Make sure your year gets off to a great start by doing a quick audit on your search marketing campaigns. Here are a few quick ways to improve the health of any AdWords account:
1. Use separate campaigns to target search, display and mobile ads
When you create a new campaign in AdWords, it will show your ads on the Google Display Network (GDN) by default. While this is a great place to find more customers, you should have separate campaigns for showing your ads on search results pages and on GDN so that you can take advantage of the best practices for each. Also create separate campaigns for ads that appear on mobile phones so you can point users to your mobile landing pages.
2. Ad groups should have multiple ads and under 20 keywords
If you’re frequently editing your account, its structure can get out of shape. Ideally all ad groups will have at least 2 ad text variations and no more than 20 keywords. When you have multiple ad texts, Google can automatically show the best performing one to get you more clicks and conversions so it’s a good idea to always be testing multiple ad variations. If you find an ad group with too many keywords, chances are you can split it into smaller ad groups where you can create ads that are more relevant to their keywords.
3. Make sure you’re tracking the right conversions
Tracking conversions is critical to understanding what works and what doesn’t so make sure you’ve got the conversion tracking codes installed on your site. Over time, it’s possible that your site structure changes and that you’re no longer tracking the right pages so the start of the year is a great time to go through the list of business outcomes you want your site to deliver and to confirm that these are all tracked with goals in Analytics or conversions in AdWords.
4. Take advantage of all the latest features
AdWords is adding new capabilities all the time. Just in the past quarter they started showing engagement metrics from Google Analytics so that you can see which keywords bring you the most engaged visitors and they added the ability to quickly make bulk changes so that you can do a find-and-replace across all your ad texts. Subscribe to a blog like Google’s AdWords blog or follow experts on Twitter so you’ll stay in the know about all these changes.
Frederick (“Fred”) Vallaeys joined Google in 2002 to help AdWords grow into a leading online marketing platform and he served as the AdWords Evangelist until 2012. Now he runs his own marketing business, Top Tier, to make online marketing more accessible to small businesses through education, tools and services. He speaks at numerous events, including the annual America’s SBDC conference, helping companies get their business online and grow through online marketing and technology. Follow Frederick on Twitter and Facebook.