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8 Tips For Better Google Adword Results

Back in April we gave you 7 Tips To Get You Started With Google Adwords.  So to build on that we have put together a list of things to consider to get the most out of your Google Adword campaigns and avoid wasting your resources on under performing ads.


1. Check That Google Adwords Is An Option

There is no point embarking on a Google Adwords campaign if your offering isn't something that gets sufficient search traffic on Google.  A simple check of whether that is the case or not can be done using Google's Keyword Planner.  Select 'Search Volume Trends' and enter your relevant words.  This will produce a graph and data including, Average Monthly Searches, Competition and Suggested Bid as pictured below.

September , 8 Tips For Better Google Adword Results 1

2. Ensure Your Chosen Keyword Is Affordable

Following on from the previous tip, making sure your keyword is affordable will ensure your Google Adwords campaign is profitable.  Think of it in terms of a traditional advertising you wouldn't pay more in advertising than you expect to return in increased sales.

Using a calculation formulated by Phil Frost in his post for Kissmetrics will help you to determine what Cost Per Click bid you should be willing to spend.

Max CPC = (profit per customer) x (1 – profit margin) x (website conversion rate)

So for instance based on a washing machine that produces $250 profit per customer with a margin of 25% and a conversion rate of 2% you would calculate the following:

$250 x 0.75 x 2% = Max CPC of $3.75

In this instance $3.75 should be the CPC you are aiming to pay to ensure an overall return on your efforts.


3. Separate Search from Display Campaigns

A common mistake that can ultimately cause you to overspend on Adwords is not separating Search and Display ad groups.  The difference between them is important to consider when setting up your campaigns.

Google Search Ads appear at the top and down the side of search results when people search for your chosen keyword.

Google Display Ads appear across various websites which can be determined by targeting.

By separating them you can tailor each advert to the different placement it receives as well as being able to better measure the metrics for each and determine their success.


4. Understand Keyword Match Types

Keyword match types are settings that determine how closely a search needs to match your chosen keyword to trigger your ad being displayed.  Getting this right has a direct impact on how often your ad is shown and consequently when you get charged for it.

The keyword match options are as follows:

  • Broad match allows for similar or related phrases to trigger your ad to be shown.  This type would not be ideal for a targeted campaign as the scope for your ad to be displayed is much larger.

  • Broad match modifier will show your ad for searched that contain your broad match keyword or close variations to it.

  • Phrase match will show only for searches for the exact phrase or close variations with additional words before or after the exact phrase.

  • Exact phrase will display only for searches with the exact phrase and no other words.

  • Negative match will exclude your ad from searches for any search that contains the word.

Google has provided a useful explanation with examples in their support section here.


5. Targeted Ad Placement In The Display Network

As mentioned earlier Google Adwords offers the opportunity to place your ads on websites across the web through its Display Network.  However the network contains a vast variety of websites with different audiences.  Therefore the need to target your ads placement is essential to once again get the best value from your ad spend.  You can get started on targeting placement in Google's Display Planner, listed under the tools menu shown below.

Google Adwords Display Planner

Google provides the following ways to target websites to display your ads:

Contextual Targeting uses your keywords to determine relevant sites to show your ad.

Placement Targeting allows you to select the specific sites for your ad to show on.

Remarketing uses tracking datato retarget customers that have visited your website.  For an overview of remarketing take a look at our 5 Ways To Use Remarketing  

Interest Categories allows you to target ads to specific sites based on its users interests, for example a website with a foodie audience for an ad selling cookware.

Topic Targeting is similar to interests but lets you target sites based on its main topic.  For example a Motoring focused site to suit a car sales advert.

Geographic and Language Targeting will limit your potential ad displays to a certain location or language.

Demographic Targeting lets you select you user audience based on age or gender.  

Google's targeting tools give you the power to hone in on the audience you are looking to reach and avoid displaying your ad to people not likely to be receptive it.  You can scale your level of managed targeting from Placement which lets you micro manage where your ads appear to Contextual, Interest or Topic targeting which provides a criteria for Google to do the placement for you.


6. Refine Ad Settings Using Placement Reports

Using placement reports you can get an insight into what ad campaigns are performing and those that should be paused and or altered.  Once you have commenced your display ads, you can generate a placement report via Campaigns > Display Network Tab > Placement Tab.

Based on what is performing or under performing the following tactics could be applied:

Site Exclusion

For any badly performing placements you can add a Site Exclusion to remove that as a display option in the future.  

You should also be sure to select which sites to exclude based on being irrelevant or inappropriate.  This could be sites with offensive content or sites that are not appropriate to your brand.   This can be setup via Display Network Tab > Adgroup > Add Adgroup Exclusions.

Add Site To Managed Targeting

On the other  hand a well performing ad could be added to the managed targeting adgroup to essentially guarantee it appears on that site.


7. Improve Your Ads Quality Score

Quality Score is defined by Google as "An estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing page. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions."

Your Quality Score ranks from 1-10 and can be viewed in your Adwords account via Campaigns > Ad group > Keywords Tab > Quality Score Dropdown

To improve your quality score pay attention to:

  • Including relevant keywords in ad copy.
  • Ensuring your landing page closely matches your advert.
  • Segment ad groups into smaller, more focused sets.


8. Split Test To Identify Best Performing Ads

To get the most out of your Google Adwords requires constant evaluation of the metrics of your campaigns to identify what is working for you.  Conducting split testing is a good way to isolate what element of your advert is contributing to a person clicking on your advert.  Is it your ads design or content, your chosen targeting method or the keywords selected.

Split testing ads with all but one element different can help to identify what contributes to better conversions and help to create optimised ads for future campaigns.  


By keeping these tips in mind you can ensure your Google Adwords delivers on conversions rather than simply evaporating.