PPC Chat Streamcap – PPC Campaigns In Their Infancy

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “PPC Campaigns In Their Infancy.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What expectations do you set with clients when kickoff off new PPC campaigns?

  • Performance is gonna be tough for a little while as we feel things out & test. Expect millions next week! – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
  • PPC is so much about finding what does and does NOT work. Finding what doesn’t work isn’t a failure. Lesson #1 IMO. – Neil Sorenson (@iNeils)
  • Desired results aren’t always instant – sometimes it takes time to get the account in the right spot. – Brittany Baeslack (@BaeslaBr)
  • Important to let client know that Adwords etc. work on data and takes time to build that data up. – James Hume (@zerospin)
  • Expect relevant traffic, more sales, and more business in general. – John Lavin (@Johnnyjetfan)
  • Campaign is setup as best as I know how, will take some tweaking still. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
  • The first 2-3 months will be the worst months of the campaign because we are gathering data & learning. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • Be patient. Campaigns take some time to get actionable data. I won’t blow out budgets, but it won’t have the best ROI at first. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
  • Make sure they understand data needs time to accrue before recommendations are made or conclusions can be drawn. – Nicole Mintiens (@Tregesy)
  • Nothing is perfect right out of the gate – take the time to optimize over at least two weeks to get performance up. – adMarketplace.com (@adMarketplace)
  • 2 week to 2 month initial ramp up for analyzing & adjustments depending on competitive landscape and click/impression *volume*. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • I let clients know that the first couple of weeks will be somewhat exploratory as we test keywords, copy, etc. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • In a completely new vertical, very little. 1st week or so is a fact finding mission for search volume, competitor activity etc. – Rod (@rodsblog)
  • What to expect for us with ad review & legal approvals, and the importance of that. We need them to get stuff approved. – Harris Neifield (@HarrisNeifield)
  • New clients are like teenagers: they need to learn patience. – Melissa Mackey
  • Primarily data collection and make sure you’re setting the clients expectations appropriately. – Dave Rosborough (@daverosborough)
  • PPC is an ongoing process, which involves a lot of trial and error, but there is always room for improvement. – Cassie Allinger (@_CassieLee_)
  • I tell them months but hope it will actually be weeks. Under promise, over deliver. – Melissa Mackey
  • 4 – 6 weeks generally before we either break even or make a positive return. – Matt Umbro
  • Isn’t the rare circumstance of being able to nearly instantly provide value to a client the greatest feeling in the world? – Neil Sorenson
  • That the key focus is building a good click-history to improve QS and they should expect gradual growth. – David Fothergill (@fothergilld)
  • That’s what I’ve seen. First 1-3 months see huge improvements, then small improvement after that. – Luke Alley

Q2: In general how much time do you let go by, or what trending do you see, before making optimizations?

  • 24 hours. That’s when you can build the first batch of "come on broad match are you kidding me" negatives. – Aaron Levy
  • Niche industries might take longer to perform to campaign goals. Keyword volume is just so sparse. – Jessica Cameron Ruud (@Camruud)
  • My favorite answer: It Depends. Depends on how much data & how big the trend is. – Melissa Mackey
  • Depends on volume/budget. Try not to over optimize without data. – Luke Alley
  • When there’s enough data to work with – can be 24 hrs can be couple of days, depending on size. – Anna George (@AnnaGeorge)
  • It’s about the amount of data in the account. big accounts – a few days. little accounts – weeks or months. – Harris Neifield
  • I think one can start optimizing immediately, when it comes to negative keywords anyway. – John Lavin
  • Depends on the industry and prior knowledge. but negatives can be applied shortly after. – Johan Micheelsen (@Jomichdk)
  • I find viewing the search term report takes close to 48 – 72 hours before you start seeing data. – Matt Umbro
    • True, definitely varies but according to help center it SHOULD be 24 hours. – Aaron Levy
  • You gotta wait until you have enough data. May be 24 hours. May be as far out as a week. – Stuart Draper (@GetFoundFirst)
  • Unless things are massively out of hand, I try to let new camps run at least a full business week before making big changes. – Michelle Morgan
  • Depends on having enough volume to draw statistically significant conclusions for optimization. – James Svoboda
  • Depends on the volume, which I watch throughout the first couple of days. – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
  • Can start optimising straight away. Even a small amount of data tells you something. Just be aware that it doesn’t tell all. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • Generally, if a term has 100 – 200 impressions with 0 clicks right out of the gate I will pause or put in a different match type. – Matt Umbro
  • If an account is getting low quality scores dropping you gotta optimize immediately. – Stuart Draper
    • It’s annoying how your quality scores initially suck but then increase a few hours later. – Matt Umbro
  • More data than time reliant. As soon as there is enough to make it actionable (have to admit I’m a tweakaholic). – David Fothergill
  • Need to be careful of making too many changes at once or you won’t know what’s working & what isn’t. – Melissa Mackey
  • Sometimes low SQ is a red flag, but with some strategies (like competitor terms) low QS’s are to be expected. – Harris Neifield
  • Need to consider av pos as well for such small numbers. – Anna George
  • For new kws especially, I try to leave them alone for a bit. Had too many QS drop through the floor only to go back up the next day. – Michelle Morgan
    • Good point that you shouldn’t be too quick to the trigger when QS is down, especially in the beginning. – Stuart Draper
      • When done right competitor landing page optimization could be huge. Sadly I could see lawyers getting in the way. – Harris Neifield
  • Almost as if Google wants you to up bids and then forget to bring them down again. – Matt Umbro
  • I prefer to be all over a new account in the first week, you can pick up any big issues, ad reviews, crazy negs, LSV, etc. – Andrew Baker (@AndrewBaker72)
  • I start w aggressive bidding, especially on long tail builds, so try to watch the delivery as close as possible, but not react. – Chris Kostecki

Q3: How do broad and modified broad match keywords play into a PPC campaign’s infancy?

  • Instant Keyword Research! – Cassie Allinger
    • Agree. Great for new KWs and negatives. – Melissa Mackey
  • I rely on BMM to help prevent too much wasted clicks early on until a solid list of negatives can be established. – James Svoboda
  • Personally, I BARELY use regular broad anymore. MBM cuts back on need for early SQ mayhem. – Aaron Levy
  • 20%ish of SQ’s haven’t been used in the last 6 months. Broad and MBM initially get you SQ data the keyword tool doesn’t have. – Harris Neifield
  • They do a nice job for KW expansion (positive and negative) from SQRs. – Lisa Sanner
  • I wont use BM, only MBM, and I do a ton of keyword research to see if including them is worth it. – John Lavin
  • Broad and modified broad match help find the key terms you are missing. Cuts down on keyword research time. – Alma Smith (@Alma_Smith)
  • No BM or MBM to begin with, these come from SQ report (unless exploring a new market). – Chris Kostecki
  • I’m a big fan of modified broad match when starting new campaigns – good way to test without opening things wide up. – Matt Umbro
  • I’ve stopped using BM. I use MBM only on head terms to maintain control but still have some reach. – Luke Alley
  • Unfortunately, even some MBM terms get the dreaded "low search volume" so regular BM can be necessary though not ideal. – Matt Umbro
  • I was taught to use EM and PM when starting out. Bring on MBM later, perhaps from search term report. – Chris Smeda (@ChrisAlanSmeda)
    • Interesting – but then you miss out on the new possibilities MBM can offer surely? – Katie Saxon (@ksaxoninternet)
  • Broad/modified match can really help find keyword avenues you might not have expected traffic on (even with lots of research!). – James Hume
  • I run BMM (Discovery campaigns) & monitor the GA MSQ reports frequently, negating KWs as I go. Dependant on CPAs I turn on/off. – Get Square (@GetSquare)
  • I prefer phrase to begin with. – Chris Kostecki
    • For more competitive terms yes, but more specific I like MBM and BM. – Matt Umbro
      • I use BM(M) after the initial results…any type of broad match + aggressive bidding out the gate can lead to a disaster (Your Mileage May Vary). – Chris Kostecki
        • Yes, but I always set the MBM and MB bids lower than phrase and/or exact and monitor closely. – Matt Umbro
          • I’d rather own the SERPs I want to target than get a weaker CTR with Google matching, this strategy shifts after launch. – Chris Kostecki
            • I guess also depends on the vertical – a more niche client might not get enough traffic to begin with using just phrase. – Matt Umbro
  • Sometimes I find that PM and EM are too restrictive / don’t yield enough learning on new KWs. But, again, it depends. – Melissa Mackey
  • I generally go pretty broad with MBM terms to fight LSV. Have a "catch all" ad group. – Aaron Levy
  • I run BMM (Discovery campaigns) & monitor the GA MSQ reports frequently, negating KWs as I go. Dependant on CPAs I turn on/off. – Andrew Baker
  • If have time to market, seed campaign with only phrase & exacts to start for QS, then add BM & MBM to expand. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
  • I have been using BM less and less. BMM is so much more efficient + provides plenty of KW expansion ideas. PPC landscape is so dynamic– BM possibilities are endless. Better to gain learnings through Phrase 1st! – Emily Las (@emlas)
  • It also depends on newness of product/brand names, some takes time. – Lisa Sanner
  • I’m not sure true BM is a good idea for anything the way it is now. – Dennis Petretti (@Denetti)

Q4: How do you determine a monthly budget when beginning a new PPC campaign (if you do at all)?

  • The client tells me how much they spend, not Google. – John Lavin
  • Generally client defined, they give us budget and we pick what they can afford based on goals. – Aaron Levy
  • Honestly, often it’s either a guess or based on client-specified budget. Traffic estimation tools are usually more wrong than my own SWAG. – Melissa Mackey
  • Client provides the budget goals. Once goals are consistently met, consider leveraging impression share data to ask for more. – Dave Rosborough
  • I guess. I know how much our CPA goals are, and I adjust according to traffic after a few days. – Michelle Morgan
    • Yep, if you’re making money on the front end, budget should be unlimited. – Melissa Mackey
  • Budget defines scope (breadth) of the build, I make sure what is spent @ the EOM is what was agreed to, hopefully w/o going dark. – Chris Kostecki
  • Client says first. But huge part now is est. CPC. If CPC is high, and budget low, will not have data to optimize. – Luke Alley
  • I wonder what % of AdWords search revenue comes off of Broad Match. – Emily Las
  • I prefer to base budgets on what a client can afford to spend. – Katie Saxon
  • Completely based on client’s budget. – Anna George
  • When I started doing PPC (in house, in 2002) we had an unlimited budget. God, I miss those days. – Melissa Mackey
  • Checkout competition & check their spend & look to see how much for CPC. Start small and leave room to Expand. – Sterling Green (@sterlinggreen)
  • Secret proprietary technique. I figure out how much money I have to spend and I use that amount. – Dennis Petretti
  • Projections based on estimation tools (with common sense thrown in)/existing sector experience or client budget defined. – Peter Gould (@PeterGould83)
  • AdWords Traffic Estimator, Keyword Tool, SpyFu, compare to other running accounts and pure gut instinct. – James Hume
  • A little research, a little knowledge and an appreciation of a budget I get to play with. – Andrew Baker

Q5: How extensively do you communicate with clients during a PPC campaign’s infancy?

  • Again it depends, but usually daily the first week, then every few days, then weekly, then we see how it goes. Some clients want lots of updates and some don’t want to be bothered. – Melissa Mackey
    • Also depends on level of trust & how impt to org. – Lisa Sanner
  • Depends on the client– usually daily in 1st wk, then scale back to eventually be 1x per wk (status call). – Emily Las
  • Every client is different. Some are hands off and will let you do your thing. Others need you to hold their hand a bit. – Cassie Allinger
  • Generally send a quick follow up on day ~2 with initial insights/fast SQ, then more or less weekly calls. – Aaron Levy
  • More so at first to highlight wins, early trends, etc but clients always have my email and number if they have Qs/comments. – Matt Umbro
  • Depends on client, usually more often at beginning then tapering off. – Luke Alley
  • Send updates often early on, so they have trust and are off my back down the road – goal is to get to a biweekly or monthly call. – Chris Kostecki
  • Err on the side of more communication; they can always cry uncle if it’s too much. – Melissa Mackey
  • Depends on the client / campaigns, if I’m pushing a promo then daily if a longer proposition then weekly unless any issues. – Andrew Baker
  • Also never hurts to reach out to clients with highlights (or issues) on an ad hoc basis. They appreciate! – Emily Las
    • Agreed, also letting them know of new features. – Matt Umbro
      • Totally– always important to show you are keeping up w/the industry & bringing them the latest/greatest. – Emily Las
  • Pretty much agreeing with everyone else, depends on the client. Usually need more contact at the start, but less over time. – Katie Saxon
  • Almost daily: it’s a great opportunity to educate them about what PPC management involves on a day-to-day basis. – David Fothergill


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About the Streamcaptain of PPC

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.

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