PPC Chat Streamcap – Spring Cleaning Your PPC Accounts

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with a great seasonal question set titled “Spring Cleaning Your PPC Accounts.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: How often do you review paused keywords and ad groups to potentially resume them?

  • Not a good process, but I review paused kws/adgs when we’re looking to generate more leads. Otherwise, they stay paused. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
  • Typically they are paused because they didn’t work or were improved elsewhere, or been revamped in another place. So not often. – Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
  • If there’s an opportunity to improve the UE on the website, or do CRO, or something then I’d say review frequently. – Neil Sorenson (@iNeils)
  • If site gets more inventory related to a paused keyword/ad group I look at resuming. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • If I’m honest, hardly ever. They were paused for a reason in the first place. – Anna George (@AnnaGeorge)
  • Something has to change with the site to revisit past poor performers. With that said, always revisit holiday changes since the landscape is so different then (costs, competition, etc). – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
  • Only if there are significant campaign changes that have taken place or major events that might need to be considered. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • Best to review if things aren’t working and you want to try anything. Or, when things are going well, and you have room to grow. – adMarketplace.com (@adMarketplace)
  • Depends why they were paused. I review if there are campaign changes/needs + seasonality. – Emily Las (@emlas)
    • Agreed, sometimes keywords/ad groups are paused because they performed poorly, other times just because seasonality, etc. – Trada (@Trada)
  • No need to unpause Ad Groups if we’re always testing them and want to have clear history to compare against new ads. – Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
  • Generally… only un-pause seasonal campaigns / promotions. – Andrew Baker (@AndrewBaker72)
  • About once per 1~2 months or when client stresses old product/service (ad group) categories to focus on. – Bart Schuijt (@BartSchuijt)
  • I always make sure to make/update ad group names to ensure quick & painless pause and resume process. – Emily Las

Q2: Do you ever delete paused campaigns, ad groups, keywords and/or text ads? Why or why not?

  • Yes, if they have been improved upon in other places. – Michelle Morgan
  • The delete button in a PPC campaign is never my friend. I steer clear as if it were herpes. – Neil Sorenson
  • Personal preference. If it’s too much crap from an inherited campaign, I’ll delete once I digest any value in the history. – Mark Kennedy
  • No. I like to keep the historical data to refer back to. Better than me trying to remember everything. – James Svoboda
  • I might delete items that have been paused for 2+ plus years to reduce clutter, but generally I do not. – Matt Umbro
  • I never delete. Paused campaigns, ad groups, ads, etc. still give you valuable data that can be useful in the future. – PurePPCcom (@pureppccom)
  • Deleting is fine as long as you keep records and data of all ad groups etc. Making modifications is another option. – Trada
  • Deletes for me happen once I know I’ll never resume. Usually at time of acct restructure or to remove clutter (PPC OCD moment). – Emily Las
  • However, I will delete if there have been no impressions and clicks, just to clear the clutter. – James Svoboda
  • Rarely. As long as the Interface lets me look at active elements only, it’s no problem. Clutters up the editor though. – Martin Röttgerding (@bloomarty)
  • I keep them around to know what has failed. – John Lavin (@Johnnyjetfan)
  • QS is influenced strongly by recent CTRs. Deleting paused keywords that have data months old might not help. – James Svoboda
  • With my memory, deleting is not a good idea! – Chris Kostecki
  • Only pause, all my custom views are set to active campaigns / ad groups in @AdWords Editor any how, so no problem with any mess. – Andrew Baker
  • Often feel hesitant to delete old campaigns of the client. However bad, they should have to option to go back to that state. – Martin Röttgerding
  • I do try to avoid deleting kws + ads when possible– try to keep the structure so I only delete campaigns. – Emily Las
  • Why delete data that could inform future decisions? Space should rarely be an issue–only reason you’d need to delete. – adMarketplace
  • Deleting is so final…I always want to make sure I have that safety net (for the most part). – Matt Umbro
  • I usually delete campaigns if I’ve got something new/revamped from it somewhere else in the account. Doesn’t happen much though. – Michelle Morgan
  • Usually after restructuring an account, I delete old campaigns to maintain overview. – Bart Schuijt

Q3: How often do you review AdWords & adCenter account & campaign settings? Do you tend to find updates needing to be made?

  • Whenever I see news or tweets about settings, issues or updates. Or when I need to make adjustments for performance-sake. – Mark Kennedy
  • Usually when I have an epiphany and want to test new settings. – James Svoboda
  • Very rarely do I update campaign/account settings. Especially if nothing is going extremely wrong. – Michelle Morgan
  • The only settings I ever really adjust is ad delivery or ad rotation. But mostly, the settings remain the same, like the song. – John Lavin
  • Geo targeting settings are still not perfect, so with local clients, we test geo-settings a lot. – Mark Kennedy
  • Usually review settings ~ once/quarter, after updates released or after an account has been transferred. – Nicole Mintiens (@Tregesy)
  • The biggest change I make is turning conversion optimizer on in display campaigns Google. That’s about it really. – Michelle Morgan
  • I will review once or twice a quarter just to confirm everything is correct. – Matt Umbro
  • Rarely as I reflect the campaign settings in campaign names to keep things clear/organized. – Emily Las
  • I typically leave the settings the same unless I see a specific reason that necessitates a change. That happens rarely though. – PurePPCcom
  • The only settings I ever really adjust is day parting. Its always so different based on client budgets. We watch it daily. – Lawrence Aaron (@CrazyFingers)
  • With every new camp I have to go in & "fix" defaults, if theres something new, I check it out, rarely pushed to other camps. – Chris Kostecki
  • I always poke my nose in the settings once a month just to make sure everything is OK (I sleep better knowing this). – Andrew Baker
  • I like to double-check settings every month or two. Just to make sure I still like the direction a campaign is going. – Alma Smith (@Alma_Smith)
  • With all of the recent @adCenter updates have you reviewed your campaign settings? – Matt Umbro
    • Working on revamping my negative keyword structure, but that’s all for now. – Michelle Morgan

Q4: Talk about the naming conventions you use for your individual accounts (campaigns & ad groups) as well as your company MCC?

  • Naming conventions include Geo targets, device, TM/Non-TM, BMM, the list goes on (all custom to client needs). – Emily Las
  • Use names to define custom metrics, feel like i have re-invented the dewey decimal system so excel can roll up my targets. – Chris Kostecki
  • Campaign names include tags like Mobile, Display, Remarketing etc. so can make quick saved filter by campaign name. – James Hume (@zerospin)
  • For accounts that use search and display, we’ll have Name – Search, Name – Display, Name – Remarketing, etc. – Mark Kennedy
  • When I create new campaigns I tend to add a company designation at the beginning to designate what I have built. – Matt Umbro
  • I include search engine, destination, and targeting if it’s a display campaign. – Alma Smith
  • Ad group naming and structure is primarily Keyword Based with dash on right then Niche keyword like: Key Word – Niche. – James Svoboda
  • Ad groups with all the keywords in LSV, change the ad group name to "Z-LSV – AdGroupName", sorts to the bottom & is a good reminder. – Paul Kragthorpe
  • Architecture Overall Theme – Target SEarch/Display – GEO/Device/type of GDN. Like Emily said, it depends on client and historical. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
  • Each client account has a code in our MCC, campaigns / AGs labeled by function / match type / geo / etc – easy for filtering. – Andrew Baker
  • MMC level is named after specialist, accounts retain clients’ name, campaigns = geo-locations for local marketing. – Nicole Mintiens
  • I like using 3 digit combos, so ea name can be "read" by the same excel formula, but also so it cant be mined from the url tags. "SQFDEM_<Target>" would be read as: Search, Qualified, Exact Match (qualified means there is a loose brand connection). – Chris Kostecki
  • Consistency across accts is crucial esp for same client. If Google builds, I designate with (GOOG) so I can blame poor performance on them and then fix it. – Lisa Sanner
  • I heard from one source that campaign and adgroup naming can help quality score. Haven’t verified though. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)

Q5: How do you ensure all ads and landing pages are relevant and don’t contain out of date promotions?

  • Custom alerting platform of changes made to client sites in regards to specials. – Nicole Mintiens
  • Monthly reviews + detailed Basecamp notes = current promos. – James Svoboda
  • Manual review mostly. More OCD PPC moments. – Mark Kennedy
  • Google calendar. Set reminders on start/stop dates. – Luke Alley
  • Make notes in Outlook but also constantly review ads. – Matt Umbro
  • Ad scheduling, if I have zero impressions, its time to update. – Chris Kostecki
  • It would be nice to have an alert when a client’s site is down, while running campaigns. – Steph Cockerl (@StephCockerl)
    • Besides disqualified ads because of 404 (not valid destination url)? – Chris Kostecki
    • True. Have had issues here. Google is starting to pause ads when 404 errors come up. – Luke Alley
    • Typically Google will disapprove the campaign/ad if a site is recognized for being down. – Nicole Mintiens
  • Regular manual review of ads and the use of Analytics to check landing page engagement metrics. – Andrew Baker
  • Our platform allows scheduled actions, which I use for promos w/end dates, both creatives or special PROMO AGs (note in name). – Lisa Sanner
  • Review ads & follow up w/clients on a frequent basis to make sure promotions are still good. We manually monitor landing pages. – PurePPCcom

Q6: Do you provide clients w/ monthly or quarterly strategy documents? If so what do these documents entail (not monthly reports)?

  • I tend to have most strategy session in person or on phone and then follow up with email. More feedback that way. – Mark Kennedy
  • I think strategy reports should be a joint effort between clients and ppc manager. Clients have goals, as do ppc managers. – Trada
  • Yes. They entail what we have tested, will test, results we’ve seen, what we’ll focus on the next quarter, etc. – PurePPCcom
  • Monthly reports. They get 2 PDF’s. 1 with the data and 2 with recommendations for next month and how to improve. – Lawrence Aaron
  • I am the client, and more times than not, am sharing our strategy with the agency. – Chris Kostecki
  • Quarterly PPC strategy updates don’t work for me. Too slow. Monthly PPC reports include strategy, not just data. – John Ellis (@JohnWEllis)
  • For strategy docs / mtg – quarterly but inclusive of all digital marketing channels, SEO, social, etc. – Andrew Baker
  • Really depends on client & what’s happening, sometimes meeting w/agenda, sometimes formal PPT, sometimes just talk ad-hoc. – Lisa Sanner


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About the Jedi Master of 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.

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