Crafting an AdWords Account
This overview is meant for those who have some basic understanding of Google AdWords or pay per clicks in general.
If you are still learning the basics, please read Creating your own pay per click account). Of course, you are free to continue reading. This is meant as a primer guide of how to run an AdWords account, as there is no substitute for experience and expertise.
Plan Your Pay Per Click Strategy
Think of AdWords as a book. To write a book, first you need an outline of what you want to occur. This is your strategy for plotting out your AdWords success.
Next, examine the meat of your story – your major plotline is what carries the story. Your direct keywords are this plot.
Your broad keywords are what gets you high exposure, this would be the jacket cover, agent, etc. of the book, of course, this comes after you’ve actually written the book and have a story.
The small plot lines which are only carried through sections of the book are your niche keywords. Often, these are carried through in sequels to other books. A sequel can’t occur until you get a contract for a 2nd book – after it’s been published.
You can’t write a book in a day, it’s crafted overtime in small steps. Together these steps bring forth a cohesive story that can be analyzed from many perspectives.
Start Your AdWords Account with a Solid Foundation
When you first make an account, find the direct keywords first. (I define these as: keywords that are directly related to your products or services. They usually include a descriptive term. They are from 2-4 words in length. These keywords make up the bulk of most campaigns, and usually have a positive ROI and high CTR. They are not searched for as often as broad keywords (examples of direct keywords: Mexico city travel, Pennsylvania real estate).
Since these keywords should net you a nice CTR and ROI, get them established first. Let them each get 1k-5k impressions so your account has a nice base CTR and you understand the search volume you’re dealing with.
Check your logs, other ads, and the top SERP results (SERP results are the natural search listings) for these keywords. Every single time you see a result that is not directly related to your site, figure out why, and add that word to your negative keyword list.
Let’s Find Out How Big Google’s Search Volume Really Is
Time for broad keywords. So next, make a new campaign. I would not put these keywords in the same campaign as my direct keywords. I would look at broader keywords. You want keywords that you can keep a 1.5%+ CTR with. There are several reasons for putting them in their own campaign, but one of them is that you want your direct keywords to always be shown. Since these broad keywords can rip your budget apart, you can set a daily budget different for the broad keywords so you can maintain more control of your spend.
Don’t add tons at once. These words get a lot of impressions. Add them slowly, and make 4-6 ads for each one. After a week or so, disable your low performing CTR ads, create some new ones based off your top performing ads (and then repeat as necessary).
Repeat the negative keyword insertions as listed above.
The majority of websites will not have more than 1-10 broad keywords. Some very large sites will have more, some smaller sites may find that 0-2 work.
Fun with Niche Keywords
Note: If you are a pay per click agency, you should get permission from your account holders for this type of strategy. You are spending their money, and should not be randomly trying to find niche keywords without their approval.
Now that our campaign has a healthy CTR from direct keywords, a few broad match keywords that will steady the CTR so that no new word can really lower or raise the campaigns CTR to a great extent, and a steady traffic stream, it’s time to play around with niche keywords.
Make a new campaign. Set your daily budget at a max of 1/3rd-1/4th of your direct keywords daily budget (If any word in here is getting that much exposure that it’s using a lot of this daily budget, its not a niche keyword – its a direct one). You can add tons of these, go ahead, get creative.
Play around, have fun, use lots of spelling permutations, its time to experiment. This is where you can try out new ads that are similar to other keywords, but won’t hurt your campaign as it doesn’t get the exposure and CTR of your normal campaign.
Because our daily budget is low for these words, we can’t kill our overall campaign if we really screw up here. And vice versa, this is where to find hidden ads and keyword gems.
If an ad gets 500 impressions, and 0 clicks, there are possible problems. Either your ad needs serious improvement (sorry), or the keyword just is not targeting what you want. Check the other ads/serps for these words and see if you can make it successful.
Don’t be afraid to just give these keywords the axe – sometimes they aren’t worth the invested time.
Every month, check these words – any that got 0 impressions – just write off, delete, and forget about.
This is also the place to learn search trends. If you have an add that was holding a steady 100 impressions for a couple months, and suddenly jumped to 500-1000 – you may have uncovered a new search trend. Immediately analyze this word, why its getting this traffic, and see if it needs to be moved somewhere where it won’t be constrained by the niche keywords daily budget. If a word gained that much in a month, it could continue to grow and start getting 5k impressions. You could hold a secret keyword that your competitors don’t know about – use secrets wisely.
Niche words can pay off big over time, but until the word has found it’s time – keep it under control.