It happens often with Google Ads and other search engine platforms, performance goes down. Improving conversions is an essential part of any Google campaign. When talking about conversions, marketers are usually focusing on cost per conversion, which can also be thought of as return on ad spend. There are many types of conversions; conversions can be sales, forms filled or a phone call, and are often the lifeblood of a campaign.

Below are a few things to keep in mind when conversions are dropping on paid search campaigns.

  1. Tracking and Website Issues – First, it’s important to determine if there is a technical issue with the campaign itself by ensuring all conversion tracking is working properly. That can be done by comparing actual sales or form fills against the data. Do the numbers match up? Sometimes there can be a disconnect between ad managers and webmasters, so it’s important to maintain a good relationship to know if site changes occurred that could have impacted performance.

  2. Seasonal – It’s hard to admit that sometimes a decline can’t be fixed. It may be out of our control. Seasonality is a real thing for many industries. It’s not just a B2C trend, it can often affect the B2B world as well. Having prior year data and a knowledge of the industry helps tremendously with this. When it is known that a lack-of-demand season is coming, marketers can prepare and adjust their budgets accordingly.

  3. Competitors – Once lack of technical and seasonal issues have been verified, the next step is to see if anything has changed in the marketplace. As with any business, offline or online, a new competitor changes the game. Marketers should search the space to see what shows in results pages. Even if the ad is still there and positioning has not changed, searchers now have more options. A new competitor can mean a higher cost-per-click in the auction, better deals for consumers and fresh, new messaging and ads. If a new competitor is in the space, marketers need to do the work. What is the messaging? What are they offering? However, this doesn’t mean advertisers should attempt to match competitors. In fact, many can’t do that. Advertisers may not be able to be the cheapest, but there is a reason a consumer should pick them over competitors. That should be emphasized.

  4. Refresh – Ultimately, it could be that absolutely nothing has changed, including the content. If everything else seems constant, it’s probably time to refresh the creative. New ads can make a world of difference. Potential customers may have seen the ads too many times, so marketers should change it up and try something new. Be sure to let the data lead the refreshment. If the ad clicks are the same, but conversions are down, then it may not be the ads that need changing. It could be the landing page experience; the destination could have lost its appeal to consumers. Meeting with the web and creative teams can help add fresh creative and an updated experience.

These are the initial steps marketers take when a search campaign is losing conversions. It’s a rinse and repeat situation with digital advertising. A/B testing is always a constant. The goal is to make changes before those declines start to happen. Keeping an eye on keyword and ad performance is a lot of work, but if it was easy then everyone would be doing it.