Running PPC campaigns is a tricky task. If you do it right, everything can go great, but if you make a mistake you can waste money and hurt your brand. At any given time, there are tons of factors working to make your campaigns fail, and a PPC manager needs to be on the watch to prevent any damage. Fighting these issues may not be actively moving your campaign forward, but it can keep you from backsliding.
Joseph Kerschbaum explained the seven most damaging factors that PPC managers often let sabotage their campaigns and how to fight them. If you keep an eye out for any of these lurking dangers, you can protect yourself from almost all serious damage to your campaign.
- PPC Changes – While there are the occasional big changes to PPC like the implementation of AdWords Enhanced Campaigns, there are also constant small changes that make PPC managers continuously tweak their strategies. If you don’t keep up to date on the latest PPC news, you can end up behind on the best practices and seeing your campaigns go from good to bad very quickly.
- Fluctuating Performance in Other Channels – PPC is influenced by tons of other aspects of your brand’s online presence, just as PPC influences those other channels. You can’t treat PPC as an isolated area, because changes in other arenas can drag down campaign performance. Just as with the constant changes in PPC however, keeping up to date with all your web analytics and industry news can help keep your campaign on track.
- Negative seasonal trends – Every industry has good seasons and bad seasons. Many even see tidal changes from hour to hour. While small dips in performance throughout a day or week are regular, you need to be prepared for the longer periods of decelerated performance. To protect yourself, you should develop seasonal projections to help identify when these low periods will occur, and be prepared to ease off your campaigns when they won’t be performing well. Take the budget you would be spending on non-rewarding periods and use it to take advantage of the times that work well for your brand.
- Increasingly Intense Competition – One of the biggest struggles with PPC is trying to keep up with your competitors and predict when they are going to decrease or aggressively double-up on their PPC campaigns. Set performance thresholds so you can notice when your performance begins to take some heat, and check up on your competitors when you fall below the threshold. You can also use a third party competitive tool to monitor your competitors.
- Broken Tracking and Site Errors – Not all PPC performance hazards come from outside. There are many ways you can sabotage your own work, and one of the most common issues is errors that can slowly creep up on your site. Use AdWords and Google Analytics alerts so that you will be notified immediately when one of these errors occur.
- Failed PPC Initiatives – Of course, sometimes the self-inflicted damage isn’t preventable. In fact, with nearly every account there are going to be mispriced bids and failed ad copy that you won’t be able to identify until the signs start popping up that something isn’t working. Set reminders so that you can monitor your new initiatives. That way, you’ll be able to see the warning signs as soon as they start appearing.
- Implementation Errors – While there are tons of issues that can’t be prevented, you are likely running quite a few campaigns and making tons of changes on a daily basis. Preventable mistakes are going to happen, and you need to be prepared to respond. Yet again, alerts will likely be the best way to be notified when you mess up, but the better defense is to implement a process to ensure every change within your account is double-checked.