This week I’ve heard a lot about New Year’s resolutions and goals for 2017.  For businesses using Google AdWords, those resolutions include something about maximizing their ad budgets to ensure a strong ROI.

I wanted to learn more about this so I asked three of our Google AdWords Analysts – Jane, Lisa, and Kwasi – to give me tips on what to look out for.

Here are 6 tips from our AdWords analysts to maximize your campaigns this year.


Jane’s Tip #1: Say No to Broad Matching

According to Google, Broad Match “lets a keyword trigger your ad to show whenever someone searches for that phrase, similar phrases, singular or plural forms, misspellings, synonyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), related searches, and other relevant variations.” While using broad match may enable your ad campaign to show up for more keywords, they may not be the keywords that really convert for your business.

Jane recommends only using Broad Match Modified if you are experienced and have tested your target keywords well.

AdWords provides multiple keyword match types: Exact, Phrase and Broad Match.  You should always use Exact and Phrase match in your AdWords account. To get more reach, use Broad Match Modified (not Broad Match). Broad Match Modified can be identified by the + sign in your account.

Here are examples of the different keyword match types:
  • Exact Match looks like this:
    [Main Street ROI]
  • Phrase Match looks like this: “Main Street ROI”
  • Broad Match looks like this: Main Street ROI
  • Broad Match Modified looks like this:  +Main +Street +ROI

Staying away from Broad Match allows you to conserve budget until you are sure which terms convert well for your business.


Jane’s Tip #2: Give Top Keywords Ample Budget

Once you have an idea of what keywords convert best for your business, it’s important to make sure that your budget is being spent to support those keywords.

While you want to leave some budget to be spent on testing new keywords, it’s a good idea to manage your top converting keywords by putting them in their own campaign. Then, you can dedicate the majority of your budget to flow to that campaign so you’re investing in what works.  This will ensure your ad spend is directed at the keywords that will perform best for your business.


Lisa’s Tip #1: Separate Search and Display Campaigns

Although AdWords offers the option to combine both (search network with display select), it’s usually best to run these tactics separately.

There is a lot of variation between search and display performance for most accounts, so by keeping them separate you can better control budgets.  When you set up a new campaign, based on what you’re trying to target, make sure you choose “search network only” or “display network only.”


Lisa’s Tip #2: Always Use Negative Keywords

Adding keywords that are irrelevant to your business as negatives can be just as beneficial as the keywords you’re bidding on.

Negative keywords help reduce the amount of times your ad is served on irrelevant queries.  For instance, if you run a dental practice that offers root canals, and you’re bidding on keywords related to root canals, you don’t want your ad to show for someone searching for “root canal malpractice”.

Negatives are particularly important when running Phrase, Broad, and Broad Modified match types. You can always see the actual searches that trigger your ads by going to your keywords tab and clicking on the “search terms” button. If any searches show up in that report that you don’t want to be advertising on, then add them to the negative keyword list.


Kwasi’s Tip #1: Include Ad Extensions to Your Campaigns

Aside from the benefit of adding relevant information about your business, ad extensions work to improve overall metrics. Adding extensions can increase your click through rate, improve your quality score and even make your ads stand out from the crowd.

According to Google, accounts that include at least one ad extension see an average of 10-15% increase in click-through-rate.

You can manually add extensions like sitelinks and click-to-message to improve relevance and lead submissions. Sometimes, Google will include automatic extensions to your ad based on the information it pulls from your AdWords account.


Kwasi’s Tip #2: Run Responsive Display Ads

Google recently introduced responsive display ads to replace regular display ads. The main difference between the two is that you no longer need several image ads (or banners ads) to set up a display or remarketing campaign. Instead, you just need to upload an image, a headline, and your destination URL.

The image will automatically adjust its size, appearance, and format to fit any available ad space. This means, your ad can show in a native, dynamic text or image format in any size, on any website with ad space. This new ad format most importantly increases your reach and saves you time with setup.


Meet the Analysts


Jane Boyce

jane_boyce_headshot_152x152Jane is a Digital Advertising Analyst at Main Street ROI. She helps research, create, and manage digital marketing campaigns for clients.

Jane received a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard and an MBA from Columbia University. She worked at Microsoft on the Bing team and has experience in search, display, programmatic and various forms of performance based advertising.

Outside of the office Jane likes to play squash and watch mysteries on Netflix.


Lisa Green


Lisa is a Digital Advertising Analyst at Main Street ROI. She is responsible for planning and optimizing paid search campaigns for our clients, with a primary focus on generating web leads and improving ROI from ad spend.

Lisa comes to us with more than five years of SEM experience and has managed accounts across a variety of top brands and Fortune 500 companies, ranging from retail to education to real estate. She holds a degree in Mass Media Studies from Hofstra University.

Outside of digital marketing, Lisa enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching bad reality television, and playing country music with her band.


Kwasi Asare-Darko


Kwasi is a Digital Advertising Analyst at Main Street ROI. He is responsible for planning and optimizing paid search campaigns for our clients, with a primary focus on generating web leads and improving ROI from ad spend.

Over the years, Kwasi has worked with startups and Fortune 500 brands to improve their marketing. He earned his Bachelor of Computer Science degree from Principe College, with a minor in Economics.

When he’s not analyzing digital advertising data, Kwasi likes to travel, spend time with family and try new places to eat.


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