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Hosted by Julie F Bacchini, this week’s PPCChat session discussed about the concept of spring cleaning PPC Accounts, what to do in it and what not do, the kind of Spring Cleaning, Tools to be used for the same and more.


Q1: Do you have anything you do like “spring cleaning” for your PPC accounts (next Q will get into the specifics of what you do)? If so, how often do you do it?


I do like to look into a couple things when I get the account to start, or once every quarter or so. @jord_stark

No. @SEMFlem

I don’t typically stack my work and wait til spring so it’s a no for me since I’m doing it continuously, on a weekly basis. @JeremyKrantz

We don’t have an outright “spring cleaning”, but we do regular reviews of client accounts. @marccxmedia

cont – I should also point out I don’t have that many seasonal clients anymore, but if you do, spring, summer & fall cleaning are a must! @JuliaVyse

Would you count SQR’s as a spring clean? Just a really, really frequent one. @digitallydan14

Does monthly checks count as spring cleaning? @anna_arrow

We’ll do an audit of each other’s (with fresh eyes) accounts every 3 months or so just to make sure everything is still in tip top shape. @adwordsgirl

I review accounts on a deep level quarterly, but try to look into each one monthly for clean-up opportunities like under performing campaigns, over spending, etc. @jennifer_lash

Does not necessarily coincide with just spring, but I like to do a review of accounts quarterly. @NeptuneMoon

Just completed account audits using the new Optmyzr audit tool..there’s always stuff to fix and improve. @dotcentrex

I try and do an audit of my own work at least 2x per year. I feel like it is important to look at your own work as if it were a new account every so often. @lchasse

Not spring specifically, but every quarter or so I like to step back and look at the long-term performance shifts. It helps battle minutia and reprioritize for the rest of the year. this is easier with clients who do annual budgets.@JuliaVyse

I’ve been using the Recommendations tab in the UI lately. I’ve found some quick ‘clean up’ items there. @NathanK_TX

I like to do a post launch QA checklist first, we do this quarterly, and then a good deep dive in the SQR, beyond high volume terms. @JonKagan

Not really actually. Might be a good idea though. We’re still writing down all our processes so it might be good to include. But I usually do a clean up when an account is running out of line or you take one over from someone. @StephanieErne


Q2: What kinds of “spring cleaning” things do you do?


For bigger accounts, I will actually get a peer to look at the accounts (other than me) who I trust and know will be honest. It keeps me from missing things from working on accounts every week during a year. @lchasse

I like to double check on a lot of things, but two that I think are really important are budget allocation and conversion tracking.@jord_stark

I’m just gonna shut up and let Julia speak for me. This exactly lol. @markpgus

I like to look at CPA/ROAS long term and see where there are peaks and troughs. Then I look at the IS & Auction Insights – terrible for granular but great for long term competitor behaviour – and finally a deep ad copy review. @JuliaVyse

We also like to have another person look at an account from time to time. Besides that, we’re constantly on the lookout for mistakes that we can add to our QA tool so that it watches out for them automatically. @bloomarty

This includes refreshing and/or pausing keywords, updating ad copy, etc. @marccxmedia

Look at a larger timeframe of data. And other things I also do on more regular basis. Run trough al the extensions to see if they still apply. Check ads for prices and other things like ‘for 20 years’ and ‘ over x times’ and such. @StephanieErne

Essentially everything. I created a 72 point checklist for our audits, so we’ll go over all those points (ie. Keyword pauses, ad pauses etc). @adwordsgirl

We like to clear out keywords and ad groups with 0 impressions. @PPCKirk

a good sweeping of seasonal ad messaging rotation goes down with the changes of the season (ie “Don’t Get Left Out in the Cold”, just doesn’t work as well in August) @JonKagan

typically ROAS trends, where spend is being allocated/if it still makes sense, CPA @jennifer_lash

When we do our year end assessment we look take a deep look as where our ad dollars are going and what is giving the best and worst ROI. That tends to be where we start, then start heading down the rabbit hole to see where it goes. @Jturnerpdx

It seems that with the advent of the new Google Display Ad “Responsive Ads”, ad creative and copy testing has gotten more challenging? @KantJungRand

This includes refreshing and/or pausing keywords, updating ad copy, etc. @marccxmedia

We’re big “Tidying Up” fans around the office, so we’re big on decluttering campaigns where we can. Ditching old ads that aren’t in use, restructuring accounts so they’re easier to navigate, and so on. Basically, making things easier for our robot overlords. @CountXero

I like to look for things that are not performing well to trim them out – could be time of day, geo, terms, etc. Ad copy is a big one for me too. @NeptuneMoon



Q3: Are there things you think about doing, but don’t quite get around to doing to “spring clean” accounts?


Ad copy review, long date range performance review, longer date range SQR’s, time/day parting review. @digitallydan14

I loathe looking at placement reports, so I could probably stand to do it more frequently AND add crappy placements to a master exclusions list. Also, social has a totally different cadence than search, so it needs its own schedule. @NeptuneMoon

Not that we can think of! @marccxmedia

Re-establish goals & KPI’s of the account. Sometime’s you’re just to busy optimizing and forget to check if the goals are stil okay and if his margins have changed & other stuff you don’t get to see on your side. Especially if the client is not of the sharing type.@StephanieErne

I try to be organized and not take on more than I can handle, so I typically do not have an issue getting to what needs to be done. I love my @trello boards, lol. @lchasse

I do wish we could really do a “scorched earth” campaign with some aspects of the account structure, but oftentimes, out of concern for sapping revenue, we don’t get there.@CountXero

EXTENTIONS. I would love to update these and test them. But in reality they’re more like a check mark to get more real estate on the SERP. A deep dive on copy testing would be great tho. @markpgus

Sometimes just getting the audits done is hard but that’s about it. @adwordsgirl

Scripts. Every season I say I am gonna get in deep with those. To date, I am 0 for 58 on that…@JonKagan



Q4: Are there any tools you use for “spring cleaning” type tasks that you love?


Checklists! @SEMFlem

We recently started using @Optmyzr so we’ll see how it goes with the tool this year. Otherwise, we’ve just used my checklist. @adwordsgirl

None currently! @marccxmedia

Bullet Journal, Trello, excel sheets, or anything to really keep a list of tasks and progress. I tend to make a well defined list of what I have time to do and I enjoy checking them off the list. @Jturnerpdx

Nope. wel does Spreadsheets or Excel count? So I am very curious to what you guys use. We use Opteo on a regular basis though. @StephanieErne

We have a few in-house tools we’ve developed that highlight some common budget wasting activities (), but we’re also big fans of @adhawk for digging into a few areas that humans would have a hard time finding. @CountXero

Yes, interns 🙂 @JonKagan

I create a master plan and use @basecamp to keep track of all items and milestones. @andreacruz92

No automated tools. I am also a checklist fan! @NeptuneMoon

I love using @Optmyzr @trello and some general checklists of certain reports (landing pages, technical checks, etc…).@lchasse



Q5: Do you have processes in place that are essentially constantly “spring cleaning” accounts? Like Roomba for PPC?


I did read a very good article on that and am planning on instating that in our own processes and the way I think it should be done. But oh… the time to do all those things. @StephanieErne

Like we mentioned in A1/A2, weekly updates in the form of keyword pausing/adding acts like consistent “spring cleaning”. @marccxmedia


We have one process we call “Winners & Losers” that is a constant improvement program for the search term report that either moves “winners” to an exact match or removes the “losers” via negatives. We have some scripts for this, but it always needs a human touch. @CountXero

Constantly looking at ad performance and updating copy, adjusting keywords, bids, and what I spend a lot of time doing is negative keyword lists and placements. The Campaign Management Platform we use makes a lot of this pretty easy. @Jturnerpdx

Now when I set out the task ‘optimize account’ they use Opteo, look at performance, test ads, etcetera depending on how much time we get to spend on the account and how much time I need for analysis. If I see specific things I instruct on those specific things. @StephanieErne

Processes and checklists are essential in agency life. Yet personally I like to browse through everything in a less structured way to find uncommon problems and get some new ideas. There’s always (ok, often) something I haven’t seen before. @bloomarty

I suppose. We do have a weekly and monthly opt checklist. @adwordsgirl

I have a quarterly checklist with things to evaluate and measure – if they are not hitting the benchmarks they will be deleted/paused. @andreacruz92

Like we mentioned in A1/A2, weekly updates in the form of keyword pausing/adding acts like consistent “spring cleaning”. @marccxmedia

yes the team has a mandated work calendar indicating the bare minimum of work should be done, and how often (you can always do more). Things like SQR’s, kw expansion, settings check, etc. @JonKagan



Q6: Are there areas that you wish you had more time to devote to that would make accounts more tidy and/or efficient?


sometimes an account needs a whole restructure whether it’s because of ad copy fatigue or significant changes in which keywords perform. But due to the BAU tasks it can take a while to get to this. @mindswanppc

I think it would be working to understand how all their channels are working. Catalog, email, television ads, etc… Understanding and creating more campaigns around “other” marketing efforts to help improve them would be great and fun. Also, more scripts.@lchasse

Complete restructures. Fortunately we just brought on a new campaign management platform that will help with this. @Jturnerpdx

Attribution. I know its happening, but I really don’t make enough time to pull in that data into our work. @JonKagan

More scripts and more time to understand how channels are assisting others. @andreacruz92

Restructuring stuff in campaigns and adgroups that does not necessarily impact performance. And do more testing trough concepts & experiments.@StephanieErne

Agree with you Andrea. For me especially working better with SEO and putting consistent process/testing plans in place. @mindswanppc

at @KoMarketing we have our monthly and quarterly meetings will all the teams involved, it allow us to better integrate all the moving parts – SEO, Social, Content and PPC. @andreacruz92

Maybe this will be the year when I use more scripts?!? A master calendar for social campaigns is something I’m working more on, as their needs are different than search campaigns…@NeptuneMoon

Strategy and optimization. When too much time is spent on communication/reporting (albeit important), it can get frustrating. @SEMFlem

No, not right now. @adwordsgirl



Q7: What is one “spring cleaning” type PPC task that you detest?


Not really spring cleaning but I really detest making a decision on things like keywords or search terms with not enough data but then again al together as a group spending too much. I’m always like: just one extra click that converts and we’re good. @StephanieErne

most of it to be honest. I lik testing new things than spring cleaning. So I try and get as much automation as possible to sort it out. @mindswanppc

doing anything in Google’s web interface (spinners waiting for it to update). /Thank goodness for Editor! Real Answer: Any technical issues where I have to depend on outside resources to modify / fix. You end up waiting and hoping they address them quickly. @lchasse

We really love them all, with the rare exception of doing them on an account that was just neglected and abused for years. If we go into an old account that’s never seen a negative keyword, the sighs are very audible. @CountXero

Anything that has to do with code. @SEMFlem

Geo checking down to the zip code level. Its a necessity, but the new Google UI struggles with it. @JonKagan

Placement mining mainly but that’s a consistent task. @adwordsgirl



Q8: Do you have any suggestions for how the platforms might “spring clean” themselves?


Speed. Practice what you preach Google! @SEMFlem

I think they just did, at least on the Google Ads Editor side. The new release for the Mac is pretty slick and removed a lot of the junk that accumulated during the minor releases over the years. @CountXero

more performance based recommendations not just spend more recommendations. And nice buttons that just go – “Click here to implement”. @mindswanppc

I am still desperately waiting for a notice (or something like that) that a keyword has low search volume when I try to add it from the search terms report. So much adding and then removing it again to keep the account clean.@StephanieErne

(continued): That said, I still think Google Ads needs to further split between “wizard” and “non-wizard” modes for agencies and other pros. So much is done for the DIY crowd that just mucks up the process. @CountXero

Is it too obvious to say “get your platform more stable so I can do work when I need to do it” and not log in to find that it is down? @NeptuneMoon

Seeing how well AI bidding is doing, not sure I would want a platform spring cleaning itself at this point. @lchasse

If a platform can automate around seasonality, it could become a game changer. @JonKagan



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