Remember These 8 Basics When Running an AdWords Campaign

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The fact that there is no rule book when it comes to running a Google AdWords Campaign is both good and challenging. Challenging because much of the advice out there are often based on one user’s experience and may or may not apply to you. That’s good because you have a lot of things to try out and figure out. There isn’t one size that fits that e-commerce site or that blog or that author site. But at least you’re not working from scratch.

In all cases there are some fundamentals to consider in all cases:

  1. Do Keyword Research – This is as simple and as complicated as it sounds. You’re going to need to use keywords (until  voice and visual search dethrone it) and you’re going to have to decide which keywords best exemplify your product or service. Speaking to your niche means you’re not looking to get everybody because you’re looking for the right people who will respond to your message and take the action you want them to take, ie buy, download, watch. Take keyword research seriously. Ask the questions you would ask if you were looking for your product or service.
  2. Mix Keyword Match Types when appropriate are really important even in planning negative keywords. Everyone starts off with broad and with a bit of attention, you’ll be able to adjust to the other types. Be familiar with them and use them wisely because while broad match can work in many cases, phrase and exact can yield better results once you know which to use and where.
  3. Don’t be afraid to SEO – It’s not a dirty concept but it is changing on a daily basis. Search Engine Optimization is an actual specialization that’s shifting more towards relevance than density. That means that reliance you have on keyword density will need to fall away as machine learning and AI become more sophisticated. These days, being optimized means your keywords, ads and landing pages show high relevance to a user’s query. When you have that going, you will have more clicks for less money.
  4. Remember your CTA – I can’t tell you how many times I and clients have this great ad but it doesn’t do well. Why? We didn’t tell the user what to do. Having a strong and visible call-to-action will streamline the steps you want prospects to take. Click here, Learn more, Download, Buy now…make sure your call-to-action is in the headline as well as on your landing pages or you’ll kick yourself.
  5. Eye Your Budget – Even with a limited budget you can see some good action, if you’re smart. What do I mean by smart? I mean taking a look at your search term reports and adding negative keywords because they count against your budget if people click and then bounce.
    I mean dayparting, which means checking your ad schedule to see when you’re not getting any engagement and cutting those out of your schedule. Those impressions are better served during the times that you are getting engagement.
    I mean using bid adjustments wisely because they multiply. If you adjust for devices because you see you’re getting more traction in desktop, fine. But if you also adjust for location on top of that, that’s not addition, that’s multiplication. Keep an eye on them and don’t go nuts.
  6. Regularly Analyze & Report – Checking your AdWords and Analytics accounts regularly. If you’ve made significant changes to your campaigns, however, let those work for two or three days and then check. As far as reporting, I use Excel for unstructured data or structured data I want to play around with. For more structured data, I use Data Studio. I can import the Adwords and Analytics data engines in the platform and come up with geo maps and donut charts to show clients what’s going on. Figure out the questions you want to ask before you use those tools.
  7. Use Ad Extensions – Extensions are extra ad punches that advertisers can use to get attention for their product or service. If you look at an ad and see words below like Free Consultation, Free Shipping, 99c Sale those are Call out extensions. The key is that they are at the system’s discretion, so it pays to make sure you’re making the best of your ad’s overall relevance.  but they are at the Google decided to discontinue Review extensions. which basically pulls customer reviews from third party sites to append to your ad. These are useful for restaurants, hotels, basically any business that invests in making sure customers fill out reviews on Yelp, for example. Those who relied on that third party validation will feel the pinch but there are more than a few other extension options they can use. Whichever you choose, Ad Extensions need to be a part of your campaign.
  8. Integrate Tools for full view – I mentioned Analytics. YES. Make sure your analytics, Search console and Adwords are all linked. If they’re not, you’re blind. In Analytics, make sure you have event tracking enabled. Trust me, I had a client who didn’t have it and I felt like the earth was flat. Being able to see how people are engaged with your site as well as build up your organic muscle will help you make better decisions as far as where your budget goes. Really, make sure you integrate all tools and give yourself the best chance at a 360 view of what’s going on with your advertising.

What do you think? Any other fundamentals you want to add?

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