Nathan Gawel, Associate Director, Client Solutions
As search continues to grow, everyone from the large agencies to the small business owners are launching new PPC Search Accounts. Talking with others in the industry, we identified 5 major mistakes people make when launching new PPC campaigns.
1. Lack of Strategy.
The biggest mistake made today when launching a new PPC campaign is the lack of strategy or thought behind the launch. Most companies/people have the ability to build out keywords, append tracking, set up an Account, and turn on an Account. What most people do not think about when launching the accounts are:
- Why are we launching this account and how did we organize the account to reach these goals.
- What are the expectations for 30 days, 90 days, and the next year?
- Who is the audience and how are we adjusting our account to better reach the goals based on that audience.
2. Dependency on Technology.
The lack of strategy often is the result of a dependency on technology. Technology often creates keywords that are too general or irrelevant all together. If and when these keywords get launched they can spend a lot of the budget quickly and can hamper a successful launch. More often than not, technology does not understand the audience, who they are, what their purchase cycle is, what the conversion latency is, etc. Without the strategy, technology can hurt your launch more than it can help.
3. Only using Google.
Including yours truly, many see Google as the easiest engine to use, faster to get live, largest in volume, and sometimes the best returning engine. Unfortunately, many launch in Google and call it a day. Each engine has its advantages. Because one account did not work well in Yahoo or Bing (MSN for those still sleeping), does not mean the next one will not. Bing traditionally has high returns, but lower volume. However, the value and volume of return is enough to carry a launch as a whole to goal. If launched properly (i.e. adjusting creatives/match types/negatives for yahoo algorithm), Yahoo! can provide much needed conversions.
4. Competing Goals.
Many times clients/businesses are looking for too many goals. For example, trying to build a campaign that increases newsletter signups, individual product purchases, offline sales, and decreasing the CPC is pretty much impossible. This happens when there are too many cooks in the kitchen. For instance, a department head, the CMO, and multiple product managers are all looking to search to deliver on different goals. When building an account or optimizing the account for one goal, they could very well be hindering another. Trying to increase offline sales might require creatives that are not conducive to online sales. Focusing on the #1 reason above will help avoid this issue.
5. The Launch and Leave
Building and preparing for a launch can take weeks or months (depending on the client size, tracking, etc). So when the final day comes, the account launches, and all QA is done…some make the mistake to let it ride for a week or two to gather initial learnings before making any adjustments. There are many things to check for within the first 24 hours.
- Reporting – are the technology vendors/bid management tools tracking properly?
- CPCs – did you launch at too low of a CPC? Start high to gain Quality Score faster?
- Negatives – are your ads showing where you wished they wouldn’t?
- Budgets – are you spending a lot faster/slower than you thought?
- What is the next step?
Launching a new account is never easy and rarely goes without any hiccups. My last recommendation is please, please, please do not launch on Fridays. Not only is it annoying to work Saturday and Sunday to check all your work, but often times Sundays and Saturdays’ traffic reacts differently than during the week and can give you false results that are just going to change on Monday. Plus, most importantly, vendors & 3rd party support are not available on the weekends…so if there are technical questions or issues outside the launcher’s hands they often go unresolved until Monday. Launch On!