5 AdWords Tips from PPC Masters

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					5 AdWords Tips from PPC Masters

Over at the WordStream blog, we’ve been running a series of interviews with search marketers who
received unusually high scores using our AdWords Performance Grader, a free tool that scores your
AdWords account relative to other advertisers with similar budgets. We asked these high scorers what
strategies they use to get such great results from PPC. Here are the top five actionable tips from these
AdWords experts.

1. Get Familiar with Your Search Query Report

“I pay a lot of attention to the search query report – that shows you what keywords people use to find
you, and it’s invaluable for finding negative keywords,” said Rick Archer, the founder of independent
search consultancy Search Summit.

As Archer says, your search query report in AdWords is a list of the search terms that triggered
impressions of your ads. There are a couple of ways you can leverage the wealth of data in this report:

•        Find new negative keywords: Inevitably, advertisers who have been ignoring the search query
report will be shocked to learn all the silly, irrelevant terms that are matching against their ads. By
setting those terms as negative keywords, you can save a lot of money on clicks that don’t convert.

•       Find new keyword opportunities: You’ll also identify new relevant terms that are caught by
broad match, and you can increase clicks and profits for those terms by adding them as new keywords
and writing specific ad text to support them.

For more information on these techniques, check out Chad Summerhill’s series on search query mining.

2. Focus on Relevance

Marko Kvesic, Online Marketing Manager at GoTraffic Online Marketing Agency, believes “extreme
relevance” is the key to successful AdWords campaigns:

My advice is always be relevant, create relevant campaigns and give the user the answer to his query as
precisely as you can. There must be extreme relevance between keywords, ad text and landing page
content. Narrowly focused ad groups, each one a variation of a single keyword.

As a check for relevance, Kvesic pays close attention to Quality Score:

The metric that indicates relevancy is Quality Score. I focus on getting higher scores (by increasing CTR,
optimizing keywords, ads and landing pages). It’s also very important because with high Quality Scores I
pay less per click. I always try to get higher Quality Scores than 6.
Improving your click-through rate will usually improve your Quality Score, because it’s an indication that
your ads address the needs of the searcher. If your CTRs and Quality Scores are low, ask yourself if your
keywords, ads and landing pages are targeted enough – do they speak specifically to the needs of the
typical buyer of your product or service, or are you casting too wide a net?

3. Get Sufficient Data for Analysis

Stefan van Vliet, co-owner of Dutch agency Compass Online Marketing, recommends bidding high
initially so that you can get into the second or third spot above the organic results. This will give you
plenty of data to analyze so that you can optimize appropriately. Once you’ve gathered the data, van
Vliet recommends following these steps:

1.      Keep track of conversions, cost per conversion and value per conversion (using conversion
tracking with dynamic value tracking).

2.      Adjust bidding to meet a cost per conversion which is roughly 50% of the value per conversion.

3.      Optimize ads and try to improve conversion rates.

If you’re operating in a niche market, he warns, “it can take quite some time to gather statistically
significant data,” since search volume for each keyword niche may be low.

4. Split Ad Groups Frequently

Both van Vliet and Archer advise a less-is-more approach when it comes to ad group size. Asked what his
main AdWords strategies are, Archer responded, “Make ad groups as granular as possible.” All the
keywords in an ad group should be tightly related. For example, if you’re running an AdWords campaign
for a mail-order bakery, don’t put all your cookie keywords in one ad group – create separate ad groups
for “sugar cookies,” “chocolate chip cookies,” “oatmeal cookies,” and so on.

Van Vliet explains how he implements this strategy for a costume store:

Split campaigns on a low level. We decided to create a campaign for every theme, which allows us to
add sitelinks related to that theme, and to easily segment data based on themes. Within the theme
campaign, we add ad groups targeting keywords like [theme] + [clothing]. For example, within the
Halloween theme, we have a separate ad group for Halloween clothing, Halloween costume, Halloween
Fancy Dress etc. This improves CTR dramatically.

5. Make Note of What Works in Your Account

Using annotations in Google Analytics, you can keep track of what actions led to spikes or dips in organic
traffic. Similarly, you can annotate changes in AdWords to keep better track of what is and isn’t working.
Here’s van Vliet’s advice:
Use the comments function within AdWords Editor to make notes of what you do. Note date, current
position, CTR, etc. and of course actions taken. This will keep things organized and help you see the
effect of your actions immediately.

When you know what brings about a positive change in your results, you’re more likely to repeat those

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