How much time should you invest into Google AdWords and how often should I be looking at my campaigns. These are two questions that I’m asked on a regular basis. While my answers are dependent on a lot of factors that are unique to a client’s account there are several steps that do apply across the board. No account should ever be left to simply ‘tick along’. Creating a campaign and leaving it to run can leave you with a poorly optimised account that is effectively wasting your ad spend.
So what can you do to maximise the time you do spend on your Google AdWords campaigns?
Firstly, refer back to the campaign objectives. What is the goal of the particular campaign? Is the goal;
- Lead Generation
- Brand Awareness
- Onsite Interaction
Whatever your success metric is, you need to analyse whether or not your AdWords campaign is delivering results against any of these goals. If there have been some conversions from AdWords then we need to know how many there were and how much did we spend to achieve them. Does this CPE or CPA figure look positive? Has it made a loss?
The outcome of these questions and simple calculations will help to guide the overall question. If your campaigns are delivering strong positive results, then the time required to keep them performing well is likely to be less than if they were failing.
To be clear: every AdWords campaign should be monitored and optimised as much as possible. In time-poor situations, it is important to prioritise what tasks should be done regularly and to which campaigns.
Assuming that your campaign is running on the Google search network, and it is a relatively small account (under 5 campaigns) then the time that needs to be invested needs to be 3-4 sessions per week. This would typically break down to:
The Monday & Friday account checks will allow you to review the weekend’s performance and then plan the weekend’s performance on the relevant days.
So now you’ve got a regular schedule in place to check and review campaigns, what should you be looking to tweak and amend?
- Adverts – look at the CTR, average position, impressions and conversions. Which ones are performing well? Ensure that you have at least 4 ad variations active that are testing different elements (price, messaging, USP’s, discounts) and pause the worst performer. Copy and edit the best performing ad and make a small tweak to the ad copy.
- Keywords – in a similar fashion to the advert checks, you need to look through all of the key metrics. Pause or amend the match type of the worst performing keywords. A poor performing keyword will have a low CTR and high impressions. Look for the number of clicks vs conversions – are people clicking through to your site and repeatedly not buying find out why.
- Exact search queries – explore for this report in the keywords tab. It will show the exact queries that customers are typing into the search engines when they interacted or viewed your adverts. Add any relevant keywords to your account and add irrelevant terms to the negative keyword list.
- Conversions – how many has the campaign received? Were they good quality conversions? How many sales were generated? Did we make a profit from the campaign? Ask all of these questions and if any of the answers aren’t positive, then you need to make some quick decisions to ensure that negative results turn into positive ones.
AdWords is a time intensive digital marketing platform, but it can generate some excellent leads and sales. Work within the time & resources you have. If you only have a short amount of time that you can invest, then create a set of campaigns that you can manage really well. 3 well-managed campaigns will be far better than 15 poorly-managed campaigns that you can’t review, optimise and improve on a weekly basis.