Website Down? 2 Easy Ways to Combat Wasted Spend

By Jeremy Page | @jerpage | Product Development Manager at Hanapin Marketing

Your website is down – for some reason this always occurs at inconvenient times such as at night, on the weekends, or when you’re having a crazy day and are too busy to notice. Upon your discovery you frantically race around to fix the issue only to realize you forgot to pause AdWords.


Every year advertisers lose thousands of marketing dollars on ad spend while their website is down. There is no easy way currently to pause/resume campaigns instantly based on the status your website in AdWords.


There’s no such thing as a bullet proof website


DNS hosting providers have developed better up times and fail proof systems that ensure that your website is always online. The problem is we’re also human and humans make mistakes, IT gurus, front-end and back-end developers, you, miscommunication among co-workers all play a part in your website’s uptime.


It may not be the hosting provider that makes a mistake, there are loads of systems and services working between your hosting provider and your customer that will and do fail. If your website was bullet proof there wouldn’t be so many services claiming they have the best uptime.

If you’re interested in exploring proactive and reactive measures to take other than the 3 suggested solutions below Kissmetrics provides a Downtime Survival Guide detailing what to do when your site goes down and ClickZ has a very informative post – What To Do When Your Client’s Site Goes Down. 


2 solutions to your downtime misfortune


1) Website Uptime Monitors – There are loads of website monitoring services (some free) that will ping your domain once a minute and send you and email when you’re site is down. While an uptime monitoring service won’t stop your site from going down, it will let you know immediately if it happens. That can be the difference between a few aggravated customers and a lot. There are a variety of options and price points, depending on what level you need. Unfortunately they don’t touch AdWords so you’ll still have to pause your Google Ads manually.


2) AdWords Scripts – The best AdWords script available is from David Whitehouse at Bronco. It checks your live keywords or Ads and their attached URLs, Labels your keywords and ads in certain cases, and emails you a summary.


Many AdWords advertisers are still leery of using scripts because they don’t fully understand what the code says and thus what it is doing, but if you’re not one of them then maybe this is a good solution for you.


Just be aware that scripts have many limitations such as 30 minute runtime after which the script expires. If you have over 1500 URLs to ping then a script won’t work for you. Also, there’s no way to stop a script from skewing your visitor count.


The frequency is somewhat limited as you can schedule it to run once an hour at most. It won’t instantaneously pause your Google Ads when your site goes down or enable ads when your site goes back up. If 2-3 hours of wasted spend is ok with you then maybe the script route is good enough.

Hopefully this help! If you have come across a better solutions feel free to share in the comments section.