Five Quick Ways To Optimise Your AdWords Campaigns

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Data, data and more data. For AdWords professionals such as myself, Google provides seemingly endless ways in which campaign performance can be analysed. From click-through and conversion rates to search terms and quality scores, huge amounts of information is made available. All of which offers many potential opportunities for improving account performance.

The downside of having all of this data is that analysing it can be very time consuming. Fortunately for those of you in a hurry there are some quick and simple ways to improve the performance of your AdWords campaigns that won’t mean working late at the office.

1) Negative keywords

Having a comprehensive and regularly updated set of negative keywords is vital to any optimised campaign. Negative keywords are used to stop your ads from showing for searches that are irrelevant and unlikely to lead to a conversion or a sale. When used effectively they can improve ROI significantly.

Take the example of a business which sells ladies but not men’s clothing. In this case it would make sense for them to prevent their ads from being displayed for any searches that relate to men’s clothes. This can easily be done by adding negative keywords such as ‘mens’ or ‘gents’, etc.

Negative keywords can be set at the campaign and ad group level. However, to really save time where there are keywords that apply across campaigns you should simply create a negative keyword list. These lists can be applied to multiple campaigns without having to set them up each time.

2) Callout extensions

Do you provide a better service than your competitors and want to tell the world about it? Of course you do. Fortunately, Google’s recently introduced Callout extensions are designed just for this purpose. These extensions allow you to highlight any special offers or unique selling points about your business and display them below your ads to help generate more clicks.  For example, if you offer free delivery then you can use the callout extensions to promote this rather than having to find room to mention it within your ads.

Callout extensions can be added at the campaign and ad group level which means that they can be tailored exactly to your requirements. However for those in a hurry they can also be added at the account level which means that they can be set up in just a few minutes.

3) Mobile bid adjustments

Another quick win in terms of optimising your AdWords account is to adjust bids for searches made by users of mobile phones. Click on the settings tab for any of your campaigns and you’ll be shown how your account performs based on whether the person clicking your ad was using a computer, tablet or mobile. You might be surprised to see that performance can vary significantly.

Unfortunately Google doesn’t yet allow you to set separate bids for tablet users, it does however allow you to change bids for users of mobiles. Therefore if you find that these users convert less well then you can tell AdWords to reduce bids for mobile searches. Conversely if you have a brand new site optimised for mobiles which converts at a low CPA then you could improve overall account performance by increasing mobile bids. These adjustments are set at the campaign level and are very quick and easy to set up.

4) Quality scores

The position that your ads appear in search results is based on both your maximum bid and your quality scores. The lower your quality scores the more you will have to pay to appear in the top 3 positions. Therefore if your account is full of keywords with low quality scores then you will be paying much more for each click than is really necessary.

Finding out if low quality scores are affecting your account is easy. Simply click the keywords tab and choose to order the data by quality score. If you see nothing but scores of five and above then your account is already well set up – well done. If you see that lots of your keywords have scores of two or three then you’ll know where to focus your efforts to optimise performance.

Improving your quality scores needn’t be time consuming. For each keyword Google informs you of any problems that are affecting its score. If poor ad relevance is causing low scores then you need to rewrite your ads. On the other hand if low click through rates are causing issues then you might want to change keyword match type or add more negative keywords.

5) Low & High CPA keywords

No matter what products or services you are promoting with your AdWords account you’re sure to have some keywords which convert at a low cost while others prove to be much more expensive. Whether cheap or costly these keywords at either end of the scale are perfect for quick optimisation.

Click on the keywords tab and order the data by cost per converted click. Firstly look at the keywords with a high cost per conversion and ask yourself if you are really getting value for money. If the answer is no then you should either reduce bids or pause the keywords entirely.

Next scroll down to the keywords with a low CPA and look at their average ad position. What you are looking for here are keywords which convert well and at a low cost but which don’t have ads appearing in the top positions. For these keywords it is a good idea to consider increasing bids to raise ad position and maximise their effectiveness.

Hopefully by now you should be convinced that optimising your AdWords campaigns doesn’t always need to be a time consuming exercise. By using the techniques described above big results can be achieved even in just a few hours.

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