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My clicks tripled this month for no apparent reason

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

(My first post here... I do so love being the newbie.)  Smiley Frustrated

 

I have been on the phone with AdWords support several times and have sent several emails back and forth, but I seem to be getting nowhere. (And I feel like the support rep may not be either really understanding what I'm saying, or he might not be as savvy as one would hope.)

 

Basically, this month, January 2014, after years of very predictable results, my clicks (and charges) have tripled but I haven't seen any sort of increase in phone calls or emails from prospective clients. (I'm a local service business in Boise, Idaho, USA.) There haven't been any local or national changes in my industry to explain this immediate tripling... and in any case, I certainly haven't been receiving triple the phone calls or emails. Those have remained constant or even decreased somewhat.

 

I have not changed my keywords, nor my bids, nor my daily advertising budget... nor anything. A while back, when Google asked, I changed my location settings to make sure that only people in my local area are shown my ads. (The AdWords rep double-checked this and said it is configured correctly.)

 

At present, the rep is asking me to have my hosting provider produce web logs which have been culled to only contain Boise IP addresses... and he insists these logs must be in spreadsheet format. (I doubt my hosting provider will do these things, but I'm waiting for their reply.) I'd give the rep the benefit of the doubt, but the original "raw" logs I sent him he couldn't open... they were named in the format of "access.log.01" and he wasn't able to understand what I meant when I suggested he remove the ".01" from the end of the name. I did that for him and emailed the files again... and he could then open them, but he insists that Google won't be able to look at logs unless they have been restricted to just Boise and saved as a spreadsheet.

 

Does anyone...

 

1) ...have any suggestions about what might have happened, what might explain why my charges have tripled, and how I might fix it?

 

2) ...have any opinions about the things that the AdWords rep is asking me to do?

 

Sorry for the long post and my obvious frustration. Clearly, I can't just stop using AdWords, but I'm feeling a little trapped right at the moment.

 

Thanks for any input at all!

-Rob

2 Expert replyverified_user
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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Rob S
September 2015

Re: My clicks tripled this month for no apparent reason

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Rob,
Couple things to check (and a few questions) -
- are you now serving Ads on the Google Display Network? To see if you are, log into your Account and click on one of your Campaigns that has experienced growth in clicks. Then, click on the Settings tab. Next to Type, does it say "...Display?" If so, your Ads are appearing on Google's Display Network and that could be leading to increased clicks.

Have you increased your Ads serving on Mobile Devices? Try running a report and segment by device and by month - do you notice the Impressions increasing proportionally across the different devices?

Have you noticed your traffic increasing from other sources?

Another thing to check, what specific Keywords are seeing an increase in Impressions? Is it possible that something else happened, such as an offline Campaign by one of your competitors, that is maybe leading to increase search demand?

Sorry for the questions, just might help diagnose the issue a little easier.

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Rob S
September 2015

Re: My clicks tripled this month for no apparent reason

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Rob,
Couple things to check (and a few questions) -
- are you now serving Ads on the Google Display Network? To see if you are, log into your Account and click on one of your Campaigns that has experienced growth in clicks. Then, click on the Settings tab. Next to Type, does it say "...Display?" If so, your Ads are appearing on Google's Display Network and that could be leading to increased clicks.

Have you increased your Ads serving on Mobile Devices? Try running a report and segment by device and by month - do you notice the Impressions increasing proportionally across the different devices?

Have you noticed your traffic increasing from other sources?

Another thing to check, what specific Keywords are seeing an increase in Impressions? Is it possible that something else happened, such as an offline Campaign by one of your competitors, that is maybe leading to increase search demand?

Sorry for the questions, just might help diagnose the issue a little easier.

Re: My clicks tripled this month for no apparent reason

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks for your reply.

 

I am on the display network and have been for a couple years. (See below, though, I did find something...)

 

My recent device numbers (November, December, January):

 

Computers (11, 10, 31)

Mobile (20, 27, 98)

Tablet (6, 3, 31)

 

I tried to look to see what keywords were being hit this month, and I didn't find that keywords were getting any more clicks (actually fewer, it looks like). However, at the bottom of those data screens is a "Total - Display Network". Those numbers have changed dramatically (November, December, January):

 

Total - Display Network (26, 31, 200)

 

So, unless I'm completely misunderstanding how all this works (which is very possible), it looks like search clicks have decreased a bit and Display Network clicks have jumped dramatically.

 

This adds to my frustration a bit since the AdWords rep looked at all of this (I thought) and he told me to get rid of several keywords. It seems clear from what you've directed me to that it wasn't keyword searches which led to this major increase.

 

For the moment, I've disabled the display ads... I've never been very convinced that they were particularly well-targeted anyway.

 

Any further thoughts?

 

Thanks again, so much!

-Rob

Re: My clicks tripled this month for no apparent reason

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Rob,
Glad you were able to diagnose the issue. Display Campaigns can be great at extending your reach, but the strategies are different from traditional Paid Search. As a best practice, if you want to run on Display, you should have a Campaign for Search and a separate Campaign for Display.

Also, if you don't have a mobile site, you may consider using a mobile de-multiplier in order to limit traffic from mobile devices -
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2732132?hl=en

Re: My clicks tripled this month for no apparent reason

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor
Not much to disagree with here! Great points

Re: My clicks tripled this month for no apparent reason

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks for all the input. I did reduce my mobile multiplier yesterday when I saw that setting.

Any idea why the Display numbers would be almost seven times higher this month?

Thanks again,
-Rob

Re: My clicks tripled this month for no apparent reason

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor
Take a look at the placements reports.... see which sites your display ads have been running on. It might be that some sites have just "found" you (not quite how it happens, but a decent analogy!)

I would especially check for impressions on apps - these can often run away with the budget...

Also - I definitely agree with the earlier comment about separating the display and search campaigns - they are totally different animals and letting them all feed from the same trough is a big mistake.