Start Strong with Google Adwords

I'm working as a summer intern at Tivix and have been working on launching a new Google Adwords campaign this quarter. I've been implementing a newly-defined way to organize our ad groups, a plan to specify our target market, and some fresh-looking landing pages.

Here are some tips that will make your Adwords process efficient (at least faster than me, who learned the hard way!) and give you results.

Keywords

Under each Campaign are Ad Groups, which have a set of keywords that will show a specific set of ads. When deciding on how you might split this up brainstorm what search terms people would use to get to your ad. Some of these may end up being your keywords, some of them may just trigger more ideas, but write down everything and anything, and get creative! This way you'll see if groups are too broad or too specific before you've spent an unnecessary amount of energy.

To save time, before you add a keyword, check the search volume. Sometimes what we want is just too specific.

Equally important: Brainstorm negative keywords. Think of what searches might stumble upon your ad that would be a waste of money for you. It is important to start out with a populated list of negative keywords. For example, we want to mention in our ads that our engineers are expert with the Django development framework, but if our ads come up for a bunch of people searching for the movie Django Unchained, this will probably cause a 0% Click Through Rate, and Google will stop showing ads for the pertaining keywords. Therefore, to avoid digging ourselves into a hole, we can start with "Django Unchained" and "movie" in the negative list before we even launch the campaign.

Search Ads

Put time into this. You have 25 characters for the title and 70 characters for the subtext. A.K.A. a very small space to make people click on you. Spending time to write quality copy is very important. Yes, they can be edited, but Google starts tracking how well they're doing from the beginning.

Be Consistent

A key in Google's super secret algorithm is making sure everything is relevant. This means make sure your keyword phrases show up in your search ads and on your actual landing page.

For example, if the keyword is "expert django developer"

The search ad can be:

 Macintosh HD:Users:mikamoose:Desktop:Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 3.27.04 PM.png

And our landing page says, "We are Django/Python experts!".

All of this phrase matching and relevancy should give you a high quality score, which is used along with your CPC bid in another super secret algorithm to determine your position on the page.

After You've Launched

Pour over your keywords and tweak them. I've found the most efficient way is sorting them by "Cost" — see what's been clicked on, and what's not. Adjust accordingly. Sometimes some keywords just aren't meant to be. Sometimes they just need a little love and attention to get their quality scores up.

A successful campaign requires patience and focus. It's a long game of trial and error. However, a lot of the setbacks can be avoided with these tips, and with a strong start hopefully you'll have a leg up on this process.