A lot goes into making a great AdWords campaign. There is a lot to do on the setup side, and there is also a lot to do for the ongoing management of an AdWords campaign. In this article I’ll share 10 tips for making a great AdWords campaign. I’ll share exactly how to do them, and why I think they are worthwhile things to do. I hope these tips help you improve your AdWords campaigns. Enjoy!
10 Tips For Making A Great AdWords Campaign
1. Use ad extensions.
It’s amazing how many advertisers fail to use the ad extensions. Ad extensions play a role in your Ad Rank score. And your Ad Rank score determines 1) whether your ads get shown or not, 2) where they get shown, and 3) how much each click will cost you. So using ad extensions is huge. Yet many people fail to use them.
Ad Rank is made up of three factors:
- Max cost per click bids
- Keyword quality scores
- Ad extensions
Ad rank for any given keyword can be thought of as:
Ad Rank = Max CPC x Keyword Quality Score x Ad Extensions
No one outside of Google knows what weight is given to those three factors. But most people assume max CPC and keyword quality score get the bulk of the weight and that ad extensions get 10% to 20%.
Ad extensions are very easy to set up, and they can only help. So use them!
2. Use negative keywords at the campaign level.
A common worry among pay per click advertisers is wasting advertising budget on search terms that are not related to their business or what they are trying to get our of PPC advertising. For example, a moving company wants to advertise on the keyword [moving companies], but they don’t want to advertise on the keyword [moving vans]. If they target the broad match version of moving they might end up having their ads shown for the keyword [moving vans].
To prevent this potential for wasted budget, you can add negative keywords. Negative keywords tell Google do NOT show my ad if the search phrase includes this word. So if our moving company added vans as a negative keyword their ads would never show up whenever a search phrase contained the word vans, and they would never waste money on those irrelevant moving van searches.
Negative keywords are seldom used by new pay per click advertisers because they are a bit tricky to find. Go to the Keywords tab in AdWords and then scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will find the area where you can enter your negative keywords at the campaign level.
3. Use negative keywords at the ad group level.
Now that you are familiar with negative keywords. I want to introduce you to an advanced technique, which is using negative keywords at the ad group level. Negative keywords at the ad group level work the same way they do at the campaign level. The only difference is that instead of blocking your ads from showing up when negative keywords are included in the search phrase for the entire campaign, they only apply this rule at the ad group level.
Again, let’s use a moving company as an example. In this case we have moving company that serves the Dallas, Texas area. They operate in both Dallas and Fort Worth. And people search both for movers in both cities in Google. People search for Fort Worth movers and they search for Dallas movers. Our moving company wants ads that mention Forth Worth to come up when someone searches for Fort Worth movers and they want ads that mention Dallas to come up when people search for Dallas movers.
To make this happen the moving company can add Dallas as a negative keyword to the Fort Worth ad group. And they can add Fort Worth as a negative keyword to the Dallas ad group. This way, anytime someone searches for a moving keyword with the word Dallas in the phrase, the Fort Worth ads will be prevented from showing up, and vice versa when someone searches for a moving keyword with the word Forth Worth in the phrase.
Negative keywords at the campaign level are added in the same area where you add negative keywords at the campaign level. Go to the keyword tab and scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you will see the area where you can add negative keywords at the ad group level.
4. Track mobile.
Mobile pay per click advertising is a whole different ball game than desktop pay per click advertising. Yet, many PPC advertisers don’t think twice about independently tracking their mobile AdWords campaigns. A lot of people aren’t even aware that you can see your independent mobile stats.
To view your mobile statistics go to the Settings tab, then click on Devices. Here you can see how your AdWords campaign is performing at the desktop, tablet, and mobile levels. You cannot make bid adjustment on desktop or tablet, but you can make bid adjustments on mobile. You can decide to stop running mobile ads by adjusting your bid with a -100% bid adjustment. Or you can increase your mobile bids by up to 300%. Often times mobile conversion rates and cost per conversions on drastically different then desktop results. Sometimes they are better, sometimes they are worse.
Pay attention to mobile results, make sure your mobile preferred ads go to a mobile-friendly landing page, and make sure you are making smart mobile bid adjustments.
5. Pay attention to match types.
The number one mistake new AdWords advertisers make is only using broad match keywords. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been hired to audit a PPC account and found that the advertiser was only using broad match keywords. Broad match keywords with no modifiers can leave you open to showing up on too many irrelevant keywords and cause you to burn through your budget without getting good results.
I highly recommend using all match types and then seeing which ones perform better. Use exact match, phrase match, broad match and broad match modified keywords. You’ll probably find that your exact match keywords perform the best in terms of clickthrough rates and conversions. You can then increase the bids on these high-performing exact match keywords while lowering your bids on low-performding broad match keywords. I go into more detail on keyword match types in this article.
6. Offer something for their lead information.
Give to get people! Give to get! Tons and tons of PPC advertisers have lead forms on their landing pages that say “contact us” or “let’s get in touch” or “get a free quote.” But don’t be like everybody else. Be different. Be better! People are bombarded to give their contact information all the time these days. So to actually get someone to give their contact information and become a lead, I advise offering something immediately in return.
If you are a caterer or restaurant, offer a free recipe on the other side of the contact form (promise to take the search user to that recipe page, or email it to them, immediately after they fill out the contact form). If you are a moving company offer a free quote and a guide to packing and preparing for a move. If you are a web design company offer a free report on the latest trends in website design and apps.
Every AdWords advertiser that is after a customer’s lead info on the landing page can come up with something unique and valuable in exchange for their lead information. If you offer something valuable in return for the lead information your conversion rate should show a significant increase.
7. Add the quality score column.
As discussed above, the keyword quality score metric is seriously important to being successful at AdWords, but many advertisers do not pay attention to it, and a lot of people do not even know it exists. The reason a lot of PPC advertisers miss out on the keyword quality score data is because it doesn’t show up anywhere when you create a new AdWords account. You have to manually ad the keyword quality score column.
- Go to the Keywords tab.
- Click on the Columns button, then click on Customize columns.
- Then go to the Attributes metric and add the Qual. Score (which is the keyword quality score column).
- Then you can check your keyword quality score for each keyword.
8. Advanced location setting.
Sometimes advertisers may be getting clicks from locations they are not targeting, and they don’t understand why it’s happening. Fixing this is very simple. On the Settings tab, at the campaign level, there is a section for your location setting. People pick their location and they think that’s all they have to do. They’re wrong.
Under the location setting there is a dropdown section titled Location options (advanced). Click this section to open it and you will see that the default setting is to target People in, searching for, or viewing pages about my targeted location (recommended). This is why you can target just the United States but still be getting clicks from any other country in the world if AdWords thinks a user in that country was searching for or about your product or service in the United States.
I recommend changing this target setting to People in my targeted location in order to ensure that the location you target truly is the only location where your ads will be shown.
9. Give each major keyword its own ad group with its own ads.
If there was one word I would use to describe how to be successful with Google AdWords, it would be relevance. You have to be relevant in order to have success with pay per click advertising. Your ads have to be relevant to the keywords that trigger their impressions, your ads have to be relevant to the user, and your landing pages must be relevant to both the keyword that was searched for and your ad that was shown.
You could have the best ads and landing about a moving company, but if you advertise them on plumbing keyword searches to people who are searching for a plumbing company, you are not going to do very well. You can have to be relevant.
The best way to be relevant is to make sure that your ads match your keywords, and that your landing pages match your ads and keywords.
Again, let’s use a moving company as an example. A Dallas moving company wants to advertise on the keywords movers and moving companies. Both of these keywords are high-volume keywords. To be as relevant as possible the Dallas moving company wants to have ads use the word mover when someone searches Google for mover and have the ads say moving company when someone searches Google for moving company
The best way to accomplish this is to create ad groups for each keyword. And in general, you should create unique ad groups for all your major, high-volume keywords. So I would advise the moving company to create an ad group for the keyword mover and an ad group for the keyword moving company. Then I would add each keyword as a negative keyword in the other keyword’s ad group (see number 3 above) to ensure that the proper ads gets shown all the time. So they would add mover as a negative keyword in the moving company ad group and add company as a negative keyword in the mover ad group.
Giving each major, high-volume keyword its own ad group is a great way to make sure your ads and landing pages are as relevant as possible to the user’s keyword search. If the user searches for green jelly beans you want to give them an ad that talks about green jelly beans and takes them to the green jelly beans page. If the user searches for blue jelly beans you want to give them an ad that talks about blue jelly beans and takes them to the blue jelly beans page.
10. Add a call to action in your ads.
My final tip is to include a call to action in your ads, preferably at the end of the second description line. I see so many ads on all kinds of searches that just state information and don’t encourage the user to do anything.
It’s against the rules to explicitly say click here, but there are subtle ways you can encourage the search user to click on your ads and learn more about your business. If you are a moving company ask people to get a free quote now. If you are a discount retailer, tell people to shop now and save. And so on. The goal of pay per click advertising is to get the search users to click on your ad and buy something immediately (ecommerce), or to give their contact information and buy something in the future (service industries). But you as the advertiser won’t ever get a sale and make any money if the search user doesn’t click on your ad in the first place.
You’ve got to give them a reason to click. I strongly recommend including a call to action in all of your ads.
The major car insurance companies spend millions of dollars on AdWords every year. It serves us well to study what they do because I guarantee you that they are putting lots of thought and effort into optimizing their AdWords campaigns.
Take a look at the top three advertisers for the keyword car insurance.
You can see that all three of them use a call to action in their ads. Progressive says Get a free online quote now. Allstate says Call or Quote Online! And GEICO asks How much could you save? Out of all three I like Progressive’s the best. Get a free online quote now is simple, it makes sense, and it makes you want to click on the ad and get a free quote. Allstate’s should read Call or get a quote online. Their wording of or quote online doesn’t make much sense. But the point is that all three of these big spenders are using a call to action in their ads. And you should too!
I hope these 10 AdWords tips help you create an outstanding campaign. If you have any questions about these tips or would like individual advice on your AdWords account, contact me and I’ll be able to help you out.