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Recovery - does it take time, or impressions?

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# 1
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I know much of the specifics are clouded in mystery, but I'd be interested to know your views on recovering from a previously poorly performing campaign. 

 

On a campaign that has been running 6 months, the first 3 months of the campaign brought 600,000 impressions and a CTR of <0.5%. Following a change of strategy, the second three months have seen impressions drop to a tenth of their original figure (60,000 throughout months 4-6) and overall CTR has steadily risen to about 3%. So, a campaign of two halves, and an improvement of sorts.

 

Problem is, I'm still maxing out my daily budget due to avg CPC remaining so high.

 

I know it takes time for a better performing campaign to be reflected in QS and CPC - but here's a couple questions...

 

1) Do you think this is literally worked out on a TIME basis (ie. I will just need to keep performing well for another X months to match the time CTR was poor), or do you think it's only indirectly time-based, in the sense that it's actually based on accumulating a similar number of impressions to match the original number of impressions that performed poorly (in my case, getting another 600,000 impressions under my belt)? Any thoughts on this?

 

2) If the latter, the waiting game could work out pretty expensive, so would it be better to close the entire account and open a new one, populating it with the well-performing ads and settings? (*assuming of course that I do it legitimately and close the current account before opening the new one) 

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Accepted by topic author swebber
September 2015

Re: Recovery - does it take time, or impressions?

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# 8
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Hi Swebber,

 

I have been in your shoes several times over the years recovering accounts for clients who brought me a mess.  

 

History is what is keeping you down Smiley Happy

 

is that CTR .05% Search network or is there Display Network included?

 

If that is all search network then IMO I would dump the account and start a new one to get away from some of the poor history.  There is some historical CTR associated with the domain name so you can not get away from it all but you can detach from some of the history.  Then work your magic from that point keeping up the 3% (or better if possible) CTR and you will start to see the dial move after a few weeks, the visible QS may not move much but you will notice that the CPC's are starting to cost you less.    I know this works, slowly but works, becuase I am doing this right now with a client who came to me with a trashed account just a couple of months ago.  You do not need to worry about trying to hide your ID from Google, use the same name, Credit Card details, etc.  You are not going to have the old account running at the same time as the new so you are not double serving or doing anything against the rules.

 

You cut, paste and upload with AdWords Editor to save yourself lots of time.

 

Questions welcome.



Kim Clink, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Clink Digital Marketing
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the 'Best Answer.'

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Re: Recovery - does it take time, or impressions?

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# 2
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Hi swebber and welcome to the forum.  I'm afraid I can't really answer on the first point because I honestly don't know and I suspect (as I'm sure you do) that Google won't release exact (or even rough) data either.  Alternatively, it may simply be too complex and too related to individual accounts/campaigns for there to be any point in trying to publish guidelines.

 

On a more general note, a CTR of 3% still ain't great, so I'd be looking hard at continuing to improve that. 

 

You haven't mentioned the actual Quality Scores you're seeing for your keywords.  It's these that have the effect on CPC so if they're already high (above 7 or so), getting a better CTR won't make a big differece to your average CPC.

 

Neither have you mentioned your actual conversion rates.  As I'm sure you appreciate a CTR of even 3% can be better than one of 20% if your conversion rates are much higher.

 

On the second point I would definitely not recommend attempting to open a new account, for two primary reasons.  You really can't when you're just one company (or legal entity) without falling foul of the policies and there's no way of knowing if it'll actually be any better.  Although starting a new account would start with zero history, that might actually be worse than the history you've accrued already (including the bad figures).  For example, if the consideration of historical data only goes back 2 months, you'll have thrown away the half-decent figures you've had in those two months.

 

Let us have some examples of QS and conversion rates and maybe share some more details and we'll try and bring your performance up.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Recovery - does it take time, or impressions?

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# 3
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Sometimes I will start off with a higher CPC while waiting for the QS to go up. After a campaign is doing well, I will slowly back off on my Max CPC. Some terms it works for, others it does not. 

 

Having a high CTR is great as long as they are relevant to what you are marketing. One account I manage is for late model muscle car parts. We do not offer early/ classic model parts. I not only weed out possible irelevent views with negative keywords, but I also make sure my ad clearly states the years offered. So when someone searches mustang exhaust and they really want 1969 mustang exhaust, they will not click on my ad because it clearly states 1979 and newer. These are factors in my CTR. I have had to learn to be content with lower CTR and higher Conversion rates. You will have to watch and research what works for you and follow the data that is most important to you.

Re: Recovery - does it take time, or impressions?

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# 4
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Thanks for the reply Jon. I suspected question 1 might be unanswerable by all outside Google Towers, but thought I'd ask anyway just in case! The answer will be pretty important for me, given the sheer number of impressions I accrued during that first 3 months - I don't want to wait until I have accumulated that many again, not at the current rate! I would think (hope!) Google would have mechanisms that recognised improvement in situations like this. At the very least, I would hope they took a logarithmic approach to historical performance, awarding a proportionately higher value to more recent performance than to more distant history.

 

Re. CTR, 3% is certainly an improvement but believe me I don't plan on sitting tight on it. It's just good to have raised it, given the direction it was taking before. Re. quality scores, most hover around the 4 or 5 mark. A few 6's and 7's, just a couple of 3's which sometimes slip up to 4 then back down to 3 - and there's no problems reported with landing pages or ad/keyword relevancies. But definitely room for improvement. I have not focused on conversions yet as until now all my efforts have gone into turning CTR around, however I now have a whole raft of things on my list of things to try out which I'm feeling fairly confident about, and I will certainly be setting up conversion tracking alongside it all.

 

Re. starting afresh with a new Google account, I was under the impression that the policy merely prohibited having more than 1 business/account "at any one time". Points taken about loss of figures and not knowing whether a new account would in fact be better or worse, but are you saying that if I closed one Google AdWords account, then a week later, opened another one with a different email address, and linked it to the same domain name, that Google explicitly prohibits that too?

Re: Recovery - does it take time, or impressions?

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# 5
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m_adargo - good points, thanks.

Re: Recovery - does it take time, or impressions?

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# 6
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To answer your questions directly:

 

1a) Adwords accounts take into account historical performance - so there is absolutely a waiting period.  How far back adwords looks is anyone's guess.

1b) You should be more focused on CTR instead of impressions.  A CTR of 3% may or may not be any good depending on the vertical you're in, whether you are bidding search or display and you're average position. 

2) Closing the account and registering a new one wouldn't have an impact as adwords would still have the historical data on the domain.  The new account would have low quality scores as well.  They also know your IP address, physical address etc to tie you back to the old account.

Re: Recovery - does it take time, or impressions?

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# 7
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Thanks Underdown. Despite reading reports of AdWords account owners successfully managing to 'reset' their history with a new account, I think I'm inclined to persevere with the current one.

Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author swebber
September 2015

Re: Recovery - does it take time, or impressions?

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Hi Swebber,

 

I have been in your shoes several times over the years recovering accounts for clients who brought me a mess.  

 

History is what is keeping you down Smiley Happy

 

is that CTR .05% Search network or is there Display Network included?

 

If that is all search network then IMO I would dump the account and start a new one to get away from some of the poor history.  There is some historical CTR associated with the domain name so you can not get away from it all but you can detach from some of the history.  Then work your magic from that point keeping up the 3% (or better if possible) CTR and you will start to see the dial move after a few weeks, the visible QS may not move much but you will notice that the CPC's are starting to cost you less.    I know this works, slowly but works, becuase I am doing this right now with a client who came to me with a trashed account just a couple of months ago.  You do not need to worry about trying to hide your ID from Google, use the same name, Credit Card details, etc.  You are not going to have the old account running at the same time as the new so you are not double serving or doing anything against the rules.

 

You cut, paste and upload with AdWords Editor to save yourself lots of time.

 

Questions welcome.



Kim Clink, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Clink Digital Marketing
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the 'Best Answer.'

Re: Recovery - does it take time, or impressions?

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# 9
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Hi Kim

 

Thanks for replying.

 

That figure was Search and Display combined. I stopped Display during month 4.

 

I've just gone back and looked at the figures...

 

Month 1...... 0.64% Search, 0.02% Display

Month 2...... 0.97% Search, 0.02% Display

Month 3...... 1.43% Search, 0.02% Display

Month 4...... 1.25% Search, 0.05% Display

Month 5...... 2.68% Search

Month 6...... 3.05% Search

 

Today's overall campaign CTR was 3.97% and CPC appears to have shown a very very slight improvement throughout this past month - BUT keyword quality scores are still extremely low.

 

Nevertheless, the overall direction of the CTR is encouraging, and I still have all sorts of things I want to try out to get it higher still - extensions, moving keywords into more specific ad groups. and so on.

 

So... based on the above, would you say the account was salvageable? Or would you dump it?

 

Also, if I have to start afresh, do I also have to start from scratch with Analytics too (which has the same login)? Would I be deleting my entire Google account and not just my AdWords account? I have several years worth of data on Analytics, and tbh I'd really not want to lose that unless absolutely necessary.

 

TIA.

Re: Recovery - does it take time, or impressions?

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor

You may want to just stick it out for another month or two.  If you have made major improvements in CTR and keep up on that trend then you will start to see QS improvements eventually.  If the campaigns do not take on a lot of traffic then it can take longer, so while being patient is hard it is a good idea.  Try not to look at the QS for a bit and just concentrate completely on the CTR.  What you want to look for now is good CTR and lowering CPC's.

 

As for Analytics - you would just unlink it from the old adwords account and then link it up with the new and annotate the GA account when you make the change.



Kim Clink, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Clink Digital Marketing
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the 'Best Answer.'