It’s an exciting day. You’ve inherited a new-to-you PPC account. It’s like a birthday. You begin digging in the account, opening all your fun presents, and putting together your ideas for optimizations and growth. No matter what your big plans are, there are some general best practices you should follow for account health, your sanity, and your relationship with your client. Here are a few I find most important.
Clear Strategy and All Party Buy In
Once you’ve determined where you’re headed, it’s important to get all parties involved to buy in: your team and your client’s team. You may not necessarily need to go into intimate details about account structure, but it is important to let them know what you’re focusing on and what you’re trying to improve beyond just their overall stats. Are you specifically focusing on increasing phone calls without sacrificing online leads? Are you working to roll out a fully formed remarketing plan an increase sales? No matter what, make sure all parties involved believe in both your focus and your strategy otherwise you’ll be fighting an uphill battle from the start.
Assume Nothing; Check Everything
No matter how old an account is, always check the basics when inheriting an account. Make sure conversion tracking is set up properly. Retargeting pixels as well. Take a look through campaign settings, negative keywords (at all levels), as well as device and geographic targeting. Look at everything. Doing this will help you achieve two goals right off the bat with your new account. One, you’ll become very familiar with the account set up and confident that your bases are covered for future optimizations. Two, you’ll cover your own butt with your client. If you notice a large mistake right off the bat, you’ve just reinforced your clients trust in you and your abilities.
Roll Out Large Changes Slowly
Whether you’re restructuring your entire account or simply optimizing the current one, you can make a conscious effort to make changes roll out smoothly. It’s always great to have huge wins right off the bat, but the world of PPC can also be unpredictable at times. Just because your account is set up for effectively, you’re doing a better job of following best practices, and you’ve cleaned up conversion tracking, that doesn’t mean your stats will magically get better right away. Typically there are performance lulls after large, account wide changes before performance gets better. Save yourself the stress and those uncomfortable chats with your client and roll out changes in waves rather than ripping off the band aid.
Pause, Don’t Delete, Yet
This question comes up all the time. A piece of the current account doesn’t make sense, “Do I delete the keyword or do I pause it?”. Simple answer that works for every situation: pause it. But why? For a few reasons. First, if you pause a keyword, it’s no longer having the negative effect on your account. Second, if you need to filter it out of your view, or in your view, you can simply choose to see all enabled or all but removed keywords. Third, there might be a situation where you want to go back and reactivate the keyword in the future. Finally, you can always delete it later.
Inheriting new accounts can be an awesome and fun challenge. Take these few pieces into account to make sure things run smoothly from the get go.
What are your strategies or best practices for taking over accounts? Share with us in the comments!