8. Using the default "optimize" option.
The default setup for AdWords is to let Google "optimize" your ads for you. It's better to select the "rotate" option, so you can test your ad performance in a much cleaner manner.
9. Not tracking ads and keywords.
If keywords and ads aren't performing, you're wasting money. You can use the free Google Analytics tool to help you track activity. Keywords should also be tested and tracked with misspellings, plurals and stemming(-ing) options.
10. Not properly testing ads.
A/B testing has been around in the advertising world for decades, and the concept is the same online. Write at least two ads within an ad group, and AdWords will rotate them automatically for you. This will reveal the winning ads based on performance. As you continue, pause the loser and write a new and better one; try to outperform the winner again. Don't change it immediately, though; let it run for a while to get some trending data.
11. Not applying the "conversion code."
The Perfect Google AdWords Model
Now that you've read the tips above, here's how to set up a high-quality campaign.
- Set up campaigns using keywords + geo (geographic) targets; content network turned off.
- Set up campaigns using keywords + geo targets using Google's own internal selections (regions, territories); content network turned off.
- Set up a separate, content network only (Google Search/Network is not checked). Only do this after you have tested the first two items for performance.
- Create a new "placement targeted campaign" and use "section targeting" to avoid exposing your ads to "run of site" matching. When you research your keywords, find the top searched phrases and type them into Google. Click on each of the top resulting five to eight listings, and check to see if they have Google ads. If they do, use placement and section targeting to drive traffic with a highly targeted, cost-savings approach.
- Create "exact" and "phrase" campaigns to start, and create ad groups with one to four keywords, tightly matched.
- Create two ads within each group.
- Show ads more evenly (campaign settings) and select "rotate" option.
Google is the most advanced, most used search engine, and the AdWords advertising platform, can generate business for you. The company also has expanded into audio, print, mobile and pay-per-action models. However, make sure to test for performance before scaling out to these additional services. If you're into advanced landing page testing, you can try the new Website Optimizer (video) options, which use advanced page and elements optimization.
These tips have helped me a lot, and although I spent a fair share of my own money to discover them, you can apply these tactics immediately and start saving money. You'll also receive more quality clicks and better tracking for yourself and clients.
Jon Rognerud is a recognized authority on the subject of search engine optimization and has spent more than 15 years developing websites and marketing solutions at companies like Overture and Yahoo!. His website, www.jonrognerud.com, provides a wealth of informative articles, resources and complimentary e-mail courses on everything you'll ever need to know about SEO and search marketing.
Jon Rognerud founded chaosmap.com -- a search marketing firm focusing on SEO, SMM, PPC, client strategy, and implementation.