No, this is not a new episode of The Adventures of Captain Obvious. The topic of organizational skills is a very important discussion point in the world of PPC management. It’s a factor at every level. Keywords, campaigns, reporting, planning, record keeping, channel management, client/boss management, agency management and the hiring of employees. Yes. It’s that big of a deal.
This topic crept into my head during a discussion with the Clix team earlier this week. We started trading notes on our favorite apps (desktop or mobile) that helped us do our jobs and maintain our sanity. The common factor across nearly every app mentioned? They all supported or improved our ability to maintain organization in our day-to-day activities.
It Starts with the Basics
Just think about all of the individual tasks that make up the PPC skill set. Keyword research. Campaign build out and optimization. Attention to detail in settings – all varying by channel. Reporting. Data tracking. The list goes on… Keyword research is tedious and requires multiple steps from ideation to data pulls from keyword tools and finally sorting and planning for campaign/ad group structure. Campaign structure in and of itself is the foundation that strong PPC campaigns are built on. Campaign structure factors into Quality Score (well, not the structure itself, but what a tight structure allows you to do with granularity/relevancy), your ability to quickly report on top level data points and even drill down into trouble spots. PPC accounts that are disorganized make difficult work for any account manager.
All of these tasks and processes require a laser-focused attention to detail and… wait for it… organization skills. At a base level spreadsheets are a PPC manager’s best friend. (side note: that’s just one of MANY superb Excel articles by Bing Ads’ John Gagnon). You can go very far in maintaining your organizational sanity by simply harnessing the power of Excel and spreadsheets as a whole.
What About All the Other Junk?
Ok, so maybe not junk. But when you take a step outside of Google AdWords or Bing Ads, you are left with a never-ending deluge of information to deal with. So, those organizational skills extend right into work flow and project management. One sign of a great PPC manager is one who takes notes on campaign changes and performance trends. What about managing account logins, client-specific channels and corresponding representatives? And jeez… you have to create and maintain campaign schedules, to-do lists for yourself or your team and track client/boss meeting notes and action items.
It’s enough to make a person truly lose their mind.
Organization. Organization. Organization.
Tools: The Wave of the Future
We live in an age where there is zero excuse for a lack of organization. In fact, if you can’t keep the details sorted – you’re just lazy. I’ll admit to falling into that category occasionally, so the finger is pointed in this direction as well! Just think about the technology that we have – literally at our finger tips – to keep track of the infinite details!
- Pen and paper. Remember those? Great for note taking. To-do lists. And more! Try an app like CamScanner on your phone to photograph hand written notes and put them in the cloud.
- General record keeping and sharing those notes across devices and a team: Basecamp. Evernote. OneNote.
- Google Apps. ‘Nuff said.
- Excel. Duh.
- PPC management software for automation, reporting and alerts: Acquisio. Marin. Kenshoo.
- Data tracking: Conversion tracking. Google Analytics. Call Trackinng (e.g. Mongoose Metrics).
- Basic organization tricks: Labels/Folders in email. Labels in AdWords.
- Even your CRM can be a big help in maintaining organization: SalesForce. Infusionsoft. Marketo.
At the end of the day, the quality of a PPC manager will be judged by their campaigns’ performance. As it should be. But the process, and the organizational skills it takes to maintain that process, is the vehicle that drives great performance.
Agree? Disagree? How do you keep organized in the ever-expanding-detail-heavy-overly-tedious world of PPC? Leave a comment!