Time Management is one of the skills that everyone likes to boast about on their CV’s/resumes, but once you start working in PPC that’s when your time management skills really come into their own! Different clients, different demands and never ending optimization you could do on your PPC accounts means every minute you have is precious! Here are a few tips to help you manage the time you spend on your paid search activity more effectively:
1 – Establish Your Priorities
We’ve all had days where we have an overflowing to-do list and feel like no matter how much time there is in the day, you wouldn’t be able to get all your tasks done. Sometimes, it’s simply not possible, in which case you need to establish what needs to be done first rather than doing half jobs of everything. No-one wants to let anyone down by not completing things that you should but by clarifying exactly what the priorities are by either someone senior to you or directly to a client, you’ll be less likely to ‘let anyone down’.
2 – Don’t Drown in Data
It’s no secret that us PPC Marketers love data, give us 10,000 rows of data, a pivot table & a V-lookup to do and we’ll be amused for hours. But as tempting as it is to get as much data as you can to analyse, you need to step back and question if you really need it. Data is only useful if you can turn it into something which you can actually do something in response. Do you really need information on what browser, operating system or screen resolution users are on? Probably not if you’re going to be able to do in response to the results.
3 – Make The Most Of Time Saving Techniques
It’s easy to get stuck in your routines and do things the way you always have, but for any big tasks you should step back and say to yourself, ‘Is this really the quickest way to do this’. It may be that is genuinely is the quickest way, but sometimes there may be a rather simple solution in front of you that you’ve just never considered before.
Google Adwords Editor is becoming more user friendly (though still a long way to go!) to make bulk uploads, as is the Adwords interface. In the Adwords Interface you can make large scale changes to bids or ads with rules, so this can be a big time saver.
Excel is a huge time saver too – for bid adjustments, changing ad copy, keywords changes and analyzing large scale data. Pivot tables can be a big time saver and can help you get your head around large amounts of data (I’ll be covering the benefits of pivot tables in my next post).
4 – Know Your Limits
We’d all like to be able to do every task we are given quickly and accurately but sometimes it’s just not possible. Know your limits and what you are physically able to achieve. It’s an awkward conversation to have with clients, but sometimes you just have to tell them that you can’t complete all the tasks you’ve got to do. Instead, tell them what you can do first and when you can do it by and give timescales on the tasks you’re struggling to complete. Clients are human (well, most of them anyway!), so should understand that everything isn’t always possible and appreciate you telling them. The worst thing you can do is pretend you can do everything.
5 – Stick To Your Routine
Routines are good and they’re not just meant for 5 year olds! Try do your daily tasks in the same order every day and you’ll find you’re much more productive. For example, I check the budgets first thing in the morning, then pull some daily reports so I’ve got it all done before 10am and do weekly reports the same time every week. By doing things the same time every day/week you’ll get these tasks out of the way and free up your time to concentrate on other things the rest of the time. Plus, you’ll be much less likely to forget to do any of your daily tasks (not that we ever do that..)
Okay, so I know this isn’t always possible to stick to your routine – one last minute client request can completely change your routine for the day (or week), so stick to your routine as much as you can. That way if you have already ticked off some of your tasks, you’ll have more time to respond to emails/client request and other ad hoc tasks.
So, that’s my tips on managing your time better in paid search marketing. Agree with these tips? Or got any of your own? Feel free to share them below!