The PPC Renegade Wants To Delete Your Hoarded Keywords

By Amanda West-Bookwalter | @Amanda_WestBook | Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

When I was learning PPC, it was always stressed to me the importance of pausing things instead of deleting them. After all, the history of a keyword or ad is what makes up its quality score. This all made sense to me, and I went about pausing everything like a good little PPC Manager. But, once accounts around here get passed from person to person, and everyone just keeps pausing things instead of deleting them–well, it starts to look pretty messy. In fact, so messy, that it actually hinders my management of an account. One account in particular had over half of its campaigns paused. Campaigns of years gone by, when the account manager was probably wearing their “Hope” Obama shirts and wondering if Locke & Ben were going to be able to move the island. Things move pretty fast in the PPC world, and to think of all the fancy tools I utilize now that weren’t even available back then–well, it seems silly to think I’ll ever go back to those campaigns that were set up in the veritable PPC dark ages. So what am I ever to do? Well, luckily, The PPC Renegade came to my rescue!


The PPC Renegade doesn’t hold onto things that aren’t relevant anymore. He cuts and dashes and then deletes all of your useless keywords, ads, ad groups, and campaigns. But, he’s no fool. He knows that you have to use data to guide all your PPC decisions. Here’s The PPC Renegade’s steps towards a clutter-free PPC account:

  • Run reports as far back as it’s viable.

Just because a keyword, ad group, or campaign didn’t convert this month, doesn’t mean it never has. You have to go back as far as it’s viable for your account to get the data. If you run a report and pick out all the stuff (I’d start with keywords) that hasn’t converted, you’re off to a good start. There are probably lots of stuff in your account that spend under your CPL goal every month, so they fall off your radar. However, I bet if you look back long enough you’ll find stuff that consistently spends a decent amount each month without ever converting.

  • Make sure it got a chance before deleting.

So, you’ve found all the stuff that hasn’t converted for a long time. Great! But, before you give them the axe, did you really give them a chance? If the stuff hasn’t gotten a statistically relevant volume of data, it’s probably a little too early to call it quits. And if you’ve neglected your keywords to the point they’re sitting too low in average position to be able to tell if it could do well or not, well, that’s your fault. Don’t blame the keyword.

  • Would you ever look back?

Now that you’ve identified everything that’s been given the proper chance to perform, but failed you–it’s time to look at all of that junk you’re hoarding. In my case, it was campaigns that were started long ago. Campaigns that were the first, and were much, much less segmented than the active campaigns are today. With stuff like this that you haven’t used in what seems like forever (or maybe you’ve never used them if you inherited the account)–just ask yourself: am I ever going to turn these back on? If the answer is leaning towards no, then get rid of it! I can’t begin to tell you how great I felt after the PPC renegade convinced me to delete all of those old campaigns. Scrolling through campaigns now takes half the time it used to!

  • Ad testing

If you’re doing proper ad testing, then you’re re-starting your control ad at the same time as your test ad to compare the metrics properly. Delete that old control ad. I know it has great history, but that history is still there. It’s not magically gone forever once you re-upload it. You can still set your view to see deleted ads if you need to get back to it, and the high QS of the ad will still be affecting your account. And if it did well in the past, it’ll do well again. There’s no need to hold on to your old ads, and The PPC Renegade won’t stand for it.

After the PPC renegade got me to get rid of all that junk I was hoarding, I have to say I feel like a new PPC manager. No longer am I feeling stressed and irritated each time I look through my account in the interface. I can scroll with ease and see only relevant data. It’s a breath of fresh air, and I know you’ll be thanking The PPC Renegade too when you unclutter your accounts!