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Google AdWords Management is complicated. The concept is easy to grasp, interface and tools are simple enough, the documentation and help available is excellent so there really is no reason for anyone to not be doing as well as their competitors. After all, it’s only about selecting keywords and writing ads right?
Wrong. Being able to use a software interface is not what professional AdWords management is about. There is a lot more depth than beginner advertisers understand, though this is no fault of their own, they lack the experience of working with thousands of accounts and continued exposure to the industry to have the same dexterity of thought. Even completing Google’s exams and certifications is only an exercise in efficiency and understanding of the technology.
So what are some of the most closely guarded secrets from to learn from experts that work in AdWords management every day? And what can we learn from them to use in our own campaigns?
Gut feeling is the first thing that goes out the window when you have spent enough time in AdWords management. Not to be confused with an experience based decision; making changes because you feel something will work better will, more than often, end up worse. If you feel an ad could be better, don’t just switch to it – split test it, but only after there are clear results from the last test.
However, if you do wish do make changes to your campaign without having the data to back up your decision, make sure you take the time to record the changes so that you can easily track the impact it has on your performance over time.
Lose a fight today so you can win the war tomorrow. Under-performing areas can only be determined by gaining statistically significant sample sizes. Turning off tests and reacting to weekly trends will only ensure that the budget spent already is completely wasted without any real data and knowledge gained. Effective AdWords management should result in the continued growth of the accounts market share, wasting the opportunity to gain data along the way cripples your future expansion.
Just adding budget into an account without planning for it can really hurt your ROI. After working with a campaign budget for a while naturally your campaign becomes optimised for that particular spend. Adding additional budget can change all the rules and if not managed correctly will blow out your cost per conversions. So prior to just upping budgets, have a think about what kind of changes would be needed in order for your campaign to gain the additional traffic. If no changes are required other than raising your daily budget caps then chances are your performance will remain pretty consistent, but there are cases where a larger budget means gaining traffic later on in the day when conversion rates may or may not be as strong as earlier times in the day.
If changes such as bid increases or new keyword additions are required to accommodate the higher spend, then you’re almost certainly going to see an increase in CPA. If these changes are required, be prepared to give your campaign a month to test the new bids and keywords and then once you’ve got some data behind the new setup, you can start optimising to improve the performance.
Think AdWords management only involves working with the data available in your account? Far from it, the data you get as results from your campaigns only tells half the story, the rest is from other data sources, eg: seasons, other campaigns that are running, new competitors into the marketplace, price wars, sales, economy, latest news, consumer confidence, etc. If the account is advertising a services based business you need to understand the quality of the conversions and correlating them to conversion data. For a product or e-commerce account, learning the average checkout and average cart per conversion.
Overall, getting a 20% increase in conversions from a campaign getting 1000 conversion will have a lot more effect than getting the same results from a campaign getting 100 conversions. Similarly if you are introducing a new experimental landing page or creative run the weighted split-test on the campaign with the most search volume, here the tests will get data fast. Better to know quickly then to wait weeks or months for results to come in. Don’t completely forget your low volume campaigns and ad-groups and continue to look for opportunities, but generally speaking in an AdWords account – 20% of the campaign gets 80% of the business.
So hopefully this post has helped you gain some insight with your campaign. Effective AdWords management has a lot of depth to it. Exposing these secrets from AdWords management experts hopefully will help you see your campaign in a new light and start getting you continued improvement and success with your campaign.
Have any questions or would like to add to this post? Feel free to leave your comments below.
Posted on September 26, 2013 by Phillip Wendell
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