Don't miss out! Check out our limited-time SEO service promo

Realistic Expectations for Advertisers with Poor Historic Performance

Ana Lucia Morales

10 years ago



Google Ads is not a get rich quick scheme. Do you really think that you’re going to put some keywords, write a few ads and voilà! –your phone will start ringing immediately? Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

I understand how frustrating it is looking at the AdWords interface and at every click that it’s being wasted. No leads, no phone calls, nobody filling out your contact form, nobody buying.

Now, sit down and relax. I’ll let you know when you will see a fruitful campaign.

If you’ve been managing your own AdWords account and you finally decide to work with a PPC agency, you might think: “Yeah I’m going to let the experts handle my account and my money will start coming back in the same week”. Let me pull your feet to the ground. No, it won’t happen in a day nor in a week. It all takes time.

Once your account is assigned to the appropriate strategist, we can actually tell by just looking at the campaign what is going to work and what isn’t.

These are positive and wonderful news. You’ve been running your campaign for a few months or weeks. You’ve already done the testing and we can actually get very useful data to manage your campaign and start getting your money in return.

Creating a Campaign from Scratch or Restructure?

Something must have been working in your account; otherwise, you would’ve dropped the towel a long time ago. Now think why are you still battling through with your AdWords account?

We must decide whether to create a whole new account or simply restructure it. This is a very tedious process.

1. Conversion tracking installed

If you had some type of conversion tracking installed, were you tracking sales, newsletter submissions, or leads? If you had this properly installed and with a decent cost per conversion,  we can simply restructure your campaign by taking out high CPA keywords, adding new ad groups, negative keywords, and split testing.

2. Click-through-rate

A lot of people ask what is considered a good click-through rate.  A decent amount is 1% and above. If you have a campaign that’s below 1% then beware, you’re probably getting a high amount of traffic and no leads.

If you’re getting a decent amount of leads, this is probably because you have 2 or 3 keywords that are working for you. But not the whole account per se.

If you still have a 1% CTR or above and you’re not getting any leads then you probably have the wrong keywords and match types.

3. Cost per click

Are you spending more than what your product is worth? I have a client that sells jewelry for $1 or $1.50 per piece; and he was paying almost $3 for using the wrong match type.

4. Match types

Of course, you’re using broad match type – it’s easy and you didn’t know there were other match types you could use.

When you use a broad match in keywords with high competition and high search volume,  the CPC is usually very high, and therefore, you will end up paying a lot of money.

A plain broad match can also bring a lot of irrelevant search queries. It’s definitely not the best match type you can use. Let’s say you sell wood veneers. The word veneer can bring up dental veneers and in the long run, you could end up paying thousands of dollars for something you never really wanted to advertise in the first place.

After the PPC agency has decided whether to restructure or create a campaign from scratch, you need to let the campaign run for a month to gather data. Be patient – haven’t you heard that good things come to those who wait?

The Second Month Is Critical

In the second month, you will see a turn-around in your campaign. Luckily, since you had patience, your conversion rate is increasing on a week-to-week basis.

You can see this in Segments > Time > Week

Online Campaigns - White Shark Media Blog

Notice how your conversion rate is increasing week after week. Don’t be afraid if you get stuck for a week. But remember to always compare time frames longer than a week.

You can’t be comparing statistics like yesterday and today because it takes more than a day for you to see the results of the changes you make.

Online Campaigns - White Shark Media Blog

Luckily, you will find an awesome strategist and here are some of the things he or she is doing “behind the scenes”:

Using Labels for Assisted Conversions

Pay attention when restructuring or creating a campaign from scratch. As mentioned before, there are always 2 or 3 keywords that were the best performing. Therefore, if you decide to pause those keywords, you will lose potential leads.

Sometimes there are assisted conversion keywords that can’t be paused. That’s why I love using labels in my AdWords interface. I think there’s no campaign that I work with where I’m not using any labels.

You always need to be careful with the search funnel – think of them as passages through which your customers complete a conversion. You can find the search funnel either on your AdWords interface or through Google Analytics. If you go through your AdWords interface simply go to Tools > Conversions

Online Campaigns - White Shark Media Blog

Then once you’re there, go to Search Funnels

Online Campaigns - White Shark Media Blog

And you will find a list of reports you can use to better understand these passages.  All of them are important, however, the ones I use the most are Top Paths and Assisted Conversions.

Online Campaigns - White Shark Media Blog

Top Paths is to better understand what passage the customers take to convert into a sale – see below to have a better understanding. For example in # 6, the customer typed in “hot tub cleaning products” but the keyword that converted into a sale was [hot tub cleaning supplies]

Online Campaigns - White Shark Media Blog

In the assisted conversions tab you will find the keywords that finalized the purchase.

Online Campaigns - White Shark Media Blog

Therefore, you always need to be very careful with assisted conversions as you may not want to pause these keywords.

Find Out What Keyword Match Type Better Suits You

Your strategist needs to find out what keyword match type works the best for your industry. Whether you’re in the taxi business, the medical industry, or the flower industry, some match types work better than others.

My favorite match types are BMM and Exact – I’m not saying that these are the ones that you should always use. However, in my experience, I’ve seen them work the very best.

Split Test with the Ads

We need to have at least 3 ads running simultaneously to see what is that the customers are looking for.

By using the benefits of your business in the second description and using different landing pages, we can determine which ad will get us a lower cost per conversion and a higher return on investment.

Mind that in the second month you should be breaking even.

Third month - No longer pulling your hair off
Yes, you’re no longer screeching your teeth and you are finally sleeping through the night. You’ll definitely have a more structured campaign and you’ll find labels all over the place – where they’re needed the most.

You know now what keywords you need to keep and what keywords you need to pause.

Also, withdraw making drastic moves as you already know what’s working. It’s very fulfilling to have given a second chance to AdWords as it’s a very useful tool for the ones that know how to use it.

Keep Optimizing, Optimizing, Optimizing…

Just because it’s working, it doesn’t mean that you no longer need your PPC agency. You might think that now that you have a good campaign structure and have found the best ads, you’re finally able to let it run and do it on your own. Well, you can’t. The online marketing business is a never-ending learning job. You need a trustworthy strategist to handle your campaign.

If you decide to leave the PPC agency, it would be very hard for you to keep up with the updates or the ongoing changes. After all, you have a business to run.

Don’t hesitate to call your strategist and ask what the next move is– because oh my, we’re always three steps ahead of the game. There always are seasonality promotions that you need to be including on your AdWords campaign – holidays are a killer. They can either go bad or they can go very well.

There are expansion opportunities you might never even heard of like Remarketing, Dynamic Remarketing, Display Ads and so much more. Expanding onto other countries might be an option that you’ve never even thought of. The sky is the limit.

Free Adwords Book