As the world looks to go back to normal, your business needs to eventually go back to normal as well (if not try and pickup the slack from the last 2 months). Some key money saving and business saving decisions will have been made 2 months ago but now it is time to work out, how you plan to take things back to normal.

How to decide when to switch your PPC back on?

Every company is in a different situation here as detailed a bit more in one of our previous blogs back in early April: http://circusppc.com/how-the-coronavirus-has-been-impacting-ppc-accounts/.

Many companies will fit in to one of the below:

So how do you identify if the interest in your products/service is back?

There are some tools from Google which will help:

  • Google trends
  • Shopping insights
  • Google alerts
  • Find my audience
  • Rising retail categories

Despite all the facts and figures and all the data that is available, there is only one true way to check if the market is ready for you to turn your PPC back on. Testing it. It does not have to be for a long period and may only be for a day (depending on the amount of traffic you normally receive).

We have found this to be highly effective for ourselves and some of our clients. We have also helped some of our other contacts who have furloughed their PPC team to test this so they can make a business decision based on their own account data as opposed to market averages.

How to pressure test?

Whilst it is always advised to use an expert when managing a PPC account even for a small pressure test, it is not something everyone can afford. So below are some basic instructions on how you could do this. However, Keep in mind it is not one size fits all.

  1. At this point I am assuming you had your campaigns live previously so they are all setup and ready to go again but just been paused. The 1st step would just be to check your campaigns over and depending on how long you have been paused, you may need to update your PPC ads, sitelinks, etc.
  2. The most important step here would be to keep an eye on the performance almost hourly:
    • Impressions – to track interest
    • Clicks and spend – for obvious reasons
    • Conversion rate – obviously depending on the normal decision-making time for your account this may be something you cannot keep an eye on hourly.
    • Average order value – this may be higher (or even lower) than what you are normally used to seeing.
    • And ultimately the ROI, cost or sale, CPA, etc.
  3. The data will suggest one of the below:
    • Things are going great – time to turn things back on properly and maybe even bring your PPC manager back off furlough (which is what the test we did for one of our friends found for them).
    • Your market is definitely not back – keep things as they are at either your low tick over level or paused.
    • Data is inconclusive:
      • You may need to run the test for longer if you are getting some sales but not your usual amount and if you can afford to run the test for a bit longer then do so.
      • You cannot afford to keep the test going and if you had to pick a side the data looks negative, so you have to wait for longer before you do test again.

Some Important Things to keep in mind:

  • I am not saying spend a lot of money to get your data, but you do have to spend a normal amount to understand the market.
  • For some markets, this whole blog is a moot point as the market definitely is not back yet so to do a test would be wasting money for example for travel clients trying to sell holidays for this year.
  • You do need some skill in PPC ideally to do this test properly which should not be taken lightly as you can end up wasting a lot of money even when trying to do a small test.
  • Always remember the Google ads system data is not live data so the spend may be higher than what you can see as the data does lag a bit.
  • Google ads may not be the best platform to do your test. You may find your results are stronger on a different platform compared to Google ads at the moment due to the change in user behaviour.

You may need further help to understand how to move forward so please do get in touch to discuss this further.

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