As a Google Certified Partner, we manage lots AdWords accounts spanning many industries and many product types but many new clients to our AdWords Management Service have the same common issue with AdWords – they can’t make it pay.
So here’s a few easy tips to better manage your Google AdWords Campaigns:
1. Stick to Search
To start with don’t target the display network, that can come later. In the beginning the display networking will hammer your budget. Get your adverts working on search and only go to display if you have a good reason to, such as remarking or for branding purposes.
2. Set up Conversion Tracking
Probably 50% of our new AdWords management clients have never tracked their conversions (a sale or form submit for example). By recording these actions within AdWords we can accurately build a picture and see what ads are converting the best. This information is key to optimising your campaigns and getting the most out of them – after all whats the point of paying for clicks that don’t convert?
3. Start Broad and Identify Patterns – Understand Match Types
Most of the AdWords accounts I see suffer from the same problems, one being broad terms. Broad terms can work but your more likely to convert more specific terms (long tail keywords). Use broad terms to identify patterns and using a Search Query Report look at the terms that actually trigger your ad and convert, if there’s a trend there then add these terms and create their own specific ads. Here’s an example:
Broad Term = Widgets
Run a Search Query Report (Keywords > All)
Matched Terms / Conversions
red widgets = 0 conversions
buy blue widgets online = 1 conversions
free red widgets = 0 conversions
pink widgets for women = 15 conversions
In this example, you may want to consider adding “free” as a negative keyword (to avoid that term showing up again) but also construct a new ad group for “Pink widgets for Women” and target that term with it’s own dedicated ad using more specific match types such as Phrase or Exact.
Rinse and repeat until you build a nice selection of more specific keywords that convert better. A basic example but bare this in mind when you optimise your AdWords Campaign. See our video below to understand more about Match Types:
4. Ad Copy – Ads are Crucial to AdWords success
You need to ensure that your ads perform as well as possible so regularly experiment with new ads and measure progress.
Here’s a couple of tips:
Include a relevant Keyword in the title (i.e. Red Widgets)
Write a compelling Hook (Best Priced Widgets Online.)
Write a strong call to action (In Stock Now, Buy Online Today!)
Include your keyword in your display URL (www.yoursite.com/red-widgets)
Adding a full stop after the second line will result in this appearing next to the first line when your ad appears in the top 3 results.
5. Use Extensions
When managing an AdWords campaign we tend to always include an extension where possible. Extensions add items such as a phone number, location map and inks to other areas of your site for example. Using Sitelinks as an example (links to other areas of your site) can significantly increase your click through rates and conversions:
Widgets – Best Priced Red Widgets Online.
In Stock Now, Buy Online Today
Site Link 1: Red Widgets
Site Link 2: Blue Widgets
Site Link 3: Pink Widgets
Site Link 4: Free Delivery
Site Link 5: Sale Now On
Site Link 6: Call us Today
Sitelinks allow a visitor to go straight into an area of your site from the ad, this often results in your ads being much more clickable and encourages more conversions. Including pricing within your site link text can also be helpful to visitors and improve things further.
6. Landing Pages
Make sure your landing pages are relevant to the ad groups that are sending visitors to them. AdWords considers your landing page when working out your Quality Score, if your landing page isn’t relevant for example, your ads won’t perform as well and you’ll potentially pay more.
7. Understand Metrics
Its important to understand AdWords metrics. There’s lots of them but here’s some basics:
CTR – Click Through Rate: How many people saw your ad vs how many clicked it.
Conversions 1-per click: Conversions obtained per 1 click of your ad.
Conversions Many per click: Similar to above but it counts multiple conversions that originated from a click. So for example if someone clicks your ad, buys and then buys again later, both conversions will fall into the Many Per Click metric.
CPA – Cost per Acquisition: What a conversion cost you – if your selling items for £5.00 and your CPA is £25 then your losing money (it cost you £25 to get a £5 sale).
Impression Share – There’s a few metrics under the Impression Share umbrella, but essentially you can see what share of impressions your ads get (number of times your ad was displayed vs number of times it was eligible to display).
For example: if your impression share is 50% your ad is only showing half as much as it could do. You can then look at the other Impression Share metrics such as Budget which will tell you if your losing out because your budget is too low, or Rank, which will tell you if your AdRank is low (start looking at relevance and Quality Scores if this is the case).
8. Trust the Metrics
Don’t let bad performing ads run forever. If you can’t get them to convert, kill them and apply your AdWords budget to ads that are making you money. One of my favourite tools is the “Dimensions” tab:
From here you can see when your ads performed best and worst, for example day of week or time of day.
Time of Day is the dimension I want to talk about: once you have some data look at this and see when your conversions are happening. If they all happen in the evening for example and hardly at all any other time then set your ads to run during times your most likely to see a conversion. This can be a great (and easy) method of driving your conversions up and your CPA down.
9. Consider Your Budget
Give AdWords the chance to work. A Budget of £50 per month is going to take some months to fine tune. Bearing in mind the above processes, you can only optimise a campaign based on data. If your budget is very low it’s going to take time to get enough data to start seeing a trend so consider this.
Once your AdWords campaigns are performing well, you have a CPA you are happy with and the returns are clear then consider all of your metrics together and think about spending more. If you can see from your impression share metrics that your losing out because of your budget and your happy with your ROI then up your budget and even consider expanding your campaigns to cover more of your products or services.
Consider this: If for every £1 you spend on AdWords you get £5 back, then if you spend £2 you’ll get £10 back (as long as the traffic is there, again follow and trust the metrics)
10. If it’s all too much, pay a Google Certified Partner to do it for you!
We do this stuff all day, every day and we know it inside and out. By having an Adwords Management Consultant you’ll have time to run your business whilst your AdWords manager runs your campaigns. Chances are that even with a management fee, your AdWords manager will still save you money and make you more – just make sure your working with a verified Google Certified Partner (you should be able to click their Partner badge and view their profile on Google to verify their status. Try ours above. )
Last year there were 103 changes to Google Adwords, thats around 1 change every 3 days. This year already AdWords has announced two significant updates: Google Shopping Changes and also Enhanced Campaigns. An AdWords manager will be on top of all of the latest changes and continue to get the most out of your advertising.