Campaign optimization tips

how to google adwords campaign and how to track adwords campaigns in google analytics and how to restart campaign on adwords and how to run successful adwords campaign
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DavyGodwin,United States,Professional
Published Date:03-08-2017
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LESSON 14 Updating Your Campaign In this lesson, you learn how to create and understand reports, including setting date ranges and choosing from among the many available options. You also learn how to add new ads to your campaign and how to create alerts to help monitor performance. Creating and Understanding Reports The best feature of AdWords might be its reporting capabilities. You get a great deal of feedback from AdWords and much of what you see is inter- active—you can change the report, and sometimes even the underlying set- tings, just by clicking what you’re seeing onscreen. The keyword performance display described in Lesson 13, “Managing Your Ad Group,” is, in effect, a report. The columns are all sortable, it’s easily opened in a live spreadsheet (or exported to a not-live one), and the reporting period can be easily changed, as described in this lesson. TIP: Setting Alerts You can set an alert—a request to be updated when your account matches or exceeds certain criteria—under either the Keywords or Ads tab. Setting alerts is described in the next section, “Managing Ads and Alerts.” AdWords also has interactive reporting built in to the Campaigns tab and also in a separate Reporting and Tools tab. In addition, Google offers Google Analytics, a sophisticated, but still free tool that offers powerful176 LESSON 14: Updating Your Campaign capabilities for managing your website, including the source of visits to the site. As an AdWords user, AdWords should be the origin of many such visits. The reports in the Campaigns tab are enough for most businesses to get started. In this section, I focus on helping you get the most out of them, and show you how to change settings and create new ads, which might vis- ibly improve your results. I concentrate on reports at the ad group level. You can also get similar reports at the campaign level, which combines statistics from all the ad groups in one campaign into one report. The workings are the same, but the totals are simply comprehensive rather than ad group specific. Also, at the campaign level, you can’t see individual keywords and their results; you have to go into ad groups for that. Setting the Date Range for Reporting Within the Campaigns tab, to view keyword performance, you will often select an ad group and choose the Keywords subtab. Underneath the Keywords subtab, a report shows campaign performance for one or more variables over a specified period of time. The keywords list beneath the report also includes statistics for the same period of time. To set the time period for reports, including the keywords list and associat- ed statistics, use the Date Range pull-down, as shown in Figure 14.1. You have a range of choices for the date range: . Custom Date Range. You enter the start and end dates. . Today or Yesterday. When selecting any time period that includes the current day—or the previous day, if it’s early in the morning—remember that statistics in AdWords are always a few hours behind actual events. . This Week (beginning either Sunday or Monday). You can get the current week with either starting day you choose. . Last 7 Days. This is a useful selection because it takes into account a representative number of weekdays and weekend days. . Last Week (beginning either Sunday or Monday, or the last business week, Monday through Friday). This is the previousCreating and Understanding Reports 177 week—a full week, with either starting day you choose, or just the business week. . Last 14 Days. As with the Last 7 days option, this is a useful selection because it includes a representative number of week- days and weekends. . This Month; Last 30 Days; Last Month. These time periods are all month related, and are likely to include an unbalanced number of weekdays and weekend days. . All time. This is simply all the data for the entire period in which you’ve had the account. FIGURE 14.1 AdWords enables you to select a useful date range for dis- play and reporting. Use the date range selections to create displays that are valuable to you and show how your AdWords campaign is performing. Be sure to make note of changes that you make and events, such as changes to your ads, special promotions, or holidays, that affect your AdWords results.178 LESSON 14: Updating Your Campaign Even though all these time periods are valuable for a quick inspection, they’re most useful for creating reports that then go into a spreadsheet for further analysis. Using a spreadsheet enables you to do month-to-month comparisons, with adjustments for variables that are important to you, such as weekend days and holidays. TIP: Manage Your Account Regularly Use reporting capabilities of AdWords to help you review and update your account regularly. This might include loading data into a spreadsheet for further review and analysis. Specifying Keywords, Segments, and Filters Several tiny little drop-down menus under the Keywords tab enable you to further fine-tune reports, as shown in Figure 14.2. These are as follows: FIGURE 14.2 You can carefully fine-tune displayed information.Creating and Understanding Reports 179 . Keywords. You can choose to report on all keywords, or all but deleted keywords—removing keywords you’ve expunged from the display and reports. . Segment. You can break results down to show none, or no seg- mentation; the search terms match type (whether a match is broad, a phrase match, or an exact match), as shown in Figure 14.2; the click type, if you’ve activated extensions to enable addi- tional types of clicks (such as product clicks), as described in Lesson 8, “Adding Extensions;” the device—computers versus mobile devices, for instance, as described in Lesson 9, “Using Advanced Settings;” and breakdowns by day, week, month, quar- ter, year, or day of the week. . Filter. You can filter the results to show only those where the click-through rate, for instance, is above or below a certain per- centage. Variables you can filter for are Cost; Avg. CPC; Avg. CPM (Cost Per thousand iMpressions); CTR; Avg. Position; Clicks; Impressions; Keyword text containing, not containing, or starting with specific characters, words or phrases; Match type for the keyword (Exact, Phrase, or Broad); Default Max. CPC above or below a value; Status (Eligible, etc.); Destination URL containing, not containing, or starting with specific characters, words or phrases; and Quality Score above or below a certain value. . Columns. You can specify columns for the display, including specific attributes or performance metrics. You can reorder the display, too, as shown in Figure 14.3. . Downloading reports. To download a report at any point, click the Download Report button (downward-pointing arrow). You can change the report name; choose a format (Excel .csv, .csv, .tsv, .xml, .pdf, .csv.gz, or .xml.gz); and add multiple segmenta- tions by the same criteria listed in the Segment bullet earlier. You can also email the report to specific people, based on their account access to the AdWords account.180 LESSON 14: Updating Your Campaign FIGURE 14.3 You can reconfigure the keywords display. . Search. You can search the currently displayed keywords infor- mation at any point. Just enter a search term and click the Search button. Relevant lines in the report, and ad group totals, are displayed. Specifying Graph Options The most exciting and visible feature of the Keywords tab of the Ad Group screen is the chart. However, it isn’t immediately obvious how to update the chart to show what you want. Follow these steps: 1. Click the Toggle Graph Options icon. Graph options display, as shown in Figure 14.4. 2. To turn the graph display on or off, click the Show Graph check box to set it or clear it. The graph will display or be hidden to reflect the setting you choose.Creating and Understanding Reports 181 FIGURE 14.4 AdWords gives you reporting options. 3. Choose the primary metric from among similar options as the fil- ter option in the previous section: Clicks, Impressions, CTR, Avg. CPC, Avg. CPM, Cost, Avg. Pos., and choices that include one-per-click or many-per-click options: Conv., Cost / conv., and Conv. Rate; plus View-through Conv. The graph updates to reflect the primary metric you choose. 4. Optionally, enter a comparison metric. You can compare to the same metric, but over a different date range, or to the same options as the primary metric. Using a secondary metric gives valuable context to your choice. One valuable comparison is Clicks to Metrics, although they do tend to rise and fall together. The graph updates to reflect the secondary metric you choose.182 LESSON 14: Updating Your Campaign NOTE: Changing Settings You can change settings for your campaign by choosing the Settings tab and then clicking the Change Campaign Settings link. You are given the opportunity to change the settings for the cam- paign, as described in Lessons 3, “Creating Your First AdWords Campaign,” through 12, “Choosing Placements and Bids.” The changes affect all the ad groups in the campaign. To change the settings without affecting all ad groups, create a new campaign, as described in Lesson 2, “Creating an AdWords Account,” and create ad groups that fit the settings for the new campaign. You can also change the networks for a specific ad group by choosing the Network tab and turning on or off options such as the Google Search Network, the Search Partners Network, Managed Placements, and Automatic Placements. Managing Ads and Alerts You can create new ads for an ad group, similar to the process of creating an ad described in Lesson 10, “Writing Great Ads.” Just click the Ads tab and choose a type of ad from the New Ad pull-down. As in creating an ad for a new campaign, choices include the following: . Text ad . Image ad . Display ad builder . Video or audio ad . WAP mobile ad You can also create an alert, which can be valuable for managing your account. Alerts appear in the message section for your account; you can also get an alert by email. Follow these steps to create an alert: 1. Click the Alerts pull-down menu. Choose Create a Custom Alert.Managing Ads and Alerts 183 The Create a Custom Alert area appears, as shown in Figure 14.5. 2. Choose the alert type: Cost, Avg. CPC, CTR, Avg. Position, Number of Clicks, or Number of Impressions. These choices can help you keep the cost of your effort from ris- ing to too high a level, or keep the effectiveness from falling below minimums that you determine. 3. Choose the comparison you want: Greater Than or Less Than a certain amount. For the number of clicks, you can specify the percentage of change, as compared to selected ads or all ads in the group. FIGURE 14.5 Set alerts to keep on top of your AdWords effort. 4. Specify whether to get a notification by email; click to set or clear the check box. 5. Specify how often to check – daily, or continually (every few hours).184 LESSON 14: Updating Your Campaign 6. Select whether to apply the alert to selected keywords, every key- word in the ad group, or the ad group as a whole. 7. Click Create to create the alert. The alert is created. To manage alerts, choose Manage Custom Alerts from the pull-down menu. Summary In this lesson, you learned how to create and understand reports, including setting date ranges and choosing from among the many available options. You also learned how to add new ads to your campaign and how to create alerts to help monitor performance.LESSON 15 Using Opportunities and Improving Landing Pages In this lesson, you learn how to use the Opportunities feature in AdWords to improve your keywords and get more clicks for your ads. You also learn how to improve the landing pages on your site to improve your conversion rate from clicks to actual sales. Taking Advantage of AdWords’ Opportunities The Opportunities feature of AdWords gets its own tab in AdWords, which is precious onscreen real estate indeed. It may well be worthwhile, too: AdWords is your opportunity to get Google’s best (automated) advice on your AdWords campaign. It’s worth taking advantage of. Briefly, the tool that AdWords makes available in the Opportunities tab offers suggestions for keywords that might generate clicks for your AdWords ads. You will probably want to add at least some of the key- words to your campaign. Then let them run for a while, comparing them to your existing keywords. You can then keep the stronger keywords and remove the weaker ones, whether they’re older or newer. When should you not add a keyword suggested within the Opportunities tab? Consider these possible “knockout” considerations for a given keyword: . Wrong meaning. In the later example for BATCS, some of the keywords suggested are for “British accent” and similar phrases, which fit the U.K. and British English focus of BATCS; others include the words “American” or “Australian.” These keywords might get some clicks for BATCS, but the clicks, and the money186 LESSON 15: Using Opportunities and Improving Landing Pages spent on them, will be wasted. The potential customers will have to figure out from the BATCS website that they won’t actually get help with achieving anything other than a British accent from BATCS. . Wrong number of searches. A low number of searches against a given term might indicate a golden keyword that will return a lot of hits, as a percentage—or one that won’t be worth your time to hassle with. You’ll get a feel for this factor as you work with AdWords. However, a good click-through rate is 5%; at that click-through rate, and perfect success in getting your ad shown, 1,000 monthly searches will generate 50 clicks. If you’re geo-tar- geting, the result might be much less. (If your geo-targeting is for New York City, for instance, and the keyword is “New York Yankees,” you might still keep most of those clicks.) . Wrong level of competition. If competition for a keyword is high, that probably means it will be expensive to get ads based on that keyword to display. Unless the meaning of the keyword is a good fit for your target audience and product or service, it might not be worth the effort to try to beat the competition around the given keyword. (A clever ad that gets lots of clicks, without resorting to tricks, might make the difference though.) In general, you want to prioritize keywords that have a meaning that’s a great fit for your product or service, that have a high number of searches, and that have less competition. You can also compare AdWords’ sugges- tions to the keywords you already use to see which are more likely to be winners. Consider cherry-picking the top 10 or 20 keywords that AdWords offers you by these criteria and working them into your campaign, with addition- al ads and other changes as needed. Tweak your campaign through weekly reviews, and then do a more systematic review after a month. Use that opportunity to run the tool again, and repeat the process.Taking Advantage of AdWords’ Opportunities 187 TIP: Try Opportunities Monthly At this writing, AdWords refreshes the information available through the Opportunities tab every few weeks. So, consider making a check of this tab part of a monthly routine for reviewing your AdWords account and its effectiveness. A monthly check might be a good opportunity for some deep thinking about how to get the most out of your account, with the Opportunities tab giving you food for thought. Follow these steps to get ideas for your campaigns: 1. Within AdWords, click the Opportunities tab. The Ideas: All Online Campaigns page appears. 2. From the pull-down menu, choose each of the three options that are available, in turn: Increase Traffic, Balance Cost and Traffic, or Maintain or Decrease Cost. Note the number of key- words and the estimated monthly searches for each option. If the number of keywords and the estimated monthly searches are the same for two options, or all three, the suggestions are probably the same for those options. If AdWords has no sugges- tions for an option, it displays a generic list of recommendations for your campaign. (When I tried this, AdWords had no ideas for the Maintain or Decrease Cost option.) If the options have different numbers of keywords and estimated monthly searches, consider looking at all the options that are different. 3. Choose the option that looks most promising for your situation, balancing your desire for more clicks for your campaign against your tolerance for increased costs. 4. Click the New Keywords For link. A list of keywords appears, as shown in Figure 15.1. It includes the suggested keyword, the estimated monthly searches, a bar chart for the estimated strength of competition, and the ad group for which the keyword is recommended.188 LESSON 15: Using Opportunities and Improving Landing Pages FIGURE 15.1 AdWords suggests keywords for you to evaluate and try. The ad group shown is the one that the keyword is added to if you so choose, as described in the next few steps. 5. Consider the meaning of each suggested keyword against your products/services. Also review the estimated monthly services and the competition, and the performance of similar keywords in your existing campaign. With these factors in mind, click the check box next to each keyword that you want to keep. 6. To save your work on an interim basis, click the Save to Pending Changes button. When you’re ready to implement the changes, and add all selected keywords to your account, click the Apply Now button. The selected keywords are added to your account. What happens now that you’ve added the selected keywords? The new keywords compete with existing keywords within your budget. You can then review your account regularly to prioritize the best keywords, add new ads that match up well against your best keywords to optimize click- throughs, improve your landing pages to support increased conversion, andImproving Your Landing Pages 189 generally improve your keywords. If results justify it, you might also con- sider increasing your AdWords budget. You can revisit the Opportunities tab during a regularly scheduled check- up of your account, perhaps on a monthly basis. When you do so, you might see the same suggestions again and again. It takes “outside the box” thinking to come up with truly new keyword ideas. Use words and phrases that competitors use, that customers and vendors mention to you, and other sources, too, to get new ideas. AdWords then uses this new input to come up with its own suggestions. All of this might seem like a lot of work, and potentially for little benefit. However, you can hit on new keywords that can be very helpful, as can the ongoing process of optimization I’m recommending here. For example, the strongest set of keywords for BATCS, “elocution” and variations on it, is neither obvious nor included in the BATCS website or other marketing materials. So, the process can prove quite useful. NOTE: Best Practices If AdWords doesn’t have specific ideas for one or more of the options in the Opportunities tab, it offers a generic list of best practices instead. These recommendations are good to keep in mind for improving the effectiveness of your campaign. They include organizing your campaign around specific products, ser- vices, and so on; choosing your keywords carefully; including key- words in your ad text; matching destination URLs to specific ads; and tracking your success, as described in this lesson. Improving Your Landing Pages When you’re on a path to optimizing your keywords, it’s smart to start improving your landing page or pages within your website. At first, you should just link to pages you already have on your site that match the spe- cific products or services you’re advertising. Then you should consider specialized landing pages to support specific offers and the use of specific keywords. There’s a difference between Google’s definition of success within AdWords and yours. For Google, a successful ad is one that gets lots of clicks because clicks mean you pay Google money. Google places your ad190 LESSON 15: Using Opportunities and Improving Landing Pages more frequently, and in higher positions, if it gets more clicks, even if your keyword bid is less. That’s because your total payout to Google is higher than your competitors’. For you, though, AdWords success is making lots of money from your Google ads. And it really should be lots of money; your AdWords pay- ments come straight out of profits, and no one’s paying you for the time you spend learning and using AdWords. So, your AdWords advertising really needs to pay off if it’s going to be a good overall investment. There are two keys to AdWords success: . Getting clicks on your ads . Converting those clicks into profitable sales You can do all sorts of things to get your AdWords campaign going: spend lots of time on keywords, run specials that you lose a bit of money on, and more. However, eventually you need to create a program that runs a healthy profit without much further work on your part. Your landing page is a huge part of this conversion process. Your landing page is, of course, the page that users see when they click your ad. An example of a simple landing page—a home page that’s been adapted for use with AdWords—is shown in Figure 15.2. The change shown in Figure 15.2 is quite simple. It supports ads for either the book that BATCS sells, Get Rid of Your Accent, or the in-person course. As BATCS gets more experience with what works and what doesn’t, it can develop separate landing pages for the two offerings, special offers, and other innovations to support greater click-through and more conversions. You can usefully encourage users to take three main types of actions after they arrive at your landing page: . Completing a purchase online. This is the easiest thing to do psychologically for users because they don’t need to switch modes. They can just keep clicking until they’ve finished with the purchase. The wording about Get Rid of Your Accent shown in Figure 15.2 supports an online purchasing process.Improving Your Landing Pages 191 FIGURE 15.2 BATCS uses a modified home page as its AdWords landing page. . Calling you. This can also be fairly easy for users, but only if they can call you immediately. If you’re not available at the time that the user wants to act—this means, in most cases, that it’s a time outside of business hours—chances are high that the user won’t follow through, and you’ll lose the sale. The details about online classes shown in Figure 15.2 support having the user make a call—the phone number for BATCS is on every page. . Visiting you. This is the hardest thing to get users to do because it requires them to get up and move themselves, often by some kind of transportation, and usually after a delay. You’re moving from an immediate, “act now” priority to just another item on the user’s to-do list. In the case of BATCS, customers have to visit to take the class, but they’re encouraged to call first rather than hav- ing to visit right away.192 LESSON 15: Using Opportunities and Improving Landing Pages There are three dimensions to getting the user to act. The first is continuity on the computer, the second is immediacy in time, and the third is immedi- acy in space. Table 15.1 sums up the advantages and disadvantages of each method of completing a sale that begins with a click on your AdWords ad. TABLE 15.1 The Advantages of AdWords Depend on How You Complete the Sale On Immediate in Immediate in Computer? Time? Location? Online Purchase Yes Yes Yes Phone purchase No Sometimes Yes In-person No No No purchase TIP: Repeating Keywords Just as Google recommends that you use the keyword that the user searched on in the ad that appears against that keyword, consider also doing the same with your landing page. Either include several of the keywords you use in each landing page, or consider going whole hog and revising your landing pages so that they’re more or less specific for each keyword that you use, repeating it several times. Considering that there’s a specific cost per click for AdWords, and looking carefully at the plusses and minuses of different types of sales conversions, leads to some general recommendations: . Don’t use AdWords for branding. Using AdWords to get peo- ple to notice you, without a clear path to completing a sale, and tracking the completion, is likely to be a losing strategy. (You can fall into the trap represented by the old saying, “I know half my advertising spending is wasted; I just don’t know which half.”) . Use AdWords for online sales. AdWords works well for driving online sales. Unfortunately, the online world is price competitive, so you have to sharpen your pencil to maintain profitability for the whole process. But AdWords is likely to be a good way to get customers in the (online) door.Improving Your Landing Pages 193 . Use AdWords for phone purchases during business hours. AdWords also works well for phone sales, but much better if the call can be completed immediately. Geographic targeting might be a good practice for phone sales as well. Running your ad locally, and only during business hours—perhaps with some kind of “call now” exhortation—might be your best strategy. . Test AdWords and in-person sales carefully. The attainment of o2o sales (online to offline; that is, moving the customer from an online impression to visiting your shop, store, or office) is actual- ly quite powerful, but with lots of opportunity for the customer to drop out. Try this with tightly focused geographic targeting and track results carefully to make sure you really are generating profitable new business for your AdWords expenditures. None of these recommendations is set in stone, by any means. However, they’re good guidelines for initial AdWords investments. Start with an AdWords plan that takes these recommendations into account, carefully tracking spending and success. Then expand the parts of your investment that are winners, try new things, and cut back on unprofitable products, services, and sales approaches. This way, you can go from strength to strength, keep any losses to a minimum, and gradually identify all the ways that AdWords can be a winner for you. Your landing page is the secret to making all these techniques work. It can be the first step in an online sale, part of an effort to get the user to call you, or an encouragement to come visit your shop or other location. You need to provide some product or service information, of course, but remember that the main goal is to complete a transaction. So, don’t waste your potential customer’s time or energy: Provide the min- imum amount of information needed to move the user on from one step to the next. For phone calls or an in-person visit, you can provide a bit of business information, make some kind of special offer to help get the cus- tomer in the door, and then leave off. You want to track conversions, both from one step to the next, and from clicks to sales. And then, after tracking is in place, you want to optimize each step, ensuring that your clicks turn into sales as often (and as prof- itably) as possible.194 LESSON 15: Using Opportunities and Improving Landing Pages TIP: Further Improving Your Landing Page The Web offers a great deal of advice on improving your landing page, with new information constantly appearing. Consider search- ing in Google on the keywords “adwords landing page” to find the latest advice. Don’t be surprised if you spend just as much time and effort optimizing your landing page and other steps in the sales process as you do your AdWords ad, keywords selection, and so on. You might find yourself improving the online sales portion of your website (or even painting the inside of your physical shop) to improve your AdWords-based selling process. It’s all part and parcel of successfully doing business today. AdWords offers many tools for improving your results, described through- out the rest of this lesson. Always be sure to keep in mind, though, how you’re planning to sell, and how you actually make money, so that you get the most out of AdWords and out of your business as a whole. Summary In this lesson, you learned how to use the Opportunities feature in AdWords to improve your keywords and get more clicks for your ads. You also learned how to improve the landing pages on your site to improve your conversion rate from clicks to actual sales.

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