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Show Transcript

You’re in your LinkedIn Ads and the days go by, and the weeks go by. And you might be wondering, what am I supposed to be doing every day or every week to maintain my progress? We’re talking optimization approach on this week’s episode of the LinkedIn Ads show.

Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here’s your host, AJ Wilcox.

Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics, as voiceover guy said, I’m AJ Wilcox. And I’m the host of the weekly podcast, the LinkedIn Ads Show, and I’m thrilled to welcome you to the show for advanced B2B marketers to evolve through a transformational journey towards mastering LinkedIn Ads, and achieving true pro status. For this week’s episode, we’ve had three questions on the fanatics community over the last few weeks that essentially amounted to how does your team optimize and account all the time? This is a super important question. And it’s a pain we’ve definitely felt. You look at it in the account that you’re responsible for, and wonder what should I be doing? Or am I doing enough? Luckily, this is the majority of what our team does day in day out every day. So in this episode will give you a not so strict regimen of the types of maintenance and optimization that you can and should be doing in your account.

First off in the news, we have some kind of unfortunate news, LinkedIn have announced that they’re going to be sunsetting website demographics, an email went out on October 4, a huge shout out to Jay Rathell for bringing this one to my attention. So thanks for that. The email read, “We are reaching out to let you know about our plans to sunset the website demographics report on November 30, 2023. When we launched the website demographics report, we aimed to help you improve your campaigns by providing an anonymized view of all types of professionals visiting your site. Since then, we’ve launched new tools like audience insights, expanded insights beyond website visits, and added more attributes like content topics, skills and years of experience, while maintaining anonymity. You can continue to explore demographic insights to help you plan and optimize your campaigns using the audience insights and campaign demographics features available in campaign manager. We recognize that you may have questions throughout this transition. If you require further assistance, our Help Center offers additional information, our support team available through the Help Center can also help address any questions. Sincerely, the LinkedIn Ads Team.” Now, this is incredibly sad to me to lose this feature, because this is one of those ones that forever, I’ve told people who are not currently advertising on LinkedIn that, hey, it doesn’t hurt you to go set up a LinkedIn Ads account for free, install the pixel on your website, and immediately start getting website demographic data on the people who are using your website that you’re not even having to pay for through LinkedIn Ads. I call this LinkedIn Analytics. And I absolutely loved it, especially when you compare it with tools like Google Analytics, and what used to be Facebook analytics, I would highly encourage you to reach out to your reps, and let them know that this is not a change that you’re happy with. Or if you are happy with it totally fine. But this is one that I’m personally I’m not a fan of losing.

Alright, do you have a question or review or feedback for the show? message me on LinkedIn, or you can email us at and attach a link to a voice recording from you. I’ll play them here on the show and then I’ll respond to them. And I’m happy to keep you anonymous if you’d like or share your details as well. Totally, you just let me know. So record yourself asking a question or commenting on something from a past episode or whatever. And I’ll aim to include you right here in the show. Alright, with that being said, let’s hit it.

Let’s start talking about an optimization approach to LinkedIn. Immediately, we have to split this into three different categories. We have to have the types of checks and optimizations that you might do on a daily basis. And then we also have weekly basis, and monthly basis. So we’ll go through them in that order. First off, on a daily basis, one of the most important things that we can check is spend it specifically are we on track for our budget. And if not, we want to make little adjustments, because you can wait until halfway through the month to start making spend adjustments. But what we know is that the longer you wait to make those adjustments, the bigger the adjustments have to be. And that means that you’re probably losing out on efficiency all along the way. I would much rather make small micro adjustments every few days and be really tight to budget and not waste anything as opposed to maybe waste for half a month and then come back and make one big change and then have to make little micro changes after that. So aside from the budget types of checks that we might do, we all want to do performance checks. And I think of these more like maybe in medical, you might think of something like checking a pulse. This is like every day, you might check the pulse just to see how things are going. You make sure that there aren’t any serious issues, you’re going to be looking at things like my costs, are they optimal? Are my costs per click high? Are my cost per lead or cost per any other kind of result? Are they a little bit high? Are they concerning me? If costs are low, awesome, but if they’re high, you might have an early diagnosis time of like, let me figure out what’s going on here, what might need to change. You also want to pay attention to the trending direction too. If every time you look at your ads on a daily basis, and your cost per click are, you know, two, three cents higher. You might look at that and go oh, it’s not too different from where the previous day was. But when you start looking at it more in aggregate, you realize that, oh no, over the course of a week, my costs have gone up, you know, 5%, 10%, 15%, that might be concerning. So during this pulse check, we might also look at something like the volume all the way down the funnel. How are booked calls going? How’s traffic to site going? Generally, how are my impressions going? You can see that kind of thing on a daily basis as well. On a daily basis. If we have a lot of booked calls coming in for a client, we might want to look specifically at the calls booked that were directly from our ads. What campaigns and ads are they coming from? Help me understand what content is resonating and what audiences seem to be the most interested. And then if we have, let’s say, multiple days, where booked calls are coming in, and then you have one bad day or two bad days were booked calls aren’t coming in. Maybe that’s just something you put in the back of your mind, like, oh, we need to keep our eye on this. Because we do notice fairly regularly that there will just be a bad day. And there’s no reason for the bad day. It’s not like your ads are poorly performing or you did anything wrong. It’s just that sometimes results are low or high for a certain day or two, and then they come back. So I would encourage you don’t freak out if you see a particular day that just isn’t great. On a daily basis, I might be interested in things like, am I not getting impressions? On a daily basis, I might be looking at things like, am I getting impressions on every campaign? If there’s a campaign that’s not getting impressions, or not getting enough, I might go ask myself, is my audience size large enough to actually get impressions? Am I bidding high enough to get those impressions? And we might find that oh, one campaign that has a really small audience? Yeah, we have to go and bid a lot higher over there than we do on our other campaigns. The next step down is like, are you getting clicks? Yes, I’m getting enough impressions. But no, I’m not getting enough clicks. That usually tells us that we have a click through rate issue with our ads and we might go look at maybe launching something new or refreshing or creative. What about if you’re not getting leads? Like I said before, if it’s just like a day or two, that you’re not getting leads, okay, that’s not a huge issue. But if this is systematic, if this has been going on for a while, and you’re not getting the leads that you want, I would encourage you to start thinking of your ad performance like hurdles. We’ve mentioned this before, on the show, anytime we’re asking someone to do something from an ad is a hurdle of some kind. So you put an ad in front of them. And immediately you’re asking them to do something, which is to see and interact with that ad. And that’s that first hurdle of ad engagement, then once people have clicked on that ad, or taken some sort of an action, the next hurdle that you may be asking them for is additionally more of their attention. Or maybe you’re asking them to fill out a lead form of some kind. So think about those things. When you’re not getting leads, think about the things that govern that hurdle. When you have people engaging on your ads, but not converting, what are all of the things that govern whether they convert or not. A lot of times that could be the landing page experience or the lead form experience. If you’re sending them to a landing page, there may be something there with page load speed, that’s by far the biggest offender that I’ve seen in getting people to convert on a landing page is the page takes too long to load and you’re losing the traffic before the page even finishes loading. Maybe the offer what you’re asking them to do isn’t strong enough. Or maybe it is a strong offer what you’re asking them for, but you’re not laying out the value strongly enough for them. So check that out. The other thing I want to note here is specifically I want you to stay loose. I don’t want you to follow a set of checklist things that you watch for every day. Because let’s say you create this checklist or regimented like check this every day, every week every month. And you give it to an intern or give it to someone who’s not very well trained. That means that there may be something that you’ve left off your checklist that you just didn’t even think about while you’re creating it. And then that person is totally missing the point, they miss something big in the account that you should have caught. So what I want to encourage you to do is purposely stay loose. Don’t have a very strict regimen around what it is you’re checking and kind of keep your head on a swivel, look around and dive into things that catch your interest. And just explore within the account. Always add new things to your checklist so that you don’t get behind. Alright, that’s my kind of end of that schpeel.

Anything that you notice as you’re going through the account on a daily basis, and the same thing is going to apply for weekly and monthly. Anything that you notice that is a big deal where you need to make changes. We’ve talked about this being a pulse check, being on a daily basis, but keep your attention on the kinds of things that you might want to promote to surgery. What I mean by surgery is taking action on something in the account. It doesn’t have to be a serious surgery or anything like just launching new ads might be account surgery. But with your pulse check your checking, is there anything that could need my attention that I might need to promote to surgery? And you don’t want to treat every day like surgery, because every day can be different. Like we’ve talked about, costs that are high one day can be a total fluke. Costs that are on our trajectory towards increasing, may require surgery. Not every single day, but maybe after 2, 3, 5 days that might warrant something. But after 2, 3, 5 days, that might warrant something that you actually need to take action on, you might promote that to surgery. If you do take action every single day, your results will never catch up, you won’t know what changes lead to improvements, or things falling apart in your account. Also realize that LinkedIn is learning phase is one to one and a half days after you launch something. And so you need your ads to run for at least a day to a day and a half to make sure that the results that you’re seeing are actually earned by your ads and your audiences, and not just the product of LinkedIn experimenting.

Alright, so that’s our daily, let’s go ahead and jump to our weekly. Now we talked about our daily checks being more like a pulse check. But our weekly check, we’re talking about medical, this might be more like a checkup or a physical that you might be doing. On a daily basis, you might have some changes that are just very, very minut. On a weekly basis, your changes might be a little bit more broad than being minut. But I would still call them small. These are where you’re looking for things like your performance for the whole week, maybe something that needs to be adjusted. The awesome thing about a weekly checkup here is that you have a lot more data. In fact, as opposed to daily, you have seven times the amount of data literally. So now we have seven times the data, reassuring us that any changes that we might be suggesting. Now we can actually prove it out and say yep, something needs to change, or no, that was one day, that was kind of a fluke. And we are actually okay. Of course, anytime we make a change in an account, we would hope that the data that informed us of that change wouldn’t be statistically significant, or at least close to it. So that helps when we’re looking at things on a weekly basis. When we have seven times the amount of data, I think you get it. After a few days of pulse checks, we might want to take action on something. We might spot things that are more serious that we might escalate to doing surgery. This is also a chance where we get to do a little bit more of a deep dive on the health of the account. Be on the lookout to spot any work that may need to be done that you can promote to surgery. Specifically on spend, when you’re looking at your costs, you want to compare those to your benchmark costs, or even your past performance costs. That way, if you see your costs are rising, or are generally higher than what you’ve paid in the past, or what most in your region are paying, you can say okay, maybe we do need to take some action here. I like to do a bidding and a budgeting check at the end of each week. If costs are high by the end of the week, I might make some more serious adjustments. On a day to day basis with my pulse check, I might be looking for things like my cost per click or CPMs are too high. But on a weekly basis, I’m probably going to be looking more towards waiting those results towards the bottom of the funnel or the whole funnel. I might be focused more on our my cost per lead or cost per conversion of some sort, are they high? If my cost per lead is high, but my conversion rate is also high. That might be more of an indication that I’m paying more than as necessary for the leads. But I shouldn’t make big changes to the ads themselves or the offers because that conversion rate is high, I know things are working. What I can do is bid down and if conversion rate is staying exactly the same, then I’ll get an even higher volume of leads at lower costs because now I have more room in my budget for when the cost per click are lower. There might be campaigns or ads that aren’t spending much at all. If so, why? You might want to go and dive in again to some of those things we’ve talked about on the daily pulse checks is, are the audiences too small? Am I not big enough? I’m also going to look into the performance at a weekly level, I want to understand about especially my AB tests that I’m running. I might do little mini evaluations of those AB tests. Of course, I’m always looking for my results to be statistically significant, or at least close to it. If I don’t have statistical significance on my ads, or my results here, I might want to test for a little bit longer. Or I might conclude the test early and conclude that either both ads are amazing. And we can keep running them, or both ads totally suck and I might want to pause them and launch something new immediately. So I might be okay continuing to run both, or drop them and introduce something new entirely. At a weekly basis, it’s also a lot easier to see if there are certain audience segments that are getting more attention or spending more than others in the account. Is LinkedIn favoring one over another and I want to fix that, because you can always fix that by bidding the one that’s getting the most attention down a little bit, or bidding the one that’s not getting the attention up. Do you have one segment that’s driving more conversions or higher quality conversions than the other, you have a little bit more data here to justify making some of these bigger changes. Maybe there’s some surgery that needs to be done there, who knows. I also really like to get all of my campaign data into one pivot table. So I can compare how all of my campaigns all of my audiences are performing compared to each other. This is what I call my audience optimization. In the show notes below, you’ll see a YouTube playlist for the four videos that I’ve made on campaign optimization. I walk you through every step of the way through downloading the data from LinkedIn, and then pivoting in Excel and starting to compare in between each other. I would highly recommend, go check that out. If pivot tables scare you, this is great. Go jump in and follow right along with me and you’ll learn the process. And I promise it won’t be scary, because you’ll get to click on everything I’m clicking on. You can do exactly the same thing with your ad optimizations as well. In a pivot table, you get every single ad, all in one table. And you can compare, you might find that one ad that’s working really well in one campaign in another is totally falling flat. That tells you something about who that audience is and what they like. And this is great. You want all of these insights that you can possibly get into who are my audience and what do they actually like. Alright, here’s a quick sponsor break, and then we’ll dive into the actions to consider on a monthly basis.

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Alright, let’s jump now into the monthly action items that you can do, and especially what we’re looking for, that we might promote to surgery. On a monthly basis, we might be looking for some of the bigger changes that need to be made. These are probably more at the conversion level than they are at the ad engagement level. These are similar to the weekly optimizations that we might be making. But at a monthly level, we have four times the amount of data, which should mean that we can make decisions with four times the amount of confidence. This is where we’re looking a little bit more at the bigger picture. Instead of looking at one AB test, I might be looking at two to four A B tests over the course of that month. I’ll get a chance to do a little bit deeper of a dive here. I get to ask myself, How did all of these ads compare to each other? Do I see any larger trends that I might be watching my other monthly reports and deep dives for to see if I can see what this audience is doing over time? You want to look for those larger trends because if you’re just looking at little snapshots of what your account is doing over multiple weeks or months, you might miss the larger trends that are happening. That should be telling You basically how to become a better marketer to this audience. I also like to take this opportunity to review the changes that I’ve made over the course of the month. Were they the right decision? I might have looked in and made a bidding change in the account. But if I don’t go back and actually analyze the difference between the two, before this date, before the bidding change was done, what were my costs? What were my engagement rates? And then I want to compare them to after I made that change, I like to include the same amount of time before so I might do a full week of before the change, and then evaluate a full week after, and that’s going to tell me, like, yes, I made the right decision. Every so often, I’ll go back and evaluate changes I’ve made to realize I made the wrong call, and I need to go and reverse those changes. I also want to review, what are the glaring issues that I didn’t see week to week, but by the time I had four times the amount of data at the month level, then I actually did see that they were issues. Then I can start putting into practice into my daily and weekly checks more of like, watch for these things. In the performance category, I might be looking at campaigns that need to be promoted, because they’re performing so well. That means that if I’m going to give additional budget to campaigns that are working well, I probably need to take that budget from campaigns that need to be pruned a little bit cut, reduced. And so you’re going to be watching for some of those. You’ll also be looking at things like your landing page evaluation. After a month of running traffic to the same landing page. How is it performing? Do you need to promote anything on that landing page specifically, in the surgery to do things like try to speed the page up, move the form, ask for less information from the form, provide more value on the page, you know, things like that. I think this is also a good time to do some strategic planning. When you can see that, let’s say over the course of the month, your ad performance is decreasing. This is a good time to stop and go okay, when do we think we’re going to need to launch new ads or new offers or maybe new audiences even? You can also ask yourself questions like how are we trending towards a goal? Are we going to hit it? Are we missing it? Most of our clients have quarterly goals. And so you get three of these monthly checks and optimizations before you get to your goals. So if you’re one to two months in, that’s basically telling you how you’re trending towards your third goal. So once you’ve had one to two months worth of these checks and optimizations, that might tell you how you’re going to be trending towards hitting your quarterly goal.

Alright, so let’s say that you’ve done your your daily pulse checks, your weekly checkups, and then your monthly deep dives. Now at any point during that you might have promoted something to surgery, you found something in your account that needs to change that you need to make some sort of an adjustment on. And like we’ve talked about, you don’t have to wait the whole month to undergo surgery. If you know that you found a problem during your either daily or weekly checks, you can do surgery the same day. You can schedule it and say I want to do surgery on a weekly basis, do it as these things come up, do them on a weekly or monthly, you really get full control over when you do surgery. That’s totally up to you in your your normal working day. But here are some of the things that we do very often for our surgery. Number one is with audience targeting. we’re analyzing the conversions that are coming through. We analyze them. Why are they coming? Are they the right people? Are they quality versus quantity? We do a lot of research into the targeting. And each of the individuals that are coming through, we want to compare them to the the targeting that we’re actually doing. And that’s a great use of your time, because that allows you to do things like start adding exclusions to your audience targeting to get rid of the people who tend to be lower quality as your as they’re coming through. But let’s say you’re not driving to conversions, or you don’t have enough warm traffic that you have conversions yet, you can always check the identities of those that are liking and commenting on your ads. Anytime someone likes or comments, you can actually go into that ad, click on the individual’s profile and see who they are. Look at things like what’s their title, what company are they from, what size of organization, what industry, all of that kind of thing is totally fair game. LinkedIn lets us do that. What if you’ve promoted ad changes to surgery you might be looking at, maybe I need new video creative. Maybe I need new ad copy or new creative assets. I might want to try a whole new ad format altogether. Be aware of those things and schedule the time for it. And then obviously you want to give yourself enough time to actually make these changes. No one likes to be rushed. I find that when I’m rushed, I don’t make nearly as smart of decisions. So I really like to schedule out, like, if I think that launching new ads is going to take one hour, I’m going to book out two hours on my calendar and just make sure I’m not rushed. If anything comes up, I’m going to be ready for it. Obviously things like bidding changes, budget changes, those maybe little mini surgeries you do throughout the week, because like we talked about, it does make sense to make sure that you are trending towards budget earlier on in the month. So you’re not scrambling halfway through. And let’s say you’re way under budget, now you have to bid super high. And you’re just throwing cash at LinkedIn, just to try to hit the budget number. Or maybe you’re already trending high and you could have been down a little bit and gotten much lower costs per click and per conversion along the way. So like I said, it definitely makes sense to to do that as early as possible. But like I said, you’ll want to watch for those bidding changes and budget changes along the way. You might even change your bidding model, we really like to look at, like if we have a campaign that has over a 1% click through rate in the newsfeed, we might switch that to maximum delivery bidding. And then over the course of that campaign, let’s say, you know, 6 days, 12 days later, now all of a sudden, it’s performing less than 1% click through rate, then we may switch that back. So we might change the whole bidding model. That’s not a big surgery, that’s something you can do very quickly just in a daily check. We also talked about landing page adjustments, some of the landing page adjustments we talked about already. But things like can I add more value to the page? More social proof? We’ve had episodes on what you can do to landing pages. So go check those out. You might also look and see, do you have any changes that need to be made to your offer itself? If you’ve run the offer for a long time, at this point, people could be sick of it. And people who are wanting more information from you might be going well, I’m not getting what I want. And so they start to tune you out. You don’t want that. So be prepared to start making some offer changes as well. All right, I’ve got the episode resources for you coming right up, so stick around.

Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away.

Alright, like we talked about in the episode, we have the Excel reporting playlist on our YouTube channel that you’ll want to go and get comfortable with. We shared something last week on our LinkedIn about Excel reporting. And we had several people reach back out and talk about how scary the Excel pivot tables were to them. This is definitely something you can do to elevate yourself as a marketer. So go get really comfortable with all four of those. If you’re not already a member of the LinkedIn Ads Fanatics community, what are you doing? Go to For a very low monthly rate, you can go get access to the entire community of those LinkedIn Ads experts who you can bounce ideas off of. I’m in there heavily, so is the whole team. Plus, we have all four courses taking you from absolute LinkedIn Ads zero to hero wherever you are along the way. So make sure you hop in there they are some of the best courses. In fact, I know I’m a little bit biased, but I will say these are by far the best courses that you can find on LinkedIn Ads anywhere on the whole planet. If this is your first time listening, please hit that subscribe button. We’d love to have you back and watch you in your transformational journey to becoming the pro of LinkedIn Ads. Absolutely. If this is not your first time listening, please do rate and review the podcast. This is by far the best way that you can say thank you. Apple podcast is where most are leaving reviews, but if you see where it is on Spotify, or whatever, you’re more than welcome to do it there. But those are the things that absolutely warm my heart. I really appreciate it when you do. With any questions, suggestions, or corrections, reach out to us at You’re welcome to submit a voice recording of yourself giving these or just text. All of it’s good. We’re happy to shout you out here on the podcast as well. With that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. I’m cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.