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November 1, 2007

Google Adwords Top Tips – Part 5

Welcome to part 5 of this 5 part series.

Google AdWords is one of the best advertising tools on the Internet, but only if you know how to implement Adwords properly to achieve maximum potential. So what exactly should you be doing to ensure that you get the best possible results from Adwords? We have put together the following tips to help you get those all important click throughs and conversion rates.

1. Keep the user experience in mind

As you design or redesign your landing page and website, make the user experience a high priority.

Place important information and images on the top left, where the eye naturally goes first.

Help people get what they want in three clicks or fewer.

Cut out pop-ups and pop-unders.

Create a simple process for users to complete transactions.

2. Check your account statistics

Your CTR, minimum bid and keyword status are good initial indicators of how well your ads are performing. Your account statistics are reported at the campaign, Ad Group and keyword or site levels. They include clicks, impressions, CTR, average CPC or CPM, cost, average position, conversion rate and cost-per-conversion. Your most important statistic is cost per conversion. Never get carried away with clicks!

3. Avoid the ruthless pursuit of ‘main’ keywords

On Google especially, there is a lot of competition for high volume keywords. Thus, the price to compete for those keywords is very high. In many cases, you might drive volume with those keywords, but you won’t be driving profits because you will be bidding more per click than you are making per click.

4. Drive profit, not clicks (or revenue)

For me, PPC is all about driving profits. Revenues are nice, but if I’m not pulling out significantly more money than I’m putting in, then it’s not worth my trouble. In the quest to drive up sales volume it’s easy to spend way too much per sale until you are no longer profitable at all. Remember, profits first, volume second.

5. Optimize

We have given a large number of tips for setting up keywords, testing ads, landing pages etc. These tests are a complete waste of time unless you monitor them and act on the results. This is one of the most difficult areas of PPC. To do this properly you need to use statistical techniques, but you can make massive improvements using common sense and just scanning the numbers by eye. The following tips will help with this optimization.

6. Make an optimization diary

You need to document everything that you do and why. You need to set review dates and stick to them. Give your changes the chance to work.

7. Review bids

Following the first month (when you will be feeling your way into the market) review your bids once a week, at the same time. Monday morning is good because you will optimize based on a full week and then not pollute the next week’s figures with mixed bids. Don’t be tempted into doing this more frequently unless you are a professional and have access to advances statistics. You will get in a mess. Raise the bids on good performers and lower on bad performers. Remember that performance of a keyword is random behaviour. Some good keywords will have freakishly low weeks at times, and some bad keywords will get orders. Do not over-react!

8. Review Ads

Review your ads once a month. The first day of the month is good. Remove bad performing ads and replace them with elements of the good performers with changes. Discover what makes the good ads good. Note the changes in your optimization diary and write down your ideas. There is a lot to optimize and you will forget in 10 minutes, let alone 1 month.

9. Clean keywords

Clean the keywords daily in the first week, weekly for the next 3 weeks and monthly after that. Cleaning the keywords involves using advanced analytics and analysing the actual search traffic that comes in against the keyword. For example, you may buy the keyword ‘condom’ on a broad or phrase match. Analysis of the actual traffic may reveal that your ad is showing when people type ‘how to put on a condom’ or ‘condom pictures’. You need to spot these negatives and act on them. In all cases, note the changes you make in your optimization diary, and at the next optimization review, analyze the data from this date so you know that you are analyzing the figures at the new, optimized levels.

10. Is a PPC Agency for You?

Whilst some people can manage their own AdWords account and be very successful at it, complex campaigns often need an expert. There are many agencies to choose from but ensure that if this is a road you follow that you are armed with the right questions to make sure they are going to add value to your campaigns. Read our ‘Top 10 Tips For Dealing With PPC Agencies’.

By implementing all of our Google Adwords Top Tips you can achieve higher click through rates, more conversions and most importantly, increase your profit.

Author:  Dave McEvoy is an Adwords expert with years of experience in ppc management. For more information please come and visit our site.