Google AdWords – the major benefits of optimising campaigns

By Matt Brown, matt@onevision.co.uk

On Google search, AdWords essentially works on the basis of people using search using keywords that trigger the display of relevant adverts, which link through to the advertiser’s relevant website. So, Google AdWords is simple in concept but it has evolved into a hugely sophisticated online advertising tool that needs skill and experience so you can get the best out of it. Most importantly, campaigns need to be reviewed frequently to ensure they are performing optimally.

What is the penalty for not continually optimising a Google AdWords online advertising campaign?

The advertiser will almost certainly pay more per click than they would with an optimised campaign and will be wasting budget on clicks that are not relevant to their business. Google rewards good targeting and strong keyword and advert relevance with a lower cost-per-click. This is important, but it’s not just about paying the lowest cost-per-click. Many campaigns don’t have sufficient budget to display adverts against every keyword that the advertiser would like and so it is crucial that the budget is used wisely to seek the maximum number of clicks that result in conversions.

Improving the performance of the campaign is likely to come from optimising keywords, testing new adverts and website landing pages, plus paying attention to locations where users are searching from, the types of devices they are using and time of day/day of the week/month they are active. There is an endless list of permutations that can be tested to fine-tune optimum performance but it is essential that a base-line is established and that tests are carried out in a methodical way by changing just one factor at a time. The mantra is to know the objective: test, measure and test again.

They will miss the opportunity to discover new business through the ideas that the data on people clicking on their adverts generates. Intelligent analysis of the results in changes made to keywords, adverts, landing pages and AdWords account settings can yield a flow of new ideas to test and often new niches can be found to target. Looking at the specific searches that people have made that resulted in a click to the advertiser’s website frequently gives new ideas for new audience segments to target. This finds new potential business opportunities and improves the overall performance of the campaign, which makes it more cost effective. The Google system also generates a range of keyword ideas, although these usually need checking manually for the best relevance to the advertiser’s objectives.

Untouched, advert performance is likely to degrade over time as competitors modify their own campaigns and take advantage of the advert enhancement tools that Google continually rolls out. AdWords is an auction-based system and active competitors will be seeking their own performance enhancements to place their adverts ahead of yours. Also Google is regularly upgrading the AdWords system and adding new features. Recent updates have included the ability to extend advert text beyond the normal headline plus two lines of text. Now you can include additional selling points within ‘callout’ extensions and have the ability to track phone calls from a telephone number on a website, where the visitor originated from a paid advert click. This is essential information to complete the conversion tracking picture.

Creating and managing a successful Google AdWords campaign takes work, and a lot of it. There is a great deal of analysis needed in order to make decisions about how to modify and evolve campaigns to ensure they are working at their optimum. To achieve physical fitness, a person can’t just exercise once, or perhaps just continue for a few weeks, or sporadically. Optimum fitness results from a lifestyle change and ongoing exercise. The same goes for running a successful online marketing campaign with Google AdWords. There are so many business benefits to be gained from proper ongoing intelligent management. And that’s precisely why you need to optimise your AdWords campaigns.


The Author

Matt Brown is a co-founder and Director of One Vision Ltd, a certified Google Partner. Matt has been managing Google AdWords campaigns since 2001 and provides online advertising management, consultancy and training.

For tips and advice see www.onevision.co.uk and @1visionltd


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