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4 AdWords Optimization Tips to Try This Week

  |  July 24, 2012   |  Comments

Start with negative keyword lists, mobile review, automated rules, and the new Display Ad Builder tool.

Every paid search account needs new ideas to keep moving forward with a positive return on investment (ROI). The following tips can be implemented in less than 15 minutes and make a lasting positive impact on the performance results. Try one tactic per day, and then take Friday off.

1. Negative keyword lists. Negative keywords are a critical component to any AdWords campaign optimization because you can filter out irrelevant clicks and impressions on keywords. Excluding keywords can save click spend and make the overall campaign more effective. A recent feature release now allows advertisers to manage negative keywords across multiple campaigns. The new negative keyword lists can be associated with many campaigns and can be easily applied to any campaign with a few simple clicks.

Get started building a list by accessing the "Shared Library" section of AdWords, then creating a new list in "campaign negative keywords."

2. Mobile review. Have you checked your mobile traffic lately? Often advertisers don't bother with setting up mobile-only campaigns because they believe there is not enough demand to justify it. Within the AdWords, you can select "segment" to see activity by device from the campaign, ad group, display network, and even keyword-level tabs. This will provide interesting insights into opportunities as well as areas of possible inefficiencies. Recently I discovered a group of keywords that had a much lower average cost per click (CPC) in mobile. One keyword was just $0.06 per click in mobile vs. $1.03 on computers. This keyword also had the volume to justify a new campaign and strategy. This is just one of the insights you can gain by analyzing data by device and taking action on the findings.

3. Automated rules. Automated rules in AdWords won't replace good old-fashioned manual management but may help to save time and streamline processes. One way to use automated rules to directly impact the bottom line is to adjust bids on keywords based on the cost per conversion.

Increase bids for your keywords that are good converters and at a low cost per conversion. For example, a rule can be set to increase max CPC bids by 10 percent for keywords with more than 20 conversions and a cost per conversion under $7. Even though you will not pay the max CPC bid price, it's best to set a maximum bid that the automated rule will never exceed.

Within the keywords tab, select the "automate" button and "change max CPC bids." When increasing bids, set the requirements for conversions (one per click) >=20 and cost/conversions (one per click) < $7. Also consider decreasing bids for keywords that are not converting to more efficiently focus budget.


4. Display Ad Builder. The display ad builder is a neat little tool that can make getting into the Google Display Network quick and easy. Some companies don't have the budget or resources to create banner ads, so the Display Ad Builder tool will allow them to choose from a variety of templates using their own text, images, or logos. A banner ad doesn't need to be fancy to be effective so this can be a good option for smaller advertisers.

It's quite easy to create an ad from the "Ads" tab within any campaign or ad group that contains text ads - select the checkbox next to any text ad, and from the drop-down menu above the ads table, select "More Actions," then "Generate Display Ad." Several simple templates are available to get started. Now, if only the display targeting was as easy!



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Lisa Raehsler

Lisa Raehsler is the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co., an online advertising company and Google AdWords Certified Partner, specializing in strategy and management of SEM and PPC for search engines, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. Lisa has led strategy on dozens of PPC accounts and puts her experience into practice every day as a thought leader in integrating clients' search campaigns with ecommerce websites, behavioral targeting strategies, and web analytics. She has participated extensively in the local interactive community, as well as at national search engine marketing conferences. Lisa's recent speaking engagements include SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX conferences, as well as numerous private and public training engagements. As a columnist for ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, she writes on the topic of paid search. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRocksSEM.

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