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How to Level-up Your AdWords Campaign

Advanced tips to turn more clicks into cash

The sky is the limit with Google AdWords, and very few businesses use it to its full potential. It might seem like a complex world, but taking the time to understand it could prove very profitable in the long run. Use these advanced tips to take your campaigns to the next level.

(Something you don’t understand? For a glossary of basic AdWords jargon, click here)

Double up

Rather than using just one ad group per product, why not try two? With just a single group you have no standard with which to compare your results. Your key words might be doing okay, but you could be missing out on others that could be significantly better. With two ad groups for the same product, you can compare the success against each other. This provides better opportunity for refinement.

Remember to judge the success of your ads on conversions, rather than outright clicks. Conversions will tell you where your money is best spent.

Talk to your customers

Businesses come up with all sorts of expensive and complicated ways to predict what their customers are searching for. But most miss the most obvious trick of all. Asking them. Every time you make a sale you have an opportunity to collect information that will help you make future sales. Asking the simple question: ‘why did you buy from us’, will not only let you identify the strong points in your marketing, but it will give you a host of keywords to use in your AdWords campaign.

For example, if your customers reply, ‘I needed a reliable de-icer’, well you’ve got an excellent keyword right there. Just make sure you’re basing your decisions on large data samples. Only commit to new keywords if you see a large trend from multiple customers.

Start a negative keywords list

Ever get frustrated that your clicks aren’t generating purchases? This might be because the wrong type of people are clicking your ads, people looking for things that you don’t sell. For example, say you sell a range of wired headphones. If someone has searched for ‘wireless headphones’, your ad for ‘premium headphones’ might still appear, and they might click on it only to be disappointed that you don’t sell wireless headphones. Every click your ad click costs you money, so guarding against this is worth your time.

The answer is a negative keyword list. It’s a list of keywords that you don’t want to lead to your ad being displayed. For example, putting the keywords ‘wireless headphones’ on your negative keyword list will stop those searches displaying to your ad.

These lists can be huge, and in fact the bigger the better. The fewer ‘bad’ clicks onto your advert, the better. There are some negative keywords that apply to most businesses, such as ‘free’ or ‘cheap’, and brand names like ‘Google’.

Bid on your brand

While searches for your brand name will probably have you ranking number one organically, there are some benefits to paying a little extra to secure the top ad spots too. The biggest of which are strengthening your brand name and building awareness. Users are subconsciously tuned in to the top ad results, and associate them with strong brands and thriving businesses. Occupying the top of the rankings reinforces your image as a big player.

It also stops your competitors doing something sneaky like bidding on your brand name and stealing the clicks. It may seem unlikely, but there’s nothing stopping them from doing so.

Take more control with Manual CPC

The default system of keyword bidding is known as Maximum Clicks, whereby you specify your daily budget and Google automatically adjusts bids to get the most possible clicks. The deeper you become entrenched in AdWords, you might decide it’s time to take more control. It is possible to manually adjust your keywords bids with Manual CPC (cost per clicks).

If you’re well in tune with your AdWords analytics, and you can see which ad groups are generating your best and worst conversion rates, then you might adjust them either to generate even more clicks, or save money on those underperforming. Manual CPC is also a way to manage multiple ad groups you’ve ‘doubled up’. For example, if one of your competing ad groups is only there for the purpose of testing, you will want to keep CPC very low for those keywords.

Use all the tools at your disposal

As well as your own initiative, Google provides a host of handy tools to help you manage and improve your AdWords campaigns. If you’re not making use of some of them to make ad decisions, you could be missing out on crucial information at your disposal.

Some of the most important tools are:

Opportunities

This tool uses conversion data to suggest which of your keywords could benefit from adjusted bids. Either increased bids to capture more clicks, or decreased bids to save money.

Simulator

The simulator runs ‘what-if’ scenarios to project how many more clicks you could have got if you had adjusted your cost per click. This can aid you in determining how much, or how little, to manually adjust CPC

Enhanced CPC

This combines the previous two functions, and automatically adjusts your bids to spend more money on the keywords likely to lead to conversions, and less on those underperforming

Streamline your workflow

Turn your AdWords campaign into a well-oiled machine by putting some serious thought into your workflow. Do you have an established system of reviewing your data? Is the way you tweak your keywords ordered and regular? It’s good practice to record all your data (CPC, click-through, conversion rates, and changes) in a single place such as a spreadsheet. This will allow you to implement a continuous system of data collection, review and revision.

Set aside an afternoon each week to thoroughly trawl through all of this information and make changes to your campaign accordingly. Remember, AdWords requires constant tinkering and revision. If you aren’t tracking the success or failure of your ad groups, then you are missing out on the opportunity to boost your return on investment and your profit. Which in the end, is the reason you’re running your campaign in the first place.

For complete management of your AdWords campaigns, S2F can help. Our digital marketing experts put the time into constant refinement and improvement, so that you get the very most out of every penny spent. Feel free to get in touch, or find more guides like this here.

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