Whether you’re new to Adwords or you are a seasoned professional, following these ten important steps can save you a lot of time and money with your Adwords account and help you achieve your online marketing goals.

1. Establish your Marketing Goals

Understanding your company and the product(s) you are offering online are only half of the battle. You need to know your online marketing goals. Is your goal to make people aware of your product(s), get as many clicks as possible to your website, or maximize the number of conversions? Establishing your marketing goals also requires knowing your desired cost per user acquisition.

2. Structure Campaigns to Reach your Goals

It’s important to understand how to build a Google Adwords account correctly from the very beginning and why. Campaigns should be structured and organized according to their individual advertising goals, targeting methods, location and budget requirements. Ad groups should be structured within campaigns to separate targeted keywords (and other targeting methods) grouped with relevant ad copy. If multiple campaigns or multiple ad groups are targeting the same or similar keywords (and other targeting criteria), they will “overlap” and compete against each other in the auction. A well-structured Adwords account should have very minimal overlap.

3. Track Conversions and Measure ROI

If your goal is conversions, you need to make sure you have conversion tracking on your website to feed this conversion data into your Adwords account. You can follow more than one type of conversion goal on your site and decide what you want Adwords to use it in automated bid strategies like enhanced CPC, conversion optimizer (Target CPA) and return on ad spend (ROAS). It’s important to track your conversion data correctly from the very beginning. Making conversion tracking “adjustments” later can affect your account.

4. Structure your Keywords by Targeted Themes

Use the Keyword Planner offered within your Adwords account to discover keyword opportunities for your landing page(s). For search, understand what match type(s) you should use: exact match, phrase match, broad match modifier, and broad-match. Structure your campaigns with granular ad groups targeting specific keywords and highly-targeted ad copy with a clear call-to-action specifically tailored to the keywords within each ad group. Your landing page(s) should relate to what the user is searching for or is likely interested in to boost Quality Scores. Be sure your landing pages are rich with relative content and keywords.

5. Experiment with Ad Copy and A/B Testing

Test, test, test! It is important to test ad copy and landing page variations often to know what the best combinations are for your campaigns. Some marketing strategies may vary by, keywords, audiences, interests, remarketing, topics, placements, demographics, ad scheduling, location and even seasonal targeting. Don’t be afraid to “get granular” and utilize Ad Delivery and landing page Experiments within Adwords.

6. Learn your Impression Share and Competitive Metrics

Know the impressions you are eligible to show on but aren’t and learn who you’re competing against for the same targeting criteria. In the “Columns” tab at the top of your Adwords account, there is an entire tab specifically for competitive metrics. While this data does take some time to accumulate, it is very useful when pulling reports for the last 30-90 days.

7. Add Sitelink and Location Extensions

Are you getting the most out of Google Search advertising and taking advantage of Extensions? If not, you should be. Extensions are additional links displayed below your ad offering additional information related to your website and company. Sometimes people search but don’t exactly know what they are searching for. Extensions can increase your CTR and help users find what they are looking for much easier.

8. Collect Remarketing Audiences and use Similar Audiences

Collecting Audiences in Adwords is a powerful way to segment your web traffic and remarket to them. Visit the "Shared Library" within your account and click on Audiences. Place Audience tags throughout your website segmenting website users by pages/goals they have reached on your site. As your audience(s) build up with more and more people, Google will begin creating “Similar Audiences” for each Audience you are collecting. Take advantage of this because Google can usually do a much better job than you can target people who are valuable to you.

9. Utilize Bid Strategies

Once your campaigns have enough data and meet the requirements, try using Bid Strategies aimed to help reach your marketing goal(s). The more history you have before started a Bid Strategy, the more historical data it will have to work with so make sure you start with plenty of data.

Enhanced CPC:
Bids will be adjusted automatically up to 30% or lowered as much as 100% depending on the likelihood of a conversion taking place.

Target Search Page Location:
Bids will be adjusted automatically to increase the chances your ads appear at the top of the results page or on the first page.

Target CPA:
Bids will be set to maximize the number of conversions set to your target CPA bid.

Target Outranking Share:
Bids will be set to to outrank a website how often you want to outrank it.

Maximize Clicks:
Get as many clicks as possible within your campaign budget.

Target Return on Ad Spend:
Bids will be set to maximize the conversion value set to your target ROAS bid.

10. Reach Additional Customers/Leads

The number of Search keyword opportunities out there are endless, and the Google Display Network reaches over 90% of the people on the internet. Study the traffic that is valuable to you and explores ways to reach additional customers/leads. Take advantage of Similar Audiences and Automatic Targeting settings in the Display Network such as Conservative and Aggressive (DCO) targeting.

Chris Harkey
Published: October 18th, 2017

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