While the landscape of online advertising is always evolving, there are five enduring principles that will help you structure your Google AdWords campaigns properly. Whether your goal is raising brand awareness, converting visitors to buyers, or anything in between, these tried and true techniques will ensure your paid search campaign is built on a sound foundation.
- 1Optimize Keywords
Google offers four main match types for the keywords you select for your campaigns: Exact Match, Phrase Match, Broad Match, and Broad Modifier Match. We recommend using the same keyword with different match types simultaneously to discover which performs best for your campaign.
- Exact Match – Your ad will only appear when the search query matches the keyword exactly. For this match type, if we start out with the keyword “men’s coats,” our ad will only appear when users search for “men’s coats.”
- Phrase Match – The keyword has to appear in the same order as what is used for the search query. The keyword “men’s coats” could appear when users search for “men’s coats” and also for “buy men’s coats.”
- Broad Match – Google runs your ads automatically based on relevant variations of your keywords, including synonyms, singular and plural forms, and related searches. The keyword “men’s coats” will show your ad when users search for “buy man jackets.”
- Broad Match Modifier – This type is a hybrid between Broad and Phase match. Each word in your keyword must be in the search query for your ad to show up. The keyword “men’s coats” will show your ad when users search for “coats for men.”
- 2Monitor for Underperforming Ads and Keywords
Make sure to keep an eye on ads and keywords that have a low click-through rate or a small number of impressions and clicks. When paying per click, these unsuccessful ads and keywords lead to lower quality clicks. Pausing underperforming ads and keywords can save the money that would be used for these ads for higher-performing ads that are more likely to result in a conversion.
- 3Utilize Impression Share
Impression share may not be as popular as conversion rate or quality score when it comes to measuring ad performance, but it is just as important. Impression share displays the number of impressions divided by the number the ad was eligible to receive, and it can be added as a column through the “Competitive Metrics” option. This metric lets you see the percentage of your audience that is being captured by your ads as opposed to your competitors’ ads. If you have a low impression share, Google will tell you whether it is due to a limited budget, low quality score, or another factor, and you can then make adjustments accordingly.
- 4Add Sitelink Extensions
Sitelink extensions offer users the option to directly click on different pages from your site, instead of being sent straight to the homepage. This is especially useful if your business has different locations, events, or special offers. When using sitelink extensions, your ad rank will take into account the expected impact from these extensions.
- 5Test, Test, Test
Make sure that you are constantly testing within your ad groups. With all of the customization that AdWords offers, there are endless possibilities for altering your ad in the slightest way (e.g., change the copy, headline, call to action, sitelinks, etc.). Testing different calls to action, headlines, or sitelinks can help you figure out which settings work the best—but be sure to only change one variable at a time.
Need help creating a high-performing paid search campaign? Contact our Client Services Director at 919-858-6914.