the home office has it’s perks… especially with my 3-yearold princess walking around.)

There are many keys for building highly profitable paid search advertising campaigns, but one of the bigger ones is to write radically different ads to test against one another.

Lots of people test small, subtle changes that make small differences. This is good to do, as some of those subtle changes actually make big differences…

But nothing makes as big a difference as radically different approaches and hooks in your ads.

Any time I’m starting a new campaign, I create an Excel spreadsheet filled with awesome headlines.

To get those headlines, I walk down to Vons and buy the latest People Magazine, or better yet: the Enquirer.

Not only can you laugh at the tabloids, but they're also filled with great PPC ad ideas!

Not only can you laugh at the tabloids, but they're also filled with great PPC ad ideas!

I bring it home and type every headline into my spreadsheet, line by line.

Then I go over to and I copy and paste all the headlines on the homepage to my spreadsheet.

This should give you at least 50 total headlines, if not 100.

Next, put your cursor in any blank cell and type: “=randbetween(1,100).”

Make sure to change the “100” to whatever total number of headlines are on your spreadsheet.

When you hit enter, the cell will return a value between 1 and 100, or whatever your total number of headlines is.

Whatever number comes up, look at the headline of that number, and force yourself to write a PPC ad for your product or service, using that headline as a model. No matter how hard it is, just do it…make it as compelling as possible.

You may have to change it dramatically, but I like to write at least 20 different ads per sitting.

Next, start plugging 2 or 3 these per ad group into your campaign. If you’ve setup your PPC account correctly you’ll have narrowly focused ad groups that contain similar terms.

Go the extra mile and tweak the ads once more to better fit the main keywords in each ad group. Try to fit those main keywords in there somewhere if possible. This can help, but I’ve also seen ads work well with none of the keywords in them. Keep this in mind.

Next, turn ’em on, test, track, and refine. Turn of what doesn’t work, and do more of what does.

Do this once a month, and in a year, you’ll be amazed by the improvement of your campaigns.

That’s it for today…come on back tomorrow for another piping hot HONESTe Online Hors D’oeuvre.

Eat up, and profit… 🙂

Chef Dan “the eMarketing Man”

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