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Every PPC expert goes through a PPC struggle in his/her life. What are experts’ biggest struggles in the business side of their PPC and Are they experiencing any struggles talking to clients or stakeholders about the Google and DOJ antitrust trial? These and more questions were answered during this week’s PPCChat session which Julie F Bacchini hosted.

Q1: What is your biggest struggle in your accounts right now?

I feel like a broken record, but low conversion volume accounts are HARD right now. @NeptuneMoon

I got one where the conversion happens on a 3rd party booking tool’s website and I’m trying to figure out how to trigger the conversion properly when the final step doesn’t happen on the client’s site. @InquisitiveMarketer

Lower budgets, higher demand on performance. generally a do more with less, and not just on accounts. lots of fiddling and busy work requests rather than efficiency. @JuliaVyse

Same Julian, related to that consent mode and enhanced conversions are tough for some accounts, especially B2B. I have a new account in APAC and EMEA and it’s tough untangling the half-accurate Google Ads help pages. Basically need an engineer to help get that project done at this point. @timmhalloran

@JuliaVyse Oh no. The melting face tells me I’m not heading for some secret but simple solution. @InquisitiveMarketer

Don’t even get me started on the accuracy of the help pages! I’ve had to actively explain to clients why the help page might not be right. @JuliaVyse

@InquisitiveMarketer that scenario – with the conversion completing not on the site is pretty much a nightmare. @NeptuneMoon

low volume accounts. When you’re not sure if a slow day or two in a row is a problem or not. @BryceLiggins

@InquisitiveMarketer melt-face for me means ‘godspeed’. just sink into the ground and contemplate life as a boat mechanic as a fresh start. @JuliaVyse

I keep hoping someone deep in level 10 tech support will say “oh, here’s an API or something you can use to run the conversion code” but their solutions are basically equivalent to counting every click as a conversion. @InquisitiveMarketer

@BryceLiggins that feeling when you finally get a clump of conversions after a week of nothing. @InquisitiveMarketer

Some clients have even tighter KPIs vs last year… so harder to scale ad spend but they want higher ad spend. @duanebrown

It’s funny how some clients have bad performance but want to keep spending more even when we recommend that they retool their approach, and then you have clients that are absolutely killing it in terms of conversion and ROAS and they’re militantly opposed to spending $0.01 more. @timmhalloran

@timmhalloran Diminishing returns? Never heard of it.@InquisitiveMarketer

I used to think – how can these third-party companies not have basic functionality for businesses to track activity. Then I remembered every project I have ever worked on with developers and thought – right, they only do exactly what is in the specs and don’t think about any extraneous or how it might work with other stuff.  Like how does OpenTable not pass booking information back as a conversion????? Or maybe it does now, but when I worked with it it sure didn’t. @NeptuneMoon

In those situations, after checking integrations with webhooks like Zapier, I’ll usually see if there’s a way to pass hidden parameters through the form which will connect with the CRM and then I can pull it back through to the ad account as offline data. 1000% depends on the situation, but I’ve had success with that with some third-party HR/ recruiting software that didn’t have any integrations built in by default. @timmhalloran

Q2: What is your biggest struggle in the business side of your PPC or your job if you’re in-house?

We are definitely in a slow leads, slow to close part of the cycle. Plenty of what my dad would call “tire kickers” and people who want your entire strategy in your proposal. Hilarious. And no. @NeptuneMoon

We’re dealing with the usual holdco issues: retain current clients who want the absolute MOON for nothing, win new clients who like our discounts and deals, worry about in-housing for those trying to save their retainer (but will spend more on a hire) and try to keep employees happy. it’s quite a feat. @JuliaVyse

One thing that I have had to learn over the past 3 to 4 years in management and biz dev that I didn’t have to think much about when I was an individual contributor/PPC-only operator, is that perception is almost more important, if not more important then actual performance. I’ve found that when clients don’t perceive the success, they’ll think you’re not doing a good enough job. Conversely, in accounts that are struggling if you’re consistently communicating and letting them know stuff on a daily basis you’ll end up retaining them longer. Logically my brain tells me ‘just do really good work, get them good performance, and everything else will fall into place’. But that’s rarely how it works. You’re on stage. It’s a presentation. That’s how you keep the business coming in, that’s how you retain…more often than not, ime. @NeptuneMoon

We are getting a lot of interest in paid audits from agencies and brands, which is good. I also want to close more retainer business too. Just finding that balance is it. @duanebrown

@JuliaVyse when things get tight, as they have been for a while, we definitely slide into the “why are we paying all these agency or consulting or freelancer fees when we could just hire someone to do all this work” mentality. Though some will have the opposite mindset of “why are we paying salary and benefits to these people when we could just pay for the work itself with an outside agency or freelancer.” @NeptuneMoon

Less agency work for me as a freelancer from agencies seeing a downturn in clients. @LolLowe

@timmhalloran If ad account is a 5 but your communication is a 10… you keep the client. If the opposite happens… you lost the client. Comms over everything else 100%. @duanebrown

precisely! in our case, there’s a lot of magical thinking out there. like, you know Google so well, why can’t you make [insert weird impossible thing they want] happen? and the same goes with tasks. you’re so big and so well connected, can’t I have [thing that not even NASA has been able to accomplish]??? @JuliaVyse

Duane, absolutely. I’m gonna bookmark that quote for my team. @timmhalloran

I have never had more requested vetting than I have in the last year. Like – can you provide a sample audit before we decide to hire you to do one? No. I cannot. I will tell you generally what will be reviewed, but if you think I’m giving you a complete audit with client info redacted you are nuts. @NeptuneMoon

You can even add my smiling face beside it and tell them. Be like Duane. @duanebrown

I mean, we should all be like @duanebrown

We just got an RFP that said ” expect to spend up to 50 hours to complete this proposal accurately, and then it asked us to outline paid strategy over the next 24 months….” I mean… Wtf people. @timmhalloran

Pay. for. your. pitches! if you want that much data, hire a research firm, or spend the equivalent dollars on a pitch process! @JuliaVyse

I say no to RFPs, … we are not at the scale to do them and in the past we always lost them. No to free work on account audits and reviews. Pay me or get out of here. @duanebrown

We sent back ” absolutely! This is how much we would charge for that much work. Since we are giving you proprietary strategic information, we will expect you to sign a mutual NDA with a commitment not to proceed with the strategy we outlined unless you choose to work with us.” They politely did not answer. @timmhalloran

 @duanebrown should be getting work done in between chats but instead I copied and pasted your reply and turned it into a rap song @timmhalloran

Q3: Are you experiencing any struggles talking to clients or stakeholders with regard to the Google and DOJ antitrust trial? Has this caused any issues or challenges for you?

I feel like in general, trust in Google is at an all time low. Not to say that it was ever super high, but the testimony from that trial did some damage. Both in our minds (PPC pros) and clients who pay attention. @NeptuneMoon

Not that I know of, my clients don’t always bring it up. But note that I’m in Canada so our big convo is Bill C-18, the details of which I won’t bore you with, but that Google is playing ball (still in their own favour) and Meta is causing major issues. I’m watching the case closely, along with our head of search for Canada. @JuliaVyse

My clients are oblivious to it. Literally no one has raised it and I’m not planning to mention it until there’s an outcome from the trial. @LolLowe

Yeah in general this kind of thing is inside baseball – clients have bigger things on their mind. @ferkungamaboobo

tbh I also forgot it was going on. it won’t matter. @ferkungamaboobo

My read: they expect me to handle it and let them know if anything will change based on it. @timmhalloran

Antitrust in the US is a joke and I am not smart enough to know if that’s a bad or good thing. @ferkungamaboobo

It is not a good thing. @NeptuneMoon

None of our clients bring it up but that is normal for anything paid ads related. Most are head down in the business. @duanebrown

Q4: What is keeping you up at night relative to PPC these days?

Dollars. client retention. future of search. I really wonder if this lawsuit isn’t a blessing in disguise for Google, allowing them to just roll out PMax which has ‘search signals’ and end the keyword altogether. I know I know, we’ve been predicting their doom for a while now, but I do wonder. with Temu, Amazon, and the swirl over TikTok search (a garbage product, but easy to use) I think we’re about to see a big pivot. @JuliaVyse

AI – not because I think it is going to take my job, but it is getting absolutely jammed into and bolted on to everything right now. @NeptuneMoon

My skin is still crawling from the AI flirting with the OpenAI guy during their demo yesterday @NeptuneMoon

Inconsistency. Not knowing the “why” when things spiral. This goes for FB and Google. I’ll be having a great month then everything drops and I go into fire drill mode. Then 2 weeks later, things I’ll go back to normal and despite deep analysis & team brainstorming I still won’t know the reason for it. Now multiply that scenario by six clients and repeat every 3 to 4 months. Minimum. That’s PPC right now it feels like. @timmhalloran

There should be some kind of health insurance product just for our industry. get those guys a Headspace on the phone, this could be big! @timmhalloran

I am also concerned about PPC becoming out of reach for a decent swath of businesses. @NeptuneMoon

My B2B tech network is busy getting acquired so I set my sights on smaller local businesses but between small budgets and low conversion numbers this is going to be … interesting. @InquisitiveMarketer

Enhanced conversions for financial services. We’ve been told we can’t use them due to the client category. Meanwhile, conversions are nosediving. @LolLowe

Nothing because it is all out of my control. The last thing I stayed away about at night was our biggest client firing us in March out of the blue… would they try to not pay their final invoice. They paid it and I moved on. Getting sleep is a superpower. We are profitable and have money in the bank. I can not ask for more. @duanebrown

@LolLowe Who says that, Google or the client or? I don’t have any financial clients. @InquisitiveMarketer

@duanebrown you better start some kind of retreat. you have mastered how to think right! @JuliaVyse

One thing I will say is that I’ve forced myself to get comfortable with is consolidating a lot of themes into one campaign and using more broad match kws. In the four clients I’ve tested this on, I’ve made big moves by pulling things apart or pausing evergreen non-brand campaigns and focusing on consolidation them together to get out of the learning phase faster and it’s worked well. I know it’s not possible to do that for some industries, especially regulated industries. But it’s working well for the ones I’ve tried it on (consumer healthcare, vacation rentals, sports, retail, and saas) @timmhalloran

@duanebrown you are going to be particularly well-positioned as you’ve always been a master of the feed. And we seem to be headed toward a lot of more of Google Ads going behind the curtain. @NeptuneMoon

@InquisitiveMarketer dev company raised it and Google ad strategist looked into it and confirmed it. @LolLowe

@JuliaVyse a PPC Summer camp in Europe would be amazing. @duanebrown

@duanebrown let’s do it! @JuliaVyse

@NeptuneMoon Thank you. We are living in a feed world, Google is just slowing dragging everyone else into it. @duanebrown

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