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5 Essential Tune-up Tips for AdWords Campaigns

Brad Frese, Paid Media Manager / 3.31.2017

Many businesses run AdWords search campaigns, which display prominent ads at the top of Google’s search results page. Search ad popularity is a testament to the effectiveness of bringing qualified traffic to a website at the exact moment potential customers are researching – or ready to buy – a particular product or service.

If your business is running a search campaign on Google, how can you be sure you’re getting the most out of it? Search campaigns are like intricate machines with pieces and parts that need regular maintenance to keep running at peak efficiency. Here are five essential tune-up tips for the next time you look under your campaign’s hood, just to be certain you’re getting the most for your advertising dollars.

1. Make sure you have the right negative keywords.

A regular check of the Search Terms Report will tell you what searchers are typing in to trigger your keywords and cause your ads to show. If you sell wooden widgets and doodads, but not the paintbrushes and varnish many customers use to shine them up after the sale, you may find that some of the search queries that are triggering your ads are for “paintbrushes for doodads” or “widget varnish.” You will want to add “varnish” and “paintbrush” to the list of negative keywords for the appropriate ad group or campaign.

Doing that will keep your ad from showing up for a customer who wants something that you don’t sell. It will save you money on wasted clicks from someone looking for something you don’t have and it will make the searcher happy too – they won’t have to waste time looking for something on your website that they will never find!

2. Check your keywords’ “Quality Score.”

An AdWords Quality Score is a number from 1 to 10 that Google assigns to each of your keywords and the higher the number, the better. High-quality scores mean you pay less for each click on your ads, and the easier it is to show in the higher, more prominent ad positions.

How do you get higher quality scores? Check out my blog, “3 Ways to Improve Your Google Keywords Quality Score.”

3. Check your search impression share percentage.

If your campaign is working well and you’re getting good leads or selling your product through online ads, make sure that you are getting as many leads or sales as you can. Look at the “Search Lost Impression Share (budget)” percentage. That number tells you how much more search traffic you could get to your website if you increased your budget. If your lost impression share is 50%, that means you are only getting half of the traffic to your website, and all other things being equal, about half of the leads or sales that you could be getting. If your search campaign is giving you a good ROI for your ad dollars, it could make good business sense to increase the budget of your campaign and potentially acquire more customers resulting in more sales.

4. Check out who the competition is for ad space on the Google search page.

Use the Auction Insights Report in AdWords to tell you who is competing for the same keywords that you are bidding on. This is useful if you notice an increase in the cost per click over the last few weeks or months. You can download this information to Excel by day, week or month, and analyze it to see if a new competitor has started in your area, or an existing competitor has increased their presence on Google search ads. New competition means that you have to be craftier in your ad text, explaining why the customer would be better off choosing your company. Make your ads even more enticing than the competition!

5. Speaking of ads, make sure you are always testing new ones!

Get in the habit of constantly running at least two ads in each ad group. One of them will likely perform better than the other. When you see that happening, pause the ad that leads to fewer sales or phone calls and create a new one to try to beat the winner. If you do this, you will constantly improve the effectiveness of your ads.

These five tips are just a few of the strategies that we use at BIG YAM to help our clients have the most successful Google AdWords campaigns possible. As you can see, . BIG YAM is an official Google Partner, with Google Certified specialists ready to help with your AdWords search campaigns. If you have any questions about the performance of your search ads, or you want to get started with search advertising, please give us a call. We’d be glad to help!