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» Paid Search in General » How To Tell A Prospective PPC Client their Paid Search SUCKS!

How To Tell A Prospective PPC Client their Paid Search SUCKS!

I was inspired to write this post because after scoping many PPC prospects, almost everyone of them had either major flaws in either tactics and/or in the strategy. As I have matured in this scoping process over the years and had opportunities to communicate my findings to the potential client instead of writing it up and having a sales guy regurgitate it to get the sale, I have avoided the "nice guy" approach and migrated to more of a "Let me be honest with you….". And with being honest, explain to them in the highest level of non-geekdom what you will do to fix them. Of course, you don’t what to tell them what you should fix specifically because the last thing you want is give away the farm.

Here’s the reality. If you are an experience Paid Search Marketer, you will be able to identify missing strategies, analytics potential, and yeah of course key tactics such as keyword selection, keyword matching, Ads/creatives, campaign settings, landing pages, etc… So, when it’s time to tell the prospect you can help them, it’s important to let them know how much work it will take to get the campaign running smoothly and turning into a cash register. Because if you don’t it will burn you in the end.

What are the common areas that always need to be fixed or redone:

  • Strategy of what is being targeted
    • Not covering all products/services being offered
  • Keyword Selection
    • Not enough long tails
    • Too broad of keywords
    • Irrelevant keyword groups per adgroup
    • Too many keywords per adgroup
    • No use of negatives
  • Campaign/Adgroup Structure
    • Structure does not mirror sitemap of website
    • Their is no Hierarchy of categories
  • Keyword Matching
    • Usually always broad match
  • Campaign Settings
    • Day-parting
    • Under spending budgets
    • Content network combined with search network
  • Ads/Creatives
    • No call to action
    • No use of DKI in any of the ads
    • Either too many or not enough
  • Landing Page selection
    • Usually LP is too generic. (home page)
    • If targeted adgroup, LP should go to custom or most direct product page.
    • Recommend "hybrid" landing page to combine content and CTA.

In Conclusion:
It’s important to tell the prospect the truth about their existing PPC campaign. Let them know you have a high standard for paid search and when I say "from a scale of 1 to 10 your PPC efforts are a 1", you need to explain to them why at a high level. Honesty is the best policy and the last thing you want to do is set yourself up for failure.

Filed under: Paid Search in General

5 Responses to "How To Tell A Prospective PPC Client their Paid Search SUCKS!"

  1. David Lazar says:

    Most people still use the wrong keywords…

  2. Diana says:

    I can’t agree with you more on this post. Thanks for the outline of common problems – I’ve seen them all. Somehow it is reassuring to see that it isn’t just us finding prospective clients with these issues.

  3. Shia Leigh says:

    Good points. Most clients expect a quick fix and have no idea of the time needed.

  4. Brian Carter says:

    Greg, great post, again 🙂
    What jumped out at me was that, surprising to me, in the last three months now managing about 15 clients, I’ve had a chance to try out a lot more ad tests, and DKI doesn’t win nearly as often as I expected.
    I’ve revised my view that DKI is almost alway better. I don’t know if it’s because searchers are smarter than we think (they see DKI as an automated thing rather than just clicking on whatever equals what they typed), or because DKI doesn’t add any emotional value or new facts to their search process- and it could be this is only the case in the verticals I’m working in (mainly golf, travel, hospitality, real estate)- most of this is lead generation, I have no idea if it’s the same with retail.
    So I’d love to read more about your experience testing DKI vs. traditional headlines…
    All the best,
    Brian Carter

  5. Greg Meyers says:

    Brian, great comment. I 100% agree with you. DKI’s are always a part of my Ad/Creative pool in an initial launch. I typically launch with 4 totally different ads with different CTA and include (1) DKI. Even though DKIs work well with specific audiences, they traditionally have a higher CTR% but are often one of the poorest in terms of conversion. I usually set the ad structure and let the consumer decide what works for them and I simply adjust, react and continue to build on what’s working.

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