Marketers often rely on Google AdWords to ensure that their business or their clients are featured prominently in search results and receive a steady stream of traffic to their websites. But while this can be an extremely useful tool in ensuring these sites show up for specific, relevant keywords, there’s no guarantee that your ad campaign will translate to impressive success. What’s more, you can’t merely “set it and forget it” when it comes to AdWords; you’ll need to constantly monitor your ads and your strategy to ensure that everything is going according to plan.
If you aren’t seeing the results you imagined, you certainly aren’t alone. You do, however, need to spring into action and assess the health of your AdWords campaign. When your ad performance isn’t what it should be, you’ll want to first identify the areas of waste and take steps to reverse that trend. Here are five steps you’ll need to take in order to improve the outcome of your AdWords campaigns.
- Ask: What’s the Goal?
Before you can achieve success, you’ll need to define it for yourself. What do you want to accomplish with your campaigns? If you don’t know what the goal of your ad campaign is, you’ll have a hard time executing your vision. Once you identify what motivates you and the brand you’re advertising for, you can make certain that the ads you create will align perfectly with those goals and support you in your pursuit of them. Those who are feeling stuck or overwhelmed might consider zeroing in on cost per conversion, market share, or return on ad spend.
- Evaluate: Account Structure
The way you set up your AdWords account structure does make a difference in how successful you’ll be. You’ll need to take a close look at each component of the account structure, including the different types and sub-types of campaigns you have (and how many per type), the number of search-only campaigns you have, and the number of ad groups you’ve chosen in a given campaign. Ideally, you should select four or more campaign types, 10 or more campaigns per type, and 25-50+ single keyword ad groups for each campaign. Poor account structure can sink your AdWords efforts before you even really start, so pay close attention and make necessary changes as issues are identified.
- Examine: Campaign Settings
The campaign details don’t stop there, of course. You can target users in extremely detailed ways using AdWords, but you should pay attention to the most basic campaign settings as part of this check-up. In the “campaign type” setting, for example, you can select the Standard option or the All Features option. While Standard is the default, All Features allows you to customize features like bid adjustments and ad schedule (which you can’t control with the Standard function). In the Network section, steer clear of the default setting, as well; selecting “Search” instead of “Search with Display Select” can help you budget properly and separate the settings that matter most to you. You should pay attention to the ad rotation settings (and be sure to select the one that makes the most sense for your level of account activity), locations, and other details to ensure you’re making the most of what this tool has to offer.
- Expand: Keyword Selection
Keyword selection is everything here. The keyword you choose will be directly responsible for displaying your ad in search. But in their desperation to show up in search results for a specific term, some marketers will limit their targets and unknowingly make it less likely for an ad to be seen (and clicked). That can cause you to potentially waste money on an irrelevant keyword or miss out on opportunities to increase traffic. In other words, you need to gain a full understanding of keyword match types — broad match, broad match modified, phrase match, and exact match — as well as negative keywords that can all help you to reach a wider audience while ensuring that your ads aren’t displayed to users who are looking for a product or service you don’t provide. Often, the name of the game is to widen the net while simultaneously being a bit more specific in your approach.
- Connect: Google Analytics
Google Analytics is another immensely beneficial tool that can provide more insight into the behaviours of web users. You’ll want to integrate your Analytics with your AdWords to assess how others are interacting with your ads. From there, you can obtain the data you need to understand whether the content you’ve created is actually engaging, whether users are abandoning your site or their cart at a certain point in the process, or where site problems might exist that may be disrupting your ability to maintain effective ad campaigns. With Google Analytics, you can track exactly what’s going on and gain a wealth of knowledge that will further support your marketing techniques.
With these steps in mind, you can perform a health check-up on your GoogleAds campaigns with confidence, diagnose any problems, and apply the proper treatment to ensure your campaigns will recover — and even thrive.
Also published on Medium.