The Art of Managing PPC Expectations

What should you expect?

If there is one thing I hope for you to take away from this brief article is to understand that when we look at helping businesses succeed. We must first acknowledge that no matter how hard we try to believe our marketing plans are bullet proof, there will always be challenges. Especially when we are dealing with PPC strategy.

My biggest push day in and day out is to make sure no matter what, whether it’s your investment in paid search or simply creating content, you should always test and stay relevant. On a day to day basis I currently manage twenty separate paid search and social marketing campaigns. The client group spans from e-commerce, healthcare, automotive, and real estate. Each and every client holds an abundance of expectation and KPIs. Each have a different expectation on spend, technology, and ultimately conversions.

Balancing Expectations

I’ve learned that there truly is a sweet spot for businesses who are willing to test to identify if the channel they are investing in will drive the business results they expect. The worst you could do in any situation is over-promise. Day in and day out if you over-promise and under deliver you are bound to end up losing. This includes losing not only the sweat equity of managing your accounts but the investment of clients and their trust in your ability as a marketing partner.

Time and time again I’ve seen missed leadership portray solutions before validating the results with concrete data. It doesn’t take too much time to do the analysis and provide meaningful insights. Even if at times the insights are negative. A valuable partner in my opinion is capable of telling the story even when the story in truth is not flying high in positive numbers.

To bring this full circle, I’ll provide an example of how ppc marketing can prove to be a great avenue when working with a client who spends roughly $25000 a month. The main goal for this client is to drive conversions online by way of e-commerce. Each campaign is set up by markets where they own a store front. For context, our client has a very very difficult time trusting us since they have a knack for trying to do everything on their own. This level of control sometimes limits us to being able to make optimizations on the fly without approval. In this scenario it has become even more important manage the expectations by identifying a “crawl, walk, run” strategy. We use this approach in regards to how we test and iterate with each of their business campaigns.

We managed to identify during our PPC audit, that their Google Ads account was in need of serious bid strategy changes. These changes at a glance, would not only drive up conversions 20-30% per market but also significantly drive better cost efficiency saving them roughly 40-60k a year simply by changing their bid strategy. However, with every client the trust must be built in order to crawl and then eventually run their account in the most optimal manner.

The PPC Test

We decided a 3 week test to split their traffic 50/50 with a high volume campaign would hopefully act as the first step in our approach to building trust and ultimately using the data to prove our methodology and overall ability as a marketing partner.

Three weeks later we were able to present our ppc results and learned that our test did in fact drive better conversions while drastically lowering CPCs and overall CPA spend. Simultaneously, our client built trust with us and we were able to help move forward with our overall objectives in order to drive significantly more impact than their previous marketing agencies in the past.

Results of our test changing strategies from enhanced CPC to Max Conversions:

PPC manual cpc campaign results
Enhanced CPC campaign
PPC Max conversion test campaign
Max conversion campaign

Take Away: Changing bid strategies could drastically improve cost efficiency and conversion yield. Although the test had lower impressions and clicks, our CTR and overall conversion rate improved substantially.

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