Why Maintaining Keyword History and Quality Score at Launch is so Important

Posted by Jon Fanucci, Launch Account Manager

Since the inception of the launch team, there has been a constant discussion of what is more important: (1) retaining keyword history or (2) a restructured account upon transition.  Keeping keyword history ensures that a keyword’s cost will not rise, position will stay constant, Quality Score unchanged, ECT during a transition.  These are all large determinants in running a successful program.  The keyword’s Quality Score and history is also directly tied to the copy.  So just keeping the keyword in its current state is not enough; you must also keep the copy the same to maintain the Quality Score.  However, we have seen new accounts that have terrible structure and break every Performics’ best practice.  Starting a program from scratch to restructure an account to follow in accordance to Performics’ best practices enables bid strategy, keyword, and copy teams to manage and build the program to grow.  Taking this route does erase the keyword’s history and Quality Score. 

Through the numerous launches performed over the past year, it has been determined and now is best practice to always keep the keyword’s history.  This conclusion came from the fact that the time and effort it took to rebuild the keyword history and Quality Score was too detrimental to the overall program.  Though having a proper structure in place does facilitate growth, the erased keyword history and Quality Score drives costs up anywhere from 15% to 35% for at least the first month.  This rise in costs is common across all verticals. 

A client transitioning their program to a new SEM is a very sensitive time.  A spike in costs inevitably makes the program less efficient.  With this knowledge, it has been determined to always keep the keyword history and Quality Score and when needed perform a post-launch account reorganization.

Outside of client transitions, keyword history and Quality Score should be maintained, even during account reorganizations.   When reorganizing an account, it is key not to lose the keyword history and Quality Score.  Since there are several moving parts in account reorganizations, it is hard to pinpoint how or why performance dipped or spiked.  Keeping keywords and copy tied to each other during this process allows for a seamless transition from the old to new structure without any fire alarms. 

In the end, the main point is that the time and effort it takes to rebuild the keyword history and Quality Score in a new account is too damaging to a program versus what you receive upfront from an account restructure.  The dip in performance pushes the program backwards 5 steps; the account team is working from behind from the onset.  Though reorganizing an account after a transition is very time intensive, it is worth not having performance drop due to the loss of the keyword history and Quality Score.

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