What happened to my account??
I am lost. I have been managing the AdWords account at my new job for the last 2 and a half months. During the first month, I made only a few minor changes and saw some minor improvement.
During this first month I spent a lot of time researching what improvements I could/should make and organised to implement them at the commencement of February. These included adding more ads to each campaign, changing keywords from broad match to broad match modified, adding site and call extensions, turning off the display network on campaigns it wasn't working for etc.
After I implemented them, the changes were dramatic and fantastic. A much higher number of clicks and a way better CTR, a much lower CPC and just generally great all round. This lasted for a little over a week, after which time the results started slipping; less clicks, lower CPC and higher CPC. I didn't worry too much at first because overall the account was still doing better than ever before but the last week and a half, our CPC has skyrocketed, our number of clicks are very average and so is our CTR.
I really don't understand how it can have gone from being drastically improved to going so badly so quickly. If there had never been any improvement I would think that maybe my changes were just bad but the changes did cause significant improvements for a time.
Anyone have any idea? All help is greatly appreciated.
Re: What happened to my account??[ Edited ]
February 2012 - last edited February 2012
It's hard to say for sure captain, but what does the competition landscape look like?
It may not be malicious, and hey, it's just business, but competition is a factor in the online auction system. Do you use the ad preview tool often? Start with your top performing keyword, and take a look at the results, maybe a couple or few times a week. You will start to get some idea of the landscape and the themes of the competitors. Perhaps the new ads you created offered an option the competition did not provide, but after a while the market adapted to that message.
If traffic and clicks are down, competitors with limited budgets, that may have stopped showing ads early in the day, may now not exhaust their budgets so qucikly, and compete for more of the day. Traffic that you may have had X competitors for, now you may have Y competitors for. Even if no one raises their bids, something is more than nothing.
Beyond that... The real "problem" you have, is that 2 1/2 months is not really enough time to be able to spot overall seasonal trends. 2 1/2 years will give you a much better idea of the ups and downs of the market, and the industry. If you're managing the account of the company you work for, and haven't been there for years, there's probably others (I assume?) in the company who have been, and have some sense of the good and bad times of the year. Maybe this is one of those down times, and no matter how hard you try, things will suck for a while, in comparison to the best times of the year.
Do you have some analytics program in place? If the analytics has only been reporting data for a couple months, that's not going to provide much historical perspective, but at least you could compare adwords traffic to other sources. If total visits are down from all sources, that's a pretty good indication that you're in a down market.
I'm rambling now... Use all the tools at your disposal, including the ad preview tool, analytics programs, campaign segmnets, etc. Start comparing date ranges and data sets, and try to spot some trends. It's work, and there are no easy answers, but that's just part of the game.
Re: What happened to my account??
Thanks for your help. Although I have only been managing the account for 2 1/2 months, the account itself has been running for well over a year so I have been referencing this data and taking it all into consideration.
As far as I can tell, there has been no change with regards to competitors, as this isn't a particularly cut-throat industry and I'm reasonably sure that anyone out performing us (organically at least) has just stumbled upon their position through dumb luck.
I still can't see anything that has caused results to change so dramatically... I'm so frustrated