Prioritizing Your PPC To-Do List

By Rachael Law | @Law_Rachael | Account Analyst at Hanapin Marketing

There are about a million things you could be doing in your PPC accounts right now. How do you sift through it all and decide what needs to be done, what should be done, and what can wait? Here we’ll go through some tips on how to prioritize your PPC to-do list and spend your time wisely.

 

Gauging Account Impact vs. Time Commitment

 

Sometimes the tasks that you spend the most time on, aren’t the ones that have the greatest impact on the account performance. Consider the following tasks, and think about the time vs. potential impact.

 

PPC task list with time allocation and potential impact

 

Of course, these tasks, time needed, and impact will vary from person to person, as well as from account to account. A newly inherited account might need more time spent on bid changes and SQRs, while an account that’s been performing well might not need as much.

 

Time is a precious resource, and you need to use it wisely. Some PPC tasks are more time consuming than others, and it should be taken into consideration. Below is a chart that organizes tasks into four quadrants based on potential impact and time commitment.

 

Chart organizing tasks into four quadrants based on impact and time

 

Let’s discuss each quadrant:

 

  1. These are tasks that don’t take much of your time, but have a potentially large impact on your account. Do these now!
  2. This might be an account or campaign restructure, or launching a new strategy or platform. A good chunk of time may be needed, but the benefits to the account will be large.
  3. Tasks that don’t take much time, and don’t have any large impact are good things to delegate. Placement audits, SQR, and bid changes might fit into this category for your account.
  4. This quadrant contains tasks that maybe, shouldn’t even be on your list! For those of you at agencies, these could be client-driven initiatives that maybe we should push back on.

 

Determining Where On The Quadrant Your PPC Task Fits

 

So now the big question is how do you know if your task is important? If you’re new to the PPC game, it can be tricky to determine. Here are a few questions to help guide your thinking:

 

  • How long will it take to complete? Give it your best estimate. When in doubt, allocate more time than you need you think, especially if it’s a task you haven’t done before.
  • What’s the account impact? Think about the goal behind the task. If you’re expecting this task to bring in a substantial increase in conversions, then it has a high impact.

 

Revamp Your PPC To-Do List

 

Whatever your tool of choice is (Wunderlist, Todist, Toodledo, pen & paper, etc.), considering adding in a priority metric and due dates.

 

PPC to-do spreadsheet with priority level and due dates

 

Above is an example of a to-do list that I use on Google Drive to keep track of all the tasks on my plate. If you need to track hours used on a task or client, you can also add columns for start time, stop time, and hours used.

 

If you’re using an app to manage your to-do list, you can add priority level either in the notes or in the title of the task.

 

Delegation

 

If you’re lucky enough to have team members or a production team to help you out, use them! Tasks that are relatively straightforward and don’t necessarily require an in-depth knowledge of the account strategy are perfect for delegation. Here are some examples of commonly delegated tasks:

 

  • SQRs
  • Ad Copy Writing
  • Setting Changes

 

Another approach to delegation is assigning troubleshooting tasks to someone who isn’t routinely in the account to get a fresh set of eyes to spot any problems. If you’re in the weeds every day with an account, it’s possible that someone else can troubleshoot a problem quicker than you can.

 

Negotiating Upfront And Setting Expectations

 

It’s hard to say “no”, but sometimes it’s necessary. The key here is to know when to say no, and when to say “yes, if..”.

 

Say you’ve got 10 things on your to-do list, but a client or colleague comes to you asking for some help troubleshooting a decrease in performance. This is a high priority task, and it needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. This is a situation in which you might say “yes, if it’s alright that I postpone X and Y tasks”. In these instances, it pays to have a to-do list which allows a quick filter for which tasks are less of a priority.

 

So What?

 

Prioritizing your PPC tasks effectively will allow you to put your time and energy into the most impactful tasks. As you get more experience gauging what’s important and what’s not (this can take some time, in the beginning, everything feels important!) you’ll get better at planning your time and delegating and / or negotiating upfront.