Taking Over New PPC Accounts

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “Taking Over New PPC Accounts.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: When inheriting a new PPC account, what is the first initiative you take? Why?

  • Research and audit – see what worked and what didn’t. – Michael Knight (@MichaelAKnight)
  • I find out what the allowable cost per conversion is. – Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
  • Change all Broad Keywords to Exact and BMM versions. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
    • Sometime better to transition away from broad match. Otherwise you risk cutting traffic. – Jeremy Brown
      • Sometimes… but not often from my experiences. Usually I’m inheriting it because it’s in poor shape. – James Svoboda
        • I’ve seen broad match perform relatively well in rare cases. Don’t throw baby out with bath water. – Jeremy Brown
          • I respect you Jeremy, but I’m never going to agree with you on this one. You can always add broad back in later if needed. – James Svoboda
          • Broad Match is amazing – it’s existence gives PPC consultants an easy way to save client money – by ditching it. – Michael Madew
      • Lately I’ve been auditing accounts that are in good shape, but aren’t getting regular attention. – Luke Alley
  • Get to know the business. Perform a test conversion to understand visitor experience. Identify top terms & kill loss leaders. – Chris Haleu (@chrishaleua)
  • Look @ account history + make sure Analytics is set up properly, w/goals, b/c there’s lots to learn from past data. – Johathan Maltz (@MaltzPPC)
  • Make sure proper conversion tracking is in place! Need to start on stable (and accurate) footing. – Matt Umbro
  • Separate the combined Search & Display campaigns. Because you know there’s always at least one. – Neil Sorenson (@iNeils)
  • Look through the settings, then the historical data and set up a call to discuss goals, history, etc. – Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
  • Usually account structure clean up, cutting spend fat. Tightening up relevance. – Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
  • Onboarding survey then call with the new client. You need context around goals, budgets, and other info. – Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
  • Decide between overhaul or gradual adjustment. – Sam Turner (@turnersam000)
  • Full account audit, then make a decision on whether a restructure will suffice or if we need to start from scratch. – DBD Media (@dbdmedia)
  • Get the account stable so I can take the proper time to get things in order. – Michelle Morehouse (@michellemsem)
  • Current performance, missing basic elements (ie sitelinks, etc), past performance, KPI goal initiatives & a comp analysis. – Cassandra McClure (@imcassy)
  • Understand conversion tracking & funnel. – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • Audit it. Might need quick changes. Might hurt if you make changes quickly. All depends. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
  • Goals and KPI’s discussion happens before we touch anything unless there are obvious problems. Then we plug opts while we talk. – Heather Cooan
  • Account audit. Check conversions and analytics goals. – George Gilmer (@GeorgeGilmer)
  • Definitely research. Don’t start making changes until you’re sure of the goals and have studied past data. – ScriptiLabs (@scriptilabs)
  • It’s a very long list, but my first check is ALWAYS Campaign Settings. There’s always something wrong in there. – Leo Sussan (@lsussan)
  • Something I’ve started to do at the beginning of new account takeovers is run the broken link script. – Matt Umbro
  • Add any and all ad extensions that make sense. Too many clients ignore them. That’s free first page real estate – use them! – Jeremyah Grigery (@JeremyahGrigery)
  • Check Settings, Delete Off Search & Display Campaigns, Change Optimize for clicks to Rotate Indefinitely, Then Research. – James Kravic (@JKravic)
  • Another big thing is to make sure all tracking is working and accurate. I’m amazed at some things I see in new accounts. – Heather Cooan
  • Second thing is definitely conversion tracking health check and clean up. If you’re not tracking, you’re flying blind. – Michelle Morehouse
  • Address which campaign is using most ad spend and change match types, bid levels & pause too broad of kw’s w/o conversions. – Tyler Purcell (@tylerpurcell)

Q2: Do you tend to build new campaigns right away or modify existing campaigns? Why?

  • Usually always build new right away, so its in the best shape off the bat, otherwise you are doing double duty. – Michael Knight
  • If you want something done right do it yourself. Create campaigns that you understand top to bottom. – Neil Sorenson
  • Better to start fresh with a properly configured campaign than to start adjusting existing. Also gives client option to revert. – Jonathan Maltz
  • Depends on history/data, prefer to start new, but if account is decent, then I’ll revamp. – Mark Kennedy
  • Modify existing initially, just so I’ll have time to build new (if necessary) without too much bleeding. – Michelle Morehouse
  • It depends. Usually it’s best to start new with fresh data, but some campaigns are salvageable. – Scriptilabs
  • Modify first. Can always shift impressions. Good to keep any data and quality scores. – Tyler Purcell
  • Building new helps for historical comparison v old structure & client can always convert back. – Pascal Inderabudhi (@pasc)
  • Existing campaigns have better chance of success due to historic CTR. Depends on work involved though. – Michael Madew (@IntelligentPPC)
  • Depends on account. If there’s a lot of past data I generally at least start by modifying existing. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Usually try to refine existing campaigns to simplify year over year performance comparisons. – Chris Haleua
  • Depends if existing campaigns are producing results. If It’s already getting results, small modifications come first. – John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
  • Modify existing. Mostly to keep history and not rock the boat too much. If need new, then add new. – Jeremy Brown
    • If the account is performing well I won’t be as liberal with new builds, but ultimately I reorganize to my ideal structure. – Matt Umbro
  • Most often, I keep what’s working well running, pause everything else, and then build build build! – Matt Umbro
  • Unless it’s a train wreck, I modify. (A) easier, (B) keep history. – Steve Gibson
  • Usually New. It’s rare to keep something that was not performing well, regardless of who built it. – James Svoboda
    • If it’s performing close to goal, it would be odd to get rid of it. That’s why transition often makes sense for us. – Jeremy Brown
      • If I inherited an account that you built, I’d consider it. Otherwise, often too many off-target search term matches. – James Svoboda
  • It all depends on quality scores. If the account has a long history of bad QS, it might be worth starting with fresh kw’s. – Jeremyah Grigery
  • I took over a big ecom acct last yr & worked on improving existing elements until getting fully familiar, 60 days later=restructure. – Neil Sorenson
  • I will also build in stages, keeping best performing running while worst gets the upgrade first and build over a few weeks. – Michael Knight
  • Very much depends on account history and what’s found in audit along with conversations w/ client. – George Gilmer
  • Most accounts we inherit need to be started from scratch. Old accounts can be useful for ad copy and Neg Keyword Research. – James Kravic
  • Depends on structure / history & potential risk of costs/lost revenue by starting afresh. – Chris McCarthy-Stott (@mcstot)
  • I’ll start with new campaigns to see how they compare with existing. – Amy Middleton (@amyxmiddleton)
  • My guess is that after you’ve had it a bit, it’ll look very different from when you got it, even if you revamp. PPC evolution. – Mark Kennedy
  • Prefer to start anew but historical data is gold. some inherited accounts are like, “wth is going on here?!” – Cassandra McClure
  • I honestly prefer starting from scratch, but it’s such a time suck. So usually, I do a metered transition to a new structure. – Leo Sussan
  • Even if account is performing well, I like to build my own campaigns because I want to set according to my tactics. – Matt Umbro
  • Depends completely on the metrics and structure of the existing campaigns. Each account is unique – fix what’s broken, keep what works. – Ryan Moothart (@ryanmoothart)
  • Modify existing first but then rebuild if necessary. If you move keywords with their ads QS is much less affected. – Niki Grant (@TheNikiGrant)
  • Every account is unique. 1st review historical data. Then starting with brand terms which convert best, build new campaigns. – Thomas Rasinen (@Rasinen)

Q3: How do you handle new accounts that are in good shape (as opposed to ones setup poorly)?

  • If in good shape, do housekeeping tasks, then move on to expansionary efforts. – Robert Brady
  • Accts in good shape usually get some adjustments to basic best practices & naming convention, but then I run with them. – Michelle Morehouse
  • Even a good campaign can fail if client and manager goals are not aligned. Need to know why they switched. – Mark Kennedy
  • That is when I focus on growing volume (targeting, query mining, maybe even GDN) instead of stressing about efficiency as much. – Chris Haleua
  • Gotta take steps to make sure we know what’s working, why it’s working, & what hasn’t worked in the past. Client communication 101. – Michelle Morehouse
  • Generally my first optimization task in new campaigns is to cut the fat…even good accounts have inefficiencies to cut. – Matt Umbro
  • More cautious with changes, in more of a “tweak and see” mode to start. – John Budzynski
  • Still do an account audit to decide what needs the most attention then create a strategy matrix for clear timelines. – Michael Knight
  • Perform a SWOT or some similar analysis to lay out what exactly is working well & what could use love. easy to lay out a POA. – Cassandra McClure
  • Creative and destination URLs most often need total overhaul. – Paolo Vidali (@PaoloRobot)
  • Once you know the why, then you can rework (or start new) to accomplish the right goals. – Mark Kennedy
  • Step 1: Rejoice! Step 2: Account Audit. Step 3: Begin Ad Copy Testing. – Leo Sussan
  • There is usually something to improve on, like regularity of changes, neg. kws, bid mods, etc. We just tread lightly. – Luke Alley
  • I typically wouldn’t take one on – unless they just wanted out outsource PPC management. And, if I took one on, I’d just do what I’d do if I was managing an a/c I’d optimized myself. – Steve Gibson
  • See if it can be built out along the same lines to build on current working foundations. Intro new features like RLSA/Ad Ext. – Niki Grant
  • We move a little slower with changes for strong performers. More aggressively with the dead fish. – Jeremy Brown
  • Start diversifying immediately to hedge future risk. Diversification is a luxury for an account with solid performance. – Jeremyah Grigery
  • Test: minor adjustments to ad copy, Sitelinks and more. – Thomas Rasinen
  • I’ve seen accounts where people got too aggressive with changes too quickly and hard to diagnose. – Jeremy Brown
  • I look for untapped keyword segments and conversion leaks. – James Svoboda
  • Audit account & find gaps. Push minor adjustments. – Pascal Inderabudhi
  • I would also say to look for keyword conflicts. In other words, any opportunities to neg a KW in one campaign/ad group vs another? – Matt Umbro
  • If structure is fine, expand ads. Add suitable extensions, Betas. Target competitiors. Else: sensibly build granular structure. – Philip Oppenheimer (@philip_a)

Q4: How do you handle an account/individual campaign that breaks all best practices, but is performing extremely well?

  • That’s tough. I keep it as I build others and then SLOWLY work out of it, while imlementing strong practices to keep performance. – Mark Kennedy
  • It’s rare, but I’ve seen campaigns that haven’t been touched in years still have $0.10 CPCs and great exposure. – Matt Umbro
  • Pull out the factors that are performing well (keywords/queries, ad copy, etc.) & use in restructured campaigns. – Timothy Jensen
  • Then go back to main strategy and make it better and to best practice standards. – Michael Knight
  • There’s always a reason for good performance with a best practice inside of it…even if it’s hidden under layers. – Paolo Vidali
  • Either the best practices are wrong or it isn’t performing as well as it could. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • Build a campaign that should work well long-term and slowly shift traffic from one to the other. – Michelle Morehouse
  • Dissect as much as possible – try to find some source of the success. – Scriptilabs
  • Don’t throw baby out with bath water! Transition more gradually, but be open to leaving certain things. Best practices are there because they are usually correct. That doesn’t mean always. – Jeremy Brown
  • Identify what’s driving performance, see what small optimizations you can modify & apply. – Pascal Inderabudhi
  • If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. “Best practices” can be somewhat subjective depending on the nature of the account. – Jeremyah Grigery
  • Check change history for adjustments that possibly led to its setup. otherwise minor/slow baby changes expand upon its success. – Cassandra McClure
  • Refer to client’s goals – if client wants to grow profits, then I’d make a re-structure plan and manage client expectations. – Ryan Moothart
  • I often find that these accounts have built up historical QS and Keyword Click & Ad history that changes are tricky. – James Svoboda
    • Exactly – For better or worse, whatever you try to do will mess up that history. – Matt Umbro
  • Looked at a campaign recently where it has 4 brand keyword on broad match and getting .02-.03 CPCs. Hard to improve. – Jeremy Brown
  • Investigate if your best practices are assumptions. – Jonathan Ng (@ThankYouJon)
  • I’ve usually seen accts employing poor strategies to be enjoying temporary success. Not a ? of “if” it goes south, but “when”. – Neil Sorenson

Q5: Do you make Bing optimizations/new builds in tandem with AdWords or do you wait? What is your reasoning?

  • Work with smaller accounts, so I like Adwords to be really strong before I roll ver to Bing. – Mark Kennedy
  • Generally wait. Have been putting more effort into Bing the past yr, but focus is still where the volume is. – Timothy Jensen
  • Wait for Google to be built as I can just port over to Bing – as we all know, in its current state, its harder to optimize. – Michael Knight
  • I usually start with Google since that is where the volume starts. Bing also makes campaign copy super easy. – Chris Haleua
  • For the most part, yes. Generalizations made from data from one search engine does not necessarily translate to the other. If a test is worth running in AdWords, it’s worth running in Bing (the exception being functionality restrictions). – Leo Sussan
  • Depends how heavily Bing’s being used. Little to none: wipe clean & sync with AdWords. If good volume: optimize separately. – Michelle Morehouse
  • Use Googs first to build efficiencies then move over to Bing. once in Bing, optimize both separately for different searcher base. – Cassandra McClure
  • I wait with Bing, because it sucks to use and has never contributed more than 15% of total conversions. – Matt Lukens (@mmlukens)
  • My experience is that Bing has lower-quality users. I tend to work on Google first, then bring only what works over to Bing. – Ryan Moothart
  • I prefer to optimize the heck out of an AdWords account then migrate a solid campaign to Bing. – James Svoboda
  • Wait on Bing optimizations because the lower volume means bigger wins are possible with AdWords first…except for the SQR. – Paolo Vidali
  • After I have both AdWords & Bing Ads set up, I tend to optimize them as if they were mutually exclusive. Different behavior. – Ryan Moothart
    • Quality depends on industry and demographics. Bing/Yahoo skews older with some other differences. – Jeremy Brown
  • Adwords first because more data and faster learning. Exception: dead fish in Bing account need to be dealt with. – Jeremy Brown
  • Prev only used what worked in G into Bing, but found different KWs converting on B while failing on G. Opt separately if possible. – Neil Sorenson
  • Often too limited volume in Bing to test in tandem. Best to implement what works in AdWords. – Tyler Purcell
  • I’ve also found that keywords labled as Low Search Volume in AdWords, usually ARE in Bing. Avoid enter Ad Groups of these. -James Svoboda
  • Wait for AdWords to be successful, Get everything you can out of adwords, Then expand to Bing. – James Kravic
  • Not sure what you guys are seeing, but my revenues / CPAs in Bing are pretty solid. I can’t afford to treat it like a stepchild. – Leo Sussan

Q6: What alerts, scripts, and/or automated rules do you setup when taking over new PPC accounts?

  • I just do the basic alerts, but for everything else, wait until its running smoothly manually and then start adding in rules etc. – Michael Knight
  • Daily / Weekly / Monthly Reporting Script. So much time saved. – Leo Sussan
  • Nothing right away. I want to manage that mess myself. – Michelle Morehouse
  • I typically wait until I have a good feel for the account before I set up any scripts or automations. – Mark Kennedy
  • We have a bunch of internal processes. We are currently evaluating a few scripts to add to that list. – Jeremy Brown
  • I set the broken link checker to run weekly and also set myself to receive all ad disapproval and billing alerts. – Matt Umbro
  • Honestly, nothing right away. In the beginning, there is so much account monitoring that automation isn’t too necessary. – Scriptilabs
  • Aggressive pos rule for brand. conservative pos rule for high rev general. ROAS rule w/layer of non-conv cost decrease for rest. – Chris Haleua
  • I set up alerts but i’m more “manual” for inherited accounts at first while i get acquainted w/ them. – Cassandra McClure
  • I run the broken link checker daily. With so many sites being down lately at any given time, you never know. – Stephanie Cockerl (@StephCockerl)

Q7: What timeframe do you give clients before you “make your impact” on an account?

  • If I’m not seeing results in 90 days, my strategy isn’t working. That’s enough time to know. – John Holland (@hollappc)
  • 1 month to prove myself. – Michael Medew
  • I don’t. I’d rather set the expectation of better than last week every week until we hit their goals. – Heather Cooan
  • I generally tell clients that we should at least be moving in the right direction after 30 days. – Matt Umbro
  • I work month-by-month, so they should expect to see results within the first month. – Steve Gibson
  • No promise of hitting goals in a certain time frame. Start convos about strategy & what might happen, then move forward together. – Michelle Morehouse
  • In lead gen, [it depends] on the length of the funnel. My impact cannot fully be seen until lead quality is assessed. – Jeremyah Grigery
  • Generally, 1st month is analysis, restructure/etc., and testing. Should start seeing results in 2nd month. – Jeremy Brown
  • Making an impact is often quick, but benchmarking and SHOWING improvment can take longer. Conversion tracking FTW! – James Svoboda
  • It does depend… my baseline is a 3 month infancy period. inherited acct’s are still new to me & clients must understand. – Cassandra McClure
  • Try to answer that question in the context of annual seasonality. Need to make sure month over month slump is not natural. – Chris Haleua
  • Usually 2 months. Although it depends on the technicalities of the account and the desired outcomes. Traffic vs. Acquisitions. – Juan Restrepo (@JuanRRestrepo)
  • Explaining transition process is necessary but exact timeframe can set up for failure. Manage & pass on improvement as it comes. – Tyler Purcell
  • Depends on how acct is before taking it on but usually ask for 3 months | set CLEAR definition of what we will measure against. – Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)

PPCChat Sponsored by

Marin SoftwareSwydo: easy reporting and workflow for online marketers. Make monthly reports with our KPI’s and widgets. Send beautiful reports to clients and management. Make your agency and department run like clockwork with out workflow features.

Resources

More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.

Participants

Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Amy Middleton (@amyxmiddleton)
• Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
• Cassandra McClure (@imcassy)
• Chris Haleu (@chrishaleua)
• DBD Media (@dbdmedia)
• George Gilmer (@GeorgeGilmer)
• Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
• James Kravic (@JKravic)
• Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
• Jeremyah Grigery (@JeremyahGrigery)
• Johathan Maltz (@MaltzPPC)
• John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
• John Holland (@hollappc)
• Jonathan Ng (@ThankYouJon)
• Juan Restrepo (@JuanRRestrepo)
• Leo Sussan (@lsussan)
• Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
• Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
• Matt Lukens (@mmlukens)
• McCarthy-Stott (@mcstot)
• Michael Knight (@MichaelAKnight)
• Michael Madew (@IntelligentPPC)
• Michelle Morehouse (@michellemsem)
• Neil Sorenson (@iNeils)
• Niki Grant (@TheNikiGrant)
• Paolo Vidali (@PaoloRobot)
• Pascal Inderabudhi (@pasc)
• Philip Oppenheimer (@philip_a)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
• Ryan Moothart (@ryanmoothart)
• Sam Turner (@turnersam000)
• ScriptiLabs (@scriptilabs)
• Stephanie Cockerl (@StephCockerl)
• Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
• Thomas Rasinen (@Rasinen)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
• Tyler Purcell (@tylerpurcell)
 

Taking Over PPCChat Streamcaps

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Sponsored By

Recent Tweets



I am speaking at SMX East
PPCChat.co was rated one of the Best PPC Blogs by Boost CTR