We’d like to take a few minutes to explore the 10 most common issues we encounter in our business, and what you can do to help us avoid them (while making your campaigns even stronger).
Inaccurate or Non-Existent Conversion Tracking
Changing Website URLs Without Warning
Not Sharing Details About Key Promotions
Setting Up and Maintaining a Product Data Feed
Requesting Too Many Changes, Too Quickly
Falling Off the Radar
Making Changes Without Telling Us
Requesting Ad Copy Updates That Exceed Character Counts
Neglecting Mobile…or Worse Yet, Thinking It’s Not Important
Waiting Until Friday Afternoon For That “Quick” Request
1) Inaccurate or Non-Existent Conversion Tracking
By far the biggest trouble area has to do with conversion tracking tags/codes/scripts/pixels/etc. These are what we use to optimize your campaigns for improved revenue and leads. Without them, we’re spending your advertising dollars blindly.
What you can do: work with your IT person or department to ensure that the conversion tracking tags we’ve provided to you stay on the conversion confirmation page(s). Unlike analytics tracking tags (which go on every page of the site), conversion tracking tags go only on the confirmation page or pages. If you make any changes to the site, you have to ensure that the conversion tracking tags stay on their respective pages.
Not all conversions are worth the same amount of revenue! If your site has e-commerce functionality, you must customize the conversion tag to pass revenue data back with the conversion data. For Google AdWords, a great step-by-step guide can be found here under the section titled “Tracking transaction-specific values.”
If you’re using a tag management system like BrightTag or Google Tag Manager, make sure the conversion tag is not using firing rules and instead fires that tag every time the confirmation page loads. We’ve seen firing rules grossly under-report actual conversions.
2) Changing Website URLs Without Warning
This is a big no-no! Typically this happens when a site is redesigned. New pages are added, old pages are removed, and some pages are renamed (which causes the URLs to change). We need to know about these changes in advance so we can ensure all your ads will continue linking to the most appropriate page on your site. It would be a real shame to waste money on clicks linking to dead pages.
3) Not Sharing Details About Key Promotions
Unfortunately it’s just not possible for us to check every client’s website each and every day. Therefore, we ask that you please alert us beforehand to sales, promotions, offers, new products, retired products, and key marketing initiatives so that we can ensure your ad copy is up to date. Preferably you’ll give us at least one business day heads up so we have time to set up and schedule ads, as well as work through any editorial review issues that may arise. If your promotion terms or start/end dates change, we need to know that too.
4) Setting Up and Maintaining a Product Data Feed
Product Listing Ads or PLAs are quickly becoming the second most important and profitable type of campaign (after Branded campaigns). Google is putting a lot of weight behind PLAs so they will only continue to grow in importance. However, setting up a product data feed is not easy. Setting up a well-optimized one is even more difficult. We can walk you through it.
5) Requesting Too Many Changes, Too Quickly
One of the best things – and one of the worst things – about Google AdWords is that it is so immediate. You can create an ad and see it around the world within seconds. However, to get the best results from pay-per-click advertising, you have to be methodical with your actions. Making too many changes too quickly makes it impossible to pinpoint which changes are having which effects. When too many “tests” are running, many tend to get neglected and overlooked, allowing sub-optimal keywords and ads to run unchecked. The old adage is so true: slow and steady wins the race.
6) Falling Off the Radar
We need your feedback. We crave it. If we send an email with questions, please reply with answers! If our emails are overwhelmingly detailed, let’s hop on a call and talk it through. But the point is, we need to communicate in order for us to provide you with the best possible ad performance.
7) Making Changes Without Telling Us
If you make any changes or adjustments to your accounts, please let us know. We’d hate to unknowingly overwrite your changes.
8) Requesting Ad Copy Updates That Exceed Character Counts
It’s really helpful when you give us suggestions for new ad copy. But if you choose to dictate specificlanguage to use, please abide by the standard character counts so we don’t have to start a wordsmithing back-and-forth. Headlines are 25 characters max, and the two description lines are 35 characters or less each. Only one exclamation point is allowed per ad!!!
9) Neglecting Mobile…or Worse Yet, Thinking It’s Not Important
There is still so much opportunity and growth for mobile. It’s really amazing to see how slow to react many advertisers are. Sure, mobile e-commerce conversion rates are lower than desktop, but there are things we can and should do now to maximize mobile’s potential. Let’s discuss.
10) Waiting Until Friday Afternoon For That “Quick” Request
Clients, we love you. But we love our friends and family too, and we really don’t want to be stuck in the office on Friday because you forgot to plan ahead. If it truly is an emergency, we’re here for you and we’ll get it taken care of. But if it can wait until Monday, that would be awesome.
Got other ones? Please share them with us!