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Three Tactics to Make your AdWords Campaigns Profitable
Google values relevance, and as such, relevance between keywords, ad copy, and landing page copy is generally awarded with high Quality Scores, high Click-through Rates, and high conversion rates.
Many AdWords managers spend a lot of time writing new ad copy and designing new landing pages to achieve the optimum relevance for their campaigns. These tactics are without a doubt worth investing time in, but even before you begin the advanced testing tactics involved with new ads and landing pages, you should first adhere to three straight-forward and easy-to-implement strategies that will assist you in making your AdWords campaigns profitable.
Adding “phrase match” and “exact match” keywords
After hours of keyword research and consuming millions of creative brain cells to write brilliant ad copy, you can now sit back and watch your campaigns take off, right? Nope, developing well-structured campaigns and adding highly relevant keywords aren’t the only steps to AdWords success. Many times the easiest and simplest step can be overlooked, in this case: adding phrase match and exact match keywords. Based on my experience, phrase match and exact match keywords often have higher Quality Score and convert better. I recommend using AdWords Editor. It is a powerful, free tool, designed to manage AdWords accounts offline and easily make a large number of changes at once.
A few things you should watch out for when changes are made:
- This should be done at the ad group level, not campaign level or even account level.
- Not all corresponding phrase match and exact match keywords are perfect for the ad group, sometimes pre-selection is necessary.
- After this move, you should go back to AdWords and watch the Quality Score and other data closely for the first several days. Feel free to pause or delete the phrase match and exact match keywords that are under-performing.
Analyzing search term report
At the root of the definition, keywords are simply our assumptions. Search terms are the real words and phrases that people will put into Google when looking for information. If you’ve assumed correctly, a keyword you’ve setup in AdWords will match a user’s search term, and then the bidding begins. Competitors using your same keywords want their ads to be shown above yours. There are a number of things you can adjust to make sure this doesn’t happen. Because of this, the search term report brings valuable insight.
Download and analyze your search term report to get ideas for new keywords, and most importantly, ideas for negative keywords, too. From this report you can see which terms triggered the ads to be shown, and which are irrelevant to your business or service. Search term reports should be viewed monthly to gather the most accurate takeaways.
Adjusting keyword bids to estimated (Est.) top page bid
The bid is one important factor that Google uses to determine Ad Rank, and therefore, ad position. The higher the bid, the higher the Ad Rank, and then the higher position your ad will be shown. If your ad is in a prominent position, more people will see the ad and click on it, in turn increasing your click through rate (CTR), and eventually improving your keyword quality score.
Here are a few important things you should keep in mind when implementing this tactic:
- Keyword Quality Score and account performance cannot be improved solely by increasing keyword bids. Ad copy relevance, landing page copy relevance, conversion rate, and many other factors impact keyword Quality Score and account performance.
- When the Quality Score for a certain keyword is very low, such as a 2 or 3, the Est. top page bid will be very high. At this time, it’s probably best to adjust the bids based on budget and advertising goals, and not increase the keyword’s bid to the amount Google recommends. Spending more time creating relevant ads and landing pages is much more important.
- Est. top page bids tend to change frequently. If you have a large set of keywords, say 10,000 in the whole account, it will be very time-consuming to manage the keywords. At this time you should consider setting up automatic rules.
When employed together, these three tactics can be effective and profitable. However, it’s also important to note that AdWords is a complicated system and many factors work together to deliver your results. Maintaining flexibility and keeping in mind the inherent differences between your various accounts, are equally important to meeting and exceeding your AdWords goals.
Photo credit: Anise Smith