Ask any web developer out there how they feel when picking up the code of someone else, and I can almost guarentee they will reply with moans and groans. Well, it’s pretty much the same feeling that Digital Marketers get when pick up a campaign previously ran by someone else. And yet, it happens all the time. Here is one example, although I won’t name the client, for confidentiality reasons.

The Take Over

The transition originally began when I was asked to analyse the performance of the PPC campaigns that were being run for the client, as they felt that they were not making enough sales through the channel. They were also concerned about the amount of effort the agency they were using was actually putting into the management of the account.

So, once I had access, I dove straight in and immediately my jaw dropped. There were a total of 251 campaigns, each with 75+ ad groups. The smallest of those ad groups had 50 ads in, so even if you just use that number of ad groups, you’re looking at 941,250 separate ads! Now, take into account the fact that the client was paying their agency just 10 hours per month, and you can instantly tell that there just isn’t enough time to manage all of those ads.

The issue, however, is that the client had been told on numerous occassions that the agency was on top of it all within the hours allowed each month. That seemed impossible to me, so I had a look at the change history, and found that minimal bulk edits were being made weekly, but that was it. I raised my concerns of it, as well as concerns over the lack of clicks and conversions being recorded, and the client asked me and my team to take over.

THE Campaign Changes

To begin with, the first things I did was to pause all of the campaigns that had given low conversions since the inception of the account. Specifically, if over the course of 5 years a campaign had received between 0 and 50 total conversions, it was paused. Then, using demographics data from Google Analytics, along with keywords that target “in-market” users, I created 5 new campaigns that covered every product that the client wanted to push.

From here, I created a Remarketing campaign that used up to date branding, as well as image-based adverts rather than just text-based ones. My team and I also scrutinised the placements of previous Display Network ads to determine which sites did not perform for the client.

I then created new text ads for the Search Network campaigns that focused on unique selling points of specific product categories, as well as the reasons why someone should purchase those products.

Finally, by using the data from Analytics and SEMRush, I was able to determine the highest converting landing pages, as well as devices, age groups and products. By using this data, I tweaked the existing campaigns in order for them to target the best possible audience for conversion rate.

The Performance Changes

The graph above shows conversions for the last three weeks of management by the client’s previous agency, as well as the first 5 weeks of management by myself and my team. As you can see, conversions took a slight drop as we took over, before staying flat and then finally rising in the last 2 weeks.

The thing that is important to note here, however, is that (as mentioned above) when we took over the account we paused almost all of the 251 campaigns that were already active, and created 5 to replace them. So, with 246 less campaigns, we have been able to gain a higher amount of conversions! And that’s not all!


This graph shows the amount of clicks that one of the campaigns received over “all time”. This is one of the major product lines that the client sells, and one that they were under the impressions was performing well. This graph is set to show monthly totals, so therefore, the highest amount of clicks within one month was just 5!

This second chart, again set to “all time” and monthly totals, shows the amount of clicks the new campaign created for the same product has received so far. At almost 5,000 clicks so far, the new campaign I created has been 1,000 times more successful than the previous campaign. If that isn’t an improvement, I don’t know what is!

Sales Performance

Looking at the conversions recorded since my team took over the campaign, compared to those recorded during the same period last year, you can see there have been a pretty good rise in conversions. Now, on this particular client’s website, a conversion is only tracked when a user finishes the checkout process!

So, in other words, the amount of sales that the client has made through PPC advertising has risen by 630.77%! You can’t really complain with that, can you!

This, itself, has been achieved after a daily budget drop. When I first analysed the account, the daily budget was £1,250, which seemed far too high for the client, considering their overall revenue and profit margins. Therefore, when the new campaigns I created went live and the old ones were paused, I dropped the daily budget to just £500; just under half the cost.

When looking at the year on year stats in Google Analytics, we can also see that Conversion Rate is up by 41% and revenue is up 176.14% with half the budget being spend. All in all, I would say that the changes to the campaign have been a resounding success.

Final Thoughts

But it truly shows that sometimes it is better to simply start again, rather than to try and fix and edit the work of others. If I had tried to keep the original campaigns active, tweaking and managing them, the amount of hours needed would have been crazy! It was far more suitable for the client that I simply paused the old accounts and use their mistakes and errors to ensure that the new campaigns performed as well as possible.

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