6 Steps to Prioritize the New Client On Boarding Process

moarkeewerdsThe process for on boarding a new client is complicated. Heck, any new online marketing campaign, agency or in-house, is complicated. There are a lot of moving pieces, a lot of opinions and a lot at stake for getting it right. How do you break it down into simple, manageable pieces? Prioritization. This is where a lot of PPC managers falter, IMHO, because they fail to recognize what is urgent versus what is merely important. The proverbial “cart before the horse” issue.

Many clients fall into the trap of wanting everything done at once. They want immediate change and improvement in performance.  I’m sure you’ve heard them all at some point: Let’s do ALL THE THINGS. Right MEOW! Fix the Quality Score before you test ads. MOAR KEEWERDS! Bids, you have to manage the bids. Bids, bids, bids. Experience has taught me that you have to filter out the noise and focus the client (and your team) on the big picture.

Before you can get lost in the minutia that is PPC management, you have to prioritize all of the tasks and do “all the things” in an orderly fashion. You have to get your priorities straight.

  1. Set the Ground Rules: Establish the parameters of the relationship. How will you deal with communication? What are the goals of the campaign? Who’s on first, what’s on second? You get the drift.
  2. Tracking: Conversion codes, analytics installation, e-commerce tracking, 3rd party tools, URL tags. The list goes on and on. Tedious? Yes! Important? Near the top of the list! If your tracking is flawed, every change you make to your PPC campaigns will be based on inaccurate data. That is a sure fire recipe for failure.
  3. Low Hanging Fruit: Once you are assured that tracking is accurate, apply some band-aid fixes. Take care of glaring errors in campaign settings, run away spend, poorly used broad match, etc. Tidy up the existing campaigns to buy you time to research and plan for everything else.
  4. Research: Client pain points, historical performance data, keyword/competitor/persona/social targeting research. All of this is important. All of this takes time. Often clients get antsy during this period as they can’t exactly see the results of the work. Share planning documents with the client where appropriate. This is also a good time to remind them of the ground rules set in step 1.
  5. Planning: The research leads to this. Channel allocation. Campaign structure. Keyword lists. Targets for display and social. Build out and testing schedules. Some clients are OK with this merely being explained. But I’ve found that many like to see it in writing.
  6. Execution: Finally, you can do ALL THE THINGS. Unleash your inner PPC beast and make good on all the promises, expectations and plans put in place.

This list is of my own creation, forged out of years of experience. But I know it isn’t perfect. So, how do you control the chaos and prioritize the work load with new clients/campaigns? Critique away!