PPC Chat Streamcap – PPC & Time Management

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) was curious how others in PPC spend their time with a chat titled “PPC & Time Management.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What are some filters you use to save time when managing PPC accounts?

  • Cost threshold, conversion filters. Keywords with cost over X and conversions under Y. – Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
  • I love that I can now filter by labels! Saves boat loads of time. – Cassie Allinger (@CassieAllinger)
  • ‘Active’, which simply filters out the paused ads. Simple but helpful. – Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
  • Brand VS Non-Brand in most accounts, CPA higher than X, CPA lower than Y. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
  • On the campaign level "everything except brand" has been helpful to get a quick overview on how things are really going. – Martin Rottgerding (@bloomarty)
  • 1st & foremost are trend charts, usually a rolling 30 or MTD, then sort & finally filters specific to the the issue im facing. – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
  • I generally create a filter for keywords that have seen over 100 impressions and 0 clicks. Now with Google Analytics in the AdWords mix, there will be some good post click filters that can be set up. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • I look at the filter of keywords below page 1 bids. Monitor it daily for branded, and 1-2 days/week on the non-branded terms. – Brian Gaspar (@BGaspar)
  • Personally, I rarely filter by stats. I mostly use filters to aggregate things (like all adgroups about a product line). – Martin Rottgerding
  • Keyword level filter: Cost over $X with 0 conversions (Where X is desired CPA). – Dennis Petretti (@Denetti)
    • I find that I can use automated rules for this too. Just need to figure out % change I want. – Luke Alley
      • Yup, that’s my plan too. I haven’t messed around with automated rules yet. – Dennis Petretti
        • I just started with 2 or 3 accounts. Biggest question is time period to look at, ie last 14 days, last 30 days. – Luke Alley
  • Also filter for keywordws with good CTR with impressions above 100. – Manoj Pandey (@_MAN0J)
  • In terms of actual filters I compare: CPC vs Avg Pos (competition), Clicks vs Conversions (Funnel Volume), CTR vs CVR (Funnel Rate). – Chris Kostecki
  • Does anyone have a set list of filters they run weekly, bi weekly, monthly, etc? – Matt Umbro
    • Yes, I have about 9 or 10 filters scheduled. Some weekly, some bi-weekly and some monthly. – Dennis Petretti

Q2: When you only have a limited time period to optimize an account, what are the top 2 initiatives you undertake? Why?

  • SQA ~ Search Query Analysis and 2. TAA ~ Text Ad Analysis They are both related to the health of the account. – Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
  • First thing I tackle is search query. Look for terms that convert, don’t convert, cost a lot, etc. Second is the bids vs CPA. – Mark Kennedy
  • Pause expensive keywords…. Increase bids for performing keywords. – Majoj Pandey
  • Non-converting keywords for past 6 months (Bizwatch review) and bid management (Adwords Editor easy task). – Laura Thieme (@bizwatchlaura)
  • Eliminate inefficiencies, increase spend on efficient targets. – Chris Kostecki
  • Search query reports for negative keywords and adjust bids on keywords performing very well and very poorly. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
    • Why not just eliminate the kwds performing poorly? – Eric Bryant (@GnosisArts)
      • Just b/c they’re performing poorly doesn’t mean they’re bad. Might just need to be managed differently. – Michelle Morgan
      • Poor performance can be due to diff reasons; CTR could be ad, new campaign, Qscore, bid, keyword match. – Laura Thieme
  • Sq’s are the most consistent, Search Partners & devices (tablets) are a quick analysis that can save a lot too. – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
  • Search Query Report & Placement Performance Report. – eliteSEM (@eliteSEM)
  • When reviewing search query report make sure to look at PLA campaigns as well. – Matt Umbro
    • Encourage download on PLA keywords – might see 1000s of rows of data for 1 mo. – Laura Thieme
  • Low CTR keywords (below about 2%) & high CPA keywords. – Dennis Petretti
  • Sort by best to worst (CR, CTR, whatever the most important metric is) attack from the bottom up to "stop the bleeding". – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
  • What kind of promos are running to set up to run on a even rotation. SQR revisions on top and nonperforming campaigns. Same goes for Dynamic Search Ads. Looking at the categs targeted to bid up or bid down/pause on for the time being. – Brian Gaspar
  • a) Break up campaigns for increased focus/relevance b) produce multiple engaging creative to compete. – Nathan Schubert (@NateSchubert)
  • I’d also look at lost IS due to budget. Had a client who doubled! revenue after we advised to lower all bids – quickest win ever. – Martin Rottgerding

Q3: Do you believe ad spend is the be all end all when determining how much time each account receives?

  • Absolutely not! Base the amt of time an acct deserves by their niche & desired reach, i.e. search/display/social/etc. – Nathan Schubert
  • Rarely. We believe that you have to have minimums on the ammount of work a campaign will need, but can be flexable in this. – James Svoboda
  • Not always. I have small campaigns that are more involved than some larger accounts due to complexity and competition. – Mark Kennedy
  • Yes-ish…. We (agencies and in-housers) gotta justify our fees/salaries on what gets the most return. – Aaron Levy
  • No, it is important, but level of competition, gap between performance & goals, & client relationship have to be factored. – Chris Kostecki
  • Absolutely Not! It’s a factor, but it’s certainly not everything. – Cassie Allinger
  • Client innovation should be considered. If a small account tries something funky, it could be scaled to a big 1. – Ira Kates (@IraKates)
  • Not really, but depending on how much you can do more or less, not to mention be white listed for beta’s if you spent more. – Brian Gaspar
  • Not the be all end all, but certainly doesn’t hurt in the decision. – Michelle Morgan
  • I think it depends who you’re working for & how many accounts you look after esp working for an agency & prioritising accounts. – Anisha (@dotAnisha)
  • Depends on the nature of the client. You can have a $20k client who never talks and a $2K client that wants to speak daily. – Brian Gaspar
    • Yep big factor – especially with small entrepreneurial start ups where £ means more than £ at bluechip companies. – Anisha
  • Bigger budgets generally have bigger accounts…not always, but in my experience this has been the case. – Matt Umbro
  • Big spenders more apt to want consistency, prob more entrenched (better biz model = less work) little guys are all over their accnt. – Chris Kostecki
  • Also whether it’s a new campaign, or new market – always takes more time in the beginning, or @ xmas (bidding wars). – Laura Thieme
  • Budget isn’t necessarily indicative of Revenue. Revenue requires attention. – Rick Galan (@RickGalan)
  • Higher spends ~ we can try new things in the account. Low spends ~ low chance of optimization. – Manoj Pandey
  • I charge to manage an account (which reflects the amount of hours it will take) so their budget doesn’t figure into it. – Chris McCarthy-Stott (@mcstot)
  • I think A3 comes down to an agencies fee model. Best IMO is a guaranteed amount of hours. Most fair to client. – Luke Alley
  • I’ve had some companies want % of spend instead of hours. Always believed % of spend didn’t encourage optimization. – Laura Thieme
  • Client attention also depends upon client potential (or if they’re squeaky wheels). Earn trust & increase budgets with results. – Nicole Mintiens (@Tregesy)
  • Yes, bigger spend typically means bigger account. If a smaller spend client has potential to spend more it might get more time. – eliteSEM
  • However if you fail to update your payment details I ain’t going to spend time on account, so sometimes spend can influence time. – Chris McCarthy-Stott

Q4: Discuss ways in which you set client expectations in terms of deliverables and communication?

  • Simple, under promise & over deliver. Weekly touch point to discuss initiatives or email summary of results and what was done. – Brian Gaspar
  • Clarify, clarify, clarify. Don’t rely on "understanding". Spell it out (in almost annoying detail). – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • Very open conversation.s Here’s what we are doing, here’s our goals, here’s how we will monitor and report. – Mark Kennedy
  • For each client it’s diff. We mostly do audits & monthly performance monitoring (Bizwatch); but for mgmt diff. – Laura Thieme
  • Yes them to death then hope to hell I remember everything I promised. – Chris Kostecki
  • Large spend, weekly status; monthly performance monitoring, as needed in-person mtgs. – Laura Thieme
  • Client should NEVER wonder what they pay us for. – Aaron Levy
  • Also, be an authority in your communication. Sound confident – if you don’t know an answer say you will find out. It’s OK to not know every answer, but be open with the client and confident in your communication. – Matt Umbro
  • I do an intial audit first. Lay out in writing, what’s going right and what’s not. Gets an honest convo going right off the bat. – Elizabeth Marsten
    • That’s a great point but may be more effective coming from the outside. In-house can possibly ruffle some feathers. – Brian Gaspar
      •  I agree, in-house has many more perspectives to the same issue that have to be navigated. – Chris Kostecki
      • Indeed, that’s agency. Inhouse has a lot more tiptoeing! – Elizabeth Marsten
  • Audits are a great way to provide a consistent view into the account and start on the same ground. – Chris Kostecki
  • I have a Statement of Work log that breaks out weekly what I am doing along with a monthly project plan that lays out high level initiatives. – Brian Gaspar
  • Set really low expectations initially w/ really poor communication… Then over deliver!! Under promise over deliver, right?? – Luke Alley
  • A full audit of the account to see what you are inheriting is always beneficial when setting KPI’s and forecasts! – Maria Yesufu (@mariayesufu)

Q5: What resources do you use to track your time? If you don’t track your time, why aren’t you?

  • Stop watch app on my iPhone. – Michelle Morgan
  • I get a text message every day at 5 (news update), usually try to be packed up before then. – Chris Kostecki
  • MS OneNote/clock or Toggl. – Elizabeth Marsten
  • A clock. You see, you look at the time when you start something & the time when you stop. A little math and voile! – Robert Brady
  • Like I said I do a Statement of Work weekly log. I try to work on between 10-15 initiatives/week. – Brian Gaspar
  • Serious tho…I usually use a stop watch browser extension, either to count up or count down. – Chris Kostecki
  • Harvest + it’s Chrome extension.@wilreynolds has actually done a few posts about he/we use itbit.ly/Q4pN86 – Aaron Levy
  • We had a time log internally for when we did agency services all the time; now we us Google Docs – easy. – Laura Thieme
  • Have tried using Toggl before but its hard tracking PPC time when you’re constantly monitoring several accounts together. – Anisha
  • At my previous company we used an in house software to track our time in 15 minute increments. – Matt Umbro
    • Would you segment by how much clients are spending/are valuable to you? – Anisha
      • They had allotted number of hours per month. – Matt Umbro
    • We were the same at BizResearch. Google docs is so much easier – clients have access- can do this from anywhere. – Laura Thieme
  • No I work out an estimated amount of hours management required and charge that. – Chris McCarthy-Stott
  • We’re using basecamp. They have a good API so we can connect it with other things. – Martin Rottgerding
  • Not so easy to track time on random customer service emails/chats/calls, people coming in office, etc. Easier on optimizing. – Luke Alley
  • Plan out what I’m going to do in Google Calendar and do my best to stick to it. – James Hume (@zerospin)

Q6: What are some tasks that you hand off to junior members of the team or interns? Why?

  • Keyword research.. Placement research. – Manoj Pandey
  • I’m doing it right now as we chat: build-outs; bid management. – Laura Thieme
  • Research this. Write adcopy for these campaigns/adgroups. Daily/Weekly reporting. Monthly data pull for reports. – Brian Gaspar
  • Compiling the actual report. I will interpret the data and analyze the campaign performance, but others will create the report. – Mark Kennedy
  • Any task that’s highly redundant is usually given to interns. – Michelle Morgan
  • Currently landing page copy, keyword research, negative keyword hunting & managing smaller accounts under close supervision. Why, he can write good and got to learn/start somewhere. – James Hume
  • Pulling data for analysis & reports. Repetitive build-out tasks. – Robert Brady
  • Time consuming teachable tasks such as applying Sitelinks to large accounts (>250 campaigns) & basic reporting. – Nicole Mintiens
  • Try to combine tasks with lessons, discuss the why’s, my approach, try to mix it up. – Chris Kostecki
  • I don’t get to hand anything off to anyone because it’s a 1-man PPC show over here. Keeps me grounded! – Nathan Schubert
    • Same here now. Kind of a bummer but I like being the go-to for everything PPC here. And the perks are cool too. – Brian Gaspar
  • Making sure they pull the data correctly. I had Jr. people F up the data which I had to fix instead of analyze. – Brian Gaspar
  • Report compilation, positive and negative kw research (that I review), testing ad variations on some accounts, & back scratching. – Luke Alley


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.


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A6: The task of collecting the streamcap was handed to

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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