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Haris Cajic - 08.17.2017

Turning Off Autopilot : Why You Need to Monitor Your Profitable AdWords Campaigns

Your AdWords campaign is a huge success. The campaign is organized. Click-through rates are through the roof. You’ve far exceeded ROI. It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor, right?

Not quite.

Success is not a good excuse for growing stagnate. Even if you are seeing great results, there are always opportunities to optimize. AdWords collects a tremendous amount of data that we can utilize to help us constantly push the needle forward.

Here are some of the most important areas of your AdWords campaigns you should be monitoring. Pay attention to the data contained within each. You’ll be surprised at how much extra performance you can squeeze out of seemingly pristine campaigns.

Keywords

Keywords are the heart of your standard AdWords campaign. There are several key metrics to pay attention to in order to maximize performance. Note that you will have to add a few of these metrics as columns in this section. I like to keep an eye on keyword quality scores, click-through rates and conversion data. If the quality score of an ad is too low, then the result will be a higher CPC and lower ad positions. Low CTRs are usually the sign of poor keyword targeting or ad relevance. Conversions are the key metric I pay attention to. If a keyword is not profitable, then the conversion data will reflect this. You must take immediate action to remedy this, whether that means pausing bids on the keyword or researching what is contributing to the negative return on ad spend.

Ads & Extensions

You should be running multiple versions of your ads in each ad group. Split testing the ads in your ad groups is essential for increasing click-through rates, lowering CPC and driving more conversions. You would be surprised what a simple change in a heading can do for an ad’s performance. By constantly monitoring the results of ad A/B tests, you will be able to select winners more easily.

It may not seem like much, but a 1% increase in CTR can mean the difference between thousands of dollars in revenue each month for bigger campaigns.

Search Terms

This area of AdWords gives you a detailed breakdown of what queries triggered your ads. This is extremely important as it will give you valuable insights into the search trends of your audience. One of the biggest benefits from this report is beefing up your negative keywords list.

For a recent audit that I conducted for an ecommerce site, it was revealed that the site was showing up for queries related to eBay and Craigslist. These matches resulted in almost no conversions, but also showed keyword match types that were set too broadly. By adding negative keywords and tightening our keyword matches, we are now displaying ads to a much more relevant audience.

Geographic Report

This section of the Locations tab allows you to really dig deeper into the performance of the specific areas your ad campaign is targeting. I find it particularly useful for checking the performance on a state-by-state basis.

It was through this report that I was able to help a client dramatically lower his average cost per conversion. His cost per conversion (CPC) in California was over 4 times higher than the next highest state. We quickly reduced budgets in California, allowing us to obtain more conversions throughout the U.S. for the same amount of ad spend.

Ad Schedule

This section of AdWords provides performance metrics based on Day & Time. Bid adjustments during specific times of the day or week can make a huge difference for campaigns.

This report can be particularly useful for smaller clients, who many times rely on campaigns to generate phone calls. If the business in question can only answer phone calls during regular business hours, then it is pointless to run ad campaigns outside of these hours. Searchers may also be more likely to convert during specific times. Setting higher bids during these times can increase the chance of conversions.

Devices

It’s important to keep track of what types of devices people are using. You can view some very interesting campaign metrics through this section of AdWords.

If you notice that conversions on a device type like Mobile are low compared to desktop, this can signify problems with your website landing pages. If your landing pages are not optimized for mobile devices, it will significantly lower conversions, which will be reflected in this section.