Smart PPC law firm advertisers never say the word “today.” Why? Because when you’re running a PPC campaign that is set up correctly, one day’s results do not matter, do not mean anything, and a focus on one day can only lead to bad decision making. Today means nothing to a pro like myself.
Smart advertisers never say “today we had a good day” or “yesterday was bad.” The word today is never uttered by a Google Ads pro.
My kind of thinking, with a focus on the week or the month, is actually quite rare in the online marketing world. The majority of advertisers seem to focus on their campaigns on a daily basis, making decisions and adjustments based on the data they see each day. And that makes sense. Google provides a ton of cool data, and there are lots of adjustment options in Google Ads. Not only that, but attorneys can be demanding advertisers with an intense daily focus, and a large part of that daily focus is due to the fact that on most days, Google Ads can consistently bring in a ton of leads and new clients for attorney advertisers.
But the heavy focus on daily results, as well as all the adjustments that come from the daily focus, are misguided efforts. Making decisions based on a day’s worth of data in Google Ads can only lead to bad decisions. Sure, you might get lucky here and there, but overall and over the long run, every time you make a decision based on a day’s worth of data, you are making a bad decision. Those bad decisions will lead to bad results, and those bad results will lead to fewer conversions, a higher cost per conversion, and fewer new clients from your Google Ads campaign.
The day-to-day results of a well-structured Google Ads campaign (more on that below) are meaningless. They look like they mean something, there’s a lot of data in front of you, but it truly is meaningless. Why you had a bad day yesterday or a good day today could be due to many different factors, some you’re aware of and some you’re not. Competitors might have changed their strategy for that day. Google might be running some kind of test. Your smart bidding strategy might be working out some kind of data pattern. Or, randomly, you might have just had a bad day where the people who clicked your ads that day happened not to call in or become clients. There are hundreds of reasons why one day might be different from the next in Google Ads. Acting like you know why results were what they were on any given day is faulty, illogical behavior that will damage your marketing efforts.
It takes discipline!
It’s fine to have a hunch as to why a day was a good day or a bad day in Google Ads; I get these hunches and gut feelings all the time. But you shouldn’t act on them until you see that trend play out over a week or a month. Many times these trends you saw on any given day revert themselves back to normal and it turns out they weren’t a trend after all. Changing your keywords, bids, ads, or any other part of Google Ads, based on one day’s worth of results, is a good way to end up being a full-time loser in the search auctions. You have to engage search engine advertising with discipline! And part of that discipline means having the humility and patience to understand that you really don’t know why any given day performs the way it does. As a smart advertiser, you’ll make your campaign management decisions based on weekly data and monthly data.
Account For Variance
Looking at Google Ads results over the course of a week or a month, and using data over those time frames to help you make your decisions, is what smart law firm advertisers do. The reason why is two-fold. First, there are just too many factors that can affect one day of data for a law firm on Google Ads. And many times, those factors fade away after a few days. And the second reason why is variance. Think of heads or tails with a coin. The odds are always 50%, but on any given set of a small number of flips, you could end up with lots of heads in a row. You might get heads on the next six flips in a row, but the odds still stay 50% on that seventh flip. One day of Google Ads results is nothing but variance. One day in Google Ads is like five flips of a coin. You might get the actual results that you’ll continue to get over the long run, or you might get short-term lucky or unlucky and end up with one really good or really bad day. But that one day of results is just variance, and over the longer term, like the next week or the next month, your results will be representative of the actual results you’ll get over the long run with your current Google Ads skills and strategies. If you make decisions based on those short-term variance days in Google Ads, the decisions won’t be based on sound data, and they’ll lead to bad results.
A week or a month?
So if a law firm isn’t supposed to adjust their Google Ads campaigns based on one day’s results, then the question is, how long should they wait before they make decisions? Every advertiser is different, but my timeline for making decisions in Google Ads is usually in the time range of one week to one month. Scenarios and situations always differ, so sometimes I’ll make adjustments after a week, other times I’ll look at data over the course of a month to guide my decisions, but one thing is for sure, one day’s worth of data never influences my decision.
Of course, the day-to-day results can influence my thinking. And I start to develop theories, hunches, and gut feels, but I never let one day’s results go further than the thinking level. To move from the thinking level to the decision level requires seeing that data and the trend play out over a longer time frame, like a week to a month. Once I see something happening with the data and results over a week or a month, that’s when I go into decision mode and start adjusting my campaigns. Weekly and monthly adjustments in Google Ads can lead to good results, but daily adjustments never do.
You still need a good structure.
As always with Google Ads, I must add a qualifier. My disregard for one day’s worth of data comes with the assumption that I’m looking at a well-put-together campaign that has the correct campaign strategy, ad group structure, keyword targeting, bidding, and ad copy. If a campaign has a good foundation and is in good shape, then no, the day-to-day differences in results do not mean anything, and I actively ignore them and focus on longer-term results like weekly and monthly. But if a Google Ads campaign is in bad shape, and not set up correctly, then the day-to-day results, which will be poor, must be taken seriously, attributed to the bad strategy and structure of the overall account, and quickly corrected. A poorly designed campaign will continue to struggle day after day, so the day’s results should be respected and lead to a quick correction in strategy. But once a campaign is set up correctly and in good shape, then the day-to-day variance should be taken extremely lightly, and mostly ignored. When things are set up correctly, focus on the week and the month to guide your decision-making.
Attorneys that are skilled at getting new clients from Google Ads never use the word “today.” Instead, they set up their campaigns correctly, they understand the day-to-day results will vary, and they focus on keeping the discipline to only make decisions when the data is meaningful, which means looking at Google Ads results in terms of weeks and months.