If you’re trying to take some time away from the office, these tips will help you to prepare your PPC account so that you can leave it unattended:
Avoid Major Changes
The most important thing you can do is avoid making any major changes to your account in the weeks leading up to leaving. You don’t want to alter your existing efforts substantially because not knowing what the outcome of the changes will be requires that you keep a close eye on metrics and respond accordingly. This means:
• Keeping Bids Steady
Increasing or lowering individual keyword bids or bid modifiers can have unanticipated consequences. So, any time you change your bids you should be prepared to closely monitor your account for ripple effects such as changes to conversion costs, fluctuations in average positions, and budget shortages. While you’re gone, you want to ensure that your account continues to run smoothly, which means that you shouldn’t change bids in any way before leaving.
• Only Using Existing Keywords
While it’s tempting to try to clean up your account before going away by pruning ineffective keywords and adding new keyword opportunities, changing your keyword lists can alter the balance of your account. Therefore, you shouldn’t add or remove any keywords before going on vacation. Using existing keywords gives you a much better chance of knowing what to predict from a performance standpoint because the last thing you want is to have to log-in and tweak your PPC efforts when you should be spending time recharging.
• Not Testing New Ads or Ad Extensions
Ongoing ad testing is a hallmark of successful PPC management. However, when you’re away you don’t want new ad text or ad extensions released into the wild of the search space. Instead, rely on historically successful ads and ad extensions to carry your efforts while you’re gone. However, you should ensure that these ad versions aren’t time-sensitive to avoid confusing or frustrating searchers with ad text that is outdated.
Make it “Maintenance-Free”
While successful PPC management requires a more hands-on approach, there are some tricks you can use to reduce the ongoing maintenance necessary to keep your account running optimally. Make your PPC account maintenance-free by:
• Replacing Time-Sensitive Ads
Regularly combing your PPC account for outdated ads is important, but when you’re going to be away, it’s even more crucial. Ensure that none of your ads are using seasonal language that’s no longer applicable, promotional codes that have expired, or old stock information. Depending on how long you’ll be gone, you may need to be forward-looking with this approach, anticipating what will be outdated by the time you return. For longer vacations or vacations that span holiday seasons, you may want to avoid any seasonality whatsoever to be extra cautious.
• Reverting to Top Performing Evergreen Keywords
Some keywords are more popular around certain holidays or during specific seasons, whereas other keywords perform well year-round. Using evergreen keywords while you’re gone provides predictability, which is exactly what you want!
Reconsider Ad Extensions
Some ad extensions should only be used when you’re in the office. Encouraging ad engagement when you can’t respond quickly will frustrate searchers and can damage your brand reputation. Take steps before you leave such as:
• Pausing Ad Extensions that Encourage Engagement
Callout extensions, sitelinks, and call extensions all encourage searcher engagement. While this is normally a great thing, it can backfire when you’re not there. Remove any ad extensions that require an immediate response from your business and replace them with more generalized extensions that tout value propositions and sell your offerings over the long-run. Once you return, you can turn your regular ad extensions back on to encourage searchers to call or request a quote again.
• Changing Extensions that Will Give the Wrong Brand Perception
Remember that every ad extension you use makes a brand promise. The promise can be related to the kinds of offerings you provide, your approach to customer service, or some other aspect of your business. However, when you’re gone you can’t deliver on those promises in the same way. Avoid doing brand damage by changing ad extensions like “Guaranteed 48-Hour Service” or “Free Same-Day Quotes” temporarily in favor of less commitment-specific ad extensions.
Don’t want to stress when you’re away? Have an experienced marketing company manage your PPC account for you! Contact us today to find out how our PPC management services can benefit your business. We can take the work out of succeeding online!
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and two children and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!