I have come across several Google AdWords accounts recently that have prompted my to write this blog – if you have a Google AdWords campaign that either a) You have set up yourself or b) Have had your web developer set up for you or even c) Have a company reputedly say they are a Google AdWords certified partner set one up for you then these are 5 tell tale signs that it could probably be vastly improved.
- Your keywords are all on a broad match basis. If your keywords are ALL on a broad match basis then you will be wasting vast amounts of your marketing budget. By having your Google AdWords on a broad match basis you effectively give Google the “permission” to show your AdWords advert whenever it sees fit – for example an office furniture company’s AdWords were showing when people were searching for Auction House. This is called extended broad match and is when Google decides that two topics “might be” related and the searcher “might” be interested in your products or services – bad, bad, bad….The solutions are – refined broadmatch keywords (whereby you place a + in front of each keywords in your list), Phrase match (whereby you place “” around each keywords), Exact Match whereby you place  around your keywords or at the very least add hundreds of negative keywords (whereby you add – before the keywords you do not want to show your AdWords advert for).
- Your Keywords Are All On AutoBid. Any Google AdWords Professional will (almost) never use the Google Autobid facility as it will never be in your favour – always have your keywords as manual bids and control (up and down) the amount you are wanting to pay – if a keyword becomes too expensive simply pause it.
- Conversion Tracking is missing. Almost every Google AdWords campaign should have some form of Conversion Tracking added to it. Whether this is a brochure download, a completed enquiry form or a call back form – you can easily generate code that your web developer can add to the relevant parts of the website. This is vital in knowing which keyword(s) are generating actions and enquiries via your website. Ultimately your Google AdWords campaign is about understanding which keywords and phrasing are bringing you the most cost effective amount of business or enquiries and trying to concentrate and expand on these.
- Your AdWords are showing on both the search network and the display network within the same campaign. Showing your AdWords in both the search network and display network of Google can reap rewards for some businesses. Different businesses have different performances on both of these platforms however the Click through rate of your AdWords on the display network will usually be massively different to those that show on the search network. By having them combined in one campaign means that the click through rate will show an average across both, which in turn will effect the quality score of your advert. The lower your quality score the more money you need to pay per click to maintain the position you hold in the search network. Each platform should be kept separate and monitored separately.
- The biggest tell tale sign of all. The search terms button. When you log into your Google AdWords account you need to drill down to ADWORD GROUP LEVEL (i.e. each individual AdWords Group) – you will see below your graph and above your keywords a button saying “SEE SEARCH TERMS” – hit this button to see exactly WHAT your AdWords advert has been triggered for – this is where you will see the fruits (or not) of having your account on a broad match basis. We looked at a potential new client recently who had paid a company to set up their AdWords campaign – he was unhappy that he had spent £500 in “clicks” and didn’t feel he had anything to show for it. When we looked in this tab over 50% of his budget had been spent on people searching for JOBS in his industry (which he absolutely wasn’t looking for) – a classic example of how dangerous and costly bidding on a broad match basis can be.
Liam Lally – Google AdWords Certified Partner.