Every Google AdWords campaign must be optimized after it’s launched.
It doesn’t matter how much work goes into the campaign setup, after your ads go live you must optimize or else you’ll likely fail to generate ROI. Did you know that? Nearly every campaign will fail unless you monitor closely, make required edits, and fine tune the key leverage points.
Let’s tackle the question I’m sure you’re asking right now…
Why Do AdWords Campaigns Require Optimization?
The first reason is because the cost per click (CPC) of all your keywords is not a fixed number. The amount you pay per click depends greatly on what’s called your AdWords Quality Score. The higher your Quality Score, the less you’ll pay per click for any given ad position. In fact, you can actually pay less than your competitors to be ranked #1 in the ad results if you have a high Quality Score.
When your campaign first launches, your Quality Scores are essentially Google’s best guess, but over time as your ads are displayed and clicked on, then Google will adjust your Quality Scores to reflect what’s really going on in the market.
So the first reason why you must optimize is to improve your Quality Scores, which in turn will reduce your costs. Lower costs leads to higher ROI.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg…
As I explained in Is Google AdWords a Hero or Villain to Small Businesses?, there are 3 key areas that determine AdWords success or failure and only 1 of them (targeting your ideal customers) is specific to the AdWords platform. The other 2 (your offer and your website) must also be optimized!
That leads us to the big question we need to answer…
What Does It Mean To Optimize Your AdWords Campaign?
At this point we already know one area of AdWords to optimize, or improve, is your Quality Scores in order to drive down costs. Another area is your ad targeting to ensure your ads reach your ideal customers. If you’re targeting the wrong keywords on the Search Network or the wrong placements on the Display Network, then there’s simply no way your campaign will generate ROI.
The next area to optimize is your offer. Is your offer compelling compared to the other ads listed on the first page of Google’s results? Again, this is not a technique specific to managing AdWords campaigns. This is simply marketing 101. Does your message match the market and is it more attractive than your competitors’ offers?
The key takeaway here is to test different offers! All the AdWords specific tips and tricks in the world are useless if you’re running ads with a boring offer.
The last, but certainly not least, area to optimize is your landing page. You can do everything right inside AdWords and present an irresistible offer, but if your landing page is confusing, hard to navigate, or doesn’t render properly on all devices, then you’re going to lose sales. That’s why it’s critical to test the copy and the layout of your landing page to discover what works best.
To recap, here’s what it means to optimize AdWords campaigns:
- Improve Quality Scores to drive down costs
- Test and refine your ad targeting
- Test and refine your offer
- Test and refine your landing page
Now, I think there’s just one more question to answer…
How Long Does It Take To Optimize?
The short answer to this question is that the process of optimizing your campaigns never ends. :)
That’s because your competition is not going to stop. If your competitors continue to drive down their costs, improve their offer, and improve their landing pages, then guess what’s going to happen… They’ll eventually crowd you out of the market and shrink your margins.
With that said, when I hear this question of how long it will take then it’s usually with regards to getting a campaign profitable. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, very few campaigns are profitable right out the gate. So how long does it usually take to turn things around?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. However, the faster you’re able to test and adjust the key areas outlined in this article, then the faster you’ll find the most profitable combination of targeting, offer, and landing page.
Want More AdWords Tips To Improve Your Ads?
Google AdWords is not as easy as Google would lead you to believe. In fact, a lot of the default settings are not in your business’ best interest. That’s why there are a lot of common and costly mistakes made by both beginners and experienced advertisers.
To make sure you avoid these costly mistakes, register for our free webinar:
“Top 10 Google AdWords Mistakes to Avoid”
Thursday, February 4th at 12pm Eastern Time