There are multiple reasons why the performance of a particular account may suffer. The online advertising world is a constantly changing landscape. Competition intensity changes, user behavior varies, external events like weather or politics all affect how AdWords campaigns perform over time. Another factor affecting the performance of your account is the changes you or the tools you use do.

Before you go into panic mode, please spend some time and try to identify the possible cause of this performance drop.

Here are a couple of ideas for your troubleshooting:

1. Changes in the AdWords account

Keyword changes: Did you pause or reactivate keywords recently? Were there new keywords added that might have increased cost too much? This is usually a case where you will see significant cost changes.

Ad text changes: Did you change ads recently? Failure to recognize and evaluate changes in ads can also lead to weaker performance.

Targeting changes: Changing targeting options leads to shifts in your target audience. The new audience may be bigger, smaller, react differently to the same ads and have different purchasing patterns. False targeting options may also shut you off from all of your traffic.

2. Your website and products

Website design changes: Did you change your website recently? Did you move a button or change website colours and texts? These changes may have a critical effect on your website conversion rate and how your users find the products and information they need. Testing is key.

Tracking pixel changes: Did you move your conversion tracking code? Is it still working? Check with the person responsible if everything is running.

Products changes: Changes in pricing or adding shipping costs will affect how competitive you are in comparison to other businesses. This will affect how often your website visitors make purchases.

3. Settings in the bid management tool

Goals: Double-check your goals. Are they realistic? Were there any changes made recently? Did you adjust them after important events like sales or Christmas periods?

No goals: Letting your account run with a bid management tool is like telling a car to drive by itself. Yes it will go fast, but you will never know where you end up. Setting a realistic goal should be your first task after starting with any bid management tool. Learn which goals you can set in Adspert.

4. Competition

New competitors in the market: New entrants in the marketplace usually cause CPCs to inflate and worsen the performance of everybody else advertising.

Competitor bidding: Competition is fierce and CPCs may get expensive if competitors decide to bid more aggressively for the same keywords you are using.

Brand bidding: Bidding on competitor brand keywords is a shady area, but there are cases where your brand keywords get under huge competitor pressure. Either you keep fighting or settle for a lower position.

5. Seasonality and benchmarking

Seasonality: Your account may have a seasonality which will affect results. Comparing January to December when your main business happens over Christmas will always provide you with a gloomy performance outlook. While evaluating campaigns with seasonal effects, take those into account when setting expectations.

Benchmarking issues: Results may dramatically vary if you take a too short time period especially if your account performance varies every day.

Conversion delay: If you know your users need some time between the click and the purchase, do take this into account while evaluating performance. Sometimes the time delay between the click on the ad and the actual purchase may be weeks. This leads to a paradox where the last few days or weeks always look worse in comparison to earlier periods.

6. User behavior

User behavior is a factor which will also affect performance. There are days where users simply do not convert as well, and there is relatively little you can do about it.

7. External events

Weather: It affects users not only in the offline world. Sudden spikes in temperature, or extreme weather conditions as storms can affect the clickthrough rates (CTRs) on keywords and the conversion rate on your website (both in positive and negative ways).

Political events: These events happen rarely, but if they concern the area you work in, you may experience huge shocks in demand.

Fashion: If your products go out of fashion, user interest will drop and hence your online advertising performance will stagger.

If none of the circumstances relate to your situation, please contact us:

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