Launching a New AdWords Campaign? Check These Settings First!
Launching a new AdWords campaign requires a lot of planning, since selecting the correct campaign settings is crucial to achieving your campaign goals. This article will give you an overview of some of the most important campaign settings that you should check and adjust before activating your new campaign.
- Select specific keywords for your business and use keyword match types suitable for your budget and business goals.
- Create tightly themed ad groups with these keywords.
- Write compelling ad copy mentioning the best product features, discounts, offers, and calls to action.
- Create multiple ad copies in each ad group (3 ad copies in each ad group is a good start) and test them. Later you can refine your ad message once you determine which type of ad performs best.
- Select the most relevant landing page for each ad.
You should select a campaign type that is suitable for your marketing goals. The default campaign type is "Search Network with Display Select" with a "Standard" sub type. The Search Network with Display Select campaign type is a good option for beginner advertisers, as this campaign type will help you to target both the Search and Display networks. But as Search network campaigns and Display network campaigns often need different strategies and optimization techniques, you may want to create a separate campaign for each network: one campaign targeting the Search network and another targeting the Display network.
Another setting you should consider is the campaign sub type. The default "Standard" campaign sub type will give you very limited functionality. Selecting the "All Features" campaign sub type will help you access more tools and options to optimize your campaigns, which will tremendously help you increase your campaign profitability in the long run.
Double check the location that you are targeting before launching your campaigns. You should select the specific geographic location where you want to run your ads. You can target a country, areas within a country (state, city, or province), or a specific radius around a location based on the available targeting options in your country.
Advanced Location Targeting
This setting is somewhat hidden in the settings tab, and this setting will be only available in "All Features" campaigns. You can find the advanced location options under "locations" in your campaign's Settings tab:
The default setting is to target "people in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location." With this setting, you'll be able to reach people who are likely to be physically located in your targeted areas, as well as those who show interest in your targeted geographic areas (who may be outside your targeted locations).
If you want to limit your ads to exclusively within your targeted location, then you should select the second option, "People in my targeted location."
You can read about all the options here.
Schedule – Start Date, End Date & Ad Scheduling
You can specify a start date and end date for your campaign (You need to set your campaign to "All Features" to access this setting).
This is useful if you want to start your campaign at a later date or you want to end the campaign on a specific date (for example, when a promotion or offer ends).
Based on your or your client’s business requirement you can decide when you want to run your ads. You can specify certain hours and/or days of the week when you want your ads to show. You can schedule to run your ads only on specific days or only on specific business hours in a day.
You can also ad schedule certain ad extensions like call extensions. You can schedule call extensions to show only during your business hours.
This is another hidden option in the Settings tab. Earlier we discussed the importance of using multiple ads in each ad group. When you have multiple ads in an ad group, the Ad Rotation Setting will decide which ad is displayed, as well as the frequency with which a particular ad is displayed.
The default setting is "Optimize for clicks." This setting will give preference to ads that are expected to attract more clicks than other ads in the ad group, based on clickthrough rate (CTR). Google will try to show these ads more often than other ads in your ad group to help you gain more clicks.
When you are testing new ads in your new campaign, you should give equal preference to all active ads in your ad group. To achieve this you should select either the "Rotate Evenly" or "Rotate Indefinitely" option under Ad Rotation Settings.
Automatic bidding may look like a tempting option, but manual CPC bidding will give you more control over your spend. And be aware that enabling Enhanced CPC can increase your max CPC bid by up to 30% when optimizing for conversions.
Ad extensions show extra information about your business on your ads, improving your visibility. When two competing ads have the same bid and quality, the ad with the greater expected impact from extensions will generally appear in a higher ad position than the other. Ad extensions are also an excellent way to improve ad clickthrough rates. So use all the relevant ad extensions with you ad.
These extensions in particular can be used with almost any type of businesses:
- Sitelink extensions
- Callout extensions
- Structured snippets
- Call extensions
Negative Keywords - Adding negative keywords will help filter out irrelevant searches and eliminate wasteful spending. You can add generic negative keywords when you launch your campaign--for example, if you are not offering any free services or products you can add the word "free" as a negative keyword.
Tracking Codes & Linking AdWords and Analytics Accounts
Conversion Tracking: Accurately measuring your campaign performance is important for your success. Use AdWords conversion tracking to see how effectively your ad clicks lead to valuable customer activity, such as website purchases, phone calls, app downloads, or newsletter sign-ups. You need to add the conversion tracking code to your "Thank You" page or payment/order confirmation page to track conversions.
Double check the conversion tracking code implementation before starting the campaign. The code should be placed only on the correct pages; otherwise the tracking will not be accurate. For example, if you place the conversion tracking code on your landing page, then every visit to your landing page from the ads will be tracked as conversions.
Remarketing codes: Remarketing is a powerful way to target past website visitors. Add the remarketing code to your site before you launch the campaign and create custom remarketing lists as per your needs.
Google Analytics: Link your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts, and create goals and funnels in Analytics. Later you can use Google Analytics data to optimize your campaigns.
Check the Conversion Process
Before enabling your new campaign, check the entire conversion process again. If your campaign goal is lead generation, complete a test conversion by filling out the form. Make sure all the form fields are working and the "Thank You" page is loading correctly after the form submission. And most importantly, make sure you or your client is getting the lead into the inbox!
I am a freelance AdWords account manager and strategist, helping businesses worldwide. I have been a paid search account manager since 2007. And I specialize in AdWords account planning, management and conversion rate optimization. My interaction with the AdWords community started few years ago. Ever since, it has been an amazing journey interacting with my fellow AdWords users, learning more and helping others.
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