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6 Critical Areas To Monitor For PPC

Shaun Bond
October 6, 2021

As paid search managers, we all know that no matter how well set up an account is, things can, and will, go wrong. Our ‘6 critical areas to monitor for PPC’ checklist is a no-brainer way to stay on top of any possible issues so that you catch and deal with them quickly.

#1. Account Impressions Have Dropped Significantly, Or To Zero.

#2. New Campaigns Aren’t Getting Impressions

#3. Conversions Have Unexpectedly Fallen Quite Significantly

#4. Ads Or Keywords Are Disapproved

#5. Spend Is At, Or Close To, Target

#6. Shopping Feed Has Stopped Working

#1 - Account Impressions Have Dropped Significantly, Or To Zero

If there’s an unexpected problem in the account and you haven’t been checking it daily, you may not know about it for a few days or until you get THAT call from your client.

What to look for:

On a daily basis, check the account impressions to ensure that they haven’t unexpectedly dropped either by a large percentage (i.e. 80%) or to zero.

Things to check if you do find this issue:

  1. Billing settings looking for failed payments
  2. Mass disapprovals or policy violations. Was there a seasonal ad changeover but the new ads didn’t actually go live?

#2 – NEW CAMPAIGNS AREN’T GETTING IMPRESSIONS

Sometimes new campaigns have hidden settings or issues that might stop them from getting started, such as a budget accidentally left at $0.01 or ads not enabled.

What to look for:

Look for new campaigns that are not generating impressions despite being enabled.
Pro Tip: Add a label to new campaigns when you set them up so that it’s easy to filter for them when you go in to check.

Things to check if you do find this issue:

  1. Ensure ad groups, keywords and ads are all live
  2. Check that bids are set to a level where you’ll be capturing traffic

#3 – CONVERSIONS HAVE UNEXPECTEDLY FALLEN QUITE SIGNIFICANTLY

Being able to understand what is converting in an account is vital to optimisation and success.
Not only does it give you an understanding about how to optimise, conversions form an essential building block for any smart bidding or smart campaign strategy.

What to look for:

On a daily basis, check that your account is continuing to report conversions and that there hasn’t been a large and unexpected drop off.

Things to check if you do find this issue:

  1. Anything that might be wrong with conversion tracking for the account
    • Check the conversion tracking settings in Google Ads; are they correct?
    • Check conversion tracking code on the website; is it still there and implemented correctly? Sometimes it can fall off a page or website if changes are being made.
  2. Broken landing pages. Clicks to broken landing pages cost you money for zero return and can result in a significant drop in conversions.
    • Check the landing page report in Google Ads and look for landing pages that have had steady impressions and clicks, but zero or significantly reduced conversions.

#4 – ADS OR KEYWORDS ARE DISAPPROVED

Ad or keyword disapprovals mean that you are violating a policy of some kind. It can mean that you’re not showing in the search results for a key term or not displaying the best messaging possible. Multiple disapprovals in an account can result in account suspension, depending on the extent and severity of the disapprovals.

What to look for:

On a daily basis, filter the status column for ads and keywords in Google Ads to find any that are disapproved.

Things to check if you do find this issue:

  1. Why is the ad or keyword disapproved? Google provides an explanation for the disapproval.
  2. Fix the policy violation where possible. If you’re not able to fix the issue immediately, pause the keyword or ad while you work through the fix.

#5 – SPEND IS AT, OR CLOSE TO, TARGET

If you have an account that must stick to its budget, it’s critical to keep a close eye on the spend for the account, especially as you reach the middle and end of the budget period.

What to look for:

Check your overall spend for the period to ensure it’s still in line with your budget. Make sure to include all campaigns and any that were potentially paused earlier in the budget period. Then check your average daily spend – are you spending more each day than the budget allows? This can result in an overspent budget if campaign budgets aren’t modified.

Things to check if you do find this issue:

  1. If you’re on track to overspend, reduce your daily spend across campaigns. Depending on your strategy, you may want to reduce budget for the lower converting campaigns or those that are spending the most each day.
  2. Set up a monitoring system to alert you when spend reaches or is close to reaching budget. There are many tools out there for this: Scripts, rules, and a variety of reporting tools and adpulse.io does a spectacular job of this for you.

How adpulse.io can help:

  1. We make budget tracking effortless! Input your one-time or recurring budget and adpulse.io will tell you how an account is pacing in a simple to view dashboard.
  2. You can also get the system to send you an email when your spend reaches 100% of the budget, or you can use a custom percentage, so that you know when you need to go in and give your daily budgets some love. Start a free trial to check it out.

#6 – SHOPPING FEED HAS STOPPED WORKING

Often it’s not obvious when a feed stops working, so it’s important to watch for product disapprovals or large impression-level drops in your shopping campaigns.

What to look for:

Check Google Ads shopping campaign impressions for any unexpected and significant decreases. Then check the product status in the Shopping campaign and filter for disapproved.

Things to check if you do find this issue:

Check Google Merchant Center diagnostics to find out more information about the product disapprovals and how you can resolve them.

Summary

We’ve hit the high points above of areas that we see go wrong most frequently for the agencies and managers we work with here at PPC Samurai.

And if you’re not currently an adpulse.io user, you can jump right into a free 7-day trial to automate budget management and find optimization opportunities in your accounts.

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