Cleaning up a PPC campaign: Why asking a client to increase the ad spending budget would be the last thing you would suggest..

So it’s your first time to get a client? He/she wants you to make some recommendations to improve the campaigns performance. Panic starts to sink in. You basically know what to do as you have done this a couple of times with your previous work. Instinct tells you to check the Adwords overview table. AHA! Upon rolling your mouse over that small box beside the word “ELIGIBLE” you read ” try a budget of $2++/day to increase….”. That should be it! With a grin, you happily email the client your “findings”.

WHAT!? That would be the client either shouting at you while rolling his/her eyeballs not believing what you just said or your reaction to the client deciding to discontinue your consultancy.

Earlier tonight a friend who was quite new to “cleaning up” existing campaigns wanted to verify if this was a sound “recommendation” for his client. The client also wanted for him to check into previous data on conversion and check if whether the Adwords report matches the data reflected on the Google Analytics report. One of the first things he noticed was the lack of GOALS set on the Google Analytics profile which could have provided some data on any possible conversions. Without a moments hesitation he creates a mock transaction to see where the process ends – in order to identify the thank you page. Then he proceeds to create a GOAL using the thank you page as the primary goal.

Happy with what he has done, he laments on how the client could have been so careless on forgetting the creation of a GOAL. Feeling “yoda-like” for the time being I tried conjuring some smart ass wit on teaching him some fundamentals.

One often forgets that before any CPC, Bid, Budget or Conversion can be optimized one needs to look into the more fundamental stuff.

Look you will.

Fundamentals such as defining the KPI’s we want to measure and how one will measure it using the tools available.

Going a little deeper. Are the mechanics for measuring these metrics properly in place? So I told my friend if he could take a look at the “thank you page”. Suggesting to him 1) Look for the Adwords conversion snippet and 2) Look for the Google Analytics snippet. With an ounce of arrogance he would have summarily dismissed this whimsical suggestion and would even found this insulting. “I’m no newbie” he might even think.

BUT WAIT! Where the hell is the Google Analytics snippet? So even if he had added a GOAL on the analytics profile and possibly promised the client that data will be collated after a given period. Guess what? No goals will been recorded. The exercise would have been useless.

Appreciating the kind words of wisdom I have imparted, while grinning like a 2 year kid, I slightly tormented him with a follow up question: “What else will you check to make sure you now have the appropriate mechanics?”. While looking at the conversion snippet , probably he was thinking if it was a trick question or maybe I was just feeding my ego (yes, partly true).

Ten minutes passed by, as I was half way through watching the latest episode of Entourage, he tells me that he cant seem to figure it out. Going back to my “yoda-like” state I asked him what he thinks the Google ID is for?. He quietly ponders and momentarily pauses to give me a grin as if to say ” you cruel SOB”, smiles and does that right thing.

Grown have you.

Oftentimes its just the little things that can make the difference. Fundamentals that most of us often take for granted – like snippets. Having the correct snippets that is.