5 Spring Cleaning Tasks for Mature PPC Accounts

cleaningThings. We are all surrounded by things. Some of them we use daily with little chance for dust to collect. Others languish in dark corners, closets or attics to be forgotten and for dust to settle. While things that live in the cloud – like your search, display and social advertising campaigns – can’t collect dust, they certainly can be on the losing end of”out of sight, out of mind” syndrome.

As such, it is necessary for campaign managers to put in place measures to keep their house clean and in order. Many of us have audit processes in place to catch mistakes, find opportunities and clean up campaigns. Depending on how in depth those audits are, there could still be an opportunity for you to clean even deeper. Brace yourselves. Spring cleaning is starting!

  1. Tidy Up Audiences: Audiences are everywhere. Retargeting. Display. Facebook. Twitter. They are one of the most powerful tools in our digital advertising toolbox, but they also have the potential to become an amazing mess. Out-dated retargeting pixels (and audience) that is merely cluttering your audience lists. Custom audiences with old email addresses or phone numbers. Similar audiences out the whazoo (I’m looking at YOU Google AdWords) that make sorting retargeting audience lists a nightmare. Whatever the reason for the clutter, the fact remains that it is a mess. Take the time to clean it up and thank me later.
  2. Review Ad Schedules, Bid Rules & Automation: The digital advertising community is in love with automation. And for good reason. The efficiency automation brings to our daily workflow is justification enough, not to mention the performance gains that can be made. But all of the schedules, bid rules and automation will only prove to be efficient if they are up-to-date and aligned with your goals and KPIs. Because these pieces of your campaigns are not always front-and-center, they can often be ignored, neglected and otherwise left to become a a hindrance to performance or efficiency. Clean ’em, update ’em or delete ’em.
  3. Goals & Expectations:  This cleaning item isn’t a campaign feature. But the importance is huge as your goals and expectations have impact on all of your campaigns. When was the last time you assessed the performance KPIs of your channels and campaigns with decision makers (client or in-house)? When was the last time you discussed expectations, be that for performance, meeting schedules, reporting, etc.? Performance rules the day, but expectations ensure everyone is on the same page.
  4. Device-Preferred Ad Usage: Google AdWords and Bing Ads have both gone “enhanced” and require that you use fancy dynamic URL structures or mobile-preferred ads to serve mobile only landing pages on smartphones. This can often mean that you are creating 2 identical ads with unique landing pages and the mobile-preferred setting. I’ve encountered numerous instances where through the course of optimization the desktop or the mobile-preferred ad has been paused. This means that all traffic was going to a desktop page, or worse yet, that all traffic was going to a mobile page. Either way, that’s bad. Review your ad groups that use the mobile-preferred ad feature and make sure you have your bases covered.
  5. Exclusions: Recently I was reviewing a series of Google display campaigns and realized that site category exclusions had been neglected and obviously not reviewed any time recently. For GDN campaigns, this is an easy win. Block out entire categories of websites that have no relevance to your product or service – or perhaps don’t match your brand. Exclusions aren’t just a factor for display, of course. Search and social campaigns also live and die based on your usage of exclusions. Take time to review ALL types of exclusions: keywords, placements, audiences, IP addresses, locations, etc., etc..

Now get to work and keep it clean, people!