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3 Tips to Jumpstart your Google AdWords Campaign

Post Difficulty Level: Intermediate

A key turning point in my freelance career can be traced back to my recent learning the set up and management of Google Adwords campaigns. Being a pure blood SEO prior, the Google AdWords dashboard inspired something in me that I imagine biomolecular chemistry to inspire in anyone on first impression: terror.

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Numbers numbers everywhere! See it’s at this point that I understand why the layman hire people to do this kind of thing, I’m an SEO and it did not give me any kind of advantage when opening up Google Adwords for the first time.

It is with this that I’d like to offer up a few tips that I’ve learned during my recent stumble into the mystical realm of PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising. This post is intended for those like me, SEO’s scootching over into PPC for the first time, or for those individuals new to PPC that just want to review their personal process. If you’re brand spankin’ new to Google Adwords and would benefit with a few how-to tutorials (let’s be honest, don’t we all), take a look over here:

Group Keywords Into Relevant AdGroups

This is a habit that is best to get into right from the get go and can be achieved incredibly easily by identifying your intended target for your ads. Want to target end users? make an ‘End Users’ ad group! Want to target procurement managers? Make a ‘Procurement Managers’ ad group! With this lovely grouping comes the ability to tailor ads which include incredibly custom ad copy, calls to actions and landing pages that will be much more likely to get the click, will have a higher chance of getting only the right clicks which in turn will reduce the overall cost of your campaign and visitors behind those clicks will be much more likely to convert once on your site.

Negative Keywords Win

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Compiling a cracking negative keywords list is a sure fire way to keep your AdWords spend down whilst promoting clicks from the right people. I usually add negative keywords to a campaign after it’s been running for a few weeks, that way you’ve got enough data to go off of and you’ll be able to see a more thorough selection keywords that have triggered your ads in your chosen date period. All search terms

Negative keywords can be added at campaign level, I go to the ‘Keywords’ tab hit ‘Details’ and then ‘All’, see below!

You’ll then be presented with all keywords that triggered your ads. From this screen you can tick a bunch of them and select to add them as negative keywords to exclude them from your campaign and voila – you’ll never have to pay for clicks from that costly irrelevant search term again.

Imagine this scenario, you’re a webshop looking for clients with budgets above 5,000 bucks, you set up an AdWords campaign and find that you’re receiving a bunch of phone calls from individuals who just don’t have that budget. What do you do? You go look into the keywords triggering your ads and you see that there are terms including “cheap” e.g. “cheap web design” that are wasting your precious dolla. You think to yourself “balls, that ain’t good” but with negative keywords in mind you turn to your colleagues, put up your hand and say “I got this” and you add all keywords including “cheap” to your negative keyword list – job done.

Aw Yeah AdWords

Auction Insights

Oh now this baby is something I stumbled into in the last few weeks. Auction Insights according to Google is a report which “lets you compare your performance with other advertisers who are participating in the same auctions that you are”. How awesome is that? You get to see a bit of data about competitor AdWords spend.

On the face of it that’s awesome, but you may be asking yourself “More numbers, great. What do I do with those?”. Well, I use it primarily to figure out one thing: can I spend less and keep my average ad position? The Auction Insights report will tell you this through a number of metrics including Impression Share, Overlap Rate and Top of Page Rate. This buddy is a hidden gem, for more information you should really dive into your AdWords campaigns and see what’s what, but if for whatever reason you can’t, read more over here:

Auction Insights Report


Firstly, if you’ve gotten to this part of the post you’re a legend and I thank you for reading my words. Secondly, I hope it was worth your time! I know you may have read it whilst watching a hit post apocalyptic show set in the deep south, or a period drama following an ad agency which caused a huge uptake of the old fashion in recent years, but still, thank you.

In short; AdWords can be a confusing mess, but if you group keywords into relevant Ad Groups, add negative keywords to your campaigns, and look into the auction insights report it can be an invaluable marketing channel responsible for long term business.

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Natalie Wright is a Freelance Search Engine Strategist. She is incredibly fond of technical SEO and can often be found speaking at digital marketing related conferences. She also has no idea why she's speaking in third person right now. Find her on Google+ or Twitter.

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