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Planning tool show all zero for any bid amount

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# 1
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I'm completely new to Adwords, and although I've read the background stuff and I think I understand the basic principles, I'm stumped by a startup problem. We want to try an initial test campaign in a small specialized field of software used exclusively by police departments. The relevant search terms we had in mind do show up with several thousand hits per week in the Google search stats, but when we try to create a campaign using them, the numbers (impressions, clicks, cpc etc.) just show 0 - 0 - 0 for any bid amount. How should I interpret that, and what should I do to remedy it?

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Planning tool show all zero for any bid amount

Top Contributor Alumni
# 2
Top Contributor Alumni

Good afternoon, and welcome to the AdWords Community!

 

First--past search history doesn't guarantee future performance for any keyword.

 

Now, with the disclaimers out of the way Smiley Happy let me ask if when you tested your keywords for volume, you were relying on the "local" search volume numbers?  If you were, understand that "local" in that context means the country you're in. If you've set your campaign's geotargeting to any smaller area, there may be little or no search traffic available. Or, the volume could be so uncertain that the tool is unable to make an estimate.

 

Also, these estimates tend to be optimistic. For instance, they assume that your keyword quality scores will be in the range of 7-10. If you've actually added these keywords to your campaign, check to see if your quality scores are in that range. If they are much lower, then you'll have to bid correspondingly higher to be competitive.

 

When you say "for any bid amount", are you sure that you tested a wide enough bid range? (Just for purposes of the search volume test--try adding some very high bid like $100 and use an estimated daily budget of $5,000 or something like that. Some keyword markets can be unexpectedly competitive and to get a real sense for what your clicks might cost, you have to 'test' a very high range.)

 

Just some ideas.

 


Theresa
Google AdWords Top Contributor
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Re: Planning tool show all zero for any bid amount

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# 3
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Thanks for the response, but none of the ideas you suggested seem to help. We are looking at world search stats and targeting a large part of the world. I've tried putting in bids up to $100, but it doesn't do anything from the ones that report all 0 - 0 - 0, and clearly it would be ludicrous to bid that high so I'm not sure what it would mean.

I'm getting the impression that maybe Adwords is aimed at a narrow market segment of those advertising higher-volume consumer goods and services and is not really for us in a lower-volume specialized business market.

Re: Planning tool show all zero for any bid amount

Top Contributor Alumni
# 4
Top Contributor Alumni

In fact, I have several clients in smaller markets who advertise very successfully with AdWords. At the same time, I'd say that it's a mistake to assume that every word or combination of words is included in the advertising database.

 

Also, it's possible that the keywords you're testing do get traffic, but do not draw enough traffic in a month to allow the program's estimator kick in. 

 

Have you tried adding your preferred keywords to your campaign?  If you have, you can look at things like starting keyword quality score to see what the program thinks about your keywords. Low initial scores suggest keywords that other advertisers have failed to be successful with in the past--you may need to reconsider what keywords you use. You can also use the "speech bubble" icon in the Status column of the Keywords tab to see how relevant the program thinks your keywords are to your website.  "Relevance" is very important in successful AdWords serving.

 

I would suggest that you start with the precise keywords you think best describe your business and give them a few days in an active campaign. If they don't draw traffic, then you'll want to expand your keyword list to find the keywords that will draw traffic.


Theresa
Google AdWords Top Contributor
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Re: Planning tool show all zero for any bid amount

[ Edited ]
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# 5
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Thanks again. Following your guidance I do see the estimated keyword quality. For all the terms I have tried it shows a score of 3/10 and "Average" for all the factors. Not sure how to interpret that.

 

I wouldn't mind trying an experiment, but back to the same difficulty - I'm not sure what bid to put in if I'm not getting any meaningful results from the estimation tools. Let's say I put in an arbitrary bid of $1 per click, and the estimated results are 0 -0 - 0. Do I wait a week and see what happens? If nothing happens, does that mean Adwords is not showing our ad? Assuming that people are definitely entering that search term at some rate (even if it's a relatively small rate of a few thousand per week) and that our company site is very relevant to it, and there's little (probably no) competition, why wouldn't our ad be shown? Does a bid too low make it beneath Adword's notice?  I'm struggling to understand the reasoning.

Re: Planning tool show all zero for any bid amount

Top Contributor Alumni
# 6
Top Contributor Alumni

A default/beginning quality score of 3 suggests that these are keywords that other advertisers have not used successfully with in the past. You might be able to attract search traffic and clicks on them, but it will take much higher bids and you'll have to wait until a lot of data has accumulated before you see the quality scores rise and your average click costs go down.

 

As far as your estimated beginning bids, any tool can only make suggestions about the marketplace. These suggestions should be only one of the factors you consider when setting your bids. You need to figure out what you can afford to pay to sell your product.

 

If the tool is showing that search traffic exists on your keywords but you're not seeing any traffic estimates for the bid/budget levels you're entering, you may have to do quite a bit of experimentation to figure out at what bid level your ads will be able to compete successfully in the marketplace. If you've finished building your campaign, you could go ahead and activate it. There will be a flurry of activity for 24-48 hours as the AdWords software monitors initial performance and decides if any adjustments need to be made to the initial quality scores and other performance metrics.

 

Check your quality scores at the end of the 48 hour period and also check your keyword and ad status information again, to make sure nothing has dropped below the acceptable level. Also check your first page and top of page bid estimates for your keywords, to see what bids the program is suggesting you need to offer in order to compete successfully. (Again, I caution that these estimates are optimistic--they might buy you the minimum amount of traffic and you might have to bid much higher--if your market is competitive--to reach the bulk of the available traffic.)

 

Just some thoughts. It's very difficult, as I'm sure you can imagine, to offer specific "steps and procedures" for an unknown set of keywords and an unseen website.  These are some very general ideas.

 

 


Theresa
Google AdWords Top Contributor
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