Step-by-step Plan When Taking Over an AdWords Account
September 21, 2018
September 21, 2018
If you have an existing AdWords account and you’re considering transitioning it, there’s probably a lot of anxiety around that transition. Your business probably relies on the performance of that account. You get a number of leads, and your business is operating at a certain level.
Now, there’s some reason that you’re considering transitioning. You may think that your account isn’t being optimized, or you might be paying too much, or you might be wanting to get it in new platforms. There’s a ton of different reasons that you might want to change your provider or move from internal to external, or something along those lines. But what ultimately does not change is that you’re making a big transition to your marketing and you’re concerned about moving the account from one provider to another. And I can certainly understand why that would be a concern of yours.
And in today’s video I wanna go over just how ParaCore looks at the account transition process when we onboard a new account that’s already running and we’re starting to take over the management because when there’s, you know, $5, $10, $15, $20,000 running through an AdWords account, or even more than that, you don’t want someone to come in, totally tear it down, revamp it, and do all the things that they say they’re gonna do just because they wanna get in there and make a splash. Right?
The most important thing is not someone going in and making a splash. It’s improving the performance of your account. So the very first thing that I wanna mention that’s important to ParaCore is that we don’t go into a new engagement and a new client relationship saying, “We’re gonna tear everything down or rebuild it. “We’re gonna do it the perfect way this time.” That’s just not really a practical or prudent way to approach different campaigns. Sometimes you might need to do that, but typically we try not to. So if you’re running an existing campaign and you’re wanting to switch over, the very, very, very first thing we do is we look at your conversion tracking, number one above. Conversion tracking is the foundation for all decisions that are made going forward. So if your account is not tracking conversions correctly, or they’re not feeding into the account, then you literally, we as account managers, don’t have any idea what to change or what not to change because we don’t know how anything is performing.
So yes, there are some search terms that we probably definitely wanna strip out and there’s some things that definitely don’t belong in the account, but realistically, we don’t know what’s working and what isn’t. So the very first thing that we do in any account is we make sure the conversions are updated correctly and that they’re tracking correctly and feeding into the account. And once that’s done, that’s one of the very first things that we do, it then starts accumulating data and we start seeing patterns emerge from the account itself.
Now, the second thing that we do that does rely on the conversions, but really doesn’t all that much is we start looking at all of the search terms and adding negatives to your account. Because if someone is searching for, let’s say, a makeup product, and you do something related to construction. Like, for example, MAC Foundation is a makeup product that appeared in a new account that we’re taking over that’s related to construction then you don’t want MAC Foundation to be triggering clicks and triggering Ad Spend. So that’s a search term that we find in the search terms report and add to our negative keyword list so that you’re not paying for those types of clicks anymore. And all that does is what we call clean the traffic where you’re no longer getting search terms that aren’t relevant to your business. As you clean the traffic, you start improving the campaign and the conversions. Even if you’re not tracking them, your campaign will start converting better because the budget will be applied to more relevant searches and you’ll be getting more conversions. Of course, we don’t know that unless we have conversion tracking going on, so we always start with conversion tracking and then we start working on the negatives. And as those two things start unfolding over the course of one, two, three weeks, then we start looking at the performance of individual key words or ad groups or products. And we start making adjustments based on the actual performance of the date when the conversion tracking started.
The conversion tracking is by far the most important aspect of taking over a new account. So now we’ve taken over the account, we’ve set up the conversion tracking with that day locked as a note in AdWords, and we start watching as conversions are tracked and flowing in. And looking at what ad groups and keywords are converting the best. Some keywords are gonna rise to the top as far as performance, and some are gonna underperform. And if you’re hitting budget, or if your search impression share is very low and it means that you have a lot of opportunity for improvement, we will start killing/pausing underperforming keywords or ad groups or products, geographic locations. It kind of depends on how your campaign is set up, but we’ll start killing underperforming assets in your account.
The next thing that we start doing, and that’s typically probably in the first four weeks we’re doing those three things because conversion tracking can take a little while to set up based on your company and account. Negatives are a time-based thing. We will typically go back and audit a few months prior to our onboard state, and then the underperforming keywords are starting to materialize maybe after two or three weeks of the campaign running.
The next thing that we’ll do is we structure most of our accounts in what’s called a single keyword ad group. And a single keyword ad group is taking one type of keyword, so let’s say pool service, pool cleaning, putting that in an ad group, and then doing three variations of that keyword. We’ll do an exact match, a modified broad, and a phrase match, but we will not do a broad broad match. Because the broad match really matches to a lot of different things, and typically we find that it doesn’t perform all that well. So a single keyword ad group is not necessarily just one keyword, but it’s one search term/keyword with all the different match types involved. What that allows us to do is we take the keywords in the single keyword ad group and then we write ads very specific to pool service.
So let’s say that we’re doing, we have pool construction ads, we have pool servicing ads, we have remodeling ads. By putting all three of those in a different ad group, then the ad itself in that ad group can speak very specifically to that keyword, so saying hey do you need pool service? Because I just typed in pool service. And then when they click the ad, it can either go to a pool service landing page or a landing page with a dynamic headline fed in through the ad through a UTM parameter that might be dynamically slipped through a platform like Unbounce. And when we do that, we’re able to align the consumer’s intent very, very closely with what we’re trying to sell.
So your business might have multiple different products that it sells but people are searching for different things at different times, and you want to align their search terms with the ad, with the landing page so that it’s a consistent journey for your customer. So we will oftentimes take campaigns that have many ad groups and many keywords and extract them into single keyword ad group campaigns. On a slow basis, all while tracking conversions. That’s the fundamental piece that we’re always paying attention to. And then if anything goes sideways, we can just revert those changes, but typically they’re not. After we move it in the single keyword ad group phase, then we start looking at ads, and we start looking at things like geography, and we start looking at some of the more nuanced aspects of your campaign, so you might want to adjust the campaign base and serve it certain times of day. Or you might want certain geographies, or you might want to boost different types of devices. You know, increase or decrease the bid on tablets or whatever.
So there are a ton of different things that you can do in AdWords, but the idea is that when someone takes over an account, if they say we’re gonna rip apart your account and create a new one, or I’m gonna totally destroy the old account and then do all these things that are different, that can be a very dangerous approach. And we have done that before just based on the account’s parameters and what it looks like. Sometimes it needs a bit of an overhaul. But generally we try not do that. So in the first four weeks or so, we’re gonna start conversion tracking, working on negatives, and then looking at underperforming keywords. And then in months two and three, and obviously beyond, we’re starting to work on converting the accounts into single keyword ad groups. You know, reformatting the campaign so they make more logical and geographic sense. Working on ads, and working on those types of optimizations. And that’s just in the AdWords account.
Oftentimes we’ll then move into Facebook retargeting, or YouTube retargeting, or whatever the account calls for. Then we start moving into that in months three, four, five, and six, and beyond. So if you are considering transitioning your account to someone whether it’s ParaCore or someone else make sure you ask them what their strategy is for that transition. There should typically be some sort of transition plan. And if it’s not starting with conversion tracking, that’s not very high on the list, I’d be very, very skeptical if it’s a professional pay-per-click management company or a full service agency, because that is so massively critical to the performance of your campaign. It’s literally the very first thing that we talk about, and when I go and look at a new campaign, I go to conversions and I say, what are they tracking? Is it accurate? Is it a smart goal from Google Analytics? Which is a totally bonus conversion. Is it a phone call? Do they have phone call tracking hooked up? Do they have form submissions? You know, what are all the different conversion tracking parameters going on? And then I start looking at the campaign. And to be quite honest, if I’m auditing a campaign, and the conversion tracking is not set up correctly, I can only give rough estimates as to how much I can improve that campaign because I don’t really know with 100% certainty what’s performing. And that’s kind of a rough place to be for the client and for us.
So, you know, if you are transitioning your account, like I said, make sure to have a plan in place. Make sure that conversion tracking is on that plan. If it’s not, that’s a huge red flag, because that means that going down the road, they won’t actually be able to articulate value, talk about conversions, talk about how the account’s improving. You know, maintaining or not improving. Sometimes accounts don’t improve, which is just a fact of life. But you won’t even know that unless you have conversion tracking.
My name’s Adam Arkfeld. I’m the owner of ParaCore. We’re a pay-per-click lead generation agency. If you have any questions or comments or anything else, like the video, comment below. Hope you subscribe, and thanks for watching. I’ll see you in the next video.
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