Have you ever opened up a paid search report and felt a jolt of fear?
Maybe your new campaign wasn’t performing well. Maybe you’d inexplicably spent a ton on AdWords and had nothing to show for it. Maybe it was just more bad news in a losing fight for profitability.
Regardless of your particular situation, if you’ve been in paid search for long, you’ve probably had that gut-wrenching feeling at some point.
Turns out, there’s more to that feeling than you might have thought.
After a series of rather extraordinary events , it’s become clear to me that there is a reason why so many companies struggle with search engine marketing .
There be monsters out there…
Fighting the good fight
It seems like there are monster shows everywhere these days (The Walking Dead, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, just to name a few). I’d always thought this was just a pop culture trend, but it turns out that there’s something to this fascination.
Though it might seem a bit far-fetched, we face these monsters on a daily basis, and we don’t even realize it. However, once you discover that you’re under attack, you can actually fight back.
Let’s take a look at some of the monsters that may be lurking in your PPC accounts:
Thanks to The Walking Dead, we’re all very familiar with the idea of zombies. But has it ever occurred to you that you might be at war with the zombie plague right now?
When it comes to PPC advertising, there are a lot of account management zombies out there. They wander about mindlessly and seem to only be good for one thing: consuming marketing budgets.
In fact, according to Larry Kim , only one in every 10 PPC account managers consistently works on their accounts on a quarterly basis. That means 90 percent of paid search account managers are marketing zombies!
After auditing more than 2,000 AdWords accounts at Disruptive, we’ve found that 72 percent of accounts haven’t been touched in a month .
Fortunately, unlike the zombies depicted in the media, it turns out that there is a cure for the zombie plague: regular account maintenance.
Just like most plagues, the key to avoiding (or recovering from) a bout with the marketing zombie plague is regular sanitization. In other words, you need to clean up and optimize your accounts on a regular basis.
How often you need to “cleanse” your accounts is largely dependent on your traffic and budget. If you’re spending over $10,000 a month, your campaigns need to be reviewed thoroughly at least once a week. However, marketing zombies seem to be attracted to large marketing budgets, so this still may not be enough.
In this budget range, I personally recommend cleaning up your campaigns at least three times per week. And, if you’re starting a new campaign, you must be even more vigilant. In general, I’d check up on a new campaign at least three times a day.
With smaller budgets, you may not drive enough traffic to attract zombies, so a bimonthly or monthly checkup may be all you need to stave off the plague.
Now, all that being said, if you’ve spent a lot of time cleaning up your campaigns, they may be running fairly well. In this case, you may not need to make major changes three times a day or week, but you’ll still want to keep close tabs on your account to make sure you steer clear of this deadly affliction.
Remember Frankenstein’s monster? The poor creature was stitched together from the remains of dozens of corpses and forced into a horrible semblance of life.
Frankenstein’s monster was the horrible creation of a madman, and his life was a sad tale of confusion, destruction and heartbreak.
Unfortunately, you see the exact same tale playing out in countless paid search accounts.
Instead of letting old, ineffective ads or keywords lie in peace, many marketers seem to have a strange urge to try and create new life from dead campaigns. They stitch together ads and keywords into new campaigns and then keep adding more marketing budget voltage until the monstrosity finally starts moving.