It can be a terrifying sight: you log in to your AdWords account, and scroll through to your analytics. Instead of the normal range of highs and lows, there is a valley in the middle of your graph: clicks have flatlined. Before you tear your hair out or completely overhaul the ad campaign, take a breath. This problem might be easier to fix than you realize. Grab your paddles, and have everyone stand back: we’re going to jumpstart this campaign.
There are several scenarios that could cause this flatline. Go through your account and see if any of these situations have occurred; once you find the culprit, it will be much easier to fix – and get your campaign back to normal.
What is Your Ad Position?
Your ad’s place on the page can affect the clicks. If it appears too low on the page, make sure that your bids aren’t too low. If you’re using automated bid options, is there a paused rule that is stranding a keyword at a lower-than-average bid?
Are Your Bids Too Low?
Bidding is always tricky, but if your bids are too low, AdWords will phase you right out of competition. Additionally, check your daily budget. If it’s too low in relation to your average cost-per-click (CPC), then that can negatively affect the ad’s impression share, contributing to your flatlined campaign.
Are All of Your Negated Terms Correct?
If your impressions and clicks suddenly take a nose-dive, that can be a sign of simple team miscommunication or a simple mistake. Check your negatives list and make sure none of your important keywords were added by mistake; audit the list at the ad group and campaign level to make sure you don’t miss something.
Does Your Ad Messaging Match Your Page Content?
If your ad leads to an irrelevant page, or doesn’t deliver on a promised offer, it can create a host of problems. Aside from disappointing users and negatively affecting sales, content mismatches cause ad quality scores to tank. Mismatches often happen when a webmaster or another person within an organization changes something on a page and doesn’t tell the PPC team. Consistently check landing pages and websites to make sure your ads are still relevant.
Was the Site’s Back-End Updated?
Sometimes, the simplest answer is the right one. Developers often update pages and forget about the PPC tracking code placed on the site, which causes your AdWords data to flatline. Implementing the code again will get your account tracking again.
When something goes wrong in your AdWords account, it is easy to panic. Don’t; get out your marketing scalpel and use this checklist to dig into the account. If you still can’t get your PPC campaigns where you’d like them, call in the specialists; our Digital Marketing Team has years of experience and success with PPC campaigns, and we’re an AdWords-certified partner!