AdWords campaigns are a lot like baking.
In baking, the vast majority of the work is done before you put anything in the oven. Baking requires preparing with exact measurements, temperatures, and times. With each of these prep elements, a subtle or accidental change can easily mess everything up. AdWords campaigns, like baking, rewards meticulous preparation.
In 2018, meticulous preparation will continue to be the key to maximizing ROI from your AdWords campaigns. Below are five tips on how to find success in your campaigns by using smart preparation and taking advantage of all the functionality AdWords has to offer.
#1 – Learn the new UX
Anyone who works in the digital world knows the frustration of waking up to a shiny new user experience (UX) that you don’t remember asking for. You spend hours learning your way around a complex and powerful platform, slowly uncovering its tricks and suddenly Google or whoever designs it changes it up. A task that should take you 5 minutes now takes you 25 minutes and you feel like you’re moving around in the dark.
Over the past year, AdWords has been rolling out its new UX and it has left a lot of users very frustrated. It feels a little bit clunky, but is still being fine-tuned by Google. One the keys to maximizing your campaigns in 2018 will be diving in and really learning the new UX. The faster you learn your way around the updated platform, the better you’ll be able to take advantage of improvements and maximize your campaigns. It’s here to stay.
#2 – Take Advantage and Learn about AdWords Audiences
AdWords is a powerful interface because at every level you’re able to add specificity and segmentation to your campaigns. Audiences allow you to experiment with showing your ads to different groups of people in a constant search for your ideal audience. For example, in-market audiences connect your campaigns with users who are showing increased purchase intent. This is achieved by analyzing huge amounts of search and browsing history to decide when a user is more likely to buy.
Experimentation is key to maximizing your campaigns with in-market audiences, retargeting audiences, interest-based audiences, etc. Spend time (and budget) trying out different audience functionalities and see if they improve your campaign performance. Always ensure that your experimentation is systematic because you need to know which action led to the positive or negative results.
#3 – Take Advantage of Conversion Tracking
With proper technical setup, AdWords does an amazing job at tracking all sorts of conversions for all sorts of businesses. This is essential for maximizing your campaigns in 2018.
Different conversion types such as calls from ads, calls from websites, web form completions (like quote requests), revenue tracking, GCLID imports and more all allow you to keep a very close eye on the different campaign silos. By taking full advantage of conversion tracking you’re able to see which elements of your AdWords operation are running smoothly and which need further optimization. Everything becomes attributable.
#4 – Use All Ad Extensions Available
AdWords is becoming better and better at building dynamism into ad delivery. This means that every advertiser is able to take advantage of ad extensions that deliver a more tailored or individualized ad to each user. These more individualized ads often deliver higher click-through rates, improve quality score and simply take up more competitive real estate on search results.
One key to maximizing your campaigns in 2018 is using every Ad Extension available and applicable to your campaign. We see way too many businesses with no Ad Extensions at all. Setup is both quick and painless and the results are real!
#5 – Be Very Careful With Match Types
Keywords are one of the main areas where we see campaigns squandering large chunks of ad spend. This is because Google does not spell out the mechanics of keyword selection and keyword match types particularly well at the start of campaigns. The natural impulse is to use keywords which bring in the most amount of clicks but with AdWords, it’s about quality not quantity.
AdWords allows you to designate each keyword/keyphrase as broad match, broad match with modifier, phrase match, and exact match. Broad match will always bring in the most amount of clicks because it gives license to Google to interpret your keywords in many different search queries.
Exact match is the opposite — it ensures that Google only shows an ad if an exact key phrase is queried. (Note that in 2017, Google broadened exact match slightly to allow for common spelling mistakes and very close variations.) Maximizing your AdWords campaigns in 2018 relies on striking the right balance between match types, relying mostly on phrase and exact matches with a sprinkling of broad.
Like baking, the key to AdWords success is being meticulous and methodical with preparation as well as always learning the large consequences of small changes. Crafting campaigns that take full advantage of all AdWords functionality both new and old is the key to maximizing your campaigns in 2018. Plan, test, profit!
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