People who are getting started with adwords frequently ask me for advice on how to set up their first campaigns. Listed below are the tips I always give in addition to specific recommendations based on their product, market, goals, competition and timelines.
No matter the specifics of your campaign, doing the following things will get you better results:
Do not mix search, display and mobile networks in the same campaign.
On different networks and devices you will get different click-through rates (CTRs). The cost you have to pay for each click (CPC) and conversions will also differ. Some websites might be converting well on desktop computers, but do poorly on mobile devices or vice versa. To compare apples with apples when analyzing results create separate campaigns for different networks and devices.
Separate campaigns for each country.
Each country (and region!) has a different dynamic in terms of click-through rate, cost you have to pay for each click and conversions. Just like in case of advertising on different devices and networks, creating a new campaign for each country will allow you to compare apples with apples when analyzing results. It will also allow you to vary your bids among countries.
Logically group keywords in adgroups.
All keywords in the same adgroup are associated with an ad. By placing related keywords in the same adgroup you ensure that the associated ad will be relevant for those keywords.
Test different ads.
Create at least two different ads in each ad group. Once the ads have reached a statistically significant number of impressions replace the least performing ad with a new one. I always enjoy predicting which ad will do better (I am an economist, I have a thing for prediction) and finding out that I am almost always wrong (yes, I really am an economist).
Use Negative Keywords.
Add negative keywords to your campaign to avoid paying for traffic you don´t want. Which negative keywords you should add depends on your situation. You can use them to, for instance, avoid getting people who are searching for “free” stuff or unrelated synonyms. If you sell office furniture and advertise on the keyword “seat” you don´t want to pay for visitors who are searching for the car brand Seat. In this case one of the negative keywords you want to add is “cars”.
Understand the difference between broad, phrase and exact matching.
The type of keyword matching will greatly influence the number of impressions your ads will get. The default setting is broad match, which might get you a lot of unrelated traffic.
Use conversion tracking.
Set goals and track what traffic converts. Stop paying for traffic that does not convert and get more if you get a positive return on investment!
Pick your destination URLs
You grouped related keywords in the same adgroup. Ensure that you point the ads to a relevant section of your website. If you lead users who click on an ad for product X to a generic page, where they will need to search for the product your conversion rate will drop. To stick with the office furniture example, point all seating ads to the page with the product category chairs.
Use analytics reporting to analyze results and identify areas for improvement. Look at the keywords that triggered your ads, websites that generated traffic, when conversions happened etc.
Start with a small daily budget
In the begining the configuration of your campaigns will be far from optimal. Starting with a low daily spending limit helps you to avoid mistakes from becoming really expensive learning experiences.
#Pro-tip Use the adwords editor. This is a free handy tool developed by Google that allows you to easily create campaigns and make mass updates a lot faster.