How to Successfully Manage an Adwords Campaign
Google isn’t daft. The search engine makes it easy to set up an Adwords campaign. After all, it wants your business. Ongoing management of a campaign is something altogether different. Such is the complexity of Adwords in 2015, it’s more of a money pit than ever.
No one is going to stop you running your own campaigns. But to avoid wasting money you need two things: time and expertise. Anyone can learn, but remember Adwords is a moveable feast. The stakes are even higher if your business is relying on Adwords as its main source of lead generation.
The success of an Adwords campaign is measured by 2 things only. Cost per lead, and the quality of those leads. As a business owner you’re well placed to assess the quality of those leads, But cost per lead?
Let me explain…
The average cost per lead measure varies by sector, and even different companies in the same sector get different results. If you’re only managing your own account, it’s impossible to get a feel for your relative performance. Rather you’ll be judging performance on gut feel or whether your campaign generates the volume of leads needed. This can be costly.
Other common measures of Adwords success such as CTR and bounce rates are also only part of the picture.
Setting Up Your Campaign
Quality scores, devices and targeting matter. But you must have the right keywords and be prepared to discard those that under perform. Adwords gives you the opportunity to bid on words you could never hope to rank for in the serps. But be wary of incorporating head keywords that don’t convert well. Intention is important. Also be wary of bidding on the same keywords your competitors are. Competitors may not be right, and competition increases cost.
Managing Your Campaign
Make sure you understand the available Adwords performance reports. It is only by analysing these you can really get a sense of what is working and what needs to be adjusted. These are very detailed but regular analysis is essential to find out what is working.
On top of this, don’t forget Google Analytics. Analytics tracking is vital. Track what your visitors are doing and whether the content you’re matching to your ads is working as it should. High bounce rates for example can be indicative of irrelevant keywords or a mismatch with content.
Edit keywords as per bounce rates noted above or for those that don’t convert. Another element to track is your ad positions. Low positions can yield better quality leads but ads can also suffer from low CTRs. Adjusting bids while monitoring performance can be productive. All keywords have a sweet spot in terms of ad position. Time consuming trial and error is the only way to find it.
All campaigns benefit from split testing ads and yours will be no different. Don’t forget to remove the underperforming ad and then replace it.
As you gain confidence that you can identify the best performing keywords, you have two choices open. You could then make them Broad match or preferably, add more variations of those words. You’ll also need to make sure your negative keywords are doing their job.
Finally, you’ll need to keep an eye out on Adwords developments. As I write this, there is a biggie just around the corner.