Paid search campaign managers are always on the lookout for optimization opportunities that ultimately lower costs (total cost, average cost per click, cost per conversion, etc.) while increasing conversions.  One way that I’ve accomplished this is through mirroring campaigns.  The results have typically come quick and have been significant.  Within a few days, you’ll be reporting higher CTRs and lower CPAs that will make your clients extremely happy.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Create clones of existing campaigns.  Let’s say campaign A is the existing campaign.  Simply copy campaign A so that you have campaign B and campaign C.  Campaigns B & C should be exact copies of campaign A…everything from budget, CPCs, ads, etc.
  2. Rename the campaigns as such: Campaign A – Broad, Campaign B – Exact, Campaign C – Phrase
  3. Change all keyword match types in Campaign A – Broad  to broad match
  4. Change all keyword match types in Campaign B – Exact  to exact match
  5. Change all keyword match types in Campaign C – Phrase  to phrase match
  6. Launch

Seriously, its that easy! However, it doesn’t stop there.

As time passes, you’re going to see differences in performance and that’s to be expected.  Here’s my typical setup for each campaign:

  • Broad match campaign: because of the nature of broad match terms you’ll need to manage this campaign very tightly.  Assuming you have no prior history to draw upon, use this campaign as the “data-gatherer” for the short-term.  In other words, this campaign is going to get you a lot of clicks and you’ll be able to make decisions on what works and what’s not working.  Eventually, you may want to tone down the daily budget.  With the data you’ve collected you’ll be able to adjust bidding strategies, implement stronger negatives and use the converting terms in the Phrase and Exact match campaigns.
  • Phrase match campaign: this is your opportunity to leverage terms that perform well in the broad match campaign and identify new long-tail keywords that may perform even better.  You will find plenty of converting terms here and CPAs should be a bit lower than the broad match campaign. Use the data to fortify negative terms, improve bidding strategies and funnel converting terms to the exact match campaign.
  • Exact match campaign: this is the gold-mine! Put all converting keywords here and let them bring you conversions at very low CPAs.  Sometimes I find CPAs to be 80% lower than the broad match campaign.  You’ll need to pause terms that simply didn’t work from the day the campaign launched, but that’s part of the game.  Adjust bids/budgets to maximize Impression Share and you have a conversion producing machine in your account.

Now, one assumption I make above is that your primary goal is getting conversions (e.g. sales, leads, etc.).  Give it a try and let me know how things go!

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