If you are new to advertising on Google, getting the most out of AdWords can seem overwhelming. A lot of beginners focus on the keywords. It’s the keywords that bring in the business, right? So let just gloss over the campaign settings and get down to the nitty-gritty, you say? Not so fast. The campaign settings are the first and main place that new advertisers go wrong. It’s crucial to get this part right for a number of reasons. And there are those darn broad match keywords. And how do you really know what’s working? Here are some small things that you should check & fix immediately to make sure that you aren’t pouring money down the drain.
1- Turn off the Display Network
This is the #1 thing that could cost you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars if you don’t realize that it’s happening. Under “Campaign Settings” & “Networks” it should always look like this on a keyword-based campaign:
If you’re wondering why, well it’s because the display network is showing your ads to thousands of “browsers” all over the internet and the click-thru-rate is terribly low. The quality of clicks isn’t very good either. This is your very first step toward refining your campaigns to know exactly what your ads & keywords are doing.
2 – Set Up Analytics
Hey I thought this was an AdWords Post? Why are we talking about analytics now? Well, you do want to know what you are getting for your money don’t you? Analytics isn’t just a recommendation, it’s crucial to getting top performance out of your advertising. Make sure that you have your Analytics account linked to your AdWords Account, Auto-Tagging enabled in Adwords (My Account -> Tracking) & Some sort of conversion tracking set-up. This allows you to know exactly where your traffic is coming from, which keywords they clicked, how many stayed on your site, where they are, how many took the action that you wanted to take & so much more.
3 – Learn Your Match Types
The 2nd fastest way to burn through your advertising budget is to use the default “Broad Match” keywords. By “Broad Match” we mean “really broad, match-ish”. Broad match will match to synonyms or words that Google deems to be “close matches” to your keyword. The problem with this is that if your keyword is “blue shoes”, the search engine may literally show your ad to someone searching “aqua boots”. If you don’t sell aqua boots, this is a wasted impression & possible click. Consider all the ways that this could go awry. Using “phrase match” or “exact match” will show your ad only to the most relevant searches. Personally, I almost never use broad match. If you are looking to explore for new keywords it could help you, but don’t expect a lot of conversions from it.
4 – Accentuate the Positives – Eliminate the Negatives
The longer your ads run, the more data you will aquire. If you’re account has been running for a little while you need to start making decisions on this data. When you are able to identify the top keywords that getting high-quality traffic are making you the most money, put it into a campaign where you can give it it’s own budget and MAX IT OUT. If a particular ad/keyword combination is making $2 for every $1 that you spend, you want to spend as many dollars on that ad as possible, right? Next, using your search query report, find the least valuable keywords and either delete or make them negative keywords. Don’t waste money on a product that is unprofitable or irrelevant to your business.
5 – Test Your Ads Continually
Don’t think of PPC as a selection of keywords. A keyword is just that… a “key” word. Your ad text is what’s doing the work. Continually test your ads to see which one gets the best results for your ads. Better ads get better Click-Through, so they get yo more traffic and lower CPC. How do you know when you have a winner? I like this tool. It takes a solid amount of data to make an informed decision, so this tool will tell you how it’s doing.
These are just some of the top tips to help you put your money in the right place. There are many, many other things that you can (and should) be doing to get the most out of your budget, such as refining your campaign structure, optimizing for mobile & using remarketing to stay top-of mind, to name a few but hopefully you will (or have already) log into your AdWords account today and make these changes right away to maximize your marketing dollars.