When promoting your business online, a crucial factor in your success is simply being discovered. A common way that many people discover businesses and services is through Google search. With Google controlling around 67% of the search market share in the U.S., 92% in the UK and 93% in Germany, as examples, it’s no surprise as to why so many people are using Google AdWords. In case you are not already aware, AdWords is Google’s main advertising product which allows you to display ads for your business on their search results page.
Advertising on Google can be very effective, yet it is very frustrating for many people out there. During my time at Google, I heard my fair share of complaints as I offered support to so many lost and frustrated advertisers. One important thing I learned from using AdWords is that you can’t run a successful campaign without trial and error. You can always find ways to tweak your approach that may produce better results.
I’m writing this short piece to spare you the common mistakes that might happen if you are fairly new to the whole AdWords game. If you already setup an account and are not finding the results that you’re expecting, the following quick tips could help you be on your way to running a successful AdWords advertising campaign.
Below is a chart of how a typical AdWords account is usually structured. Most advertisers start off their account with a few campaigns and several ad groups within a campaign. Since your budget can only be assigned at the campaign level, often times you will see that one ad group will outperform the others by consuming most of the daily budget – even though you thought that the costs would somehow spread evenly to the several ad groups within the campaign.
A simple solution would be to create a campaign for each of those ad groups. That way, you can control how much each ad group spends since budget can only be assigned at the campaign level. It may seem like a little more work to set up a campaign for each ad group, but it is definitely worth it. You’ll have more control over how much money is spent for each of your ad groups.
Since ads are triggered by keywords, it’s important to think about the keywords you want to advertise. When compiling your keywords list, think about keyword phrases that a potential customer would type in the Google search box if they were looking for your product or service. Good keyword phrases are typically composed of 2-3 words. The more specific the phrases you use the better. They allow your ads to be shown to web searchers who are more likely to be interested in exactly what you’re advertising.
Caution Point: Keep your keywords tightly themed to the ad group that they are in. Overlapping keywords in different ad groups will cause your keywords to bid against each other. Ouch.
Avoid over-killing your keywords list. Instead of adding every word or phrase that you can think of, try to start off with up to 15-25 keywords per ad group. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself. Besides, there are only so many different ways that you can reword a phrase. Leave your keywords on broad match. Don’t worry about adding long-tail or plural versions of the same keyword phrase because the broad match setting will allow the system to capture those search queries. Next, sit back and let your campaign run.
Optimization is the main key to success. You can’t just let your campaign sit and expect everything to go the way you had hoped. This is a trial and error process. It does take a lot of patience and time to figure out what’s working well and what’s not for your campaign. You can start off by looking at your keywords list. Look at keywords that have under a 0.80% CTR.
I personally find the “Search Terms” tool within the Google Interface to be very useful for the keyword optimizing process. With this tool, you can check off any keyword in your keywords list, hit the “Keyword Details” button, click on “Selected”, and you will see what search queries matched up with your keyword. Before you try that, make sure your keyword has accrued close to around 1,500 impressions or your list will be pretty empty.
By looking at that search terms list, you will get a better idea of whether you need to add in negative keywords or further refine your keyword by using a more specific match type. For example, one of your keywords may be “media advertising”. If you notice that it has a low CTR, you can run the search terms report and you may find that you’re getting a lot of matches to queries such as “media advertising jobs” and “media advertising salary”. Based on that information, you can then add “jobs” and “salary” as negative keywords so that your ads won’t appear when someone’s search query includes either of those words.
Other optimization techniques that you can experiment with include changing up the ad text for your underperforming ads (since it’s recommended to have 2-3 ads per ad group) and increasing your CPC bids to gain higher ad positions.
So there you have it. 3 quick tips to get you rolling off to a good start using Google AdWords. It definitely takes hands on experience to get a good feel of how everything works. It may seem overwhelming with all of the different features and options within the AdWords interface, but I would just advise you to stick to the basics – don’t worry about all the bells and whistles until you’ve made yourself comfortable with using the basic tools and features. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to check in on your campaign once or twice a week. Along with investing advertising dollars into your campaigns, you also have to invest your time to make sure that everything is running smoothly.