The main question many people ask me when I review my services with them is “why do I need a pay per click specialist to monitor my account.” I tell them there are a number of reasons, from finding wasted spend to missed opportunities for growth. I also tell them that as a Google AdWords Partners I have access to reps who tell me of upcoming features that are available in beta.
Yet, an experience earlier this summer goes a long way to showing the value of hiring a pay per click specialist. Ironically it was for a client for which I’d never be paid.
I was contacted by an agency that had a client who needed help with their pay per click. I had no experience with the agency, but they seemed all right and thought it might lead to other work with them. Instead of billing for the first month at the start of work, I agreed to hold off until the end of the month. Big mistake on my part, but not the reason for my writing this blog.
I immediately began to audit the account. They currently were paying over 445 for each lead they generated and even then the leads weren’t always the best.
I looked at their keywords and most were being targeted as broad match. I knew this was a problem and after reviewing their reports found this was the case. They were often paying for people looking for the address of a competitor or because of the one term, a popular style of dance. Their ads were generic and they seldom used ad extensions.
I was engaged for a set number of hours that first month, but made a number of changes that had an immediate impact. Even though I had just begun I soon had the cost per conversion down to 276 and the leads were much more relevant. In just one month I had saved them over 2,000 dollars in wasted spend and increased their business.
I expected this trend to continue even more the second month as I was planning to initiate a number of additional changes. What I didn’t realize is that the client was having a fallout with the agency that had hired me. They had decided to take all their work in-house, including the pay per click. The agency apologized for having wasted my time, but that was little consolation to me. All I had was a lesson learned.
Ironically although they had terminated my work, they failed to unlink my access. I hadn’t even realized it, as it wasn’t through my Client Center with Google, but with the agencies old account. I realized this a month later when I received a snapshot of their account. I looked at it and noticed that the cost per conversion had started going back up, by nearly a hundred dollars. The next month showed the cost per conversion was now nearly what it had been before I started. And by the third month it had gone up even higher and they had paused the campaign. Despite spending more than 10,000 a month they were losing money on PPC.
Now I hadn’t done anything to the account since I’d left so it’s not like I sabotaged it. Yet, with no one with pay per click experience monitoring their account, they were having no ads tested, no one reviewing search term reports for wasted spend, and weren’t doing anything to keep up with their competitors. It wasn’t just about losing money with PPC, however. They were missing out on relevant leads that were now going to these competitor.
With pay per click you can’t take a set it and forget it approach. Even if a pay per click specialist has set up your account you often need to continue with their services. Here are five reasons you want a professional to continue to monitor an account. These are also five reasons, the account I had worked on began to lose ground.
Testing Must Be Done
It’s not often that a campaign doesn’t require some form of testing. Ads that seem successful could be outperformed by new ads.
Sitelinks are another feature that can be tested. The ads I had started to create showed good results, but I was still running some of their other ads to determine a control ad. I thought these existing ads would eventually be replaced by stronger ads, but since my work was cut off after a month, I never had a chance to develop stronger ads.
Quality Scores Change
Quality Scores influence how often a phrase shows. Often words that initially have high scores begin to drop as they trigger fewer and fewer clicks. The solution is often to remove these words and incorporate them into new ad groups whose ads incorporate them. This client wasn’t doing that and a number of words that had potential simply weren’t being shown as much by Google.
Negative Words Not Being Added
I had added a number of negative keywords to keep the ads from showing for the client. Yet, the way people search continually changes and each month other phrases that didn’t apply were triggering the ads. With no one adding them the list continued to grow as did the amount of wasted money.
A Specialist Does More than Just PPC
Ads can drive traffic to a site, but it means nothing if the site doesn’t live up to the expectations of the person clicking on the ad.
I’m certified by Google Analytics and one of my main tasks is to review the traffic to a site and how these visitors react. From this I can advise a client on what they can do to improve their conversions if need be. I could tell there were issues with this clients site and had some ideas on what they could to improve conversions.
Even though they had a stronger marketing campaign it didn’t mean they were getting the most out of their traffic.
Competitors Are Active
One of the main reasons for not staying pat with a campaign is that competitors aren’t likely to take the same approach. This client was in a very competitive market with some clicks costing as much as 35 dollars. The completion was increasing its bids and changing their ads. This drove up the costs even further. And with all the other issues I’ve discussed this meant the money being wasted was even greater.
It’s a shame I didn’t have time to work on this client’s account longer. They had a very good product that also had a high markup. As a Google AdWords consultant I know what it takes to generate a successful campaign, but I also know its an ongoing process.