Why PPC Is Like Surfing A Wave

I’ve compared managing a PPC account to surfing more than once in the past. The comparison being that on a wave you start slowly, build up momentum and enjoy rising and falling sensations or peaks and troughs. The whole time anticipating what lies ahead whilst acutely aware of what is behind you.

A lot of this also happens through the life of a PPC account!


Start Slowly

It’s rare to build an account that nails it from day one. Depending on your starting point, you may have historical data from an old account, or SEO data which can make the getting up to speed process quicker. But even with that, you still need to get some data into all of the AdGroups before decisions about bid levels, pausing keywords etc can be made. On top of that comes all the more advanced bid adjustments, Ad testing and numerous other adjustments. None of this can be done at the start, but takes time as you build momentum.


Peaks And Troughs

Trends can be useful, comparing relative date ranges to view (hopefully) uplift of performance over time. But comparing a 7 day period from this year to the same period last year is really not going to give any answers. The range is too small. In the past I’ve had clients reviewing weekends YoY (year on year) and asking for feedback. The feedback is politely don’t make decisions based upon it!

Over shorter time periods accounts will ALWAYS display peaks and troughs, a good few days followed by less good days as it naturally corrects itself along its trendline. Remember, no account has ever improved day on day continuously forever!



Most of the time optimising a Google Ads account is about reviewing the HISTORICAL data i.e. looking backwards. But we are trying to get the best performance moving forwards. This requires a heads-up approach to what is coming, it requires some slightly broader thinking than simply analysing what happened in the last 30 days. The next 30 days may be significantly different for bigger macro-economic forces or for example - school holidays, Christmas sales periods, the weather and other ‘bigger’ events. All of these factors need to be taken into consideration when reviewing current performance and making any decisions about what to do. This is also an area where fully automated bid strategies can fail, although that’s another story.

Gerard McHugh Posted by Gerard McHugh

Gerard McHugh - PPC Expert based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire UK

Gerard has spent over 15 years working on Pay Per Click campaigns for companies operating in the UK, Europe and USA. He is Google Ads Certified in Search, Display and Shopping and a Microsoft Certified Professional

View Gerard McHugh's profile on LinkedIn



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