Setting up campaigns is so much easier than optimizing them. We all will agree with that. But I would say that optimizing campaigns isn't so difficult or complicated once you are comfortable with large chunks of data and know how to identify optimization opportunities from that data in a structured way.
Having said that, I would also like to point out that often times the campaign optimization techniques are meant to be implemented at the setting-up stage.
So, here is a simple five-step process to optimize your AdWords campaign:
Step 1: Tighten-up your AdGroups:
When you make ad groups, tighten them up as much as possible based on various themes and dimensions within each theme. Use very few keywords per ad group. It is highly recommended that you use Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI). The main objective here is to connect keywords toad copy to bring high relevancy to your Keyword-Ad Copy combinations. Well connected Keyword-Ad Copy combinations increase click-through-rate (CTR), which increases your Quality Score, and which in turn reduces your cost-per-click (cpc).
Step 2: Use negative keywords:
Never forget to use negative keywords. For e.g., if you are selling winter jackets for adults, then you would want to avoid showing your ad to someone who is looking for "kids' jackets" or "toddlers' jackets". You don't want to waste your money by allowing someone who is "not" looking for adults jackets, to click on your ad! So, you should add "kids jackets" and "toddlers jackets" under negative keywords list.
Another example is, if you are selling books and not notebooks and notepads, then add "notepads" and "notebooks" under negative keywords list.
Step 3: Develop a variety of landing pages:
Once you have a tight segmented list of ad groups, you should also build a variety of landing pages. The idea is to have a well connected Keyword-AdCopy-Landing Page combination for highest possible relevancy. If you can, you must follow this fervently to increase your Quality Score and minimize your CPC. Make sure that landing pages have unique header, relevant content, and images for each Keyword-AdCopy-Landing page combination.
Step 4: Do A/B Testing:
This very crucial for any campaign. For AdWords campaigns, make sure that you have at least two versions of ad copies for every ad group. After your campaign has been running for a few days you need to start monitoring the data and start digging into it to find opportunities for optimization. You should be ready to perform A/B testing if you are not happy with the metrics that you see. For e.g., if you are not happy with the CTR, be ready to use other versions of your ads. If you are not happy with your conversion rate, then check the performance of your keywords and analyze landing pages.
Whatever you decide to do under A/B testing, make sure you test one element at a time. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to gauge the results.
Step 5: Bidding Strategy:
Use bidding strategy based on your budget permits. It does not necessarily pay-off to be on the top ranks. In several AdWords campaigns, ads positioned at 7 or 8 have also given high conversion rates!
So here is how you can decide on your bidding strategy. After logging into your AdWords account, go to Tools and click on Keyword Planner. Here, you need to click on "Get traffic forecasts for a list of keywords". Add your list of keywords, and click on "Forecasts". On the forecasts page you can enter a bid and a daily budget and click "Get Detailed Forecasts". In the results you will see the number of clicks that you can get daily, total impressions, total cost and average position. You can change your daily budget and bid to see it's effect on the number of clicks, impressions, and cost. The daily forecasts page shows you a graph which can help you choose the bid that maximizes clicks and impressions, without increasing the cost. In short, you can optimize your bid here to maximize your ROI.
I hope this article was helpful to you. If you have any more strategies that can help improve the AdWords campaigns, please feel free to add them in the comments section.
Mridula is an experienced Digital Marketing professional, and loves to write about topics that make a difference in your online marketing strategy.
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