How to Manage Google AdWords Using Best Practices

In today’s digital world, consumers are constantly connected, whether on a smartphone on the go, a computer at work, or a tablet at home. Users search the Web throughout the day, for what they want, whether that takes the form of staying entertained, research, or shopping. By using keywords, advertisers target those queries, or searches, as people search on Google. On this relationship between keywords and queries is based search advertising using Adwords.

Our in-depth guide to Google Adwords online advertising campaigns is intended to make your foundation of your paid search strategies and help you get the most out of Google’s PPC campaigns. The guide provides strategic advice for your best tactics of search engine marketing, based on Google’s internal data and real world experience of experts in Adwords advertising.

The ever-improving functionalities in Google Adwords makes it important for advertisers to keep the best practices in mind when they are designing and optimizing their PPC avertising campaigns. We will discuss here the best Adwords practices and provide some tips to help you get the most out of your campaigns. By following our advice your Google Adwords account will grow to new performance levels.

Follow Google Adwords best practice guide

When you are designing your Adwords campaign you need to set clear marketing objectives such as delivering large levels of traffic, achieving increasing numbers of click conversions, and reinforcing brand awareness. How well the PPC advertising campaign will work for your business depends on the keywords list you create and how well you use them. But before to start building keyword lists, as part of the best Adwords practice guideline you need to update first your Privacy Policy, and let your customers and website visitors know if you use DoubleClick cookie. When you set up your Adwords campaign, there are two sets of code available: AdWords code and Google Analytics code. It is more recommended to use the Google Analytics code instead of the AdWords version, because you can take advantage of the additional benefit of using visitor behavior within list criteria. For instance, the Adwords code allows only to build lists based on the web pages viewed on your website. But when you are using Google Analytics code you may create, for example, a list to target your audience in a specific geographical location, visitors who stayed on the site for at least two minutes.

Another aspect to take into consideration when you follow the Adwords best practice guideline is to only set membership durations on your list for as long as they are actually required. Depending on what you actually want to achieve, you can set your list durations of different length of time:

  • In case that you are targeting people for an annual purchase then go for a time frame of at least 13 months long.
  • In case that you offer a certain service that requires users to sign up after 30 days you need to set lists with a membership of around 60 days in order to encourage sign up and target users for a reasonable time.

Frequency capping is another Adwords best practice. This allows you to make a difference between stalking your audiences or just lightly reminding them about your brand. In the Settings tab of your Adwords campaign you can find it as at ad level, ad group, or campaign. From the frequency capping settings choose whether to set it on daily, weekly, or monthly limits. When you are deciding at what level to set frequency capping take into consideration how many ad groups there are within your advertising campaign or how many marketing campaigns you have. It is recommended to set it at around two impressions per week in case that you have multiple Adwords advertising campaigns.

Design your Adwords campaign

Your Adwords campaign should be based on a kind of behavioral targeting. Your ads will be shown depending on the content the user is visiting online. In case that you dispose of just a small advertising budget you can use demographic targeting for gender and age in order to target only those users that are most likely to convert. For instance, in case that your online store is selling beauty products you may choose to set the age and gender only to females of a certain age. You’ll also need to choose the “Bid only” option in this case, in order to be able to increase the bids for females. However, you need to be aware of the fact that aware that Google’s assumptions about demographics are not necessarily the same as yours. For this reason you need to also target “Unknown” in order to avoid missing potential impressions for females.

In setting up an Adwords PPC advertising campaign it is important to refine your targeting by marketing only to “quality” visitors. You can add some criteria to your lists in order to narrow down your advertising to only target those visitors who have had a quality interaction with your website in the past:

  • Exclude people who have spent on your website less than several seconds
  • Exclude those people who have bounced from your website in the past

For this purpose you can create your lists within Google Analytics and then, within Adwords create custom combination lists which exclude them.
You can also stop Adwords to show your ad on “bad content”, such as site categories that you don’t want to be associated with your brand. This is possible to achieve by setting from the “+Options” button for campaigns at the bottom of the page, within the Display Network tab. It is also recommended to exclude parked domains, error pages, and forums, as they all tend to have poor content not advisable to be associated with your brand.

You may automate your bids in order to save time and increase performance. Learn how to bid like a pro and optimize your bids for maximum success with Adwords. Based on your business goals, ensure that you always prioritize bid adjustments.

Write good text ads by following these tips:

  • Highlight what makes your business and your offer unique
  • Include promotions, prices, and exclusives
  • Empower your customers to take action and include a call to action
  • Include in your ad at least one of your targeted keywords
  • Match your ad to your landing page
  • Also appeal to your customers on mobile

How to select the keywords list for your Adwords ad

With your keywords list you have to cultivating demand by using the best strategies. Here are some tips on how to select the best keywords for your Adwords ad:

  • Your keywords should align with your business goals – they should reflect all the different searches that some user might use when looking for a service or product you offer.
  • Manage keyword match types for better growth and control – Each keyword has its own purpose, therefore you need to held it accountable your business goals and align it with its purpose.
  • Expand the reach of existing keywords – by improving the keywords’ Ad Rank you’ll be able to maximize your keywords’ presence.
  • Find new targeting opportunities – by using Dynamic Search Ads you are able to streamline account management. This helps you to avoid the need for continual keyword lists updates at times when you make a change on your website content. In order to grow volume, besides adding new targeting options you can also use a higher quality ad coupled with a more aggressive bid. This way you’ll drive more volume on your existing keywords.
  • Refine your traffic with negative keywords – by using search terms reports or the Keyword Planner you can find the most impactful negative keywords. Make the addition of negative keywords a regular part of your keyword maintenance. This way, by avoiding clicks from users who aren’t likely to become your customers, you’ll be able to save some money on your PPC advertising budget. The negative keywords management should focus, just like your main keywords, on those places that will have more impact.
  • Think holistically about the different ways customers could reach you – As an advertiser your Adwords account is powered by keywords and you need to think holistically about the best different sources available. Among them are included the Keyword Planner Tool provided by Google.
  • Delete your low search volume keywords – in order to reduce clutter you should keep only those keywords that are most likely to drive traffic for you.
  • Use broad match in order to capture long tail queries and reserve exact match for value drivers and your primary volume. This will help maximizing coverage on relevant queries while keeping account management at a reasonable level.
  • Don’t create minute variations of phrase/exact match keywords – you don’t need to create additional keyword cutter, so try to not create minute variations of exact match keywords because these types expand to also cover close variations of your keyword.
  • Delete your low search volume keywords – Find gaps between your keywords list and your website content. By using tacking and Adwords reports you can evaluate what keywords have the most impact on reaching your advertising campaign goals. Identify the right keywords to target and delete low search volume keywords.
  • Bid on core product keywords – the most easy to convert visitors are those who come on your website at the end you their buying cycle. For this reason you need to ensure you are bidding on core product keywords such as product names and models.
  • Don’t forget to also include as keywords your brand URL – When they only recall the brand name and not the exact website name, some people are searching for URLs on Google.
  • Use keywords to deliver the right message at the right moment – By using better creative you can help improving your ad relevance in order to drive more qualified clicks. Better clickthrough rate and better relevance lead to a higher Google Quality Score. This in turn can also lead to lowe CPCs, better ad position placement, or even both. On the bottom line, this will translate to better returns for the budget spent on your ad campaign. For this purpose, your keywords should be tied to creatives. Your sales copy should be compelling and simple. Your ads should be also tailored for mobile searchers.
  • Use Adwords report
  • Advertisers can refine further their marketing campaign by reviewing their Google Adwords ad placement report and excluding inappropriate and inefficient placements. However, you need to ensure you don’t exclude too much, because, rather than website content, your campaign should target based on the user’s behavior. It is recommended to have individual campaigns set for each keyword list you are running in Adwords, or at least separate campaigns for each type of strategy.
  • Set up conversion tracking for your advertising campaign in Adwords. Import e-commerce tracking or goals from Analytics to be tracked in Adwords as conversions and use Adwords conversion tracking codes. Test your custom combinations and your list criteria in order to experiment with your combinations and lists in order to optimize your campaign. Some examples of how to use and Adwords report in order to test your campaign include:
  • Test different gender targeting alongside lists
  • Test different list member durations
  • Exclude different categories such as forums, parked domains, games websites and others
  • Exclude different lists using custom combinations
  • Monitor lost impression share due to rank by customizing your columns at ad group levels to show “lost Impression Share due to rank”. You may consider increasing your bids in case that your notice that your ad group is missing out on a significant level of impressions.
  • Test your landing pages by sending your visitors to different pages on your site. For instance, if they already viewed a more expensive version of your product, send them to land on a lower-cost version. A completely fair test can be ensured by using Adwords experiments.
  • Test your ad creative – Adwords experiments can also be used in order to provide ad creatives completely even tests. Test different images, wordings, and colors on your call to action.
  • Review performance by location and if required adjust bid location.
  • Review your Adwords ad performance on mobile devices and if required change your mobile bid.
  • Review performance by time-of-day and, if required, use scheduling bid adjustments.
Stéphane has been working on business Web projects for more than 15 years. He has a computer science degree and a MBA specialized in e-commerce from Laval University in Quebec City. That also explains why his writing can sound weird: He is a French Canadian!

View his LinkedIn profile or email Stephane: stephane@dashthis.com



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