If you are an AdWords specialist, you will have encountered a growing trend, to forecast PPC account performance. A perfectly reasonable request, allowing new clients to gauge what they should expect to see for their spend, and existing clients considering a budget increase.
One crucial item to keep in mind, and be honest with customers however is that whilst we as AdWords specialists can make sensible estimations based on historical data and other information we have available it still remains impossible to predict with 100% accuracy what the performance of an AdWords campaign will be. PPC performance still ultimately relies on consumer demand and factors that are out of control of an AdWords Specialist Melbourne. In addition, AdWords consultants cannot control factors such as search volume and the stance (and lilely aggression) of the competition.
In this blog post, I discuss the challenges we face when forecasting PPC performance and offer my advice as to how best we can predict account performance whilst being sensible, and honest with our clients, as there’s too many providers out there these days making unrealistic (and in many cases outright incorrect or misleading) promises.
As we know, accuracy in forecasting requires metrics remaining static. Unfortunately this is near never the case in the game of AdWords. Google AdWords is an auction. So what happens when an existing competitor chooses to lift their game and be more aggressive with their bidding? How about a new player entering the space, and shaking things up a little with their campaign? Google gives us tools to analyse the competition with the benefit of hindsight, but we predicting upcoming behaviour is far more difficult.
Employing a strategy of continuous reports to understand your competitions actions helps you build an overall picture, and most importantly to pick patterns in their behaviour, ones that can possibly start being predicted. You can start looking for indicators of when they go hard, and when they hit the brakes. Is there a particular time of day, or even day of the week where they consistently perform the same action or behaviour? It’s this information that then starts allowing you to enhance your forecasting, sharing those insights, and expected behaviours of the competition.
Not all aspects of forecasting are as hard as each other. Seasonality often gives us solid predictability year on year. Summer wear will of course see increased activity just before and during summer months and a decline during winter months.
Don’t be fooled though, even seasonal trends are subject to unpredicted change. And we must be vigilant in reporting and reviewing to stay on top of this and understands the reasons as best as possible.
Existing data is gold. It’s this information that offers us the most reliable method of calculating performance forecasts. Don’t fall into the trap however of assuming your account structure, campaign settings, ad copy, keyword lists, bidding strategies, ad extension application, feature usage and general optimisation will remain the same, and therefore not considering those likely changes as part of any forecasting.
AdWords accounts run by quality AdWords experts will see numerous and frequent changes in the form of ad copy tests, search query additions and exclusions, new ad groups and the use of all appropriate betas and features Google has to offer. Then there’s changes on the client side of the fence to consider such as website changes, upgrades etc, changes in products & services being offered, and pricing. All of these factors have a knock on effect on key account metrics such as clickthrough rate, conversion rate, quality score and therefore CPC and subsequently, sales/spend.
Setting the right expectation with the client is the most important aspect of providing a PPC performance forecast. Honesty is the best policy. PPC doesn’t create demand, but instead responds to it. Explain how you arrived at the figures in the forecast, and the potential for fluctuation.
PPC forecasting is immensely useful for clients and for AdWords specialists, helping with budget planning.
Are you looking for assistance with AdWords, a Pay Per Click campaign, or paid search initiative? We’d love to chat and see how we might be of assistance. Newpath WEB – AdWords Specialist Melbourne