2) Disengaged: Restructure, Increase Bids, Re-evaluate

Google Ads Experts

Condition 2 = Disengaged

Get in the game!  Don’t sit on poor ad positions, below market bids, and an underspent ad budget.

For Google Ads Experts, this PPC condition is coincident with poor ad positions.  It’s possible that for some advertisers, poor ad positions (double and triple positions) as a planned sort of ad position strategy might work.  It might be particularly interesting to consider as an odd ball sort of strategy when a primary ad space is hypercompetitive, or overrun with buffoons.  Most often however, a disengaged condition correlates with a poorly maintained account.

When we first started expertly managing adwords accounts years ago, we could buy clicks in many industries for nickels, dimes, and quarters.  Some of those same ad spaces have moved forward to dollars and even fivers.  Some accounts which used to purchase clicks for $5 have since moved north of $25 or $50.    Any Google Ads expert falling behind on bid maintenance over this period might now inadvertently be purchasing triple digit ad positions.  We generally take exception to positions which fall off the first page, because it can result in the arbitrary display of ads.  This contrasts with being in a bargain hunting mode where we are selectively purchasing those terms and elements which offer the best value.  No doubt, sometimes a disengaged approach can result in the display of ads for only long-tail keywords, but unless the account is structured to exploit this approach, it is unlikely to be trending up on its quality score.

Aside from all that, most often when we find an account which is disengaged, we find that it has not been managed by an expert and its overall condition is in shambles.  In such cases, it may require a complete restructuring, new ads, and an overall critical reevaluation.  In such cases, historical data might offer only limited value, and we would expect to re-forecast conversion rates.

A Star Campaign is Not Disengaged

Star campaigns are a special case.  A common mistake for New Google Ads Experts is to misdiagnose a Star Campaign as being Disengaged.  A common tactic for managing star keywords is to put them into their own campaign, and set the budget to double average potential ad spending, in order to achieve a 100% impression share.  Such accounts are not disengaged–how could they be since they have a high impression share?  As long as such campaigns are not losing more than 5% to 10% impression share, you are unlikely to improve economic performance by increasing bids, certainly not at the ad group level.  Under such circumstances, you might possibly consider increasing bids selectively for any outlier keyword positions, or possibly breaking them into new homogenous ad groups.

How to Fix Disengaged Accounts

Sometimes when we bring a brand new account live, it starts out as being disengaged.  This is because we have set the ad group bids at sort of ball park rates, and they may have been set too low for ads to display, especially taking into account a neutral quality score.  A common misperception by new Google Ads experts is that fixing a disengaged account requires a lot of time.  While it might be true that a disengaged account may have other problems, if it doesn’t, then fixing it can take literally moments and the impact of the remedy can be felt almost immediately.  To remedy a disengaged account, just increase the bids, normally at the ad group level.  If the account is significantly disengaged, then increase the bids significantly.  Once you’ve done so, you’ll have to monitor and re-evaluate the economic condition continuously to understand and manage the impact of your revisions.  If you identify an account which is in a disengaged mode, then be sure you read all correspondence and of course the Road Map before deciding to SHOCK the account with a bid increase.  Once you’ve done so, if you still believe that the account warrants immediate attention, then consult with your supervisor and recommend your remedy:

“Hey Irene, this account is super-disengaged; it’s spending less than 10% of its budget and earning less than 10% impression share.  I’m going to increase the bids by 25% and see if that fixes it.  Do you agree?”

Beware Underwater Bids

Raising ad group level bids can cause a ton of keywords to go underwater.  Underwater bids are defined as those keyword bids which are lower than the respective ad group level bid.  For Google Ads experts, identify underwater bids using the editor; select an ad group and sort the keywords by the bid.  Delete any bids which are less than the ad group level bid, in order to revert them to the newly-raised default ad group level bid.

Document the Impact!

Once you have permission to SHOCK a disengaged account with a significant bid increase, then be sure to document the matter in the Road Map, and explain daily thereafter the affect of your bid increases, and the subsequent steps taken to reach a new equilibrium.

Sample Questions

What are the symptoms of a disengaged account?

How would an Google Ads Expert fix a disengaged account?

How would an Google Ads Expert fix low impression share?

When would Google Ads Experts increase keyword bids?

When would an Google Ads Expert increase ad group bids?

What are underwater bids and how do I find them?

How do I fix underwater bids?

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