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How to “date” a new client

Published: January 2, 2015

Author: Megan Gritzke

Most of my time in Q3 and Q4 was spent transitioning onto new client accounts. This can be a bit overwhelming at first, depending on the amount of history the account has. Some have more baggage than others as far as past testing and account structure. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to tackle these transitions, but the more I think about it, the more I see similarities in the account transition process to dating. Sounds kind of random at first, I know, but I promise I’m going somewhere with this. Below are my three main steps.


Who doesn’t do a quick Google search or Facebook check before a first date? I know I’m not alone here. Well, I like to take a similar approach when first transitioning onto an account. You need to get an overall sense of their business – what’s the business model, what sets them apart. It’s in this initial research that you’ll get your first impressions of the business. First impressions may lead to some to some quick judgments, not unlike first impressions on the first date. For example, you may notice a poor landing page experience on their site and assume the client doesn’t understand how this is affecting performance.


After the initial date, I mean research, you’ll probably check in on the account daily to start getting familiar with performance trends. Every time you check your phone for a new text, make sure to take a peek at the Google UI as well. There’s no better way to get better acquainted with an account then to jump right in, and start taking notice of what’s happening in the account. Seeing how numbers are changing daily will help you better recognize trends and notice when something is off.


After you’ve been monitoring the account for a bit, you should have a pretty good overview of the client, but you still need a deeper knowledge. Now that you have a general sense of them as a company and are getting more familiar with performance, the next step is to focus on optimization. Doing routine optimization tasks like negative keyword scrubs, geo reviews, and ad analyses will help you start to notice areas of opportunity and things that could use some fixing. This will only come by being hands-on with the account, and not being afraid to going into the weeds for a bit. Think of this as the part of the relationship where you’ve been dating for a bit but haven’t defined anything yet.
Once you’ve gotten through those steps, I’d like to think you are fully committed in the relationship. You feel comfortable with the client and navigating what comes your way. If things go well, the client will stick around for a while. You might have some more serious talks to define the relationship, but those are necessary. Both sides need to be heard and make sure their needs are being met. Things could also go sour, with a break-up on the horizon. Losing a client is never fun, but it is usually the healthiest option for both sides. Maybe it’s you, maybe it’s the client, but there’s always something to be learned. If it’s too painful right now, we can leave that discussion for another time.
If you have any transition tips, let me know!

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