Google AdWords can be a powerful channel to diversify your online marketing budget and efforts. You get seen by potential customers at the very moment that they’re searching on Google for your offerings. And, you only pay per click. However, it can be easy to fall into running an AdWords campaign that becomes stale and wasteful to your spend.
7 Tips for Optimizing Your Google AdWords Campaign
Often times, companies will continue to run their initial AdWords campaign settings. They’ll forget about them entirely, and believe that’s all there is to it. Still, Google continues to provide powerful features available to improve your AdWord campaign’s effectiveness and reduce budget waste. Here are 7 aspects of an optimized Google AdWords campaign:
Conversion tracking is one of the most important aspects of optimizing a Google AdWords campaign. Examples of converting actions are contact form submissions, tracked calls, signups and subscriptions.
Properly tracking conversion rates at various levels, including campaign level, ad, ad group, and keyword levels will give you an understanding of your strong campaign elements that are driving you leads & conversions, as well as the weak keywords, ads, and other elements that are ineffective and wasting your budget.
Search Query Reports
The search query report is one of the most valuable tools available in your AdWords account. With it, you can uncover the keyword phrases people are typing into Google to find your business’s AdWords ads. This keyword insight can reveal important user intent signals. You’ll discover keywords to prioritize, valuable keyword data for your search engine optimization and organic traffic efforts, and weak converting keywords.
Utilize this data to make sure keywords in your ad groups are in line with their designated ads and landing pages. You don’t want to waste your budget on the wrong keywords and traffic.
Location & Time Settings
Many running AdWords accounts neglect these important settings. The location and time settings can help you optimize the reach of your ads and reduce wasteful spend. Especially for local businesses, you’ll want to make sure every click counts, and that your ads only appear in regions that your business serves. This can be done under Location options, where you can select “People in my targeted location”.
You may want to test this location targeting option vs the other options to see what works best for your campaign. For example, if your business is not restricted by physical location, you might want to select “People in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location” as the location option.
Keep in mind, you can target multiple, specific regions at once and further define a more advanced AdWords targeting strategy by adjusting location-based bid levels, bid modifiers, and when to show your ads based on additional date & time settings from the Ad Schedule tab under your campaign settings.
Remove Non-Converting Keywords
There’s always room to improve the keyword status of your AdWords campaign. You may be able to filter out high cost, low conversion keywords to decrease wasteful spend, and route your budget to your better-performing keywords, and utilize bid modifier adjustments.
Avoid pausing keywords too soon, such as only after a month of running – especially with lower budgets that require more time for data. You’ll generally want to acquire at least a quarter’s worth of search query data to make some of these keyword-based decisions.
Improve Keyword Quality Score
Both Google Search and Google AdWords are becoming increasingly smart with their advanced indexing and ranking systems. These algorithm-based systems look at hundreds of ranking factors and likely combining these systems in complex ways behind the scenes.
With AdWords, Google makes use of a Quality Score system, as well as Ad Rank, which is Quality Score multiplied by the CPC (cost-per-click) of an ad. With this formula, the higher your Quality Score, the lower you have to bid for the same ad rank and the more money you save.
Quality Score is defined by expected ad click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. As you can see, plenty of optimization can go into a single ad group of keywords to boost their quality score for their designated ads and landing pages.
There are many useful ways to segment your data to discover areas of wasted ad spend and opportunities for improvement. You can segment your data by keyword, device, network, time, date, and more. The segmentation options available depend on whether you’re visiting your keyword, ad, ad group, or campaign tables within AdWords.
A vital segmentation to check out going into 2018 will be device segmentation. Optimizing for mobile layout and user experience is becoming increasingly important. Mobile optimization will support improving your website’s reach in organic search results and your various ads’ ranks.
Be careful when making use of the available AdWords keyword settings and choosing the right keyword match types. For example, broad match keywords help you reach the widest audience but may show your ads for loosely related searches and burn your budget with irrelevant clicks.
If you have the budget, it can be valuable initially to run a broad-to-narrow strategy, with some well-researched broad match keywords, in order to gather search query data for future keyword targeting and refinement. Or, you can build up and out, with a combination of keyword types, including broad match modifier keywords, phrase match keywords, and/or exact match keywords.
Another very powerful targeting and optimization feature of AdWords is the ability to create a list of “negative keywords”. This type of list can be created at the campaign or ad group level. Negative keywords can prevent your ad from showing to people who search using those words.
A great way to discover keywords for your negative keyword list is by uncovering irrelevant words in your search query reports. By carefully adding irrelevant terms to your negative keyword list, you’ll have a super targeted and optimized AdWords campaign in no time.
AdWords can provide very effective b2c and b2b PPC campaigns for many companies. Its also great supplement to inbound marketing activities like SEO and blog writing. However, the ad management software can wreak havoc on your budget if you’re not careful. Especially if you don’t know your way around the software and the strategies involved.