Two-Step Methodology for Dealing With PPC Performance Downturns

Performance is the main reason why we all use Pay-Per-Click (PPC), right? Probably you need to increase traffic to your website, or better still, boost sales and customers. But things may not always be rosy. There are times when the performance of the account takes a downturn. Unless one is fully prepared on how to handle this unfortunate occurrence, it can end up being quite stressful and lead to loss of trust by clients and stakeholders. A proper strategy for responding when PPC performance is down can save the day and turn a seemingly dull situation into a positive one.

If KPIs indicate a slump in profits and website traffic, action needs to be taken urgently to restore the numbers back as they initially were, or even more. Fortunately, one does not even need to be a master diagnostician to pull this through. By following the two step methodology outlined below, PPC performance gets restored quickly and gives new breathe to your account.

Step #1: Identify and Define the Problem

A Google PPC account manager should be able to demonstrate to stakeholders that they clearly understand the problem causing PPC performance downturn. His role is to inform clients and all stakeholders why performance has taken a downturn and come up with a solution. Identifying the problem should be the first step in solving performance issues. One should be able to tell when the problem started and what key metrics have been lagging, causing the performance downturn.

Identifying and defining the problem takes some bit of research in order to identify the root causes. For instance, if the problem is identified as a decrease in lead volume, the key lagging metrics would include aspects such as; a spike in Cost Per Click (CPCs), reduction in Conversion volume and a decrease in Click-through-volume, (CTR), among other factors. A decrease in CTR and conversion volume coupled with a spike in CPCs would lead the account manager to investigate the recent brand traffic performance and spot the root causes of these issues which are then communicated to the relevant person or department to make corrections as instructed. For example, if a good number of high-traffic branded keywords had been paused due to an error that had occurred, this is corrected by “unpausing” them and readjusting bids. This would consequently lead to increased traffic and conversion volume. Since step one of the problem has been achieved, it’s time to proceed to step two.

Step 2: Communicate the Problem to Stakeholders and Recommend Solutions

Lack of proper communication is a huge hindrance in solving business problems. PPC account managers should disclose all the problems that they are facing with the relevant stakeholders and recommend the best solutions available. The problem should be addressed clearly via written or verbal communication, detailing all issues that have been identified. The account manager should then offer recommendations that will restore the performance of the account. Timely communication of the problem eliminates the aspect of fear by the stakeholders.


Regardless of how much effort is put in, avoiding Google PPC downtime is almost inevitable. We can only be prepared to combat it once it sets in. By clearly understanding the root cause of the under performance, developing an appropriate solution and communicating decisively to stakeholders with recommendations, it becomes easy to survive a downturn.