Why You (Still) Need Ongoing PPC Management

Not long ago, one of our clients—a fashion consultant—talked to us about letting her PPC campaigns continue without daily management. While she was happy with our services, her sales cycle was extremely long, and she was getting impatient. (She was using PPC to drive leads to her newsletter with the goal of converting newsletter subscribers to clients. But building trust and rapport with subscribers takes time. And often, people expect speedy results from PPC, no matter the nature of the sales cycle.)

So she asked us about running her campaigns with no oversight. After all, they were pretty much running themselves, right?

PPC management

The topic of PPC management comes up periodically with clients, and they all have legitimate reasons for raising it. But at the same time, we also have good reasons for insisting on ongoing PPC account management for our clients. Here are the top three:

1. Irrelevant Traffic

As PPC managers, we monitor our client accounts every day—and one thing we’re constantly looking for is irrelevant PPC traffic. Without proactively weeding out search terms that attract non-target audiences, you inevitably end up paying for irrelevant impressions or clicks.

For example, ads for our fashion consultant client began showing up on SERPs for the search phrase “how to become a fashion consultant.” Of course, our client wasn’t targeting people wanting to get into the business; she was targeting people wanting her services. Without ongoing negative keyword management, she’d end up paying for “bad” traffic until, eventually, bad traffic overtakes good traffic.

2. Missed Opportunities

AdWords is a complex, constantly changing service. Every week, Google introduces new features and refines existing ones. If you’re paying close attention, you can often find valuable opportunities in these changes—especially if you jump on them quickly.

One recent example is the introduction of structured snippet extensions. According to Google, this new feature can boost ad performance and improve Ad Rank. Savvy advertisers are using the introduction of this feature as impetus to reevaluate all seven AdWords extensions to make sure they’re working together. You can bet the faster you make this change, the more you’ll benefit from it.

3. Negative Consequences

Failure to keep abreast of AdWords changes can also bring negative consequences. We see this every time we log into a new client’s lapsed PPC account. Inevitably, neglected accounts have all kinds of problems and issues, and it takes a lot of time to go through them and adjust settings. Often, it’s easier (and faster) to create new campaigns from scratch. While lapsed accounts aren’t the end of the world, they CAN end up working against you and your objectives.

We saw this recently when Google made a change to its AdWords conversion tracking columns. The change replaced a number of existing columns with new, more customizable columns.

Google advised users to update their settings to accommodate the change—but what if you didn’t? In this case, Google would automatically start removing filters, suspending automated rules and stop showing some data. As a result, you’d end up with missing or, worse, inaccurate information about your campaigns.

This is typical of Google’s way of doing things. The company will announce a change and assign a deadline for adjustments. If you fail to make the adjustments in time, Google will make them for you—and often not to your benefit.

When we put these points to our client, she decided to pause her campaigns instead of allowing them to continue unsupervised. While pausing a campaign isn’t ideal, at least she can rest easy knowing she’s not wasting her money on PPC activities that are rapidly going downhill.