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Posted on April 17, 2015

Basic Adwords Management

Tony Shaw
Tony Shaw
Basic Adwords Management
Tony Shaw
Tony Shaw
Posted on April 17, 2015

Daily AdWords Management

Review campaign budgets

Review your account-level spend and individual campaign budgets. Check to ensure that you are pacing currently for your given monthly budget and look for areas of optimization as follows.

Check average positions & CPCs

If you are managing your campaigns to drive phone calls (Service based businesses & Attorney/Lawyer AdWords accounts), try to ensure your ad is being shown in the 2-3 ad positions.  Set your data range to “Last 7 days” and review average position at the keyword level.  If you notice keywords that are below 3.5 increase bids by 10%.  If you notice keywords that are averaging 1.5 or higher, decrease bids by 10%.  This will help keep your ads running at the 2-3 ad position and give you the best bang for the buck.

Mobile Ad Position

This is very important to monitor and perform bid maintenance as mobile devices continually increase in traffic.  Due to the fact that mobile screens are smaller than desktop or laptop screens, Google only allows 2 ads to be shown on the top of the page (vs. 3 adds on stationary devices).  To monitor mobile ad position, select “Settings” at the account level and then choose “Devices”.  Increase the mobile bid adjustment to “+20%” and continue to monitor ad position (Last 7 Days Data) and adjust the bid adjustment to ensure all ads are in the 1.5 – 2.0 position.

Weekly AdWords Management

Keyword & Conversion analysis

Take a look at a week-over-week, month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons. Perform the following in each account:

  • Order keywords by average position.  Increase or decrease bids to stay in the 2-3 position and to keep the CPA targets (increase bids for converting keywords to generate more traffic, lower bids for underperforming keywords).
  • Order keywords by cost.  Pause, tighten match type or bid down expensive keywords which have not converted, especially when they are tangential or general keywords (example: “shipping”).
  • Order keywords by Impressions from high to low.  For keywords with significant impressions and low CTRs, determine whether the phrase is tangential or general. Has the term ever converted? If not, it is a candidate for pausing, tightening match type or bidding down.  If it is essential keyword, then search for a remedy such as moving it to a new ad group. Are the ads appropriate for this keyword?
  • Order keywords by number of clicks.  If one keyword or ad group represents a significant amount of clicks, it or they may require special attention.  Are these keywords essential to the location or are they general.  If they are general keywords, bid down, tighten match type or pause the keywords.  This will allow the budget to be spent on more descriptive and essential keywords that will drive conversions.
  • Review Google Analytics to ensure that the best performing keywords are well represented in the Adwords account.

Impression share analysis

Take a look at your impression share at a campaign level. Are your ads displaying every time they are eligible or do you have budgetary or ad rank-related restrictions? You can’t drive conversions without getting impressions first, so remember to take a look at the reach of your ads frequently.  Impression share lost due to budget can only be improved by adding additional budget or dropping bids.  This is why you should aim for the 2-3 ad position as you will gain additional traffic for the same amount of budget (vs. ad position of 1.9 or higher).  Impression share lost due to rank can be improved by increasing bids and making sure your ads are not showing below 3.5 or below the fold.

Bi-Weekly AdWords Management

Keyword match type cleanup

This starts by reviewing your keywords, then running a search term report. Do you see a lot of your broad match modified keywords being triggered for their exact match queries? If yes, add those relevant search terms to your campaigns as exact match keywords. This is a simple and great way to boost the quality of your account.

Research new negative keywords & directional negatives

Continue to look at the Search Query Report.  Add new negative keywords to your campaigns and/or ad groups as you see them. The last thing you want is to spend your budget on irrelevant clicks. Also, take a look to see if there are particular queries that should be triggered by a keyword located elsewhere in your account? Take this opportunity to create directional negatives to ensure that you are serving the most appropriate ad with the most appropriate keyword.

Monthly AdWords Management 

Review top performing keywords

80% of traffic is generated by 20% of your keywords.  This is a general rule of thumb across most Adwords accounts.  You must make sure the keywords that are providing conversions (leads) are getting the most traffic.  Monitor bids at the keyword level to ensure your top converting keywords are in the 2-3 ad position and are not losing out on impression share due to rank.  Pause, tighten match type, or reduce bids on all keywords that are underperforming from a CPA standpoint.

Ad copy testing

Always be testing and only make decisions based on significant data. Ad copy and landing page testing is one of the easiest ways to optimize for CTR, conversions and quality score.

Review the performance of your ads. Does one ad clearly outperform the others?

You should have 4 ads running in each ad group.  Pause your worse performing ad and test a new ad in its place.

Ad extension analysis & optimization

Just like ad copy testing, review and optimization of your sitelinks and call out extensions can be an easy way to improve your campaign performance. The more “real estate” you can take on the search page, the likely searchers will see your ad and take action.  Make sure your call out extensions and site link extensions are appealing and if possible, set you apart from the competition.  Also, make sure your sitelinks are directed to the most appropriate landing page.

Review bid strategy & adjustments

Take a look at the bid adjustments applied to your geographic targets, mobile targets, ad schedules or audiences. If you notice areas of poor performance apply a reduction to your bid adjustments (-10%) or vice-versa for positive performance.

Quality score analysis

Quality score is important to understand in the sense that it reflects the overall quality of your ad experience. Don’t obsess over it, but review it regularly to see how the changes you have made over time affect your Quality Scores.  Higher quality scores equal lower CPCs.

Consider prioritizing your keywords around this to find areas of improvement. If you have high CPCs, maybe it’s due to poor quality keywords. How might CTR optimizations like match type additions or ad copy testing affect those quality scores? How might landing page improvements affect those lower than ideal qualities scores?

Reporting & analysis

Pull campaign performance from the previous month. Compare performance against the previous month and/or previous year. Look for areas of improvement and opportunities for optimization.  Ask yourself: Which campaigns outperformed the rest, and why? Where did campaigns suffer the most, and why?

Always Remember!  Never make large decisions based on a small amount of data.  Set your date range to the last 3 months (minimum) to make these decisions.  Small data sets do not tell the entire story.  A decision made on a small data set can be harmful to any campaign.

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