What to Do in Adwords and when to do it.
At KiLLitOnline, we manage dozens of Adwords accounts that contain multiple campaigns and literally hundreds of variables. The AdWords concept is much like an engine, with various moving parts that require regular and frequent maintenance in order for them to operate as a well-oiled machine. We know all too well that the maintenance and optimization of the AdWords engine can consume all your time (especially if you’re not an expert) unless you have a dedicated plan of attack.
Most people are wasting money in their campaigns day after day and don’t have the answers to a few very basic questions – “What are the tasks that I should be performing?” and “How often should I be performing these particular tasks?”; These are the two most popular questions we get asked at our Adwords workshops. Usually, the answer starts with, “it depends”, but there is a basic management formula to follow in order to achieve Adwords success. Here’s a break down of the basics you need to stay on top of and how often you need to keep an eye on things. Go ahead and bookmark this page now so you can come back to it and check your progress in the days and weeks to come. Enjoy!
**If you are just getting started on Adwords, Make sure you refer to the articles “How to choose the best settings for Google Adwords and How to set up your AdWords campaigns for Success”
Daily AdWords ManagementTasks
1) Determine the program budget
Determine the budgets for the individual campaigns, as well as the account-level spending. Check back to the annual and quarterly budgets as well, to make sure that you are making pace with them, while also triangulating areas that could use some optimization.
2) Determine highest performing keywords
Single out the highest performing keywords and give them a label. These keywords will be reaching the KPIs on a regular basis, which is why they should be carefully observed, in order to make sure that you receive sufficient conversions, traffic and impression share.
In case you notice any variations in performance, take action then and there!
3) Check Cost-per-Click and median positions
Check to see where the ads are coming up in the search results, as well as the cost-per-click for the ads. You need to make sure that you have the right cost per click, and that you are competitive. This will keep you at a higher position in the search results.
If your current position is declining, consider increasing your bid as long as the latest bid makes you comfortable.
4) Take some time to learn
Google is constantly coming out with new tools, interfaces, and bidding strategies. One of the most significant tasks regarding AdWords account management is staying abreast of any new features and updates. Google is constantly trying to drive engagement with these new tools to test how usable they are so often times they will notify you of their updates within the Adwords interface or via email
Look up tactics and strategies that can be useful towards the management of the account, and read through case studies put forward by companies with an operation similar to yours.
The good news is that by reading this post, you’re already on your way to a more successful campagin.
Weekly AdWords Oversight Tasks
1) Conversion analysis
Observe week-to-week or year-to-year comparison of conversions. Are you keeping up the pace or are there performance variations which require a closer look at the relevant data? Edit the data where required, or start asking questions regarding the causes of the performance fluctuation. If you don’t have conversion tracking installed on your website, check out this post for “Implementing Conversion Tracking for Calls from Your Website“.
2) Impression share evaluation
Impression share means the percentage of time your ad was eligible to show and did show to a potential customer. Keeping a close eye on this metric helps you to make sure your ad is being shown the appropriate amount of people. Do the ads in place show whenever they are currently eligible, or is there a budget or rank related issue that needs to be solved? If you start seeing your impression share drop, you’ll want to consider making adjustments to your Quality Score, Keyword Bids, and Budget.
3) Conduct thorough evaluations with auction-insight
In order to achieve your goals, you have to stay ahead of the competition. You can look at the activity of the competitors by making use of the built-in Auction Insight tool provided by AdWords.
You can also look at the auction-insight report, to observe how your ads are ranking in comparison to your competitors who are bidding on the same keywords. Is there a particular competitor who always outranks you? Are there any competitors who are unexpected in the report? Using these insights, you can evaluate the keywords and where you stand in the market.
4) De-Duplicate keywords
In order to optimize performance, it is necessary to organize the account. Duplicating keywords throughout the campaigns, albeit with different targeting intentions often cause unnecessary conflicts pertaining to how the ads perform.
Identify these problem areas via the duplicate keywords tool provided by AdWords, through Adwords Editor.
Bi-Weekly AdWords Management Tasks
1) Keyword match type short-listing
For an introduction to keyword match types, please click here to check out our article on “Using Keyword match Types to Kill it On Adwords“. Basically, there are several ways that you can enter a keyword into Adwords and based on the way you enter it, your ad will trigger for that keyphrase. Run a Serch terms report in Adwords to see which searches are triggering your ads. If you are finding that people are clicking on your ads for searches not relevant to the services you provide, you will want to adjust your keyword match type.
Start to think of keywords in the form of specific terms people search and use these as phrase match or exact match keywords.
2) Use Keyword Planner to increase the targeted keywords
Keep the search term report in front of you for now…
Use the search terms that are relevant to your services and plug them into the Google Keyword Planner. This tool will help you add relevant search terms to your campaign and increase the reach of your ads.
3) Research negative keywords
Keep the report with you, still…
Now, back to those irrelevant searches. Another way to deal with paying for irrelevant clicks is by adding the words that make the search irrelevant to your negative keyword list. Add a number of negative keywords to the campaigns or ad groups as you continue to see them. Spending unnecessary amounts on clicks that are irrelevant is the last thing that we want to do.
4) Report your tests
At this point, it can be safely said that your campaigns will have a lot of changes made to them. Track all changes that you make to your campaigns. This will become very useful when comparing your campaign performance before and after you made changes. Now, you will need to compare the current period with the previous and compile a report pertaining to the changes you see. If you see conversions are down, or CPC is up, or your impression share took a hit, keep in mind the changes you made to your account and make adjustments accordingly.
Remember that after you have enabled an optimization, always make a review of the performance. This will allow you to backpedal easily, in case you made any assertions that need renewal.
Monthly AdWords Management Tasks
1) Testing ad copy
First, you should always have at least 3 ads per ad group. If you don’t then you’ll want to check out our guide on Setting up your AdWords campaigns for maximum success. Always test the ad copy and make decisions which are based on major data only. Testing the ad copy and landing pages is one of the easiest ways towards CTR optimization, quality score increase, and more conversions.
Review your ad performance. Is one ad outperforming others?
Single out the ad that is performing the worst, get creative and make a new version of it. To maintain full control over the process, edit only a single aspect of the ad – call to action, headline or the description at a time and test the results
2) Ad extension optimization and analysis
You can improve the performance of your campaign by reviewing and optimizing the ad extensions such as call extensions, site links and more, in a similar way to ad copy reviews. Remember that your ad rank is directly impacted by the ad extensions.
You will need to take action if the ad extensions are not performing in a positive manner. Think of ways to improve the extensions, such as evaluating which site pages you most interact with, in addition to the landing page, in an attempt at conversion.
3) Review adjustments and bid strategies
Take a closer look at the bidding strategies you are using. You might need to test the performance, and even switch over to CPA or ECPC bidding. This is, provided that you have sufficient conversions. You can also select flexible bidding strategies if you want to add some automation elements.
Additionally, observe the bid adjustments which have been applied to the mobile targets, geographic targets, audiences and/or ad schedules. This is if you are using the aforementioned targeting methods. If you notice any high-performance areas, apply an increase to the bid adjustments. Do the opposite for poor performance areas.
4) Reporting and Evaluation
Wait a couple of days in order to collect the entirety of the data. Now, access the campaign performance compiled in the previous month or year. Look for spots that may need optimization, and then take a closer look at the campaigns, within the UI, in order to get improved insight.
Ask yourself the question – which campaigns outstripped the rest in terms of performance, and why? Which areas were the most problematic for the campaigns, and why?
Quarterly AdWords Management Tasks
1) Evaluate Mobile Tactics
Mobile traffic has grown by leaps and bounds, the last several years, and there is no indication of it lessening anytime soon.
Evaluate the AdWords account, as well as your website. Is your website using responsive design? Are you making use of the mobile bid adjustment options in your account? Are mobile site links and preference ads applied?
The mobile front has a number of opportunities, which need to regularly be reviewed, with the updates being made on the website and the account, accordingly.
2) Understand MCFs and search funnels
Paid searches and AdWords are just one aspect of the marketing equation – always remember that!
In order to understand how the keywords and campaigns work with each other, observe the AdWords search funnel reports. Then, launch yourself into Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnel Reports, in order to better understand the collaboration of the paid search campaigns and the rest of the marketing channels.
The results of this may surprise you. AdWords has the habit of assisting conversations from different sources. You can strategize the account accordingly, with the relevant information in hand.
3) Landing page optimization
Optimizing and testing the landing page is equally as necessary as AdWords account optimization. The landing page can transform searchers into customers. Therefore, make the conversion points as seamless and fluid as possible.
Ensure that the targeted keywords are being supported by the content. Remove any content that is not necessary and present information that users may require, in order to make decisions. Test a number of page layouts, while observing how each affects the conversion rate.
The overall quality score is affected by the landing page experience, as it is one of the primary factors of it.
4) Quality Score Evaluation
The quality score needs to be understood across the board, as this is a reflection of the ad experience quality. Don’t bank fully on it, but keep an eye on it to see the effect of the changes you have made, over time.
Think about using this as a priority base for your keywords, to see where improvements can be made. If you already have high costs per click, it may be due to generally poor keyword quality. How do CTR optimizations such as ad copy testing and match type additions affect the ad quality score? Also, how can improving the landing page benefit the quality scores that are lower than ideal?
If you need help getting all of the aforementioned tasks in order, we have created a system to help you out with all that and more.