Imagine a situation where you have been getting leads from your AdWords campaign and your conversion rate has been constant for the past several months. Until one day, that same campaign that has been the lifeline of your business, providing you with the jobs you need to keep things running, suddenly stopped working. You leave it alone for that day, thinking it’s just one bad day. But every day starts turning into one bad day after another. You spend the same amount of money, if not more, but you no longer get anything out of it.
It’s not going to take a lot of time to stop and do some auditing on your campaign! To start it’s important to understand that Google AdWords is an ever-changing auction environment. The same campaign that was successful a month ago is not guaranteed to be as fruitful today. There are also many different factors aside from the campaigns internal elements such as CPC (Cost Per Click) or the different match types (Broad Match, Broad Modifier, Phrase Matches, and Exact Matches.)
With both internal and external factors considered, here are 3 highly possible reasons why your AdWords campaign stopped “working”:
- Faulty Landing Page
If you think your ad is the tip of the spear when it comes to reaching out to potential customers, you’re right. But if you think just having the tip of a spear is enough to penetrate the market and get new customers, then you’re wrong. Your landing page forms the rest of the spear that determines whether a potential customer becomes and actual customer. So it is very important to check if your landing page is performing well, regularly.
So what do you need to check for on your landing page? You have obviously had it working before so why has it stopped working and what is the cause?
First of all, no matter how obvious it seems, you have to check whether your landing page is still relevant to the products or services you are selling. Analyse your text ads and see the landing pages they lead your prospects to. For some of you, accidentally misplacing landing pages could be the cause, especially if you do a lot of housekeeping work like pausing losing ads and creating new ones to maintain a healthy Click Through Rate (CTR).
Aside from the relevance of your landing page to your keywords, ad texts and proposition, another important thing is to make sure that your landing page has a fast load speed. Users don’t wait more than 3 seconds to see a page. Make sure to keep it under that.
To check the load speed of your landing page and get some tips on how you can improve it you can visit Google’s Page Speed Insights.
If your landing page loads too slowly, the problem could be with your server, so make sure to contact your website hosting company ASAP! If you just wanted to increase the speed of your landing page in general, one of the things that you can easily do is compress the image files on it.
You can always get a good idea of what’s happening when you check Google Analytics. You can see whether your Ad Words traffic’s bounce rate is high, or how long people stay on your landing pages. From that, you can determine the problem and take decisive action. You can even run split tests and see which solution works best!
- Invalid Clicks
Click fraud is nasty, but it’s real! It’s important to be aware of this and take necessary actions to mitigate this risk straight away. If your AdWords accounts have not been protected from click fraud, you should do so immediately. There is software that you can use that can limit the number of clicks coming from the same IP address or device ID. It’s also crucial to enable the automatic IP blocking feature so that you don’t have to go through each suspicious IP one by one, especially if your campaign garners a lot of clicks daily.
However, just incorporating software is not enough. This greasy bunch of fraudulent clickers are becoming more and more creative. One easy trick that you can do is to pay close attention to your click through rate. This can be done more easily if you have multiple campaigns targeting different locations as you can then see which of them is being targeted by click fraud. You can go and see your average click through rate in the last 30 days and then go to today’s stats to see if any of your CTR’s is unusually high. Depending on how high your average CTR is in the last 30 days, double that could still be acceptable, but triple that? You’re most likely being targeted. When you find that discrepancy, don’t hesitate to lower the bid adjustment or completely shut down that campaign temporarily and turn it back up after a couple of hours.
This CTR analysis trick doesn’t apply to branding campaigns as their CTR is naturally high anyways. It’s very likely for people to click on an ad by a particular brand if they have already searched for it, right?
- Outdated Bids
Google AdWords is an auction that constantly updates itself according to what different players are willing to bid to target a certain group of keywords. This is why it’s important to analyse your campaigns and update your bids daily. If you’re bidding too low, your ads would show in low positions that are not very appealing to potential clickers. However, if you are spending the same amount of money and not getting the result you were getting in the past, then you are most likely bidding too high.
Look at the average position of your ads. Then you can slowly decrease the bids on those ads while still monitoring their position. Keep in mind that changes in position take at least 30 minutes because those ads need to get impressions before their position can be determined. So don’t be too hasty with this, be patient and slowly make adjustments.
So you’re thinking now, “I’ve got hundreds of keywords and dozens of ad groups. How am I supposed to do this??” Well, worry not, if you haven’t already, you can create ad schedules for your campaigns and turn it up or down as you like by changing the bid adjustments there. This will affect whole campaigns at once, so instead of going through ad groups one by one, make these bulk changes and see what happens. You only need to make more detailed changes if you find you’re bidding really high on a particular keyword.
To conclude, remember that you can always chat with Australian Internet Advertising Google support by calling us on 1300 304 640 or go to our contact form, fill out your details and click on the submit button.