All advertisers dread the moment when they pull weekly or monthly reporting and discover that a performance metric has slipped, such as CTRs, conversion rates, or conversion volume. With the overwhelming amount of data available from Google and Bing, sometimes it’s hard to decide where to begin looking to identify what happened to your campaign. Below are some quick ideas for places to start trouble-shooting:
1) When did it happen? The Google Adwords and Bing Ads dashboards each have show/ hide graph icons (Google) (Bing) that allow you to see performance summary graphs. Select a date range for when your campaign saw a dip in performance and click the show graph icons. Or, export a daily report and investigate through Excel. Fixing the issue becomes a lot easier once you can pinpoint the exact date performance slipped.
2) Change History: Once you have a date or range of dates that the performance issues started, take a look at Change History to see if you or somebody else managing the campaigns made changes that could have affected performance. If you find something in Change History that possibly hurt your performance, Bing and Google each allow you to Undo the changes.
3) Was anyone else impacted? Are you seeing performance dips in only one search engine or across multiple? Are other channels seeing the same problems – Paid Social, Affiliates, Display? If the issue isn’t isolated to just one search engine or channel, you might have a larger issue at hand, such as increased competition, site issues, or seasonality.
4) Seasonality: Did your campaign have similar performance issues this time last year? Look at performance for the same date range for the prior year. You may find a seasonality trend that explains why your campaigns aren’t doing as well.
5) Google Analytics: If you suspect that factors outside of your campaign are affecting performance, take a look at Google Analytics to see if anything else is going on. Changes in Page-Load Times or Bounce Rate could indicate issues with your site that could be impacting conversions.