Your Day-to-Day PPC Management

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “Your Day-to-Day PPC Management.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: How much of your daily management is planned vs. on demand tasks? Why do you think this is the case?

  • I plan each day in the morning, so high % is “planned”. But many tasks planned day of. – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • Being the official tech AND web guru for the office, it’s mostly on demand and very hard to plan things. – Agent Palmer (@AgentPalmer)
  • I end my day with a “Must Do” list for the next day ready. Usually takes a few hours but then its all on demand from there. – Andrew Bethel (@AndrewPPC)
  • I have a plan for each day, but results/data/info take me in new directiosn. So 50-50, especially as new features roll out. – Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
  • Most of my management is planned, but there is also a lot of on demand work that occurs. Having said this, planned tasks can often lead to new tasks that may not be on demand, but items I want to do. – Matt Umbro
  • I would say 40% planned. The other 60% is based on the findings of the 40% + client questions, emails, etc. – Andy Groller (@AndyGroller)
  • Varies so much, but maybe roughly 75% planned/25% on demand. Try to keep up with regular scheduled maintenance for each account. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • 80% is planned, 20% is reactive. Planning keeps me efficient so I have the 20% bandwidth to react. – Susan Wenograd (@SusanEDub)
  • My mornings are blocked for big projects / must do tasks, afternoons are anyone’s guess – on demand, random requests, backlog. – Jason Stinnett (@JasonStinnett)
  • Generally have planned tasks, to start, but also plan to address things found in data and/or client requests/needs. – Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
  • Most of the tasks are planned. Especially when the plan is created with the client’s input. But random tasks always come up. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • A large portion is planned, but I try to make time each day for the “unexpected”. – Olin Downs (@olinjdowns)
  • Looks like a few of us plan for the mornings but dig into everything else in the afternoons. Glad I’m not the only one. – Andrew Bethel
  • Mornings are mostly for planned/admin tasks. Afternoons are for tackling the unexpected. – Stephanie Cockerl (@StephCockerl)
  • I will say this – I don’t have an “optimization schedule” where I do tasks on certain days. Priority and impact on the account dictates what I do. – Matt Umbro
  • A day without impromptu tasks is on par with pitching a perfect game. Sure it’s possible, maybe once a year, twice if lucky. – Andrew McCarthy (@AmccartPPC)
  • Mornings are reserved for fixed and planned tasks. However keep some time in the afternoons for ad-hoc tasks. – Himanshu Dhumal (@himanshudhumal)
  • Mornings tend to be about PPC building and afternoons about PPC optimising for me. – Jason James (@albinomedia)
  • Morning are about emails and tasks. Afternoons are for deep dives and analyzing. – JD Prater (@jdprater)

Q2: What do you believe to be the most important task you do on a daily basis? Why?

  • Without a doubt, reviewing search query reports – the data here dictates so much of the account activity. – Matt Umbro
  • Reporting, by far. Getting familiar with your data and knowing when something is wrong just at a glance. – Andrew Bethel
  • Account Change Analysis. I.e., did anything explode since yesterday & if so why? Good or Bad explosion? – Kirk Williams
  • View conversion vs cost graph. Did yesterday do awesome? If not, why? Dictates potential areas to dig in. – Andy Groller
  • Planning my day. – Robert Brady
  • Keyword analysis (qs and SQR) as well as bid ajdustments based on conversions, CTR, etc. – Mark Kennedy
  • Check the daily report .. Help me plan my daily tasks. – Sameer Hakim (@hakim_sameer)
  • Honestly, internal reporting, QA & discussion are the most important morning tasks I can think of. – Leo Sussan (@lsussan)
  • Reporting. Maintaining reports on a daily basis helps you to see YoY and WoW trends. – Brady Roundy (@BradyRoundy)
  • Jr Acct Mgr tasks are planned – for mgrs/drctrs it’s hard to plan. Fielding client questions/changing strategy based on data. – Amanda Sides (@amanda_sides)
  • Monitoring. Do the graphs seem not like they should? If Yes, Why? – Humanshu Dhumal
  • Diving into the reports and seeing if anything is out of the ordinary. Helps in planning out the day also. – Olin Downs
  • I like to check conversion form capturing information to see where the leads are coming from. Not necessarily how many. – Joe Martinez
  • Quick data analysis for sure. Any major changes? How are tests going? Did something roll out we should implement TODAY? – Amanda Sides

Q3: Do you set aside time for campaign expansion or does it come naturally in the course of optimization? Or both? Why?

  • Both. Sometimes there’s a desire to expand, and other times there’s a need to expand for optimization purposes. – Jonathan Maltz (@MaltzPPC)
  • Opportunities for campaign expansion generally found whilst doing other stuff. Actually doing it may require set aside time. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • Set aside if there are issues (underperforming, well under budget), otherwise comes naturally over time. – Jason Stinnett
  • Depends on size of what I’m implementing. Some are smaller and natural, others are monsters & require planning. – Susan Wenograd
  • Both – if you don’t set some time aside for research, you’ll always be behind the curve and constantly react to competitors. – Francis Shovlin (@fmshovlin)
  • I use optimization to develop tasks for expansion. Then set times to do the expansion tasks. – Kirk Williams
  • Have to say, “both.” Most expansion comes naturally, but sometimes there’s a sea-change in client’s perspective. – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
  • Usually comes naturally. However, if YOY reports are trending low / not meeting objectives it’s time to plan a sitdown. – Jake Waldrop (@Jakew1541)
  • Depends on how big of an expansion. If its something that can be done during a daily optimization I will. – Michael Knight (@MichaelAKnight)
  • Depends on the account. If it is a more established account it is natural. Pull SQ reports and find what you need to add. – Brady Roundy
  • Both – expansion ideas spurred by analysis, client comms, middle of the night brain sparks. – Andy Groller
  • After initial 3 – 6 months when new builds from scratch have died down, generally expansion comes from what I’m seeing. ie: new campaigns based upon SQRs, more audiences, etc. – Matt Umbro
  • Campaign expansion is often planned in advance and discussed with the client first but expansion ideas come up. – Jason James
  • Data dictates where expanding/segmenting would be beneficial. Product launches, etc. will spur a more sit-down type of plan. – Amanda Sides
  • ‘Both’ for me. For some clients the campaigns may evolve to expansion while for some it is a strategic decision. – Himanshu Dhumal
  • Seems some are talking about expanding current campaigns. What about expanding into new channels / audiences? – Andy Groller
  • Surprised to see so many naysayers, this is crucial! Without it you’re a rudderless ship guided by Q1 requests. – Andrew McCarthy

Q4: Are you actively trying new ideas/betas? If not, what is stopping you and if so, how do you fit the time in your schedule?

  • Yes! Trying new ideas is crucial for account growth and also client relations! – Matt Umbro
  • In PPC there are new ideas and old ideas. It’s very important to keep testing, or you may find yourself lagging behind. – Jonathan Maltz
  • I hate being stagnant. Push the envelope to get the best results possible for a client with new tests, betas, ideas, etc. – Andy Groller
  • Try betas all the time, some are great but sometimes feel like a guinea pig. – Robert Brady
  • Constantly, but we’re focused on testing for clients. For an average account owner, probably best to let the dust settle first. – Andrew McCarthy
  • It depends on the client and how much they are willing to do. Some do more than others, so its more about acceptance over time. – Michael Knight
  • Always Testing, Learning, and Growing. Set aside a portion of the budget just for testing. You don’t know until you try/test. – Olin Downs
  • Yes, absolutely. RLSA for Shopping in the UK for example. Time allocated based on estimated value of the beta to clients. – Jason James
  • Testing is always part of the strategy. Now betas… If Google will let smaller companies in on those then I’d use them. – Joe Martinez
  • I put together a monthly test plan & beta reviews for clients so we’re never stagnant. – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
  • Try to test things w/ client whose account is most appropriate for the test/new feature first & apply from there. – Julie Bacchini
  • We implement Betas were it makes sense. We just roll that time into the monthly hours. – JD Prater
  • You can’t expect anything different without doing something different. So YES – new ideas and testing all the way! – Himanshu Dhumal
  • Yes, if it will help meet the client’s end goal… May implement for some, not all. Testing = Better Results (in the end). – Amanda Sides
  • I usually try a couple new tactics a month on the accounts I think will benefit the most from it. – Erika Schmidt (@erikapdx)
  • We have started talking w/ clients about planning for time to address changes & new features as reg part of their PPC mgmt. – Julie Bacchini
  • Yes, keep up with changes, but also avoid trap of getting sucked into the newest toy so we forget to keep up on the basics. – Kirk Williams
  • Yes. Testing = ongoing growth strategy. – Jake Waldrop
  • Constantly testing new betas if they’re a fit. If they’re a fit, then we adjust our schedule based on expected impact. – Francis Shovlin
  • Yes to test if relevant betas align with client goals and aren’t just the “new shiny”. – Nicole Mintiens (@Tregesy)

Q5: How long do you give new builds before optimizing? Once you do optimize what are your most frequent updates?

  • No real set time frame for either of these for me, as soon as there’s enough incoming data I’m optimizing. – Kirk Williams
  • It depends on the campaign, but it generally takes a few weeks of ramp-up at least. Some opts come before that, though. – Jonathan Maltz
  • New builds depend on data coming in. Sometimes right away for bids, a couple days for bids, a week for kws.. all depends. – Michael Knight
  • I don’t go by time, I go by data sample size. – Susan Wenograd
  • As long as it takes to get meaningful data–depends on acct size. Usually need initial bid adjustments. – Theresa Zook
  • Depends on volume of data. usual rule of thumb is at least a week unless data dictates otherwise. Bids and SQR are quick hits. – Andy Groller
  • Step 1: Build optimized campaigns. Step 2: Wait for significant traffic/results to accrue. Step 3: Optimize as needed. – Nicole Mintiens
  • I usually give new builds a good week or usually two before optimising. Big clients can be anything up to daily, smaller weekly. – Jason James
  • Check-in’s at 24H, 3D, 7D, and then weekly.Usually no major changes for at least a week, but that depends on impr. volume. – Andrew McCarthy
  • I stick to sample size as opposed to time. Optimizing on bad data is no bueno. – Jake Waldrop
  • Bid changes/SQR’s start the second we get data, keep tweaking until I find a sweet spot. Larger optimizations, depends on data. – Aaron Levy
  • When to start optimizing depends on volume of data. Sometimes 2 days, sometimes 2 weeks, sometimes 2 months. All depends. – Amanda Sides
  • I don’t follow standard times and schedules with PPC accounts. However, often the higher the volume the quicker the trigger. – John Ellis (@JohnWEllis)

Q6: Do you make use of the Search Funnels or Multi-Channel Funnels reports on a daily basis when optimizing? Why or why not?

  • I don’t know about daily, but MCFs are an integral part of understanding your traffic! – Jonathan Maltz
  • Not on daily basis. Maybe weekly; depends on acct and volume. – Andy Groller
  • Not yet, SF & MCF reports are an area I need to get more familiar with, tend to stick to the fundamentals. – Jason James
  • I guess what I’m getting at is if you take these reports into consideration for minor day-to-day stuff. – Matt Umbro
  • It depends on how much traffic were driving. Definitely make use of them on a weekly basis. – JD Prater
  • Don’t use MCF/SF’s daily, but get a lot out of ’em for longer term evaluations of top-of-funnel stuff (display, non-brand etc). – Aaron Levy
  • Yes, but depends on sample size. Also it has big benefits when working across channels (SEO, SMM, PPC, etc). – Andy Groller
  • Not daily–weekly. Many verticals show significant conv volume variations day to day. I’m looking for patterns.
  • Daily can skew data and optimization. Need larger data sets to see accurate representations for optimizing. – Michael Knight
  • Love them for LPO. If people need to come from three different channels before converting, how do I slim that down? – Joe Martinez

Q7: If there were one task you’d like to do more of on a day-to-day basis, what would it be and why?

  • Step back & think strategically for the long term. – Theresa Zook
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) – optimising campaigns based on which campaigns, ad groups, keywords convert into sales. – Jason James
  • Plan out each day that morning. – Kirk Williams
  • Conversion rate improvement! Sometimes KW performance is just fine, but the site needs a lot of work. – Joe Martinez
  • CRO & LPO where applicable and helping to make some ugly babies (sites) winners of some beauty pageants. – Andy Groller
  • Landing page strategy. It’s easy to get caught up in all the ad options and forget how much you can do right on your own site! – Andrew McCarthy

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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)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
• Agent Palmer (@AgentPalmer)
• Amanda Sides (@amanda_sides)
• Andrew Bethel (@AndrewPPC)
• Andrew McCarthy (@AmccartPPC)
• Andy Groller (@AndyGroller)
• Brady Roundy (@BradyRoundy)
• Erika Schmidt (@erikapdx)
• Francis Shovlin (@fmshovlin)
• Himanshu Dhumal (@himanshudhumal)
• Jake Waldrop (@Jakew1541)
• Jason James (@albinomedia)
• Jason Stinnett (@JasonStinnett)
• JD Prater (@jdprater)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• John Ellis (@JohnWEllis)
• Jonathan Maltz (@MaltzPPC)
• Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
• Leo Sussan (@lsussan)
• Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
• Michael Knight (@MichaelAKnight)
• Nicole Mintiens (@Tregesy)
• Olin Downs (@olinjdowns)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
• Sameer Hakim (@hakim_sameer)
• Stephanie Cockerl (@StephCockerl)
• Susan Wenograd (@SusanEDub)
• Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)

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One Response to Your Day-to-Day PPC Management

  1. Richard Williams says:

    Thank you for this, it was just what I needed!! I’ve been in the field for a couple years, so relatively new. 🙂

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