Tips For Managing a Google Adwords Campaign
Success with Google Adwords
As the years have gone by, Google Adwords has continued to advance itself and become one of the most powerful online advertising solutions available to marketing professionals. Recently added features have made it easier to reach your target audience and measure your performance better than ever.
With the development and advancement has come an advertising platform that has grown in complexity and evolved considerably from what it once was. In the past, developing and managing a PPC campaign simply meant selecting a set of keywords that were relevant to the product or service you were offering, writing a few short text ads, and plugging in your domain name. Unfortunately, as the platform has grown and evolved; many advertisers have failed to learn exactly how to successfully manage a campaign to produce the maximum number of conversions at a minimal cost.
Here, I am going to share a few tips I've gleaned from over ten years of working with Adwords on a daily basis. These are strategies you can put into place in your campaign today to start seeing more traffic and better conversion numbers right away.
Once you have set up your ad groups with the proper structure, your next biggest area of focus should be quality score. Quality score is a number assigned by Google to each individual keyword in your campaign and it plays a critical role in determining exactly how much you pay for each click. Since Internet marketing is very much a numbers game, you want to make sure that each of your keywords has the highest possible quality score so you can ensure that you are getting the best possible price for each click you buy. I have found that quality score seems to have two major components that you will need to address:
You must make sure that the keywords you select are highly relevant to the content found on the landing page. If you are bidding on the keyword phrase "best purple widgets", you will want to make sure that your landing page contains some prominently placed discussion about "purple widgets" and why you believe yours are the best. Here you could include awards your widgets have won, customer reviews, testimonials, etc. Keep in mind that in addition to having a landing page that is relevant to your keywords, your ad text must also give an accurate picture of what a user will find when they get to your page.
2. Technical Quality
This should be the easiest part of attaining a high quality score yet I see marketers and webmasters choose to ignore it every day. To achieve a great quality score, you MUST ensure that your website adheres to the most current Google Webmaster Guidelines! This is not optional and if you choose to advertise with Google, your website needs to meet each and every one of their published guidelines. Failure to do so will cost you a lot of money and may result in your ad delivery rate being slowed or stopped entirely.
The click-to-impression ratio in your campaign acts as a barometer of how your target audience is responding to your ad. Google makes more money when a higher percentage of searchers for a given query click on an ad, therefore they will give much more display time to ads with a higher CTR. In addition to generating a larger share of the available ad impressions, running with a high CTR will help increase your quality score and improve the chances that your ad will lead to a conversion.
You want to shoot for a minimum CTR of 5% on higher volume keyword phrases and at least 10% CTR on long tail, highly targeted terms. Keep in mind though that those numbers are generalizations and the true number you need to hit for any given search query is any number higher than your next closest competitor for that same term.
Campaign structure is mission critical to running a profitable Google Adwords account yet it still remains an afterthought with most online marketing professionals. Setting up your campaigns with the proper structure allows you to do several things:
1. Tap into successful content network placements without incurring wasted clicks.
2. Maximize quality score and drive down your CPC (Cost Per Click).
3. Maximize your CTR for greater impression share.
When structuring your campaign, you should group your keywords into tightly focused categories that all fit a theme. Each of these groups of keywords with eventually become an ad group. In is important to limit the number of keywords in each group so you can zero in on exactly what's working and what isn't.
One of the biggest mistakes I see advertisers make is to throw hundreds of keywords into an adgroup thinking it will lead to more traffic. Google has a feature in their system to determine exactly which of your keywords will show and when so it's best to keep your ad groups fairly small. 5 to 15 keywords in each group should be your target number. Having more than that can be lead to some serious challenges. The biggest one being that you may have one or two keywords triggering very profitable placements on the content network running side-by-side with unproductive placements and it becomes very difficult to determine which ones are helping you and which ones may be hurting you.