Tapping Into Client Knowledge

Written on 16 December, 2015 by Robert Skelton
Categories PPC

When a business outsources the management of their online marketing, they get someone with technical expertise who knows the various platforms inside out—but that is only half the story. A good manager needs to regularly liaise with the client and pick their brain so that, between them, they can get achieve the best results.

Here are some examples of where managing an AdWords account can really benefit from client input:

Search Queries

When using phrase and broad match keywords, all sorts of actual search queries can trigger them to show an ad. The keyword “buy books” can be triggered by the search query “can I buy books in the South Pole“.

Google provides a report of the actual search queries that triggered clicks on ads. By finding irrelevant query words and making them negative keywords, a lot of click costs can be saved.

Account managers can’t be expected to have the same level of intimate product and service knowledge as the client, so it makes sense to go through the search query report together. While the manager’s instinct would be to make “south pole” a negative keyword, the business owner could tell them that they actually sell a lot of books to people down that way.


In AdWords, various types of conversions can be tracked. The best sort are actual purchases or registrations, where the end goal has clearly been achieved. However, many conversions are of the contact or lead type. We can tell that the searcher has filled in an enquiry form or phoned the client. We can’t tell if that has led to a sale, unless we ask the client. The client might say, “I’m getting a lot of phone calls about the South Pole, but we don’t ship there!”

Call Report

In the Dimensions tab in AdWords is a report of all the phone calls that occurred via AdWords (if you are using Google’s free forwarding numbers). When you set up call conversion reporting, you indicate a call length that would qualify as a conversion – say 30 seconds. The call report shows all calls, not just those that converted. This allows you to see how many were of a brief duration and, more importantly, calls that weren’t answered.

By sharing this report with the client, you can potentially discover times when the phone isn’t manned, or that people keep on phoning about the South Pole, and the call is brief.


By default, Google shows ads to people in the region or location you choose – but they also show ads to people who are interested in that location. So, even though your ads are set to run in Australia only, someone in the South Pole searching for “buy books from Australia” could see your ad.

Google has a report showing where the searcher actually made their search from. The business owner will usually have a strong opinion on where their customers typically live, and can advise on which locations should be excluded.

Image source; Clever Local.

Time of Day / Day of Week

Another report gives stats related to the hour of day, or day of week, when clicks occur. Sharing this information with the client could have them informing you that they close at 6pm each day, and there’s no one answering the phone. Setting an ad schedule can save the client dollars.


Some pertinent information is impossible for the manager to know unless the client tells them. So, it is important to regularly ask questions like “are you running a promotion anytime soon?” If they are, then you can make sure ad copy is ready to go before the promotion starts. If the question isn’t asked, then there could be a mad panic on the day the promotion starts, or the opportunity to help the promotion might just slip by altogether.

New Products / Removed Products

The same goes for products. Account managers can’t be expected to memorise all the products on a site, and keep checking for changes. Clients don’t necessarily realise that when they are out-of-stock, or when they introduce a new product range, that keywords need to be removed or added. So that question should be regularly asked as well.

Point of Difference

Sometimes the site being promoted isn’t very good but, for whatever reason, the client wishes to persist with it. They might ship to the South Pole, yet this is not mentioned on their website. By asking the client what makes them better than their competitors, you can find out what perhaps should be written boldly on their site (but isn’t). At least you can use it in ad copy.

Website Changes

Most clients do not realise that changes to their website can affect their AdWords campaigns. Pages disappearing and URLs changing usually result in disapproved ads, which is something that account managers are alerted to, albeit after the fact. Invisible to managers is when tracking code is removed. Asking about their website can prompt the client to share that they are getting it revamped, or it was hacked, or a form was broken but it has now been fixed.

Closing for the Holidays

Having an account manager means not having to think about your ads. When business people shut their shop for a two-week vacation, they’ll put a notice on their shop door. They might not think of telling their ad account manager. Two weeks of ads running when there’s nobody to answer their calls can be avoided.

A friendly account manager who makes regular contact can find out all sorts of things, just by asking questions and sharing data. It is a key aspect of managing online advertising.

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