You may be looking at the title of this post and thinking, “Blah, blah, blah, optimizing schmoptimizing”.
I know, it’s a buzzword that gets way overused. But when it comes to AdWords, it really is quite a necessary task that needs to be performed with regularity.
Optimizing your AdWords campaigns is necessary to avoid unwanted clicks, to eliminate underperforming keywords, and to make sure you’re getting the highest ROI possible.
If you let your campaigns run on auto-pilot (un-optimized), you are likely throwing away money – not just once, but on a daily basis.
But it’s not all negative, mind you. Optimization is useful even for campaigns that are performing well; who doesn’t want to continually be improving?
So, here are a few tips that will help you make the most out of your campaigns, whether you’ve been running them for days, weeks or even months!
1. Refine Your keywords.
Refining, updating, and deleting underperforming keywords goes beyond the scope of this post, however it’s a key component of optimizing your AdWords campaign. Regularly weeding through keywords to determine which ones are getting you the best results at the best price is a fundamental task of any campaign, and should be done with great regularity.
2. Analyze your ad groups.
Look through your ad groups to make sure all the keywords are closely related both in terms of topic, as well as stage of the buying cycle.
Remember not to necessarily write off a particular keyword just because it isn’t performing well in a particular ad group. Moving it to a more relevant group may be just what’s needed to boost its performance.
Don’t be afraid to create new ad groups when needed to make sure your ads are as relevant as possible.
3. Test your ad text and images.
Have around 3 different versions of your ad within each ad group, and constantly be testing which ones perform best. Try different headlines, ad copy, capitalization and punctuation, Calls to action, images and display URLs
Sometimes all that’s needed to improve performance is some slight tweaking, so always be working at improving even your highest-performing ads.
4. Test your landing pages.
Your first job will be to make sure you’re using an ad-specific landing page. Assuming you’re already doing this, try different colours and fonts, headlines, text, calls to action, button text and placement, etc.
Even a landing page that once worked well may need tweaking and testing to keep up with changes in buyer behaviour, beliefs or trends, or even changes in your own goals.
5. Use network-specific ads.
Make sure you’re not using the same ads for both Display and Search. If for some reason you previously decided to run the same ad on both networks, now’s the time to ask yourself, “What was I thinking?”.
Display and Search are two very different beasts, and will require very different strategies. If you currently have the same ad showing on both networks, separate them into two different campaigns, STAT.
The key to optimizing your AdWords campaigns is to continually be testing, testing, and testing. Testing allows you to accurately determine what’s working, what’s not, and how you can improve on even successful campaigns.
How often do you optimize your campaigns? Or is it a continual process? What optimization techniques bring you the greatest benefits?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles
By Philip Shaw