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The 7 Deadly Sins of PPC: Pride #ppcsins

April 9, 2018

We’re covering the seven deadly sins of PPC all month. Check out the other posts in the series here:

On October 3rd, millennials around the world will celebrate the 11th annual National Mean Girls Day. Consider yourself warned—the interwebs are bound to be ridden with Plastics memes, your Facebook feed will be a never-ending stream of Regina George quotes, Buzzfeed will post a gazillion versions of “The Plastics and the Mathletes; Where Are They Now?” and every major TV channel will have back-to-back showings of the cult classic. If you’re not a Mean Girls fanatic yourself, you may be wondering, what’s all the hype about? 

mean girls day
 

Easy—it’s universally relatable. No matter where you’re from or what type of school you attended, you probably encountered a clique of “mean girls” who dominated your high school social scene. Heck, maybe you were even one of them! If I had to use one word to describe this crew of girls, it would be vain: the mean girls are always excessively vain. They know they’re pretty, popular and wield great power over the rest of the school.

In Mean Girls, the leader of the Plastics, Regina George, is completely blinded by her sense of pride. She’s so accustomed to hearing that she’s beautiful, that even as her looks take a turn for the worse, she’s oblivious to her downfall.

mean girls i love regina gif
 

I can’t tell you how many PPC advertisers suffer from Mean Girl syndrome. Oftentimes, they only manage one account and they’ve seen it progress over time. They’re so proud of its growth that they become cocky and don’t recognize that it has room for improvement.

Don’t let your own sense of pride prevent you from being successful with paid search. Here are three things you can do to accurately assess your own account performance:

Solution #1: Track Your Performance—Religiously

While this tip may solicit an eye roll from many readers, I stand by it. According to our internal data, a whopping 57% of PPC advertisers have not enabled conversion tracking in their accounts. This blows my mind. Without conversion data, not only is it is virtually impossible to assess your performance, you also won’t have sufficient data to optimize your account.

If you’re not tracking PPC conversions, stop reading this blogpost right now, log into AdWords and get your act together. The setup process is super easy and the data will help you look at your account in a whole new light. Finally, you’ll be able to make account optimizations rooted in actual data!

Solution #2: See How You Stack Up to the Competition

You don’t know what you don’t know. If you’re only working in one account, it’s tough to understand how your performance compares to that of others in your industry. Sure, you can put together some clues based on your positioning, impression share and other small details, but it is tough see the complete picture.

WordStream AdWords Performance Grader
 

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Our free AdWords Performance Grader evaluates your PPC account and produces a super-comprehensive report to show you where you’re killing it and where your account could use a little extra love. Even better, we give you a grade that reflects how your account compares to everyone else in your industry who ran the tool. With over a billion total Grader runs, we have plenty of data to work with!

Solution #3: Don’t Settle for Average

Have the chops to back up your PPC pride? That’s great, but don’t let your past success kill your drive to shoot for even better performance in the future.

search conversion rate distribution

Turn to the graph above for inspiration. As you can see, we plotted average conversion rates for our clients’ accounts and 75% of them were producing conversion rates of 5% or below. Now imagine that you fell in that top tier, the quarter of accounts that scored above 5% conversion rates. You’d be pretty pleased, right? You might even be so pleased that you throw in the towel, sit back and stop bothering to tweak your landing pages.

 

look son, a quitter meme

Come on, quitter! Take another look at that graph and you’ll notice that 10% of those advertisers were able to achieve conversion rates of 11.45% and higher. That’s FIVE TIMES the average landing page conversion rate. The bottom line is, if you continue to strive for great performance, your hard work could pay off in dividends.

A Little Bragging Is A-Ok                                                                            

Don’t get me wrong here—there’s nothing wrong with celebrating your paid search wins. Just don’t get too cocky. Pride could be standing in the way of your next great success!

Erin Sagin

Erin Sagin is the Global SMB Solutions Go To Market Lead at Google.