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12 Basic Steps to Rescue Poorly Performing AdWords Accounts

White Shark Media

10 years ago



No matter how long we’ve been in the industry, we will always run into that account that defies all logic.

This account will have low costs per click, nice CTR’s and overall good performance, but it won’t convert!

What do you do?! Below are some First Aid tips to get your account kicking again!

1. Get Your CTR Up

We can think of CTR as the lifeblood of an account. So when in rescue mode, pause any keywords that are bringing your CTR down.

This will include keywords that have a high number of impressions and low clicks (Click Through Rate) as well as keywords that have a high number of impressions and NO clicks!

This will improve your account performance and bring down your costs per click and therefore draw more traffic within the same budget.

2. Go for Less Traffic, But Focus on More Relevant and Specific Keywords

You will want to pause any ad group whose individual keywords do not meet your high impression and click limit, I personally use 150 as the cutoff point.

If after being shown 150 times, your ad gets no clicks, something is not right. You should check to see if your keyword is relevant to your ad copy, or if the keywords you are using are specific to your services and industry.

The best way to ensure relevancy is to review your negative keyword list. If you don’t have one, it’s time to start one. 

If your CTR is low, it may be that your ads are being triggered by searches that are not relevant or specific to your business.

Google searches, the keyword planner and are all great resources for brainstorming negative keywords.

3. Use More Restrictive Match Types

Also, try using more restrictive match types if you are using Broad Match or Broad Match Modifier. This will boost your CTR nicely and ensure that you only show for more relevant searches. 

4. Shut Off the Display Network

To improve CTR, make sure that you are not opted into the Display Network. Nothing will flat line your account CTR faster than combining the Display and Search Network together.

5. Bring Down Your Costs

When in emergency mode, you want to cut your costs as much as possible. You should review all your active keywords and consider pausing those that are performing poorly.

Consider lowering bids for keywords whose average cost per click is above account average. This will lower your costs and allow for more traffic.

If your account has enough history built up, you may want to pause keywords that have not converted in the past. This will free up budget for keywords that do result in conversions.

Also, try positioning your keywords between 3rd and 4th position and let advertisers with deep pockets pay top dollar for 1st and 2nd position.

If you are being limited by budget, pause any converting keywords with high costs per conversion. Pausing these will free up your budget for other keywords that convert at a lower cost.

6. Check Your Bounce Rate – Are you Using The Most Relevant Landing Page?

One reason we might be seeing good CTR’s but no conversions may be because people are bouncing out from your pages.

Whatever the reason for the bounce out, you need to find it and fix it fast.

Below are some basic landing page fixes that will stop help you engage visitors more effectively.

7. Make Your Contact Information Visible

Make sure you make it ridiculously easy for customers to contact you. If they can’t find your contact information, they won’t contact you. Phone numbers, Skype, contact us forms, Facebook, Twitter: the more ways you provide for someone to contact you, the higher the chance they will.

Also, make sure the information is in an easy to find spot in legible fonts and colors. This usually means above the fold, in the header in big easy to read text.

8. De-Clutter Your Site

A cluttered site with too much information (pictures, videos, text, links) can be off putting. Nowadays some of us may suffer from short attention span, so if given too many options we may be easily side tracked.

So make sure your landing page makes its purpose clear. Spell it out for them if you have to.

9. Set a Specific Goal for Every Form, Button and Text in Your Website

Do you want leads? Make the contact form simple and fast to fill out. If you need to ask for a lot of information, do so after visitors have filled out and sent the most necessary information, i.e. name, email, phone number. Anything else can be asked for and filled out once they hit the initial “enter button”.

Is it Sales you are after? Make sure the “Add to Cart” button is easy to find. Also, make the sales process as short as possible. No one likes to spend hours filling out online forms!

If you want visitors to download a brochure or whitepaper list some benefits of your download and the link. No long form to fill out is necessary. That can come after.

10. Combine the Right Ad with the Right Landing Page

One thing that can flat line your account is an incorrect ad/landing page combination. Let’s say you manage AdWords for a computer website and your ad reads as follows but sends you to a landing page that advertises desktops:

Great Laptop Deals
The Brands You Want In One Place.
Check Out Our Black Friday Deals!

This is almost a guaranteed bounce out. The customer has clicked on your ad believing it would take him to a page with laptops and upon landing on a page advertising desktops, chances are he will return to the SERP page to find exactly what he is looking for.

So make sure you are using the most relevant landing page. If you are not, update this right away!

11. Mobile-Optimize Your Website

If after reviewing the above, you are still not receiving conversions, try taking a look at your website and making sure that your page load time is not too slow.

If you have too much rich content on your site, it might take a long time to load. When this happens visitors get impatient and bounce out.

These count as clicks and bounce outs. You will be throwing money away. So ensure that load time is not an issue.

This is especially true for mobile users. I can’t stress how important it is to have a mobile optimized website, regardless of what industry you are in.

A recent PEW study found that 63% of cell phone owners use their phones to go online and more than three quarter of these experienced download speeds that prevented them from loading things as fast as they liked.

Having a mobile optimized website will ensure everyone has access to your products or services whenever and wherever they want!

12. Write Better Ads Focused on Sales

Last but not least, make sure that your ads are focused on Sales. In other words, drive your customer’s shopping cart to the register. Granted, not all visitors are ready to buy, but when you simplify the shopping process for them, there will more likely to buy from you after the click on your ad.

Offer discounts, promotions, free shipping, loyalty programs, etc., this way you will surely attract customers ready to purchase from you!

Connect the Dots

Increasing your account metrics involves connecting all the dots of your Advertising Strategy. From keyword research to landing page optimization, all the aspects of your campaign are intertwined. Ignoring this dependency is what caused your campaign performance to decline in the first place.

By implementing these basic steps, your account will come alive again. Just remember to make it a habit to see the big picture and visualize how one change affects the rest of your campaign.

Do you have any suggestions on how to revive failing AdWords accounts? Share them with us below!

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