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AdWords Over-Management PitFalls – Sometimes, Less Is More

AdWords advertising uses a system similar to traditional auctions to decide which marketers’ ads show up and in what order they appear. As one of those marketers’ account managers, you bid high and you bid low, resulting in ads that appear higher or lower on the advertising food chain. And while you probably use a variety of tactics to set and adjust your bids for a period of weeks or months, you may not have the budget or the desire to pay for an additional management system to deal with your AdWords account. Whether you take on the full responsibly yourself or work with assorted team members to manage the account, there is such a thing as over-management, specifically keyword overbidding. Let’s take a deeper look into why overbidding is a major AdWords pitfall:

Manual Bidding Differences

Some marketers look at their accounts daily, while others do so on a weekly or monthly basis to determine how their ads are performing and whether any changes are evident. Others focus solely on ad position and bid on keywords that are too low. Some put in even more effort by meticulously reviewing Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) or cost per lead to make bid adjustments. The Keyword with higher CPAs than the account’s average is usually “bid down,” while those with lower CPAs are “bid up.”

Lack Of Data

There’s no need for management when you don’t have a lot of data to work off of. For example, if you have a keyword with 300 impressions, 10 clicks, and two conversions that cost you around $3.00 per click based on an account with a $40 CPA, you don’t have to do anything. This information does not tell you whether you are bidding too high or low. Two conversions are not much to work off of, after all. Besides, changing bids based on little data, which is known as “real-time bidding,” is not going to magically turn into amazing results. One click is one click. Two clicks are two clicks. Many clicks, however? That’s something to work with.

Forgetting What You Did

If you adjust your bids every single week, you may be vulnerable to the “forgetting what you did already” over-management issue. Adjusting the bids on a weekly basis means you are combining data from assorted bid levels. If you didn’t record when and how you made the bid change, all your adjustments are doing is ruffling account feathers. Keeping track of every single bid change gets tedious fast, so wait for data to accumulate before making any serious changes. This will help reduce stress and avoids superfluous changes that have little to no impact.

Two Over-Management Solutions

Obtaining the data you need to adjust your bids and subsequently, your campaign happens in two ways. The first way is to link a keyword to other keywords in the same “space.” This requires a little analyzation at the ad group or campaign level among other practices to get the data you need. The other option? You can simply wait it out. Waiting is not exactly a pleasant account management experience, however, it’s okay not to make changes for a while. It really, truly is. If you’re like most account managers, you want to tell your boss that you are working on something every single day, but if you don’t have enough data to implement changes that actually do something, what’s the point?

Bidding Frequency

If you can wait to bid across your entire account once a month, once a quarter, or even less, do it. Make certain the data has changed since the last time you made a bid so you have serious info to work with and can make decisions that improve your AdWords rankings. How often you change your bids depends on the number of clicks and conversions. Don’t sweat about making fewer bid changes and use these suggestions to ensure the results you want.

E-commerce B2C

Weekly or monthly changes at the very most are just fine for low average selling price products enjoying a high conversion volume.

E-commerce B2B

Quarterly checks and changes suit B2B-driven accounts because these markets enjoy greater stability. If your market is more dynamic in nature and subsequently requires more bid changes or you have a competitor upsetting certain keyword equilibrium, take action. This is especially important if you see a change in one high-volume keyword. Another reason to wait? It lets you perform a serious analysis based on CPA or ROAS across all the keywords. You will be able to make much better bids for the entire account as a result.

What To Do While You Wait

Since you won’t be making bid changes every day or week, spend time on other account details requiring your attention. Add keyword positives or negatives, test landing pages, set up and analyze ads, use more advanced optimization techniques such as geographic bid modifiers and dayparting…you get the idea. These tasks make it possible to improve your AdWords account performance in other ways so you have lots of “evidence of industry” for your client or boss. It shows you are focusing on the entire account, not just bid changes.

Some Parting Advice

It’s easy to put a ton of pressure on yourself when you are responsible for an AdWords account, resulting in unnecessary bid changes. Take some time to stop, breathe, and remember that patience is your golden ticket to optimal AdWords performance. Focus on other ways of analyzing data, because waiting until you have enough information to make bid changes is well worth it. At Softline Solutions, you’ll work with a team of Pay Per Click geniuses ready to help your AdWords account perform at the highest level. From PPC audits to management pricing to Google shopping services, you can count on us to help your ads stand out to your target audience. Discover what we can do for you today. We are a premier Google partner who cannot wait to help your brand shine.