Sunday, 9 November 2014

Our top 6 AdWords Management Tips for Beginners

Setting up an AdWords account and starting to see ads is super easy. However, if you dive straight into it without any research into best practices, it is even easier to spend a lot of money on little returns. People coming to us have often tried AdWords themselves and are reluctant in trying it again due to low returns on their previous investments. After having a look at their old campaigns, there are some standard mistakes that people make that are costing them money on irrelevant searches. In this post you will find some of our best AdWords management tips for beginners.

Structure the campaign

Quite often, I see AdWords campaigns that have one ad group with all the different keywords stuffed into the same ad group. This means that all the keywords your ad shows up for will be represented by the same ad text and lead the visitors to the same webpage (normally the homepage).

By structuring the campaign into different ad groups for different product groups. You can target the ads specifically for what people are searching for, increasing the likelihood of them clicking on your ad rather than a competitor’s. You can also forward them specifically to the landing page that shows the products or details the services they are searching for, eliminating the need to navigate from your homepage to locate what they are after.
A good side effect of this method is that you increase your quality score of the keywords, meaning that you pay less for the ad to rank in the similar position. A Quality score of 10 means that you pay about 40% less per click than if your Quality score was 5, which is the average score.

Target narrow and specific searches

Another reason why most AdWords campaigns are draining your budget is when people are using the standard broad match keywords. Google loves it when advertisers use broad match keywords, as it means that their ads are shown for an extremely wide range of searches. For example, a broad match of kids clothing enabled the ad to appear for searches for anything related to kids and clothing, including similar words of the two, no matter which order the words are used in the search. For example, you might get shown on searches for “how to repair holes in children’s pants”.

Normally, the more specific the search is, the more likely it is that the searcher is in a buying mode. General searches such as women’s fashion normally indicates that the searcher is in a research mode, and does not yet know what they want to buy, or if they want to buy.
By using [exact match] or “phrase match”, you can target the long-tail specific searches that are relevant to your products or services. Another method is to use a broad match modifier, which can be used to target any combination of the words you indicate. For example, +black +leggings +online will trigger the ad to appear for searches that contain the three words in any order. Adding the online to the keyword helps to qualify the searchers as ready to buy, and looking for a place to get the products online.

Conversion tracking

The great part of AdWords, is that in most cases, you can track exactly which keywords and ad texts leads to sales. Place the conversion tracking code on the successful checkout page on your site so that you can effectively track which keywords are giving a return on investment. By sharing the data with Analytics, you can get even more information, as you can combine this data with revenue data.

When your website is tracking leads, ensure that you track enquiries via contact forms, quote request forms and other interaction with your sales department. It is harder to track telephone enquiries though, and we rely on information from the sales department for feedback. However, there are methods of tracking telephone calls made via AdWords clicks as well.

Negative keywords

When using broad, phrase or modified broad match, it is essential to add negative keywords to reduce the chance of the ads appearing for irrelevant searches. For example, adding keywords such as jobs, tips, ideas, and careers to an AdWords campaign for a cleaning business will ensure that the ads do not accrue costs for people looking for a cleaning job.

Monitoring and testing

When the campaign is running, it is important to monitor the effectiveness of the campaign. Having set up the conversion tracking, you can evaluate which keywords and ad groups are giving value, and which ones are not. Just keep in mind that sometimes sales made might not show up as a conversion. Often people might do their research on a smartphone before moving to a desktop to process the order more easily. This will not show up as a conversion from AdWords clicks.
You can experiment with different ad texts, call to actions and different keywords to target as well as monitoring which keywords triggered your ads to be clicked. This data can help give you ideas for negative keywords to add, as well as more keywords to focus on. If the keywords keep on costing to much money compared to results, you may need to consider pausing your ads from appearing from these searches. Don’t forget to test your website, as the your prices, text, call to actions and checkout process can all lead to people dropping out of the purchase decision.
These tips form the basis for a successful AdWords campaign. Even though there are a lot more tweaks and tools that we use on a daily basis to make campaigns more efficient, if you can adhere to the above tips, you have a good starting point to see positive returns from AdWords.

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