Prioritization of PPC Account Efforts

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “Prioritization of PPC Account Efforts.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What is the first thing you do when taking over an account? Why?

  • Check the account settings. Always some quick wins there. – George Brown (@GBPPC)
  • Audit the hell out of it and then look at recent changes. If I can ask someone about it, I take them in front of a whiteboard. – Nate Knox (@nateknox)
  • Don’t touch anything, look at everything…take inventory so I don’t break it and know where to start. – Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
  • Long-term audit for seasonality, perf shifts, and neg negative kw. (Also, ps all BM kw.) – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
  • Really dig into it to see what its current state is & competitive searches. – Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
  • Review full account (configuration, structure) along with past performance. – Shawn Berg (@ShawnCBerg)
  • Check the basics – on display network, conversion tracking, history, geotarget, etc. A top overview to see what’s happening. – Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
  • Audit conversion points / anaytics and determine quality of historical data. – George Gilmer (@GeorgeGilmer)
  • Audit – check off account settings, billing, campaign settings, conversions to get better sense of the account. – Pascal Inderabudhi (@pasc)
  • Pull open their Google Analytics. First thing I see a lot is that it’s not even linked to AdWords. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • Find what’s been working. Figure out why. Shorten learning curve. – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • ID top 3 campaigns. Build from scratch. Compare to existing. – Matt Lukens (@mmlukens)
  • Run a SQR filter for terms with over 60 – 70 clicks and 0 conversions and exclude. – Matt Umbro
  • Analyze account history, look over settings, identify previous strategy, etc. Why: so know the account b4 making decisions. – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • A kickoff call/meeting with the client to review expectations, objectives, & processes. Sometimes repetitive, but necessary. – Andrew Miller (@AndrewCMiller)
  • Figure out if it’s profitable, how profitable, where its not profitable. – Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
  • If we are talking the Very start – Checking Analytics is correctly linked / code is there / Goal URLs are good. – George Brown
  • Establish a baseline. List improvements, prioritize list. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
  • Monitor as is for a short period. See what’s working. Don’t break It. – John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
  • Start with an audit, find out changes required at Keywords, Ads, Campaign Settings, Extensions, all you can find. Essentially the idea is to have smart ideas to talk with the client. Show him you can achieve what you say you will. – Ashutosh Chandekar (@Quote_ler)
  • Make sure I understand the goal of the campaigns. And make sure THEY understand the goal of their campaigns. – Rebecca Corneau (@beccamary)
  • Complete account audit: campaign settings, are conversion scripts placed correct, KW match type distribution etc. Fix quick wins. Of course most of this only starts after having had the kickoff meeting with the client to talk about goals and KPIs – Lauryan Feijen (@LauryanF)
  • Starting with a full audit can be bad. Don’t want to become biased for or against previous work. – Matt Lukens
    • I think I see where you’re going, but not sure what a better option is. Diving in without seeing what’s there seems risky. – Kirk Williams
  • Any tips for auditing to keep from interpreting past account settings (budget caps, max bids) as seasonality / indicators? – Amy Middleton (@amyppc)
  • When onboarding a new client – all about setting goals and expectations; align with overall marketing/biz goals. – Pascal Inderabudhi
  • Do an audit of the set up, check stats history. – Rizzie Vette (@GoGetterVette)

Q2: When kicking off a client, what is the first assignment you give them (e.g.: listing top KWs, implementing codes, etc)? Why?

  • Defining their marketing goals. Everything else comes out of the answer to this question. Conversion tracking is a close second. Usually it’s messed up. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • Access to Analytics and Adwords. See whats going on already. – George Brown
  • Definitely all tracking codes if applicaple. Phone, conversion, analytics. Then they need to define goals, conversions. – Mark Kennedy
  • If we’re speaking tactical, making sure they implement all tracking codes (conversion, remarketing, feed verification, etc). – Matt Umbro
  • Access to Google Analytics, Implement tracking codes. Correct incorrect goal settings. – Utsab Saha (@sahautsab)
  • Confirm goals, get a list of top areas by both quantity and profit, find areas of the business most important to them. – Joe Martinez
  • Defining goals, KPIs. Basically: all the marketing questions and goals these lead to. – Lauryan Feijen
  • Kickoff checklist doc before meeting. Includes goals, KPIs, competitors, other channels, history with paid search. – Lisa Sanner
  • Who is your ideal customer? Who are your top 3 competitors? – Theresa Zook
  • Assuming goals have been established, if not already tracking conversions, adding code is top priority to set benchmarks. – Amy Middleton
  • I use an onboarding survey I make sure they complete. It opens up the convo & helps get the questions & ball rolling. – Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
  • I first have them sign off on a digital marketing brief so we’re, again, in written agreement on all details- $, conv, tactics, etc. Everyone has the client homework covered… ensure their foundation is secure before our heavy lifting (ie Access, tags, past data). – Nate Knox
  • I have list I send. Includes: tracking codes setup (if not), KW list, Geo-location desire, competitor list, learn biz goals, etc. – Kirk Williams
  • Get past account info, get industry insights & expected goals. Get yourself in same shoes as client metaphorically. – Ashutosh Chandekar
  • Focus on relationship of three entities – Industry, Channel, Consumer in that order. – Aniket Khare (@AniketKhare2)
  • If tracking code issue, I usually state that nothing new will go live until tracking issues are resolved so as to help keep my work naturally separate from previous agency and encourages them to make tracking happen. – Kirk Williams

Q3: In ecomm accounts, how aggressively do you push for access (and ability to update) the shopping feed?

  • Pretty hard, we prefer it. But sometimes, the client likes to keep that control. – Mark Kennedy
  • Absolutely critical. In fact tracking site performance is equally critical. W/ those 2 in place, we can almost improve performance by leaps. – Anubhav Sonthalia (@sonthalia)
  • I find that an explanation of how significant it is for PPC can help get client on board and glad to give access. Yes, politely, but aggressively and persistently. – Kirk Williams
  • Very aggressively – I’m on record saying Shopping is the most important part of ecomm accounts. Need access to that feed! – Matt Umbro
  • Depends how well its optimised. – Steve Gibson
  • Early and often. Most clients aren’t bothering w/ feed optimization, so we usually find lots of opportunities to improve/expand. – Andrew Miller
  • If client has shopping feed, if shopping feed isn’t optimized – aggressively pitch to take over that channel. – Pascal Inderabudhi
  • Very aggressive. We show past results, assisted conversions to show it’s a big picture and every campaign affects each other. – Joe Martinez
  • As hard but as nicely as you can without being uber critical or stepping on toes. Buy cupcakes, flowers, whatever it takes. – Lisa Sanner
  • Access to shopping feed allows to improve other channels like Facebook as well. Hence supercritical. – Anubhav Sonthalia
  • If Ind-Channel-Consumer are not in sync with benchmarks, identify gaps & Strategize to address them. – Aniket Khare
  • I push for it. If I get pushback, I nonchalantly tell them it will directly affect their revenue & my performance. If they don’t give it to me at first, then I give them the appropriate overload of homework to overwhelm them into giving it to me. – Nate Knox
  • Pushing for Feed access is one, integrating for Live Updates of feed items is even more critical. Live updates requires more integration, but cuts down update time improving performance further. – Anubhav Sonthalia
  • Clients just need to hear a logical, reasonable reason for why you need access to the feed before quickly handing the keys over. – Nate Knox
  • You push for it,without a doubt. If client is adamant he doesnt want to,even thn but passively, with suggestions on improvement. – Anutosh Chandekar
  • If they want me to manage shopping/pla type campaigns I have to have access to feed & ability to tweak or I won’t do it. – Bryant Garvin

Q4: Why do you believe the general priority (and actions taken) are to get traffic vs. converting it?

  • I think it’s both. To get the traffic that has the most potentail to convert, which is why negatvies, adcopy, etc are priority. – Mark Kennedy
  • Every client I’ve had thinks their website is the best and is perfect…blah blah blah. They feel traffic is their only issue. – Joe Martinez
  • I like to see clients putting time, effort & budget into both. – Robert Brady
  • Priorities always depend on the clients problems. each scenario is unique. Demand generation is important for young businesses. – Utsab Saha
  • Most clients don’t think they have a conversion problem. Easier to grasp buying more traffic, harder to understand CRO. – Andrew Miller
  • In a sense, it’s counter intuitive – I mean you build a house up to code before people live in it…why not the same for PPC? – Matt Umbro
  • “If you build it, they will come.” Clients drink the koolaid & think they’ll convert at 100% if more & better traffic shows up. – Amy Middleton
  • Perception that you have to get traffic to start to learn how to convert it. – Katy Tonkin (@katytonkin)
  • Better PPC managers know it’s really about Getting Converting Traffic 1st. Getting non-converting 1st often gets you fired. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • PPC is considered an aqcuisiion channel… acquire more… Hard to convert what you don’t have. – Bryant Garvin
  • Evolution of retargeting has brought “traffic” back into vogue. Increased potential value of top o’ funnel traffic. – Josh Summerhays (@JoshSummerhays)
  • I also think clients don’t always appreciate aiming for a better conversion rate – if traffic is higher they may be OK with low %. – Matt Umbro
  • Qualified traffic should help you improve LPs & offers and feeds the CRO process. The more you get the more data to work with. – Bryant Garvin
  • Getting more traffic is easy – with someone else’s money”¦. getting conversions not quite so. – Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
  • Unless the PPC account is a train wreck, conversion optimisation will usually offer greater opportunities. – Steve Gibson
  • I’ve often heard direct client contacts, who want conversions, say that their bosses care more about traffic. PPC gets political. – Nate Knox
  • Depends on website, if you have a website that can convert well, your primary focus should be on getting traffic, relevant one. – Ashutosh Chandekar
  • Does not make sense to me. Conversion is one ROI factors. They should understand their numbers better. – Rizzie Vette
  • If you have the traffic, use that data to show hey if we improved Conv by X you would make $$ more. – Bryant Garvin
  • Usually, there is a lot of friction btwn product & marketing teams. Product teams own conversion, Marketing owns traffic. Usual compromise reached is marketing to bring traffic, product to convert it. Ideally, traffic is marketing teams responsbility, conversion is shared responsibility. – Anubhav Sonthalia
  • Traffic growth is easier KPI to comprehend, maybe, vs qualifying leads & acquisition. – Pascal Inderabudhi
  • Problem can be solved to an extent on AdWords but primarily by improving site. House you are building has to be worth living in. – Ashutosh Chandekar
  • Although I am sure everyone agrees that traffic that you bring in, has to have best chance to convert. – Ashutosh Chandekar

Q5: Talk about how you prioritize your individual campaign builds (ie: why certain campaigns get built first, etc)?

  • All depends on client goals. I like to build brand campaigns first, along with key products/services. – Melissa Mackey
  • Follow the money. – Lisa Sanner
  • Goes back to initial talks with client. What is most important to them based upon the goals and strategy initially discussed. – Joe Martinez
  • That would be defined by the clients goals AND what would have the most immediate impact. – Mark Kennedy
  • I build campaigns outwards – the core terms first. Then spread the net. Once I have traffic I work back inwards. – Steve Cameron
  • Campaign with the greatest potential comes first. – John Budzynski
  • Prioritize by client’s goals/needs. Can be restructuring brand, building out converting non-brand, etc. – Pascal Inderabudhi
  • Existing Landing Pages that can be used for PPC campaigns tend to get pushed through sooner. – James Svoboda
  • Brand campaigns are definitely one of the first few campaigns to get built. Marking your clients territory. – Utsab Saha
  • If no client preference, biggest revenue/conversion impact goes 1st always. Show me the money! – Katy Tonkin
  • Low hanging fruit: Isolate brand terms from non-branded. Too often Brand Campaigns include generic or competitor terms. – Amy Middleton
  • Generally, high margin product campaigns will be built first (both shopping and text) along with Dynamic Remarketing. – Matt Umbro
  • After learning from acct history & client, I often begin: Top Terms/Services Search Camp’ (Lead Gen) or Google Shopping (E-Com). – Kirk Williams
  • Don’t always focus on rebuilds – sometimes “sculpting” current ones will get he job done. – Bryant Garvin
  • We usually go aggressive and build it all out within a week. – Anubhav Sonthalia
  • Campaigns that have a faster go-to-market (less effort) and chances of better ROI. – Utsab Saha
  • And when there is a client preference that might not be in their best interest – I try to steer them to the $$. – Katy Tonkin
  • Start with campaigns that reach bottom of the funnel traffic. Brand & product names, prod. category terms, then solution terms. – Josh Summerhays
  • Have to prioritise only if client is low on budget. – Anubhav Sonthalia
  • In lead gen it’s all about the specific/higher intent terms followed by research/exploratory. – Matt Umbro
  • Higher priority, more expensive, worst-performing campaigns are re-built 1st. Best to plug the largest holes first for big wins. – Andrew Miller
  • Depends on client, if spends are limited then get Brand campaigns rolled out with high intent Non Brand Campaigns or even DSA. – Ashutosh Chandekar
  • If spends are not an issue,then start out with multiple channels aggressively with preference to what works best in that segment. – Ashutosh Chandekar


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.


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 (@amyppc)
• Andrew Miller (@AndrewCMiller)
• Aniket Khare (@AniketKhare2)
• Anubhav Sonthalia (@sonthalia)
• Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
• George Brown (@GBPPC)
• George Gilmer (@GeorgeGilmer)
• Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
• Josh Summerhays (@JoshSummerhays)
• Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
• Katy Tonkin (@katytonkin)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Lauryan Feijen (@LauryanF)
• Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
• Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
• Matt Lukens (@mmlukens)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Nate Knox (@nateknox)
• Pascal Inderabudhi (@pasc)
• Rebecca Corneau (@beccamary)
• Rizzie Vette (@GoGetterVette)
• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
• Shawn Berg (@ShawnCBerg)
• Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
• Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
• Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
• Utsab Saha (@sahautsab)

Priorizing of Streamcaps

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

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