In pay per click search engine marketing, a lot is going on at once. Even more is going on if you follow my advice around making progress in your search engine accounts. Now, if you’re like most search engine marketers, your records may be less than perfect. Today, I’m excited to discuss my thoughts around records in PPC and why they’re import both for the health of your campaigns but also your personal SEM career growth.
Good Records Will Help Your SEM Career
I’m going to jump right to the fun stuff. How can good records in pay per click help your personal career? It’s simple: Records are the easiest way to remember all the hard work you have invested when the time comes for your performance review. Pay per click is a very fast paced career. We’re getting so much done and often switching tasks so quickly that it’s absolutely impossible to remember everything you’ve accomplished. Here’s where good records come in. Take the time to thoroughly document everything you’ve done and then leverage this information during your performance review. Even better, proactively send your manager regular updates on your (and your team’s) accomplishments. One of my all time top teachings about the search engine marketing game: If you don’t proactively take credit for the projects you’ve completed, you’ll never get credit. It’s up to you!
Good PPC Records Will Improve The Performance of Your Campaigns
Now, let’s see how good records will help the performance of your campaigns. (As a side note: Again, this really is a career boost for you as well because solid campaign performance is the engine behind rapid career progression.) It’s all really simple: Too much is happening in SEM. Just think about all the changes and all the different people involved! Not only are you making changes, but everyone on the team is making changes, your search engine reps are making changes, search engines are changing their algorithms, the engineering team is regularly updating the site, and the list goes on. Keep track of everything in a detailed manner and it will greatly improve your campaign management abilities. Good records will instantly answer many of your campaign questions.
How Do I Keep Good PPC Records?
So I’ve convinced you and you’re ready to improve your record keeping practices. I’ll start out with an interesting story. When I first started out managing teams in pay per click, I used to print out every single analysis my team completed and kept them all in a binder which I carried with me everywhere. If I ever got a question about what we were working on or what was happening with a campaign, I would quickly pull out the binder and flip to the right analysis. While this is an extreme example, there’s nothing wrong with it and it only makes you look more prepared as a PPC team manager.
While I’m not carrying around the binder these days, I still take incredibly good records. Following are my favorite tips:
- First and foremost, leverage your company’s internal task list infrastructure (such as Sharepoint) if they have one. If they don’t, talk to your manager and request that your company invests in one. Even if I finish a project that only takes one hour, I’ll open a ticket and then immediately close it just so I have detailed records. At the end of the quarter, you can easily look at all the completed tasks both for yourself and your team.
- Second, if you’re a people manager spend at least 20 percent of your time planning, forecasting, and keeping records. If you’re an individual contributor, spend at least 10 percent of your time. While this may sound extreme, I’m a big believer in SEM productivity leverage. If you simply take a step back, you will immediately improve your productivity. If you don’t take a step back, it’s very easy to get absolutely lost in the sea of projects going on, losing your ability to see up from down.
- Third, regularly send updates to everyone involved including your team and manager. Even though you’re tracking your projects in Sharepoint or whichever system your company uses, don’t assume everyone is on the same page (especially your manager). Send regular email updates on what was accomplished, what’s on your list, relative priorities, and most importantly forecasted and real numbers.
- Finally, always include numbers with everything. I’m sure you already know it: numbers are everything in pay per click. As a pay per clicker, you need to become a master at forecasting. Always forecast the benefits of each project, but make sure to close the feedback loop and report back on the accuracy of your forecast. If you’re able to accurately forecast and consistently deliver results, you will get promoted quite rapidly.
To close out, I hope I’ve convinced you to keep good records and leverage them to your advantage in growing both your personal SEM career and also your campaigns. Moreover, I hope these tips provide some "quick wins" in your search marketing career. One things is for sure: I will continue to push myself each and every day to keep great SEM records!
Image of To Do List © iStockPhoto – nigelcarse