What Are Your Major Challenges When Inheriting a PPC Account?

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We are currently working on a new project and we’d love to get some insight from you! The PPC Hero team is composing a new piece of cornerstone content for the blog. This new publication will discuss inheriting PPC accounts from companies who have been managing their PPC campaign in-house, or using another SEM firm.

We are looking for your answers to these questions:

  • What are the some of the most common mistakes you see when inheriting a pre-existing PPC account? What was the previous PPC manager doing “wrong”?
  • What are some of the best tactics you’ve used to optimize and expand a pre-existing account?
  • Where can you make the biggest progress at the fastest pace?

We’d love to hear from you! You can drop us a line by clicking right here! Thanks!

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6 thoughts on “What Are Your Major Challenges When Inheriting a PPC Account?

  1. Kevin Chamberlin

    Biggest Mistake I run into is organization or lack there of. Most inheriting accounts will have all their keywords in one group, from one word to 3 and 4 word phrases. Most have done some better than average keyword research but then wham you look and all the terms are set to broad match as well as being in one adgroup, big no no.

    The quickest fix I have found is to find, if any top performing terms and place them in there own adgroup and segment the rest into manageable groups. As well and also adjusting keyword settings where needed.

    Then make sure all ads our taking the visitor directly where they need to be. In retro following your basic set up structure previously posted here at PPC Heros (read Un-Clutter & Optimize your account.. under team favorites)

    Just by following these steps will see a fast improvement and it will allow you to manage and build a more profitable long term campaign.

  2. David Rifkin

    When we receive a PPC Account that someone had previously been running on their own there is a lot of homework that we need to do before we move forward. First and foremost we look at the structure of the account from campaigns, to the ad groups to the keywords and ad copy.

    Many times the account will have one or two campaigns, but 200 ad groups, which makes the account significantly harder to run. You probably have 800 keywords on two campaign budgets so it’s hard to tell what your best performing keywords are because you can’t get them the maximum exposure out of them. If you break the strongest ad groups out into their own campaigns it will give you the ability to not only manage the account easier, but put those keywords/ad groups in the best opportunity for success.

    Another common problem that we see is that ad groups will contain a wide variety of different keywords from the general and broad to the long tail specific. The more targeted you can make each ad group the more targeted you can make the ad copy for that specific ad group. Why put the keyword “sofa” in the same ad group as the keyword “black leather sofa?” If you separate them then you are giving yourself the ability to have ad copy tailored for the “black leather sofa” searchers of the world. When consumers do a search they want to see what they searching for, it doesn’t matter if it’s a “sale on black leather sofas” or “save $400 on your life insurance policy,” make sure you give them what they want. You can never guarantee what someone is going to look for, but you can be pretty certain that the general, non targeted ad copy is not going to beat out the same product with a highly targeted ad.

    Changing the structure of the campaign to be targeted and broken out better can have an immediate impact on the account. You can ensure that your best performing keywords are not hitting budget caps and more importantly you can raise your quality score by having keywords strong tailored ad copy.

  3. JoeJoe Post author

    @Kevin: You hit the nail on the head with organization. Thanks for the quick response and great tips!

    @Supermesh: I’m happy to hear that the new publication will be helpful! We’ll do our best!

    @David: Thank you for such a thorough response. Yes, we often see ad groups that have a plethora of keywords that need to be broken down into more specific ad groups. We have also recently inherited an account that duplicate keywords all over the place! Thanks again for such a great response.

  4. Johnnie

    I have one particular “agency” that I frequently inherit accounts from. The most consistent problem that I have is that their SEM people are quite young and un-seasoned. For example, I have a client that converts vans for handicap accessibility as well as selling handicap accessories. Somehow this “agency” got it in their head that vehicles+accessories=car accessories. After the account came under my banner, there were keywords like “hello kitty accessories” and “car stereo accessories.” Unbelievable! Not to mention there was only a single Campaign with a single AdGroup (and therefore one bit of AdCopy). Kevin hit the nail on the head with the lack of organization!

    Well of course the quality scores were low and the CPCs were high. It was just a matter of refurbishing. Deleting obsolete keywords, pausing the decent keywords with low quality scores (temporarily), and adding less frequently searched terms to bring the CTR up. Setting up appropriate AdCopy within MULTIPLE AdGroups and so on…

    At this point I’m happy to say that the account is now enjoying an average 5% CTR with decent quality scores (always room for improvement) and below average CPCs.

  5. CustardMite

    Hi Joe,

    The number one mistake (whether inheriting from another agency or someone who had a go themselves) is account settings. Adverts should be rotated if you are testing, and your spend should be Accelerated. Just correcting the spend setting can get you far more clicks (or the same number at a lower cost per click), and deliver remarkable result.

    After that, I think it must be over-reliance on Broad Match. Even if every keyword that you Broad-Match to is relevant (and let’s be honest, it won’t be), you can’t target adverts for keywords (as Kevin and Johnnie have said) if they are all lumped in together.



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