PPC

AdWords Keywords: Pause, Don't Remove!

We're deleting your inactive ads and keywords... So There!

Google AdWords Keywords

You may have noticed a rather strange notice appearing in your notification centres across AdWords… Then again, you may not.

Rather quietly, Google posted the message above to all AdWords accounts last week and we’re left feeling a bit smug. That’s because as professional PPC’ers, we know that best practice is to always pause keywords and ads and never remove them.

In addition to Google sneak attacks, here are some more reasons you should always pause and never remove:

You can access your keyword data for paused keywords, you can’t for removed ones.

Say you’re setting up a new Christmas campaign and want to see how the word “Christmas Jumpers” performed last year to see if it’s worth including in your new campaign, good job you paused it!

You can avoid re-adding poor performing terms from SQR’s that have already been trialled.

You added the term “socks” to your account from an SQR but realised after a couple of weeks that it performed really badly. If you remove it, Adwords will tell you next time it appears on an SQR that the term “socks” doesn’t exist in your account, so you might be tempted to add it again. If you pause it instead, AdWords will tell you that it already exists so no need to re-add it.

You can pin point causes of performance changes from the past.

Did CPC’s drop in July? No problem, look at your keyword data from July and check out which keyword you paused that had a super high CPC and tons of traffic. If you’ve removed that keyword, you can’t check so you’ll never know. For ads, maybe a particular message improved your CTR? If you’ve paused the ads you can find out, if you removed them… not so much.

AdWords Pause 5

I guess the moral of the story is the more data you have, the better informed your decisions can be. So why limit your wealth of data unnecessarily? With Google’s new blanket approach to cleaning up your account for you, it’s now more important than ever to never remove and always pause.