10 Common Adwords Mistakes - Part 1

Funny thing about Google and AdWords. They have a really detailed and useful online help to cover most aspects of setting up and managing your AdWords account, but there are still some major traps for new players. Google are committed to maintaining the quality of information they supply, and this includes the quality of AdWords advertising, but sometimes they just don’t get it right. A couple of examples are the default settings for campaigns, and the campaign optimisation tool. I won’t go into why straight away. The reasons are covered later in this post. The point is that you need to look beyond what Google suggests you do and Google Help if you are to get the maximum ROI from your AdWords account.

The following list is a bit of a brain dump, and is not in any particular order. but I reckon it will save most neophyte AdWords managers a heap of time and money. 10 points may be a bit long, so I am going to break it down into 2 posts with 5 points in each. So here goes.

I am going to use a hypothetical online shop – ACME Irrigation – selling home garden irrigation systems for my examples.

1.  Putting all your keywords in the one ad group.

A lot of new advertisers simply set up one campaign, then dump a great bunch of keywords into a single ad group with a single ad. This may have worked once, but it doesn’t now. Google rewards relevance, and there needs to be a strong continuity between the keyword, the ad text, and the landing page.

For example, there are thousands of keywords and word combinations that relate to garden irrigation. Here’s a few of the most commonly searched of ones from Google’s keyword tool:garden irrigation

garden water irrigation
landscape garden
garden irrigation supplies
garden irrigation pump
garden irrigation hose
garden irrigation systems
garden irrigation system
home garden irrigation

To most people these keywords would look pretty closely related, but I’d split them up. There are at least 4 different concepts here, each should have a separate ad group:

  1. landscaping (a general concept)
  2. irrigation systems (a more specific part of landscaping)
  3. irrrigation hose ( a specific type of product)
  4. irrigation pump (another specific type of product)

Each ad group would have different ads incorporating the actual keywords in the first line e.g

Splitting keywords into separate ad groups

Splitting up a list of keywords into different ad groups. Each ad should be directed at a landing page specifically devoted to each topic – e.g. the pumps catalogue.

If you set up your campaign with this degree of focus, you will pay less for clicks and achieve higher conversion rates.

2.  Failing to run separate campaigns on the Search and Content networks.

The Google search and content networks are very different animals. Ads on the Google search network are the ones that come up on the right hand side of the search results. Content ads are ads that come up on other websites, blogs, directories and mail services that are part of the Google content network.

Ads on the search network are displayed in response to people searching on specific keywords. Ads on the content network are displayed in response to likely matches between the content of the website or whatever and the subject of your ad.

Click-thru rates tend to be much higher on the search network than the content network, and the cost–per-click is higher. Additionally, strategies for writing and managing ads for the content network are different, the quality of the traffic may be lower, with poorer conversion rates. The content network also allows for a range of multimedia ads – such as images and video.

Default campaign settings

Despite all these differences, the default setting for AdWords campaigns is to have both search engine and content network distribution turned on. This is not the way to go.

You should set up separate campaigns for the search and content networks. This way the click-thru data, bid prices and ads can be managed and optimized separately.

Having set things up like this, I would focus on getting the search only campaigns working first. They are likely to be most productive.

3.  Poor keyword research.

With keyword tools such as Wordtracker, or Google’s keyword tool you can get:

  • A list of keywords and keyword synonyms that are related to your product or service.
  • An idea of relative search frequency on these keywords (and hence the ones to concentrate on).
  • An idea of advertiser competition.

It is worth taking the time to do this research up front. Look for keywords that have a high relevance to your product or service and a high search frequency. Keywords with a low level of advertiser competition represent an opportunity, particularly if you are trying to get first page ad listings in expensive markets and have only a limited budget.

It’s a good idea to keep all the original keyword research results in a spreadsheet. You can then refer back to your original research as you gradually expand your campaigns and ad groups.

Sure, in the intermediate term you will focus most of your time on the keywords which deliver the most conversions. But you won’t know what they are are unless you do your initial research properly, create appropriate ad groups and measure the traffic.

4.  Only using  Broad Matched keywords

When you create your keyword list make sure that you include phrase match as well as exact match versions of each keyword in your initial list for testing.

As follows:

  • Broad match: This is the default option
  • Phrase match: Put the keyword in quotes e.g. ‘irrigation supplies’
  • Exact match: Put the keyword in square brackets: [irrigation supplies]
  • Negative match: Put a minus sign in front e.g. -free

Three main points here:

  • Broad matched keywords may bring in a lot of irrelevant searches and increase costs.
  • Exact match will offer the lowest conversion costs in many instances – but less traffic.
  • Negative match keywords are necessary to eliminate extraneous traffic e.g. getting rid of traffic from unwanted synonyms or sources

Start by running all keywords in broad, phrase and exact match forms and determine the most profitable by testing.

5.  Not tracking conversions

Many advertisers tend to focus on CTR (Click-thru-rate) rather than actual conversions when a visitor performs an action such as filling out a form or buying a product. Although CTR is a measure of ‘attractiveness’ of an ad, it may not be the best measure of its effectiveness.

I continue to be surprised by the number of Adwords accounts that don’t even have conversion tracking installed. Without this you won’t know the relative conversion costs of ads.

To < a href="http://www.youronlinebusiness.com.au/google-adwords/10-common-adwo…istakes-part-2/">Part 2

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.