Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Initial Approach To Keyword Tracking On PPC Campaigns

Pay Per Click Marketers vary on each of their methods. I dont think there really is a truly *right* way to start your adgroups and keywords in a pay per click campaign. Everyone has their own methods so let me share mine. When I initially start a PPC campaign I am not actually looking for *converting keywords*. What? Dont get me wrong, that is the overall goal (to establish a campaign on almost if not all keywords that convert to conversions). However, doing this takes a boatload of preparation, time and setup. My goal at the very start is to get an idea of what keywords are getting clicked on.

Most people either believe or have been told that you should track EVERY keyword to determine profitability. This comes later. This does not come at the start. Unless you have a small set of keywords that would not take much time, but come on, lets face it. He who gets the most keywords will most likely profit more.

There are two things that I have read since day one of wanting to get involved with pay per click that I truly believe.

  1. Almost 40% of keyword searches done online are new
  2. MAYBE 15-20% of my total keyword list will reveal keywords that bring me profits.

You see, I know and realize this. This is exactly why I dont start tracking keywords (unless its a truly small campaign). This is a huge time waster for me. Yes I would determine profitability right from the start. Yet, I have to actually look at the time it would take me to do that. My time could be better spent letting this campaign run for 1-2 days while I blast out 5-10 more. If you got a weak stomach, small budget and suffer from impatience then this is not going to work for you.

However the downside is that if you are methodical and trying to perfect everything from the beginning how are you going to feel after 10 campaign setups and find you only got 1-2 campaigns that are worth developing further? All that setup, preperation and time will seem nil.

By the time you realize that you have 1-2 campaigns that can be tweaked I already have launched at least a dozen more campaigns, and already got a *clean* list of keywords to run while scrubbing the others that did not bring me the clicks. While your thinking that you might be on top of the world with your winning 1-2 campaigns I have already got a dozen campaigns ready for me to completely monitor for converting keywords. So how do I and many others move ahead from the rest of the pack?


We blast and blast and blast and when we are sick of it, we blast some more.

A Simple Formula:

  • Blast
  • While waiting for data to be returned, BLAST another campaign
  • Check for any conversions, got some conversions work on scrubbing
  • Check 1st campaign adgroups for clicks (none or not sufficient, scrub)
  • Check keywords campaign wide (none or not sufficient, scrub)
  • Keywords with high clicks — TRACK
  • Let run to return data again, while waiting BLAST another campaign
  • Check keywords 1st campaign (cut keywords with insufficient clicks, regroup converting keywords — TRACK)
  • Profitable campaign established (Monitor)
  • Time for upscaling and expansion

Repeat the process in order for Campaign #2. By the time profitability is established to monitor with campaign #2 you should have at least 5-7 campaigns going to get the same results. You run into a campaign that yields no conversions right at the start then it’s probably time to pause, tweak the landing page, change the offer. Do something on your end if you got clicks but no conversions.

Category: PPC
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22 Responses

February 27, 2008

Hey Ruck,

How are you scrubbing? I’ve been stopping kws that don’t convert, raising bids on others, and peeling kws that are converting into their own ad groups.

February 27, 2008

Hi Ruck,

My biggest problem when I try to do something like this (load up on keywords), is that my QS just really sucks (like $1.00/click) because I have so many keywords per adgroup.

how do you deal with this? Do you spend the time to make targeted groups? If so, and i know “it depends”, but how many keywords do you start with per adgroup?

If you ever have writers block, I’m sure I can speak for everyone when i say that a couple of posts going into detail about this would be extremely helpful.


February 27, 2008

I don’t think Ruck knows the meaning of “writers block” (;)

February 27, 2008

@ Mike – I simply just delete them. You’ve pretty much got it down though. Just always be refining and in testing process. Too many PPC’ers out there brag about how they can let PPC campaigns run on autopilot. I feel that 95% of that is horseshit. I like to squeeze every penny out of every market even if I making thousands from one or another. Not getting comfortable is a great way to keep challenging yourself to refine your campaigns.

@ Eric – Yea, I apologize for the haste. Got a lot on my plate but really was hoping to spark a conversation. As far as adgroups go, its nothing for me to have 2,000 keywords and 2,000 adgroups. Yes, I will go as far as making each keyword its own adgroup.

Most generally though 10-15 keywords per adgroup is about all I like to stretch for Adwords. As far as time is concerned, I use the Adwords Editor and tools such as Speed PPC, LPGen (sometimes) and Keyword Elite. Using (he’s got great tools) you can really get some massive campaigns up in a hurry.

February 27, 2008

I think it comes down to volume. If you’re a < 5 man operation, then you have the time and the budget to do things manually with your PPC analysis. If you’re over that, though, and eventually are pushing an enormous volume as if you’re almost using about as much bandwidth for your landing pages (or potentially self-hosted offers too) as, say, 1/4 of YouTube’s bandwidth, then you’re talking about needing to get really serious with PPC analysis at that point, such as automated algorithms that daily analyze PPC efficacy on those pages and show the best ones most often automatically for you.

As a CEO of a large AM firm with 20 guys, let’s say, you’d want to make certain that everyone was working. And with that volume of work you’d be doing, eventually it would get kind of nebulous and confusing on how well you’re meeting the bottom line and are not hosting dead trash that has weak efficacy.

February 27, 2008

Hey Ruck,

Great timing of this article, as I am planning on doing this in the very near future.

Question for you about 2,000 keywords and 2,000 adgroups. My understanding is that you can have only 25 campaigns with 100 adgroups per campaign on a Google Adwords account.

How do you have 2,000 keywords and 2,000 adgroups for a single campaign?

Thanks for all your great information!


February 27, 2008


Further to my last comment, I assume you can also use this technique with for a direct linking campaign, right?

Thanks again!


February 27, 2008

@ Identity – I have an MCC account with Adwords (My Client Center). Also I have an established history with them and basically just takes a phone call to get limits like this lifted.

You probably could do it with Direct Linking, however since I use iFrames that is actually my way of direct linking. To be honest with you I just stuff the piss out of pages with keywords if push comes to shove.

February 27, 2008


Thanks for the info.

When you are doing your initial keyword blast, do you do them all as broad match type, or do you use the phrase and exact match? Or do you save the phrase and exact matches for when you are doing the refining/scrubbing of your keywords?

In other words, how particular do you get with your keywords? How much time do you spend on your initial keywords list?

By the way, I started using GTrends thanks to you. Great advise!


February 27, 2008

Ahh well that’s an entirely different subject. However I have a very in depth series coming this way that will help educate everyone on how I personally handle my PPC business.

February 27, 2008

PPC is way out of my range at this time but I am glad that you posted this for future references. Your blog has so much value I am glad that I can come back anytime to find the necessary stuff I need to brush up on at any moment. Thanks for building so much valued content!

February 28, 2008

Thanks for answering my question Ruck, that is the exact answer I was looking for!

February 29, 2008

Ruck- is a membership PPC tutorial site for newbies? I’m curious what types of information you get from it.

Also- just want to clarify- you use Keyword Elite as your keyword tool and Speed PPC to create your campaigns?

February 29, 2008

Well, PPC Coach is designed to take you from start to allstar. The guy running it is just that. He’s a member of many PPC groups and forums as I am. He starts you off with a Month 1 plan and yea the forum is full of other information as well. He has his own in house tools which are pretty incredible and huge time savers.

As with Keyword Elite and Speed PPC it really depends on what I am doing. Yes, I have used them and still do but no I dont think of them as must have reliable tools because I take on plenty of campaigns without ever even opening them up.

February 29, 2008

Hey Ruck-
You said:

“You run into a campaign that yields no conversions right at the start then it’s probably time to pause, tweak the landing page, change the offer. Do something on your end if you got clicks but no conversions.”

How many clicks is considered enough to pause and re-adjust.

I’m so frustrated with PPC right now I’m about to call you up on the phone. lol

February 29, 2008

How many clicks is really going to be up to you and your budget and just overall knowledge of offers, programs, products CPC and EPC. I would like to say 100 clicks PER keyword but that is simply not the case. If I was doing a zip/email submit offer and did not convert within 20-25 clicks then I immediately go look at it.

February 29, 2008

So do you have a learning resource for how to effectivly do PPC campaigns? Besides your blog of course.

Is anyone out there giving an actual worth while course.

I have the money to spend in PPC but I don’t want to throw it all away. I did around $1000 a few weeks back and didn’t recoup that much. But I also didn’t know what I was doing.

February 29, 2008

If you want to start at the very beginning then yes I do recommend

May 27, 2008

The information about profit generation is very informative. You have a great collection of information about the adsense and how to generation profit online will for sure help the people who are looking for the information about online business.

November 30, 2008

The best method is to start small on keywords >> place 1 keyword in its own ad group and track which ones make you money and which ones don’t!

Great tactic by Ruck

November 30, 2008

I’d suggest casting your net wide and bidding on lots of keywords, then culling and filtering down the terms that convert, then widen them by adding longtails.

There’s no rushing the collection of data.

I’ve thought of PPC as the internet marketing equivalent of fishing.
If you are patient, you’re going to get some whoppers!

September 30, 2009


well i dont know about you but i’ve also tried the pay click thingy and it work just fine but i dont get enough cash on the clicky thing, its .15cents per click, but each of us has our own opinion, what im saying is that, you got yours and its not quit right for me, but its what you think, also if some of you her need a keyword finder, try to visit this site:
this is a good software and friendly user, been using this for quit some time now, and it cool for those who’ve been doing the Dofollow thingy. try this.