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Hosted by Amalia, this week’s PPCChat session has addressed common issues and questions faced by clients and how to handle them.

 

Q1: What do you do when a client/boss says “why can’t see my ads anywhere?” 

 

I’ve actually built out some canned responses, and this is one of those. Google’s smart and doesn’t want you to click on your own ads, we have a preview tool that eliminates that bias. However, no ad gets 100% of impressions.  @armondhammer

Because we blocked your IP address because you kept searching for your ads every day @NathanK_TX

Again, I try to redirect to results – cause let’s face it, if “other person” was doing such a fantastic job with results, I would not be sitting here now (I don’t say that part out loud!). @NeptuneMoon

I usually have everyone google something generic together on their phones. It’s risky, but it shows how personalized everything is and I use that as a way to discuss budgets, bids, and expectations.My goal isn’t that person’s goal, mine is to get your business to where it needs to be. If your business goal is for you to see ads, I’ll make that happen. But I’d rather get you sales  @JuliaVyse

I usually look at what they searched, and try to explain that there’s a lot of possibilities and that SERPs differ per person per search – from working in house the last 2 years the answer I’d give the most is “Google doesn’t want you to click your own ads” I usually try to stick to an educational conversation if this comes up, try to go from the highest level I can and describe why they maybe aren’t seeing their ads as often now rather than why they were seeing it more often back then.@jennifer_lash

Also allow me to show you the effectivness of your ads. here’s the dashboard and data on how many conversions we’ve gotten and how much it’s cost. See, your ads are not only showing, they’re working. @armondhammer

Ugh this question. Luckily it’s not as prevalent anymore but I think it’s a symptom of a bigger issue. Client either doesn’t trust the strategy or has a results issue. Need to communicate more about strategy and results. Shift their focus.@Pamela_Lund

I agree on the personalization angle – I have done the everyone search for this now exercise too! Generally though, try to shift the focus to showing them that the people we need to see the ads are seeing them (i.e. results). @NeptuneMoon

I would say… ARE YOU GOING TO BUY THE PRODUCT/SERVICE? IF NOT THAT’S WHY! This is going to be an annoying topic. I’m going to get angry lol. @markpgus

It depends on WHY the client isn’t seeing his ads. @stevegibsonppc

I tell them I’ve filtered out their IP so they don’t waste impressions…@notjustseouk

I tell my clients that there are multiple factors that affect where their ads are. Especially if they’re used to running tv/radio, its important to have an education component to the discussion, with sources to back up why they can’t see it that aren’t just me. I have the conversation about their goals, and the idea of personalization and quality over quantity @amaliaefowler

Check their daily budget, often it may have run out. Also remind them not to search for their own targeted keywords too much or it could actually be hurting their CTR!. @RobIannone

“just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. I’ll get you a screenshot. @JonKagan

There can be many reason the client is not able to see their ads. 1. They search it too often 2. Daily budget has exhausted 3. First page bid is under par with competition. @bufoting

“It could be a case of ad blockers or personal search history.” @marccxmedia

we actually have a blog we wrote about this because it was coming up so much! This explains a lot of what we were telling clients: @kaydarcc

 

Extension of Q1: What do you say/whats the approach if the client/manager follows up with “when {other person} managed ads, I saw them all the time!”

 

With gusto and sarcasm: We’re better about eliminating people who won’t actually buy. @armondhammer

That response has actually never happened before. @StephanieErne

Remember that the goal isn’t for your ad to be seen, its sales. @RobIannone

 

Q2: When a client wants to connect ‘every week’ or ‘every day’ to discuss results and/or make changes, how do you handle that?

 

Get this one a fair bit. I’ve actually written the cadence of normal convos into the contract. And I let them know that extra meetings are billable time. I actually like talking to clients, but they usually like the work we’re providing more. @armondhammer

Make it clear up front. What tdid they hire for. Have a kick off call and high touch up front. Once it’s set up, explain scaling back calls will let you talk about meaningful data. Make sure they realize they hired you! @markpgus

Never had to meet daily, at that point they may need in-house. Meeting weekly makes sense if the spend is high enough, but you need to manage expectation on the meetings & result times. @NathanK_TX

YES! A lot of time there is pressure from above. Help try to solve that. Tell them you’re on their side and know that they want to keep you around. What information will cool their superiors! @markpgus

We can either shift time away from working on your campaigns and delivering results or we can adjust our fee to allow for additional time for the increase in communication” usually works. @Pamela_Lund

Determine why they want that frequent of communication and secondly gently remind that that is out of the scope of the contract and would cost extra. I also explain that PPC has longer horizons than day or week, so talking too frequently focuses on wrong things. @NeptuneMoon

in the enterprise world, this is a fairly usual request. I like to add that as an option in terms of how much my retainer costs. Then during the kickoff meeting, I take them through the different documents & reports that are live and available anytime.  “as discussed yesterday…” then a list of what I did. It’s often just trust-building when they don’t know what you do or what your tasks are. this might not be the cadence for the whole engagement.  @JuliaV yse

Find out why they want to connect. Are they under a lot of pressure to perform & feel insecure? Are they really hungry to learn? Do they not trust you? Determining why allows you to adapt your relationship management strategy. @SEM_PPC_MattV

Give insight on the hours it took last month (we bill monthly). And hope to get the conversation going. Try to figure out why they think they are in need of so many, and see if we can do it less frequent or charge extra. @StephanieErne

Similarly to everyone else, including these things in statement of work is important, and on the contract. Having a way for clients to check on progress (dashboards, etc) without contacting you is important, as is charging for your time. @amaliaefowler

ditto what everyone else is saying! not enough time to get useful data, outside SOW, why they want contact that often…@jennifer_lash

Need to give changes time to take effect. Let’s talk in a month. @RobIannone

“We tend toward bi-weekly status calls and weekly update e-mails with reports after setting up and launching a campaign. If there’s further feedback or questions, we’re reachable over e-mail.” @marccxmedia

I often would explain that a 24 hour window isn’t enough to judge results on. If it persists then quite honestly I tell them that daily calls will hinder the amount of time I am able to spend on the account! @scright

Calls to discuss results should be part of your scope of work. Talking daily is not productive. @Mel66

 

Q3: “The data in [insert platform – Facebook] doesn’t match the data on my Analytics/Custom Dashboard. Why?”

 

oh god…this question is the WORST! Each platform has it’s own data and they don’t share, which makes it really tricky. @JuliaVyse

Love this one. You need to be upfront about what is going on in the attribution they understand. Reporting out of their source of truth is important. You can show assisted conversions/value etc to more value. Honestly I think too granular of reporting is our fault. @markpgus

That’s when I complement a client on actually looking at the figures and being critical. And I dig up an old e-mail where I’ve explained this elaborately. @StephanieErne

Depending on the client and their level of understanding, I’ll either explain how pages load and how javascript fires or I’ll explain high level how the different platforms track differently. And if they’re using a custom platform, I’ll push to switch to not that. @amaliaefowler

Reaction depends on relationship with the client. “Happy to take a look at your [platforms], just need logins,” might make sense for some situations, not so much for others.@SEM_PPC_MattV

AH I have feelings about this one – explaining attribution and how tracking/data is collected by each platform differently is a challenge. Finding and consistently using one source of truth, hopefully an un-biased one. @jennifer_lash

Reaction depends on relationship with the client. “Happy to take a look at your [platforms], just need logins,” might make sense for some situations, not so much for others. @SEM_PPC_MattV

if you’re dealing with lots of different media, it’s helpful to just agree on what we want our media to do. TV can’t track to a store. Twitter can’t track a view-through to sales. Aim at the target and assign a role to each media type. @JuliaVyse

You can explain some differences can be easily attributed by time zones, others you can explain the nuance in what each platform defines as a “session” at which point their eyes start glazing over and they accept the differences. @RobIannone

This is primarily because it is different measurement sources, who measure data slightly differently. It won’t be 100%, but there is always an acceptable margin of error.@JonKagan

I often ad a glossary page to a regular report which includes a single point of truth area. A click is measured in platform, as is a cost-per-click. A session is on your website. A sale is true in YOUR crm only…etc. @JuliaVyse

If it’s actually facebook I tell them it’s because they’re greedy with attribution. But more broadly – every platform is slightly different in it’s method. We believe that the record should be in the most unbiased system. Nothing is perfect. I have been known to go into a rabbit hole here. either from the technical issues (full page load), filtered clicks, view thrus, etc. I have to watch myself, because I’m so nerdy on this I can make an entire starbucks go to sleep @armondhammer

If they are very technical, I will go technical, otherwise it is more lighthearted “It is pretty astonishing that these platforms don’t play nicely together, isn’t it?” And then explain that we pick a source and use it as our north star. @NeptuneMoon

“The data doesn’t match because it’s coming from different sources. Google tracks all traffic coming to your site based on their tag, Facebook tracks all traffic going to your site via their tag, etc.” @marccxmedia

 

Q4: “I don’t want to bid on our brand name, its a waste of money.”

 

“You should bid on your brand name because 1) it’s cheap CPC-wise, and 2) it’ll prevent competitors from latching on and targeting your brand.” @marccxmedia

If I can show them that any competitor is bidding on their brand name, that usually resolves the question quickly. @timothyjjensen

If you are in a competitive field you can have 4 ads show above your organic listing. Your organic listing can be below the fold! Do you want potential client to see 4 offers before they find you? @NathanK_TX

Auction insights help here, as does the fact that Amazon & Walmart can outbid everyone on everything. If you want people to hear you exist, invest in your own brand. @JuliaVyse

particularly in the financial world – “great, happy to help you build your non-brand visibility. right now 60% of your conversions are branded. Do we turn those off while we build, or leave it on and work incrementally?” @JuliaVyse

I show them screenshots that competitors are bidding on my clients name. and ‘scare’ them that they are losing money to the competitors. This Always works. @StephanieErne

this is happening right now for me with a client…I explained the SERP real estate/cheap clicks and conversions/top conversion paths/competition. Still wanted to turn it off with the thinking that organic would pick up 100% of what was PPC branded traffic. @jennifer_lash

“I don’t recommend that b/c your competitors may seize the oppty to conquest your brand in the SERPs, steal [insert KPI], and influence your brand perception. That’s what I would do.”@SEM_PPC_MattV

I argue for the protection of your branded searches regardless. Often explaining it like an insurance policy helps, as does minimal cost. Finally, the fact that there are many articles stating the benefits of “owning the SERP” will usually convince decision makers. The other thing to consider is that sometimes brands contain common words (I have one that has home repair in the name), and if people who don’t know what they are doing have broad match home repair as a kw, they’re competing with our brand, even unintentionally.@amaliaefowler

There is some study I point to that shows the effect of having both paid and organic results. I forget wherel… But then testing and auction insights. At the end of the day… the client doesn’t trust you here. Fix that. This is just a symptom.@markpgus

“I am going to say this once. In 15 years of doing this, there has only been a handful of scenarios where that made sense. You are not in that handful. If you want I can explain 1+1=3” @JonKagan

Also branded searches don’t just magically happen. They are a result of other work that has been done. If you’ve (or the client has) put in that work, why would you want someone else to get that traffic? People barely read ads…@NeptuneMoon

So you’re writing off mobile traffic then, are you? Cool. Serious answer – Ads take up a lot of screen real estate these days. Protect your hard earned branded searches.@NeptuneMoon

Jumping in late, but seeing some great conversation on this Q. Does anyone have any compelling stats/metrics they can on this? I typically advocate with the SERP real estate, competitor angles. @Mike_Jarmz

There is some study I point to that shows the effect of having both paid and organic results. I forget wherel… But then testing and auction insights. At the end of the day… the client doesn’t trust you here. Fix that. This is just a symptom. @markpgus

“Test turning it off. Worth it for some, not for others.” Reminder: eBay study showed near perfect substitution effect from turning it off (i.e. no effect and savings of millions of dollars). @SamOwenPPC

The other thing to consider is that sometimes brands contain common words (I have one that has home repair in the name), and if people who don’t know what they are doing have broad match home repair as a kw, they’re competing with our brand, even unintentionally. @amaliaefowler

When bidding on your own brands you get to determine what your customer sees, and where they go once they click, if not, Google gets to determine that. @RobIannone

It’s not a waste of money to have 100% control of your ad copy/messaging and get cheap clicks to your website. @jdb426

 

Q5: “I want to run video but I have no video, you do video right?” OR “I want to run this video *sends you awful video you would not ever run.*”

 

“We don’t currently offer video creation services for ads, but we can certainly look into potential vendors or outside video makers who can help. Are there any resources on your end?” @marccxmedia

Need to flesh out if the client is really prepared to invest in quality video/camps, or just throwing spaghetti at the wall. “What sort of investment are you prepared to make on video/camps long-term?” @SEM_PPC_MattV

I believe Google has some sort of program where you can get videos created/edited if you commit to spending a certain amount on YT? Not sure of all the details. I would emphasize the need to put thought into quality creative when testing video. Wouldn’t want them to write off video advertising all together because the creative was junk @timothyjjensen

I usually explain that video is great if you have the assets and the budget to support it. Our agency offers video production so we can always provide them with a proposal. That often shocks them into reality lol. @Mel66

has a sick video creative outline to show them. Honestly you can have them do raw video which performs well. If you want high production do you want to manage that project? Find a contractor and mark it up or help point client to someone.@markpgus

Think of video as your pre-landing page page. Everything we use has to be designed to advance sales/leads. If it is not engaging or right for the market you’re targeting, don’t bother. @NeptuneMoon

I tell them we don’t do video creation and refer them to partners that do. If they insist on doing it themself I’d help them as much as I can with my limited knowledge. Sometimes even a crappy video works well (# those Facebook templates that are horrible) @StephanieErne

Need to flesh out if the client is really prepared to invest in quality video/camps, or just throwing spaghetti at the wall. “What sort of investment are you prepared to make on video/camps long-term?”@SEM_PPC_MattV

If you want to run video, lets have one that is respectable. Sure, shoot it on an iPhone, but properly edit for a skippable ad unit, go ask your intern to edit it. It will just be more cost efficient for all, and effective. @JonKagan

this is a really hard one. Yes I do video, but you need collateral for this to work. @JuliaVyse

I struggle with this one. I always want to be like “remember those commercials on tv we all make fun of? yea, that.” But I hold my tongue. If its the first, I tell them I’m happy to help them source a vendor for a video but we don’t make it. If it’s the 2nd(cont’d) @amaliaefowler

“I be lying to you if I told you I was an X expert, that’s why I partner with…” And the second example I would try to show examples of averts that work to discourage them, however if the client is persistent then a small budget test. @scright

 

Q6: When a client disagrees and INSISTS on running something you don’t want to do because it doesn’t align with best practices, what do you do? What script do you use? And how do you protect yourself from the results?

 

Always put your recommendations in writing! You have requested that we implement X. We do not recommend implementing X & state reasons why. State that you will implement X at their insistence and layout first reporting date, spend & duration if you can. @NeptuneMoon

Lay out clear parameters of the spend and duration for the test, the results they need to see it as successful, and document what you expect the results will actually be and get written agreement to test anyway. Not in a jerky way, just to CYA.@Pamela_Lund

I don’t have opinions I have null-hypothesis. Let’s see if that beats our current champion and here are the metrics we’ll use.@armondhammer

I’m going to take the client’s side a little here. We need to be open to “non-best practices.” We need them to know though that we will run it, but we can not guarantee the same results we goal for in the SOW. I’ll take the money but the results are on their head. @markpgus

I document, in writing, the reasons why I don’t recommend doing what they are asking. But ultimately they are the one paying, so I say let’s do it as a test and see how it performs. 99% of the time, it sucks and you can say “I WAS RIGHT” to yourself lol. @Mel66

I get this more often than I like. If they do this, I want them to put in writing they want it, against my recommendation. if it fails, they’ve learned a lesson and feel shame, if it succeeds, I feel shame and I learn a lesson. @JonKagan

define what KPIs, budget, length of test, cadence of reporting on the test – state that they are going against my best advice and that I can’t guarantee performance, so a decrease is on them (like when hospitals make you sign against med. advice papers LOL). @jennifer_lash

Add “-illadvised” to the end of all campaign and adgroup names. LOL. And make sure you CC the world on your written recommendation in opposition.@scottclark

Tell them why I think that it will not work but that I am happy to test it for them in an A/B test with something I think does work. In the end it is their call and I tell them we may not reach the goal we’ve set together & keep them updated about performance. @StephanieErne

do it any way because it’s their money and their account, but document everything and send performance regularly until the results become clear enough to make a decision to either continue the test or revert to previous state. @jennifer_lash

this is a tough one. First, explain clearly why their wishes and your advice don’t align. document everything. Then identify the budget for the activity and agree on KPIs. document everything. At that point, determine what you want to do. @JuliaVyse

I’m READY for this one! In writing: – detail what they want from me – explain why I don’t want to do it/the possible negative outcomes, as many and as thoroughly as I can and what those outcomes could do to the company’s KPIs/bottom line goals. @jennifer_lash

Initiatives like this need to be kept separate from everything else, ideally. “Ok, let’s set aside as a separate test budget.” “Ok, let’s measure [KPI] separately from all other initiatives.” etc. @SEM_PPC_MattV

I document, in writing, the reasons why I don’t recommend doing what they are asking. But ultimately they are the one paying, so I say let’s do it as a test and see how it performs. 99% of the time, it sucks and you can say “I WAS RIGHT” to yourself lol. @Mel66

I don’t have opinions I have null-hypothesis. Let’s see if that beats our current champion and here are the metrics we’ll use. @armondhammer

“While we wouldn’t recommend running XYZ, we can test it with a small daily budget for two weeks and then see if it’s worth continuing.” @marccxmedia

 

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