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drop in converson rates?

Has anyone noticed?

     
2:51 am on Jul 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Or is it just me?

Ive been scratching my head for almost two weeks now. One of my best performing adgroups went from 2% conversion down a 1.

I have tried everything imaginable to track the problem (lots of days and night without sleep). The only thing I am left with is the possibility that google is sending me crap traffic.

I have taken a lose with this one and have been busting my butt to make up for it with other things.

Usually when A problem like this presents itself I am able to track down the problem and correct it after many tests. Not this time.

This is by far one of the strangest happenings since I first started working online.

4:23 am on July 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What type of campaigns you run? Search, Content, or Both?
5:23 am on July 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Search
5:46 am on July 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Keywords? Exact, phrase, broad - do you track them separately? Can you run a report that shows conversion for each keyword? What was your average position while your conversion was 1 opposing to when it was 2? CTR, total number of impressions, daily, weekly? Compare all of that.

If this does not help, how about competition? Did something new kicked into the market which is more attractive or same thing but cheaper, better? When you type your best keyword into Google Search, is the situation the same like two or three weeks ago? New ads?

If none of those applies, keep in mind that two weeks is not enough to get worried. You may say that you’ve never had that before, no matter about the time of the year, but it happens sometimes, with no reason known to you.

12:00 pm on July 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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thank you. This is all very good feedback. I will consider these things.
4:47 pm on July 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I would check to see if there are any new competitors out there when you search for your products. Either someone else is cutting into our business, our stock is low, or the landing page isn't working.

Not that you can really tell, but there may be a completely different type of products being sold, that has become more competitive. Whatever the product is, people searching for that may be inadvertantly triggering your ads as well...and i gotta admit, i click on ads where I think to myself "why the heck is this ad being displayed?" mostly out of curiosity i guess. any way, check out the posts below - it can explain a little into how that is happening:

[webmasterworld.com...]

3:52 am on July 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I sure have experienced a HUGE drop in conversion rates myself. My conversions have really taken a beating since the last week of June, and I'm losing money. Maybe some products are just poor sellers during summer. Given the same amount of clicks, far fewer visitors are ordering then a month earlier. Many days are seeing NO sales.

I'm thinking I should probably suspend all my Adwords campaigns for those products until next Fall, and find something that converts well during summer. I honestly don't know what converts high during summer since apparently there seems to be little if any information regarding this problem.

I'm fairly new to Adwords.

[edited by: Webdetective at 3:57 am (utc) on July 12, 2007]

3:55 am on July 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Same here. A related and recent problem is that one day I'll have a 100% ROI, the next day 10% ROI, the next day 100%, next day 10%, etc. I've been advertising in this niche for years and this is absolutely not normal. Something is going on if you ask me ...
6:09 am on July 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The returns on many large campaigns have also been hit, and hit hard. It took some time for the new Content search algorithms to kick-in on all campaigns and also this wonderful "Quality Rank" system for the search campaigns. In my many years of managing 150,000+ keyword campaigns with incredibly sophisticated inhouse tracking, I have never seen anything like what has been going on the last few months.

Some keywords (and ad groups) have the same CTR with zip sales compared to many, many months of consistent conversion %. Many highly relevant and optimized keywords/ads/groups at position 1 to 3, with 15 to 25% CTR have also took a beating to "poor quality" with ridiculous minimum bids for no reason (just so happens to be the converting keywords by the way). If I didn't trust Google so much, I would think that this is some form of price fixing ;)

I would email, call, snailmail and scream until they clean this nasty up. . . It is giving all of us some serious pain . . all but google's bottom line that is.

8:05 pm on July 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Find out where your sales are coming from and see what's changed. If a lot of sales come from content, changes that the referring website makes might affect your sales. You don't really have any control over that.
5:22 am on July 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I was/am in the "if I didn't trust Google" camp as well, but lately I've been second guessing myself on this.

Another extremely troubling thing I'm noticing is an increase in impressions and non-converting clickthroughs on random keywords any time I delete other non-converting keywords.

For example, I was getting around 4000 clicks a day from one AdWords campaign. I deleted a few big keywords that average around 800 clicks a day. These are historical averages over the past year. So you'd expect that I'd now be seeing around 3200 clicks a day - but somehow, mysteriously, impressions and clicks on all the otherr terms has somehow managed to jump up so I am still averaging around 4000 clicks a day. This has happened each of the 3 times I've deleted poorly performing keywords over the past month.

Things are really wacky lately ...

4:54 pm on July 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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i am seeing exactly the same thing as limitup - some larger clicked keywords delete then volumes on other keywords increase

golles

7:26 pm on July 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I also see this. I paused all but one campaign and the remaining campaign impressions and charges almost equals what I was getting for all five campaigns. Something wierd.....
11:02 pm on July 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I too have been seeing a serious decline in conversions and simply higher spends.....this trend became visibly apparant since the latter part of June.

[edited by: TrafficGal at 11:03 pm (utc) on July 17, 2007]

11:49 pm on July 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You may be suffering from expanded broadmatch. See [webmasterworld.com...] . Run a search query report to see if Adwords is giving you lots of traffic you did not target.
5:13 pm on July 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't use broad match at all.
4:13 am on July 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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limitup, i'm seeing the same thing.

One campaign I run averages between 900 and 999 clicks per day. In your case you receive the same number clicks even when you delete portions. In my case, I cannot INCREASE my clicks. No matter how much I optimize the adgroups or add more keywords, I cannot break the 1000 a day barrier.

I know it sounds utterly ridiculous, but for this campaign it seems that I have been capped at 1000 per day, no matter what I do. (Note that this is an affiliate campaign)

3:22 pm on July 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I second the suggestion that it's to do with the AdWords broad match changes.

Looking through my logs, I'm seeing my campaigns for [brand widget] triggering for phrases like [different brand widget parts]. The site I am driving traffic to doesn't sell the alternate brand or parts, so while people clickthrough, they don't convert.

I'm working with 1000+ word negative keyword lists for many of my campaigns.

5:19 am on July 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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[brand widget] is an exact match. It should only trigger for that exact search term. Or are you talking about something else?
10:32 pm on July 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Are any of you using the search network? Or are you just using Google Search? Google's search network seems to be turning into pure CRAP. I think that some of those that were making MFA sites - are now making these crappy google search network sites.

I've opted out of the search network on many of my campaigns. While my traffic has decreased, my ROI has gone way up.

4:45 pm on July 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Turning off search network for most campaigns is a given until they allow us to block them just like the MFA sites.
4:50 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Apologies, my mistake. I meant my search terms as broad keywords, not exact match.
6:47 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Broad match has that tendency to just serve what you turned off to the ones left on.
I would try turning off the search network and see how working solely with Google searches to test what is happening.
Obviously heavy negatives are needed.... and don't just add the qualifier, use the whole keyword... for example don't negative "blue" but "blue widgets"
2:55 pm on July 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I am also experiencing the same problem with one of my client. The conversion rate dropped from 2.20% to 1.83% during the month of June and it still continue to decrease this month also. I see that the broad match keywords are getting more traffic where the CTR is almost doubled when compared to the past and very low conversion rate. The $$ spent on adwords has been gradually increased and conversions & conversion rate dropped. By seeing the above posts i understood the reason behind this embedded broad match terms. I am going to add more negative keywords like for all broad match terms. "green widgets" -> -[green], -[widgets] etc...
9:03 pm on July 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I've been watching my AW traffic and conversion go down since about Jan 2006. I've had KWs that used to get 15% CTR trickle down to less than 1%. It's been a slow and steady decline and I can't figure out why. I've looked at all the obvious answers (competition, etc.)

The only thing that I can imagine is that they just don't like my account and/or sites and are showing the ads less on purpose. All in all, I've really stopped caring about google and adwords and concentrate more on Y! and MSN. I don't know what else to do. :(

11:26 pm on July 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Ah man don't get me started on Yahoo. Their system flat out sucks compared to AdWords. You can add 1000 long tail keywords to a campaign and they map 98% of the searches to 1 or 2 terms. Makes it almost impossible to do anything with them. I honestly don't understand how people can run serious PPC campaigns on Yahoo ...