So what do you do when your go to ad campaign suddenly stops converting or stops delivering? Today we’re talking about what to do when PPC goes wrong.
Hey everybody, Jim Lastinger here, back again for another episode of Marketing In 10.
This week we’re talking about PPC and a few simple steps you can take when a campaign goes wrong or something doesn’t look quite like it should. So back in episode 15 we talked about what to do when your SEO campaigns go wrong and today we’re doing the same thing for PPC. So what things do you need to think through when your campaigns stop working as they’re supposed to, that’s what we’re going to talk about.
So first of all, there are many different signs that you can look at to know if something’s going wrong. First of all, you need to make sure that you have some sort of automated daily reporting coming in. I do this for all the accounts that I manage. I get a report every single morning at 8:00 AM that tells me every account, what they spent yesterday, how that compared to the last week, to the last 30 days, how many conversions came in, what the return on ad spend does. So I get a high level look every single day at all of my accounts so that I know if anybody has any issues that immediately stands out.
So what kinds of things should you be looking for? You’ll want to make sure that your daily spend is fairly consistent. So once an account has some history, you should be able to have a good idea of what your spend should be for any given day. If you’re way over or under that spend, then that’s something you’ll definitely want to take a look at, see if you can figure out what’s changed, whether it’s a particular campaign, whether it’s something that happened to all campaigns, or sometimes it’s even something that’s news driven or seasonal. You’ll also want to be looking at your number of clicks, impressions, impressions share, a sharp, sometimes unexpected decline or increase in any of those definitely warrant some attention.
A big one is for shopping campaigns specifically, these can be a little bit more finicky, but if you notice that your spend, clicks, or impressions dropped, then there are a few things you definitely want to look at that are different. First of all you want to check your merchant center account and make sure that all of your products are active and approved and you don’t have any account issues there. You’ll also have to check and make sure that all of your audiences are active and working as expected. I’ve seen cases where remarketing audiences stopped populating for some reason, which ultimately stopped smart shopping campaigns from delivering, which is a particularly annoying problem because you really get no guidance or understanding on how or why those audiences stop populating, so that’s when you’ll probably have to consult directly with Google with. And hopefully you’ll have a Google rep that can kind of help you through that situation.
Again, there are many reasons that performance can change from a day-to-day basis and some of those are perfectly normal and fine, but you’ll likely have a good idea of what’s normal for your accounts or for your industry. So just pay attention every single day to what you aren’t expecting and see if you can figure out the root cause of any changes.
Another thing to look at, and you might have to wait a day or two for this data to fully become available, but take a look at your auction insights reporting fairly often and sometimes you can use that to see if your mix of competitors changes one way or another. So maybe a new competitor has come into the market and driving up bids or is eating some of the impression share, or maybe one of your major competitors, you hit their monthly ad budget and dropped out of the auction temporarily. I’ve seen both of these things happen many, many times and it can drive pretty wild swings in your day to day performance.
So definitely a long list of things to take a look at, but as long as you have good daily monitoring practices in place you’ll be able to notice whenever something kind of goes wrong and using these steps you should be able to kind of dive into it and figure out what the root cause is.
That’s it for this week. I’ll be back soon with another episode of Marketing In 10. Until then take care guys and have a great day.