All too often when we look at a prospective client’s Adwords account, it’s clear that they have adopted the dreaded ‘Set & Forget’ Adwords campaign strategy. It looks like this: come up with a bunch of keywords, cobble together some ad copy, set a daily budget and sit back and wait for the enquiries to come rolling in. Worryingly, this isn’t just the case with internally run campaigns – so called ‘specialist’, outsourced Adwords agencies are also guilty of it too!
Adwords is an extremely effective tool for delivering highly targeted traffic to your website. If you’re in the business of selling ‘widgets’ in Hertfordshire, Adwords can help you attract a visitor to your ‘widgets’ page who just googled ‘widgets for sale in Hertfordshire.’ Beautiful!
Everyone Wants Your Search Traffic
Because Adwords is so targeted and relatively simple to execute, it can also get very competitive. So even if your ‘widgets’ are flying off your Hertfordshire based shelves, it may not be long before other ‘widgets’ entrepreneurs are targeting the exact same search traffic. Like any other auction, the price you pay for your clicks is affected by who else is bidding and how they are bidding. And think about this: if you are in an auction room, you don’t just walk out leaving one bid on the table and hoping that does the trick. You need to stay in the room, observe, learn and adapt your strategy according to what is going on.
Below are 5 tips to maintain your account on a weekly basis, and ensure that your ‘widgets’ continue to fly off your shelves:
- Manual Bid Adjustments – Yes, you can opt for automated bidding but this is rarely an effective strategy. By opting for automated bidding you give up far too much control. It’s far better to adjust your bids manually, little and often, with the aim of having your ads appear in an Average Position of 1 – 3.
- Keyword Culling – Monitoring the performance of individual keywords is essential to campaign management. Poor performing keywords can have a detrimental effect on your whole campaign. Where a keyword has poor Average Position and a low Quality Score it will follow that the CTR is also low. In these cases, it’s unlikely that any bid adjustments will improve performance so the keyword should be paused.
- Rotate Ad Copy – It’s best practice to have at least 3 text ads running per ad group at any one time. This allows you to split test their performance and write new ad copy based closely on the current best performing ad.
- Review the Search Terms Report – This displays the actual search queries that have triggered your ads and is one of the most important tools in your arsenal. Regularly reviewing this report helps you to mine additional keywords and, more importantly, add negative keywords to block irrelevant traffic. For instance, if you sell only red widgets you would add [blue widgets] as a negative keyword if it appeared in your Search Term Report.
- Monitor the Auction Insights Report – A very useful report which displays the domains you are bidding against for each your keywords. It lets you compare your performance with the other advertisers and helps you to make strategic decisions around bidding and budgeting.
Bonus Adwords Tip for Businesses Using an Agency
If you’re using a specialist agency to look after your Adwords campaigns, take a good look at the monthly reports they inevitably provide. Talk with them and establish which of the key metrics they should be striving to improve month-on-month.
If there’s regularly little or no improvement to campaign performance, ask them to include the change history in their monthly reports. This lists each and every change that has been made to a campaign over a given time frame. If they’re reluctant to provide this information, you may want to ask yourself why…