Before you go into panic mode and frantically try to apply solutions on how to improve PPC performance (and your PPC bidding), first spend some time and try to identify the possible cause.
Here are 7 common reasons for poor performance of your online advertising account, regardless of the platform:
1. Changes In Your PPC Ads Account
PPC Keyword Changes
Did you pause or reactivate keywords recently? Were there new keywords added that might have increased cost too much? This is usually a case where you will see significant cost changes.
Ad Text Changes
Did you change ads recently? Failure to recognize and evaluate changes in ads can also lead to weaker performance.
Ad Targeting Changes
Changing targeting options leads to shifts in your target audience. The new audience may be bigger, smaller, react differently to the same ads and have different purchasing patterns. False targeting options may also shut you off from all of your traffic.
2. You Changed Your Website or Products
Website Design Changes
Did you change your website recently? Did you move a button or change website colours and texts? These changes may have a critical effect on your website conversion rate and how your users find the products and information they need. Testing is key.
Tracking Pixel Changes
Did you move your conversion tracking code? Is it still working? Check with the person responsible if everything is running.
Changes in pricing or adding shipping costs will affect how competitive you are in comparison to other businesses. This will affect how often your website visitors make purchases.
3. New Settings In Your PPC Management Tool
Double-check your goals. Are they realistic? Were there any changes made recently? Did you adjust them after important events like sales or Christmas periods?
You Didn’t Set Any Goals
Letting your account run with a bid management tool is like telling a car to drive by itself. Yes it will go fast, but you have to tell it where you want to go to reach your destination. Setting a realistic goal should be your first task after starting with any bid management tool.
New Competitors in the Market
New entrants in the marketplace usually cause CPCs to inflate and worsen the performance of everybody else advertising. One good tip on how to improve PPC performance? Stay ahead of the competition!
Competition is fierce and CPCs may get expensive if competitors decide to bid more aggressively for the same keywords you are using.
Bidding on competitor brand keywords is a shady area, but there are cases where your brand keywords get under huge competitor pressure. Either you keep fighting or settle for a lower position.
5. Seasonality and Benchmarking
Your account may have a seasonality which will affect results. Comparing January to December when your main business happens over Christmas will always provide you with a gloomy performance outlook. While evaluating campaigns with seasonal effects, take those into account when setting expectations.
Results may dramatically vary if you take a too short time period especially if your account performance varies every day.
If you know your users need some time between the click and the purchase, do take this into account while evaluating performance. Sometimes the time delay between the click on the ad and the actual purchase may be weeks. This leads to a paradox where the last few days or weeks always look worse in comparison to earlier periods.
6. User Behavior
User behavior is a factor which will also affect performance. There are days where users simply do not convert as well, and there is relatively little you can do about it.
7. External Events
It affects users not only in the offline world. Sudden spikes in temperature, or extreme weather conditions as storms can affect clickthrough rates (CTRs) on keywords and the conversion rate on your website (both in positive and negative ways).
These events happen rarely, but if they concern the area you work in, you may experience huge shocks in demand.
If your products go out of fashion, user interest will drop and hence your online advertising performance will stagger.
In conclusion, when faced with underperforming PPC accounts, it is crucial to approach the situation with a systematic troubleshooting mindset. By considering the various factors outlined in this article, you can identify the possible causes behind the drop in performance.
Remember to thoroughly assess recent changes, conduct rigorous testing, and set realistic goals aligned with your business objectives. By understanding the intricacies of online advertising and actively addressing potential roadblocks, you can enhance your account’s performance, maximize conversions, and achieve your marketing goals.
With a focused troubleshooting approach, you can pave the way to getting the answers to how to improve PPC performance and act fast.