AdWords is an amazing marketing tool. But let’s not kid ourselves; it can easily become overwhelming. There are some simple things you can do daily, weekly and monthly to stay on top of it all. In this blog we will give insight into some of the things we recommend you do to make AdWords manageable.
1. Set Clear Goals
Setting clear goals is the first step in taming the AdWords beast. These goals can be anything that drives your overall business growth.
- If you want more brand awareness, then tracking overall traffic and page views could be a goal
- If you want your customers to learn more about your products, then document/whitepaper downloads could be a goal
- If you want to drive sales leads, then contact form submissions should be your goal
- If you want to drive online transactions and sales, then yep, you guessed it, them buying your products is the goal
You get the idea, as long as your goals help drive your business growth they can be anything. You can then use these to measure your performance, test your ads and improve their performance.
The goals can even be campaign specific, such as improve awareness around a new product launch for example.
We recommend, once you have some solid goals in place, that you review them every one-to-three months to make sure they still tie into your overall business objectives.
2. Search Query Reports Are Your Friends
Search Query Reports (SQRs) are a fantastic resource in AdWords, which allows you to see exactly what searchers have been typing to find your services.
Quite often you will find nuggets in here that will allow you to refine your approach.
This should be the first place you look for negative keyword suggestions. If you have set up your account correctly, you should be able to make use of modified broad match keywords, but these could lead to unexpected search queries that need to be ‘negged’ out.
It is also one of the best places to find keyword ideas and potential areas for advertising growth. It’s not a secret – the more keywords you sponsor the more traffic your website should get. Providing you tie these keywords back to your goals you can control and accelerate digital growth.
Depending on your traffic levels, we would recommend reviewing these every one-to-three months. However, in the early days of a campaign this may be more frequent.
3. The Search Impression Share Column
This column is a great resource for advertisers with a limited budget. It allows you to see how much your ad actually shows out of all the potential impressions you could have got with an unlimited budget.
Generally, we like to see this number in the high 90s, however, if you’re campaigns and ad groups are currently performing at 20-30%, improving this by even 10% could prove extremely valuable to your business.
The best and easiest way to improve your search impression share is through bid management. If you’re ads are currently averaging position 1.5, by lowering your bids so your ads show at 2.5 could get your ad in front of a whole new audience.
This column updates as your ads show, but we would recommend you check this weekly so you have a good set of data to work with.
4. You vs. Your Competitors
Keeping track of how your ads show compared to your competitors is an important part of the digital marketing process.
We recommend that you use the AdWords preview tool to see how your ads show – by keeping on top of this you can see how your offering compares to your competitors and where you need to adapt your approach.
Quite often, we look at the client’s competitors to see what they’re doing well and what they’re doing poorly so we can identify areas to take advantage of and areas where we can take the fight to them.
Ideally, this will be done daily, but realistically once a week is more than enough for most.
5. Scheduling Is A Budget Saver
Quick question – is a visitor to your site at 3pm worth the same to you as a visitor at 3am? Unless you’re Amazon or eBay the answer is likely no, obviously not.
Too often we see in client accounts that they are bidding 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you’re looking to maximise the efficacy of your budget, removing twilight hours is a no-brainer. There will also be times of day where users are less likely to complete goals on your site.
As such we recommend reviewing this data and removing the times of day where your ad spend is wasted.
You’ll want some decent data to work with on this – after launching a new campaign, give it a week at all hours and then optimise. Realistically, once this is done there will be no way to check the hours your scheduling excludes. However, re-introducing previously cut hours can be a good test to run.
6. ABT – Always Be Testing
This is the mantra that we live by (at work at least). The beauty of AdWords and digital marketing, in general, is that testing is easy. Even if you’re only testing two text ads against each other, optimising areas is an important step in the process.
- Bid testing is a great way to get more for your money
- Testing two text ads against each other is a fantastic way to improve your click through rate
- Adding new keywords to your account is a great test to see what you may get traffic on
Don’t forget to tie everything back to your goals and make sure that any test you do, you compare fairly.
Always Be Testing – once set up the tests will run without your supervision, so there is no excuse not to be constantly running at least one test.
You’re not alone. Between the nerds at Intergage we have a combined AdWords experience of more than 50 years, which means something that may seem like a mountain to you is likely a hill we have climbed before.
We're happy to use our super powers (and some pretty cool software) to strip your competitors naked so you can see what their paid search and other digital marketing looks like!