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.

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See you tomorrow…

Eat up, and profit.

Chef Dan “the eMarketing Man”

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