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James Parnwell

James Parnwell

What Happened?!? My AdWords Stopped Bringing in Leads?  

Have you been marketing with AdWords for some time and seeing good results, then all of a sudden the leads dried up? Heidi, our Google AdWords Specialist takes a deep dive into why this can happen and what to do to get things back on track!

On some occasions we may notice a decline in conversion stats over time which can come as a result of many different factors. When we see this happen we need to look into the campaign closely and take a look at the changes made, and what changes could potentially have caused the conversions to drop and not pick up again.

This is the process that I would generally take, however, depending on the campaign and the issues, you may wish to look deeper into it, or perhaps you wont need to look as far.

  1. Look over results from the past year and find the best performing months and where results dropped most significantly. 
    • Could any external factors have influenced the performance?
  2. Check the changes made around the dates where things dropped and ask a few questions. 
    • What changes were made before results dropped?
    • Were there any budget changes?
    • Did AdWords make any changes to their policies / ads etc?
    • Were any major bid changes made?
    • Did we remove a bunch of keywords?
  3. Take a look at the results month to month. (I put together a table with the main stats from each month ie. Impressions, clicks, ctr, avg. cpc, avg. position, conversions, conversion rate, cpa)
    • Did our position drop significantly?
    • Has the cost increased dramatically?
    • What could have caused any major changes? Further competition, poor quality keywords, poor quality landing pages?
  4. Take a look at individual keyword performance over the year. 
    • Do some keywords use most of the budget without getting many conversions?
    • Are some keywords just not relevant anymore?
    • Do we still have both the exact keyword (in square brackets) and the broad modifier (with + symbols) active?
    • The broad modifier keywords do not work as well without the exact keywords. The exact keyword bids also need to be higher than the broad modifier bids. If either of these are not set up correctly, it needs to be fixed.
  5. Check the ad schedule?
    • Are ads showing at relevant times. Should we change the schedule?
  6. Check device results? 
    • Are certain devices not working? Or are other devices working much better?

Once you’ve gone through everything, you should have a list of possible causes as to why the results have dropped, and you will need to come up with a plan to put in place to try and fix the campaign so that it starts performing better again.

Below is an example of what I recently did with a client of ours in the Industrial Equipment industry. These were my findings and the plan that I came up with to get the campaign working better again. (Results have increased significantly from one month (February) to the next).

Findings 

  • I found there was a budget decrease in October which reduced the budget from $52/day to $30/day however, this doesn’t explain everything.
  • I’ve looked at the monthly results to find where there were huge differences month to month in performance. From here I found that in a couple of cases, bids were decreased so from this I learnt that  I need to ensure we are staying in the top position.
  • I also found that when extended ads were introduced there was a jump in the cost/conv and drop in conversion rate. So I’m going to relook at some of those ads.
  • January performed fairly well when compared with the months prior, not as well as our best month in June, but it means that perhaps the biggest issue has occurred in the last month.
  • From January to February the average cpc has increased however, the CTR and our position have decreased.  

I looked at our top performing month and the converting keywords performance compared with the same keywords performance over February.

  • The better performing keywords from June 2016 are actually in better average positions for this month however, the number of impressions is significantly smaller.
  • It looks like one keyword ‘+electric +gate’ has become more popular and the impressions have increased significantly taking impressions & clicks away from the previously higher converting keywords however, this keyword does not convert as often.
  • There are about 4 keywords with positions that have dropped quite significantly which has possibly decreased the click and conversion potential.

It also looks like I have adjusted the schedule to stop showing ads at 2pm at some point (I cannot find the exact time I did this as it doesn’t show on the change history). For some months, this change makes sense, but for other months we have seen it perform better after this time.

The Plan

  • Revise ALL extended ads to ensure we have the best messaging showing. (This one may take a few weeks to go through properly)
  • Ensure ALL keywords are showing in the top positions.
  • Pause +electric +gate to see if it helps the previously better performing keywords improve their performance again.
  • Edit schedule to show ads between 9am – 5pm to align with normal business hours.

The Results 

We made these changes at the beginning of March and have been watching results improve significantly. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Conversions increased from 1 in February to 11 in March. This is a 1000% improvement. (And the month isn’t over yet)
  • The conversion rate has increased from 0.64% to 8.21%, again a huge improvement of 1180.60%.
  • The conversion cost has also had significant improvement, decreasing by 92.59% from $600 to only $44.48.

Sometimes it is worth diving into your AdWords accounts and taking a deeper look at what’s going on. With a little bit of digging, and a couple of changes you could turn an ill-performing and expensive campaign into an abundant and extremely successful one without having to spend any extra dollars.

James Parnwell
James Parnwell

James is the Managing Director and resident strategist at TheOnlineCo. He is clever and creative with a flair for making complex things sound simple. He has been in the marketing game for over 2 decades and has watched the landscape slowly shift. James has his finger on the pulse of every aspect within TheOnlineCo, meeting with all clients as well as every core team member and strategising a specific plan tailored to each client.

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