First, remember what your objective is for the adwords campaign. If you are looking to get leads, make sure you know how much the customer is comfortable with the cost to acquire those leads. If you are getting ecommerce sales, know what the ROAS should be for each product group. If you are helping a client get brand awareness, know what the measure of success will be and how much they want to spend to reach that metric.
Secondly, start to look at how each campaign is performing overall to reach your objective and then go deeper into the ad groups to actually see which ad group is providing the best results for your objective. If you see a poor performing ad group (high CPA), you will want to go in and see what is happening within that group and see what keyword is causing the poor performance.
Once you know what keyword is causing the poor performance, you might look into the search queries for that ad group and see if there are any negatives you need to add. If there aren’t any negatives, you might want to consider if that keyword is appropriate for this campaign to get conversions and what the Quality Score is as well.
You will want to have statistical data before you start turning off keywords or ad groups. I look for full ad groups with over 1,000 impressions before I start changing things, but that is just a rough idea of what to look for. Sometimes I might do it sooner if I start to feel a pattern happening when looking at data in other ad groups that are getting more conversions.
The next thing to look at would be the ads. The ads may be causing a low CTR for your keywords or even a lower quality score for each keyword in that ad group. If you have a keyword with a low quality score and you think it is relevant to your campaign but needs a better ad, think about moving the keyword into another ad group and creating a new ad that is more relevant.
Other ways to look for optimization would be to make sure that you have as many ad extensions possible. This provides your ad more real estate on google search, and also provides google more options to add to your ad so that it is more relevant to the searcher.
Bidding is going to be the most important optimization factor once the other factors have been made inside the AdWords account. Testing what ad position provides the best CPA or ROAS will be important to figure out for each individual campaign. Typically, you might want to start out just trying to stay around position 3 just to make sure all your ads are showing up at the top and you are getting searches. This might also be your strategy to save on cost per clicks. But you may find that bidding to a higher position may end up resulting in more conversions, higher search impression share, and a possibly even a lower CPA. You do need to test different bidding strategies depending on what you are trying to achieve. There are several of my local business clients that want to get the most leads possible and they are okay with a higher CPA, as long as they get more leads so they can get more volume of work.
Choosing the right bidding option is also important. Expert PPC specialists typically use Manual CPC. Occasionally, I have found that Enhanced CPC works for some industries but it really does affect your average position if Google can raise and lower your bid on their own however much they want.
Another optimization technique to consider is the conversion rate could be affected by the landing page and the landing page needs to be optimized to convert better. You might need to test having the price further up, better descriptions, and better images. Faster loading times could be holding your campaign back from getting more conversions as well.
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