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So You Just Got A New Client? Set The Right Expectations

Ana Lucia Morales

10 years ago

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The most common question I hear from customers is the following: “When will I see a return on investment?” Every time I hear that I start looking for yet another nice way to tell them to hold their horses. I wish there was an easy way to tell them that there is a possibility that they will lose money the first month and it won’t be nice.

The other day, I was reading an interesting article from David Melamed that talks about how in order for you to find profitability in a PPC campaign you will need to spend money. Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a rule set in stone, however, it does happen. That’s why it’s very important to set the right expectations with your client and to give him/her a possible timeline of events. I usually share with them the timeline bellow:

1) During the First month

As a PPC manager, when I speak to a first time advertiser I will be brutally honest, no matter what. Sometimes it’ll go over like this: “Listen, the first month is all about gathering data. The campaign is launched. What now? Is the bounce rate high? then let’s try another landing page. Are we not getting any phone calls? Our bids may be too low. Are we being limited by budget? Do we have the correct settings placed?”

Schedule weekly phone calls with your client to go over these points and tell them what steps you are taking to fix any issues and in what time frame. Yes, it’s a tough one, but with the right tracking tools, the correct optimizations and healthy communication with your client, you will be breaking even by the second month.

2) Second Month of Running Your AdWords Campaign

Hurray for you! If you’ve got this far it means your client is willing to ride this one out. At this point, you can actually look back at the first month; check your search queries and probe. Don’t freak out if you’re not breaking even yet. You’re probably spending a few bucks on ads and keywords that need to be paused.

Please mind that every industry is different in every market. I’ve actually had a cleaning service in the Washington area that do very well. However, when we tried expanding to Chicago, it took a lot longer for the campaign to have a positive return on investment.

This is why you need to be patient with AdWords. Don’t spend money and then give up right before you’re where you want to be. You must let the data sink in and on the second month you start pausing areas that are not performing up to par.

You’ll start making significant changes like pausing keywords with high cost per conversion. You can also lower bids to your devices and adjust your bids to certain locations.Always keep on split testing your ads – at least 2 ads running with different landing pages. This way you can interact with the users. You also need to be on top of Google Analytics and most importantly the bounce rate.

The second month is more about recognizing your target audience trends and behavior. C’mon the taxi industry won’t be the same as a plastic surgeon!

3) Third Month – You Will Start To Break Even

At this point, your client will notice a huge impact. Now you know what keywords are bringing in a high ROI and what you should be concentrating on. You should also have your ads dominating the traffic. Look at the conversion rate and click through rate.

By the third month, you should have a steady flow of income. (Just wait to see the fourth month!) Now, it’s time to increase your budget and expand. By expansion I mean by creating new campaigns or trying other networks like Display, Remarketing, and Shopping.

Always be three steps ahead of the game; be prepared. The online marketing business is a fast paced growing industry and you need to be updated with all the new features that are constantly rolling out. You also need to be interacting with your online audience. Create promotions for your seasonal months. If you’re not creating any discounts or promotions then your competition will and they will kick your butt.

4) AdWords is a Rollercoaster

Especially for SMB’s, AdWords can truly change a business owner’s life. I can tell you, but you need to be constantly optimizing and working on your account. Every single day that passes more and more people are creating new AdWords account without knowing what they’re doing. Take advantage of the situation. After you’ve launched a campaign you can’t leave it on autopilot you need to optimize it at least on a bi-weekly basis.

I’ve seen campaigns with 300% ROI in only three months. I know that with the right budget, campaign structure, website and patience anything can be possible!

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