Getting the most out of Adwords

Getting the most out of Adwords

There is more to Google’s advertising product than keywords, says Digital Fuel Marketing’s Aaron Phelps. By making use of all of its features you can significantly improve your chances of meeting CPA or ROI targets. 

Published 6th September 2017

As more and more businesses go online, Google AdWords can be a cost-effective way to quickly drive high quality traffic to your site. However as competition grows, so does your cost per click (CPC) right? This doesn’t always have to be the case.

Building campaigns in the right way and using all the features available will ensure you get the most of your account and hit your cost per acquisition (CPA) or return on investment (ROI) goals.

Reading search marketing advice, you will find an abundance of information about best practices that are easy to apply to a campaign or ad group level. Common best practices such as keeping ad groups small and targeted, with relevant and keyword specific ad copy, have demonstrated great results.

However, as anybody who has managed a large pay-per-click (PPC) account understands, there is much more to AdWords than just the keywords you’re bidding on. I have listed some of the important aspects and AdWords features you can use to get the most out of your AdWords campaign.

From building the account to using all the features, AdWords is becoming ever more advanced. Using these features and your own data will help improve the overall performance of the account 

 

Get your structure right

Splitting your account and campaigns to be reflective of your business structure is a great way to start, especially when you’re dealing with different stakeholders for your client. From an account point of view, splitting casino and sportsbook is always a good start.

Other than the obvious point of it being easier to manage, having the accounts split allows you to allocate your budget accordingly. This ensures that you don’t have any crossover between all your budgets. If your budgets are split even more granularly, you should consider splitting the accounts even further.

But you don’t need to go crazy as there is the shared budget function which can be utilised at campaign level.

Another benefit of having the account split is being able to create granular campaigns within each. A granular campaign structure (including having match types separated) allows you to have managed budgets and optimise quickly and more efficiently.

It will also allow you to set CPA targets at a sports/casino game level rather than an overall brand CPA vs non-brand CPA; although we will discuss this a bit later on.

Don’t forget the negatives

Selecting the right keywords is one of the most important aspects of any Google campaign, or that is likely what you’ve been told. It’s probably the first thing you think of when you start your AdWords journey. At the end of the day you want to drive high-quality traffic to your site and to do this you need to be visible for the user’s search query.

Having the right negative keywords strategy is important, especially when you’re running multiple match types.

As I mentioned in the campaign structure, splitting match types by campaign ensures this negative keyword strategy can be quick and easy. If you have limited budget and you are focusing on exact match only, this won’t apply to you.

However, don’t rule out phrase match and broad match types just yet.

There are plenty of benefits to having this as part of your AdWords strategy. For one, it is a great way to increase exposure and increase share of voice (SoV). It is also a useful tool to source new keyword opportunities, including long tail searches that you might have missed in your original build.

Finding these keywords and adding them to the account will help decrease CPC and improve the overall performance.

But of course, when looking at broad and phrase match keywords, don’t just focus on those that you can add to the account. Make sure you eliminate underperforming keywords or those you don’t want to appear against; look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.

Essentially, all my reasons for loving labels come down to one key point: they make an effective account easier to manage.

Use dimensions for greater results

Deciding your keyword bid is one thing. Then you need to use data and decide on your device bid. But it doesn’t stop there. Under the dimensions tab we can get even more information on your campaigns: time of day, day of week and user location.

This is another factor to consider when CPA targets (and therefore bids) can be amended to reflect this, possibly allowing for some increased CPAs where quality can be determined.

An overall CPA is still helpful as it allows you and the client to get a quick glimpse of performance, but drilling down further will allow for improved performance long term for the account. This is why campaign structure and labels become important.

From building the account to using all the features, AdWords is becoming ever more advanced. Using these features and your own data will help improve the overall performance of the account and likely lead to more investment.

But remember the most important part of running any AdWords account, whether with a £100 a month budget or £1m: testing.

Testing is not just about ads and landing pages, although that is what you’ll most likely hear and read about.

Whenever you make a change or a bid adjustment, monitor the results. See whether increasing bids and average position on a Saturday has led to an improved click-through rate and conversion rate. Has this been cost-effective and delivered a higher quality of customers?

Have you gathered enough results to make a conclusive decision? And once you’re happy with the results and ready to make a decision, be ready to test again.

Having the right negative keywords strategy is important, especially when you’re running multiple match type

 

Labels: the Post-it notes of AdWords

AdWords’ very own version of Post-it notes is labels. Although you have likely built a campaign structure that works for you, labels can help go that little bit further. Labels are a great way to group together keywords, ads, ad groups or even campaigns. Want to separate brand vs non-brand?

Add a label. Want to group together your highest performing and most valuable keywords? Add a label.

Time sensitive ad copies that need to be paused at midnight? Guess what, you can add a label. Labels are a great way to help manage your day–to-day running of the account.

Essentially, all my reasons for loving labels come down to one key point: they make an effective account easier to manage.

Use dimensions for greater results

Deciding your keyword bid is one thing.

Then you need to use data and decide on your device bid. But it doesn’t stop there. Under the dimensions tab we can get even more information on your campaigns: time of day, day of week and user location. This is another factor to consider when you’re setting bid strategies.

Maybe you want to increase your bids and average position on a Saturday morning before the weekend’s fixtures, but decrease your presence on a Sunday afternoon when conversion rates might be lower.

But remember, don’t look at dimensions at account level. For a greater level of detail view this at campaign (or label) level. This will allow you to gather deeper insights into how each sport’s betting terms are searched differently.

For example, football betting related terms will produce different results to horse racing terms based on when the events are on.

Using your data right

Understand your end goal. For some companies this might be leads while for other verticals this could be ROI.

However, often an overall target is set (we need to get a CPA of XX, or an ROI of XX). Having worked across many verticals it’s important to set CPA/ROI at a more granular level. Understanding lifetime values of customers means CPA targets (and therefore bids) can be amended to reflect this, possibly allowing for some increased CPAs where quality can be determined.

An overall CPA is still helpful as it allows you and the client to get a quick glimpse of performance, but drilling down further will allow for improved performance long term for the account. This is why campaign structure and labels become important.

From building the account to using all the features, AdWords is becoming ever more advanced. Using these features and your own data will help improve the overall performance of the account and likely lead to more investment.

But remember the most important part of running any AdWords account, whether with a £100 a month budget or £1m: testing.

Testing is not just about ads and landing pages, although that is what you’ll most likely hear and read about. Whenever you make a change or a bid adjustment, monitor the results. See whether increasing bids and average position on a Saturday has led to an improved click-through rate and conversion rate.

Has this been cost-effective and delivered a higher quality of customers? Have you gathered enough results to make a conclusive decision? And once you’re happy with the results and ready to make a decision, be ready to test again. 

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