Why Doing PPC Is Just Like Being a Parent

Why Doing PPC Is Just Like Being a Parent

I feel like I am frequently (daily) reiterating to my 4- and 6-year old kids what my three most important jobs are as their mom:

  • To keep them safe
  • To keep them healthy
  • To make sure they become a good person

When I’m not playing referee, cook, doctor, and Hungry Hungry Hippo champion, I am spending my day managing, talking about, and thinking about our own PPC accounts here at Rocket Clicks. Then I realized: those three jobs that I have as a mom, I also have as a PPC account optimizer.

Below are just a few things I learned about how my three responsibilities as a parent can make me a better PPC analyst.

Keeping Your PPC Account Safe

Spot & Eliminate Waste

Just like ignoring a half-eaten candy bar under the bed, ignoring wasteful clicks in your PPC account can end up being just as painful in the end. Over the last 9 years I have looked at hundreds of PPC accounts and found at least some wasted spend in every single one of them. 

My favorite story is in an account audit for a company that sold training for Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®.

After reviewing their query reports, we spotted that they’d spent hundreds of dollars in only a matter of a couple months because they were being shown when a fun-loving group of ladies were searching for terms related to the “red hat society,” a group enriching the lives of women that are 50 years or older. (If you don’t know about the Red Hats, educate yourself. It’s awesome.)

This is clearly not the appropriate demographic for an IT training course.

Google makes fixing this problem easy thanks to query reports.

You can access your query reports many ways. There is a section in the Keyword Tab for “Search Terms,” or you can click on any keyword and a search query option will pop up. You can also set a recurring report that sends directly to your email each week for a quick review.

A couple minutes of your time could avoid potential catastrophe-level spending mistakes due to Google’s poor mapping of your keywords to wasteful queries.

Read All the Parenting Book for Tips: Try Some, Ignore Most.

Much like children, there needs to be a healthy balance of experimentation and keeping within best practices.

Often, many advertisers are so busy trying to chase the shiny red ball, but those shiny red balls should be tried, tested, and broken before taking a permanent place in your PPC strategy.

There are plenty of great ways to stay on top of worthwhile news and trends:

How quickly you jump on new product rollouts should really be dictated by its closeness to your own business and its potential impact.

For example, everyone wants you to try sitelinks, but if you have a hyper focused landing page geared towards capturing that conversion, sending your expensive traffic to the much more general Contact Us page just isn’t cool.

That’s okay, though. Just like parenting, it’s cool to try new things – but layer it with common sense.

Project & Prevent Obstacles

With common sense in mind, maybe it’s not the best idea for your kid to slide down your banister, but don’t you remember how fun it was when you were little?

It’s okay to try new things and get a little risky, but have a safety net (or in my case, a pillow at the bottom of the stairs). Much like creating a display campaign that is targeting all females from the ages of 18-34, some tests are just a bad idea.

When trying something new, try these tips to experiment safely:

  • set strict budgets for the first couple days
  • check your settings at least 3 times to ensure it does what you want it to do before launch
  • monitor your results diligently to avoid the headache of explaining why you spent $3,000 on the Solitaire mobile app

Keeping Your PPC Account Healthy

Account Upkeep or “Cleaning Behind Their Ears”

Just because I have kept my children alive and they get their hair cut on a regular basis, doesn’t mean I am keeping them healthy. Ensuring they are not “fake brushing” their teeth, licking each other, or eating their weight in Halloween candy are big parts of being a good parent.

Similarly, there is no such thing as set it and forget it when you are talking about a PPC account. You must make sure that you are keeping your ads updated and tested, maintaining high keyword quality scores, blocking waste, and improving landing pages on a regular basis.

Improvement Plans Are Not Just for The Under Performers

It’s easy to live by the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality – but that mentality leads to wasted potential for your PPC account.

I highly recommend running a keyword report right now, sorting by cost, finding your lowest performing keywords and immediately putting them on an improvement plan. By lowest performing, I mean: low quality scores, very low CTR, poor conversion rates, high cost/conversion, etc. 

With that said, I also would recommend you look at your highest performing keywords as well. 

Several years back, Rocket Clicks worked with a client that had a very strong brand presence nationwide. That branded term was a very important revenue driving keyword for the organization at incredibly low costs. 

The more we could push brand, the more we were able to test the higher volume, less efficient keywords driving more sales.

The brand term had an incredibly high click-through rate, a quality score of 10, and a strong conversion rate. We asked ourselves, “How can we get more from this seemingly perfect keyword?”

The below numbers represent a fictional scenario, but you can see the compounding impact a small, yet meaningful change can have.

A .5% increase in CTR could potentially result in an additional $13K in revenue with only roughly $600 in spend. This is if all other metrics remain constant.

When you make ad copy improvements, you often see a lower average cost-per-click and higher positions; this only amplifies these results.

For example, if your see a $.04 reduction in CPC, you actually spend $30 less to gain that $13K. There is serious power in that.

It’s important to get the youngest kid out of the habit of picking their nose, but you wouldn’t tell your 6-year old “So you can (kind of) read now… we’re good, right? You can take it from here?” In the same way, setting up your PPC account for success is a great start… but there’s still work to be done!

Making Sure Your PPC Account Is a Good Account & Player in Your Marketing Strategy

Historical Quality Matters

Google’s algorithm runs on relevancy and trust, and it prefers an account with a rich history of data.

We’ve seen a notable difference between a launch in a brand new or low historical quality account vs. a high-quality account with a lot of account history. We’ve seen a shorter ramp up time and higher impression shares with the latter. Just like your credit score, it takes time to gain and maintain Google’s trust – but it’s worth the time!

I teach my children that who they will become is the reflection of the choices they make through their lives and how they conduct themselves, or how well they will learn a new skill depends on the time and energy they put into it. I say the same here.

The results of your PPC campaigns are directly proportional to the effort you put into them – whether that be managing them yourself or partnering with the right people who know what they are doing. Sometimes it takes a village, am I right?

Hold It Accountable

Although one of the last points of this post, I feel this is one of the most important in both parenting and in PPC. 

Setting expectations, monitoring and holding accountable to the expectations or goals is important. Don’t give PPC a pass because it’s your highest performer. Track meaningful goals, and if it’s not meeting expectations, put a plan in place to demand improvement!

Push for Success

At the end of the day, your PPC account is a key part of your marketing strategy.

Keeping your account safe, healthy and in good standing is great, but to achieve meaningful growth you have to take calculated risks. It’s setting aggressive targets and using the tools at your disposal to achieve those targets.

Just like grades, it’s finding the right data to track progress and trends. It’s failing fast with tests and improvising as you go. It’s combining caution, common sense, and blind faith.

No one wants to ever call their baby ugly, but if you want someone on the Rocket Clicks team to look at your account for free and give you some pointers on where you are missing opportunity or wasting money fill out the form below today!