Should You Ever Pause Keywords That Are Under Performing Or Not?

Often we are in the dilemma to pause keywords that are under performing or not. We face this scenario day in and day out. You have 100s of ad groups, most of them are converting at a good conversion ratio. But there are some ad groups which have a lower conversion ratio. What should you do in this case? We are assuming in this post that you have a good campaign structure with single keyword ad groups.


Pause Keywords In Ad groups That Are Completely irrelevant

Some of the ad groups can fall into this category, these keywords are not at all relevant to your business but are on your account because it is a long tail keyword. Let’s take an example of apple trying to sell their iPhones through their website. They created a campaign for the keyword iPhone and found out all long tail keywords and create separate ad groups for them. Pretty soon they realize that a lot of ad groups are related to iPhone repair. But this is not something they provide. In this case, it is best to pause these ad groups.

Ad groups are relevant but less converting

Let’s say this advertiser also sees keywords which are related to their product but are converting at a lower ratio. Let us say there is a keyword cheap iPhone site which has a conversion ratio of 2%. Where as the good keywords have a conversion ratio of 5%. What should you do in this case?

Never ever pause keywords which are less converting but related to your product. Instead, reduce the max CPC. Reduce it such that ratio between avg CPC of lower, higher converting keywords is same as their conversion ratio.

In the example, avg CPC of the low intent keyword / avg CPC of high intent keyword = conversion ratio of low intent keyword/conversion ratio of high converting keyword. This translates to avg CPC of the low intent keyword / avg CPC of high intent keyword = 2/5 = 40%. If the avg CPC of high converting keyword is 10, then the avg CPC of the low intent keyword should be 4. This strategy helps advertisers to get conversions from all their keywords at the same cost per conversion. here the tricky thing is to figure out the max CPC to bid where you can achieve the target avg CPC. As a good approximation, you can assume max CPC and avg CPC of different keywords are same. But always make necessary calculations.

This strategy is also called rule based bid optimization which tells you when to increase or decrease bids.


About the author

Salil Panikkaveettil

CEO and co founder of AdNabu. Exploring the intersection of data and marketing