The first step to running a successful AdWords account is the set up. Before you add a single keyword or write your first ad, it is extremely important to have your campaign set up correctly, or in a way that facilitates ongoing success.
Not only does it help with organization and constant optimization, a thoughtfully composed account can enable higher Quality Scores and click-through rates, which will ultimately determine if your campaigns are successful or not.
Your account is the top level of AdWords. It is where all of your payment information and settings are housed.
If you are managing multiple companies’ AdWords campaigns, I would suggest creating a separate account for each. Or, if you are being hired to work on an already existing account, just ask that account owner to give you access. You can do this by going to the Account Settings link in the Settings drop down menu on the top of the AdWords interface.
Next, just ask to be added as a user using your email address.
Jamming multiple campaigns for different websites into one account can cause confusion and lead to poorly managed campaigns. It is best to keep things separate whenever possible.
Google has another solution for users managing multiple campaigns, called My Client Center (MCC). It is a really helpful tool if you are in that situation.
For the majority of users, however, one account will be enough as you will likely be managing AdWords for one business.
While most features in the AdWords account are self explanatory, such as billing and notification settings, one feature is often overlooked and can help save a lot of time solving problems.
Let’s say, for instance, you and another co-worker, Joe, share access to an AdWords account for your taco restaurant. You check on your campaigns on Monday, like you always do. Only this time, you notice something alarming. You’ve received half the amount of clicks that you normally receive and a quarter of the normal conversions!
Panic sets in. You’ve made no changes to the account. You start clicking into all of your campaigns to see where the issue could be, but that is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Luckily, there is an account feature to easily help you solve this conundrum. In the Tools tab, you can click ‘Change History’ to see every change that’s been made to the account and by whom. You see that your co-worker, Joe, paused your best performing keyword for some unknown reason. Joe’s an idiot.
From there, you just unpause the keyword. Problem solved. Time for a friendly word with Joe.
The thing to keep in mind in regards to your Account is that it is the home base. It is the top level for everything that goes on with AdWords.
Campaigns are usually a first stumbling block for users initially setting up AdWords. It can be hard to grasp what deserves to be a Campaign and what should be an Ad Group – a lower level in the hierarchy.
Think about Campaigns as a folder inside your AdWords account. They hold information about targeting, default bids and performance of the Ad Groups within them. And like a folder, it is beneficial to keep the contents inside of them themed and organized.
Ad Groups, on the other hand, are the single files inside of that folder. They hold detailed performance metrics about their Ad Group only./span>
So, you’ll want to create a campaign for each product or service that you are marketing. Each Ad Group should be a variation of the product or service, or alternative names for that product or service. An example of alternative names would be purse and handbag. Both would be in the same Campaigns, but you would create one Ad Group for ‘purse’ and one Ad Group for ‘handbag’
If you have decided you want to advertise your company as a whole, you will want to create a campaign for that, as well.
Let’s say, for instance, you own TY Power Tools. Over the last few years, TY has built a reputation as the premiere e-commerce power tools website in the southwest United States. You originally built the business from word-of-mouth advertising, but have decided it is time to ramp up your advertising using AdWords. You want to advertise to potential customers that are looking for a reputable place to buy many different power tools and equipment, as well as individual products.
You would start by creating a campaign for “power tools online” that would highlight your great selection of power tools. You would also create a campaign for each specific product that you want to advertise, which are your Hitachi miter saw and Blue Clean pressure washer.
Another campaign type that you can use is categories. This is especially useful if you are an online retailer with hundreds or thousands of products.
Using PPC power tools again as an example, a campaign for “miter saw” would be justified if they had other brands or models of miter saws other than the Hitachi. Even “Hitachi miter saws” could be a campaign if they were selling multiple models with that brand name.
The last type of campaign that you know about and use EVERY SINGLE TIME is branded campaigns, or a campaign that shows ads to users searching for your company’s name. So, anytime someone searches for TY Power Tools, or a close variant, your ad will show up at the top of the results page.
Now, it may seem counterintuitive to have a campaign for your company’s name, and you may be asking, “Won’t users already be able to find me through organic search?” Yes, they will, but a branded campaign has a few benefits that you cannot ignore.
First, it is like having a top search result that you can change or edit at anytime. You can adjust the messaging for seasonality. You can promote a special that you are running and you can send visitors to unique landing pages that have higher conversion rates than your homepage. Also, you can have an Ad Extension that can convert potential users on the spot, such as call extensions, and use direct links to profitable landing pages with sitelinks.
Branded campaigns will also likely be your most inexpensive CPC because you own the branded term. No one else will be sending traffic from a ‘TY Power Tools’ search to the TY Power Tools website. Even if competitors do bid for your branded terms (sometimes they will), they will be paying much more for a click than you because your Quality Score will be substantially higher and your ad will almost always be in a higher position that theirs
While these types of campaign formats serve as a general rule for starting out, there are certainly exceptions. As you get more familiar with AdWords and your campaigns, you may find that other organizational structures work better for you. And that’s fine. Performance is the main goal.
The last tip regarding campaigns is about the campaign set up. When creating your Campaigns, use Search Network Only campaigns with All Features enabled. While the other campaign types provide opportunity, Search Network Only will produce the most consistent results. Including Display Network in your campaign increases your ads impressions, but nearly always drives click-through-rates lower because they display ads on websites, not search results. One of the main benefits of AdWords is capturing user intent based on what that user has searched; including the Display Network does not take advantage of this benefit. Google simply scans the content of the pages using AdSense, and if it is related to keywords in your Campaign, will serve your ads to the users on that page. Users reading a blog don’t have the same intent as a user searching for a product.
This is the best place to start as a beginner. Even now, this campaign set up yields eighty percent of my ongoing campaign results.
Ad Groups are a set of keywords, ads, and bids you manage together in order to show ads to people likely to be interested in them.Ad Groups live inside of campaigns, as I’ve mentioned. You can have multiple Ad Groups inside each campaign.
The way to think about Ad Groups is as adjectives, or alternate descriptions of your campaign’s main theme. They provide a way to thematically group similar keywords and ads together. And because being as specific as possible is always the goal, there should rarely be more than five to ten keywords in any given Ad Group. A good example of this would be if you sold guitar and piano lessons online. “Guitar” and “piano” would likely be your two campaigns, as these are the two services you are advertising.
For each of those Ad Groups, there should be very close derivatives of that description. For instance, keywords inside of the ‘Piano Lessons Online’ Ad Group could include ‘best piano lessons online’, ‘piano lessons online’, ‘piano lessons online with video’, ‘piano lessons online for beginners’, and ‘piano lessons online for dummies’.
We will cover keywords in a later chapter, but just know that this will help improve your Quality Score.
Following this outline for your account’s structure will put you on the path to success. Feel free to experiment with different structures that fit your needs. After you are more familiar with AdWords as a whole, your account may look very different than what I have outlined…or maybe it will look exactly the same.
1. Account > Campaign > Ad Groups
2. Campaigns should be specific to a product, service or category.
3. Ad Group should be alternated descriptions of the campaign’s main idea.
4. No more than five to ten keyword in each Ad Group to start.