Plotting the Effects of your PPC Changes

Posted by in Search Marketing (SEO) on June 16th, 2008 6 Comments

Amazing.

Imagine you could plot the effects of every single change to your PPC campaign on a graph. You’d be able to view instantly whether that bid your raised on Friday evening before leaving the office has paid off… Has it had a better CTR? Has it generated more conversions?

Now what if you could have a graph with little flags on it displaying every single change you made to your campaign in the last 2 years? You’d be able to see whether your changes are affecting overall impressions, or simply more generally, whether your optimising is going in the right direction…

By now you must have guessed: Yes! Now you can!

The “My Change History” tool (located in ‘Campaign Management’ -> ‘Tools’ -> ‘My Change History’) now allows you to see not only what changes you made, but how these changes affected the overall campaign’s impressions, clicks, CTRs, costs and conversions! All you have to do is use the tool as you would before, and the graph will automatically pop up above your results. You can then reduce the length of the period you are looking at, and start understanding how where and why your campaign is not doing as good as your competitor’s.

MyChangeHistory Plotting the Effects of your PPC Changes

What you can do with this information:

Well there are many many things you can use the my change history for. In the past, it was mostly used when migrating a campaign from one agency to another: you could check that they hadn’t been doing anything naughty, or worse, that they hadn’t done changes to the account just before the migration to screw yours up. The ‘My Change History’ tool was also widely used for making sure work/tasks have been undertaken on specific accounts.

But now, with the addition of the plotting functionality, the ‘My Change History’ tool is going to become one of your best friends (along with the URL builder, the search query report and the Google Gods). I will go from account level to keyword level to explain what you can do with this tool:

My Budget Change History 

You can use it to plot how your budget changes have affected overall impressions, clicks, costs (…) this way you can develop an understanding of impressions/day for your campaign. I find this useful because the Google system takes 15 days to tell you that you are not receiving 100% of eligible impressions – in my world, 15 days can mean over 2500 conversions so you can understand that if I start loosing impressions, conversions might go down as well…

My Status change History (Google tracks the status, but won’t let you track new ad groups, so track the status to visualise new ad groups)

You can use it at Ad group level to plot how new ad groups you introduce to your campaign affect costs and click rates: if your CTR drops, the graph will show a downward trend that will start with a little flag saying “you introduced a new ad group here, you sure it’s relevant?”

My Ad Change History

You can use it at ad level in the same way: how has your new ad affected CTRs and conversions? Is it because you are sending to a different landing page?

My Keyword Change History

You can also use it at keyword level: imagine you enter a new keyword to your campaign and the impressions shoot up; your keyword is relevant, it’ s a client product/service and it’s fairly niche so there shouldn’t be anything wrong…… Oh! Negatives! that’s right! Yes negatives can be a pain to find, and the ‘My Change History’ will help you identify where you can refine your traffic.

An example of this is when I discovered that there was a popular game people played online during their lunch break – this game shared part of its name a client product, and therefore gave me unwanted impressions that would never get clicks, and therefore was going to sentence my Quality Score to death.

You can also view information for My CPC Change History, My Distribution Change History, and My Targeting Change History.

All in All:

The My Change history can be very, VERY useful when checking the effects of your changes on the overall performance of the campaign. In my opinion, it should be checked 2-3 days right after making a change – for quick wins – and around 10 days later, so you can compare weekday vs weekend results.

If you want more information about the new My Change history Feature, click here.

Enjoy.

pixel Plotting the Effects of your PPC Changes