Jonathan Saipe

Google AdWords Success Checklist

27 May 2008, Jonathan Saipe

Google AdWords logoTo inspire you to strive for better PPC results (making particular reference to Google AdWords), have a read of our top tips for PPC success:

1. Location location location
Geo-target your relevant audience(s). Be sure not to include territories that aren’t relevant to the products or services you are advertising.

2. Target your ad groups
One of the golden rules: ensure your ad groups are well targeted. Avoid creating a generic ad group with a list of non-targeted keywords. Aim to limit your keywords to around 10-20.

3. Get your keyword matching strategy right
Combine broad matching with phrase or exact matching in order to balance volume for precision targeting; the latter will reduce your CPC (cost per click) in the long run.

4. Negative words are a positive step!
Build a list of global negative keywords especially if you are using a plethora of broad matches. Negative keywords will filter out unwanted searches and will improve your targeting.

5. Dynamic keyword insertion
Use dynamic keyword insertion on some ads and measure against other ads. Dynamic keyword insertion will often improve your click-through rates (CTR) as the displayed copy within the ad will match the search term. However be sure that all your keywords work correctly when published dynamically. Finally make sure you get your capitalisation right!

6. Content versus search network
Firstly make sure you understand the differences between the content and search networks. Bear in mind that clicks from the content network are well known to be impulsive as visitors are usually not in “purchase” mode but are in “browse” mode.

As a result of this, be wary of the content network and separate bids between the content and search network. Alsouse different messaging between the two.

Finally, consider the content network if your keywords are not regularly used in searches.

7. It’s not just about clicks
Remember to track your conversions and ROI (return on investment) not just CTR (click-through rates). At the most basic level you can use Google’s website optimizer to track your cost per sale and conversion rates.

8. Aim to meet your profit targets
Work out your CPA (cost per acquisition) and profit targets and compare against other channels with cross channel tracking. Remember that you can generate brand awareness and various forms of offline value for every click as well as direct online sales or leads.

9. Avoid bidding wars
Don’t enter into bidding wars especially if you wont meet your profit targets. Aim to increase your quality score and ad position through good targeting.

10. Test, tweak, measure
In Jim Sterne’s book “Web Metrics”, when referring to website design, he recommends adoping the “Try It, Measure It, Tweak It” approach. Apply the same approach to your PPC campaigns. Don’t rest on your laurels. Test different creative copy and offers and measure your click-through rates religiously.

11. Monitor the competition
Watch your competitors; aim to figure out their bidding strategy.

12. Bid management software

Consider adopting bid management software if you are running large or multi-network campaigns.

13. Work on your listing position strategy
Aim to modify your listing position and monitor fluctuations in click-through rates. Remember that you might achieve a good CTR at position 1, but your may well achieve better conversion rates in lower listing positions.

14. Dayparting
Monitor your dayparting strategy (i.e. the time of day and day of week your ads appear). Aim to display ads when conversions are at their highest. Avoid switching ads on and off as this might affect your ad performance history; instead consider getting your bid management software to reduce bids at times when conversions are at their lowest.

15. Don’t forget the last hurdle: landing pages
Optimise your landing pages to achieve the best possible conversions. Consider A/B testing or multivariate testing to improve your conversion rates.

If you find the above baffling, why not enroll on our Google AdWords course?

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