Even better, the discipline of tracking results and improving a campaign’s effectiveness and efficiency will often lower the cost per click. Higher conversion rates with lower costs result in a much better return on investment for the advertiser.
Consider it Google’s reward for using less of its inventory for your campaign and leaving more for someone else to spend money with Google.
Best practices start with dedicating time to campaigns at least weekly. Several times a week if not daily are even better. Why? Campaign results vary based on:
- The time of year.
- The competition from other advertisers for the same keywords.
- The resulting cost of those keywords.
- The resulting average position of the ads.
- Thise leads to the resulting click-through and conversion rates.
Certain categories fluctuate greatly depending on the time of year. Retail during the holidays and travel during good weather are prime examples of seasonal advertisers.
A sudden change in the behavior of search engine visitors could result in driving up the Adwords cost if it isn’t watched carefully.
Time of year aside, the number and demand of other advertisers can impact results as well. A surge in competition will force the average position of an existing site down, which invariably cuts the click-through rate.
Getting the click rate back up will require a higher bid for the existing keywords or a search for less-competitive keywords.
Best Practices for Campaign Management
Whether the campaign manager works with AdWords daily, weekly or several times a week, these habits will result in effective AdWords management.
- Schedule a regular time to make the effort habitual and consistent.
- Look in the campaign reports at the previous day and previous seven days for impression level, click rate, cost per click and average position.
- Watch for trends that show either an increase or decrease in these numbers.
- Examine the performance numbers for all campaigns in total, then individual campaigns, ad groups, ads and keywords.
- Revise and test. Revise and test again.
1. Schedule a regular time. In a complex, data-driven and information overload online environment, it is easy to forget to do certain tasks on a regular basis. Scheduling a regular time with calendar reminders will make it simpler to be consistent.
2. Track campaign reports. Trends provide insight. A single day of activity is not revealing, but seven days and 30 days indicate much more because they smooth the day to day peaks and valleys.
3. Watch for trends. For long-term campaigns, a spreadsheet showing the key data points each month will establish trend lines worth watching. Those trends can provide help on which aspects of the campaign to adjust.
4. Break down the numbers. In addition to tracking numbers over time, tracking them by ad groups, ads and keywords will provide more useful insights. An ad that performs poorly over time, should be adjusted or deleted. A keyword that costs much more than another keyword delivering the same results should be paused until the bid price comes back down.
5. Revise and test. Revision is central to increasing the effectiveness, cost efficiency and return on investment for campaigns. It is ongoing and permanent because the auction environment is fluid and constantly changing. Prices per click rise and fall. Keyword volume rises and falls. Ads that worked six months ago may no longer work now.
Best Practices for Performance Tracking
High-level Adwords management requires tracking the results in software that provides insight and analysis.
Adwords itself provides some effective reporting, but even more useful is the AdWords Editor or simply using a spreadsheet to do reports that Adwords doesn’t provide.
Large players with big budgets will be more likely to use the AdWords editor, but they have the time, staff and training to use it. The software also provides the best help for big budget, complex campaigns.
Small businesses may not have such a need because they may have simpler campaigns involving a handful of ad groups and dozens of keywords.
In that case, a tab in a spreadsheet workbook for marketing should provide all of the trend and graphing tools needed for useful reporting and analysis of the results.