The saying “practice makes perfect” is a great sentiment and one I certainly take to heart. But you can’t begin to approach perfection unless you’ve taken the time to put “perfect practices” into place. In Google Adwords, poor implementation can cost you thousands of dollars and lost customers – customers who are probably being swept up by your competition – while you bleed red ink all over last quarter’s marketing report.
I’ve audited a lot of Adwords accounts and I always find issues, even when the accounts were previously set up and managed by large, well-known SEM agencies. Turns out: nobody’s perfect. But when I’m called in to help resurrect an account or to assist with getting things right-side up in terms of ROI, these are the three Adwords account issues on which I focus:
1. Adspend Waste From Relying on Default Account Settings
Adspend waste usually begins as soon as the account is launched. While Google Adwords isn’t quite as complicated as tax law, it is not as intuitive as Google would like you to think, and most accounts are not set up properly. In many cases the default settings in your Adwords account are designed to make your life easier, but they also are designed to benefit Google’s bottom line. You have to take the time to understand what each radio button and tick box means, and choose wisely.
2. Poor Campaign Organization & Low Quality Score
Next, you have to choose the right keywords, write ad copy, and organize them into ad groups and campaigns. In my experience, this is rarely implemented correctly. Google loves relevance, so it is imperative that your account is organized the way Google wants it to be organized. Otherwise, you get dinged with a low quality score (QS), which means your cost per click may be penalized anywhere from 25% to 400% of what you could be paying. On the flip side, more relevance means a higher quality score, which earns you a discount in the range of 16% to 50%!
Think of quality score as a credit score for your PPC account. The good news is you don’t have to wait seven years for a bad decision to be erased. Your quality score is up for review each time your ad enters an auction, so the sooner you clean up your account, the sooner you reap the rewards.
3. Unmonitored Query Streams
Let’s assume that you are one of the few lucky advertisers with a PPC manager who set up your account according to best practices. The question to ask yourself is “what have they done for me lately?” The answer is most likely “not enough.” Even the best account structure can go rogue when left unattended. We call this the “Secret Garden Phenomenon.”
In fact, we’ve yet to do an account audit where the actual search queries were being reviewed for new ad groups and negative keywords on a regular basis. What does this mean? You are probably wasting money on keywords that not only don’t convert, but you may be throwing dollars at keywords that are completely irrelevant to your business!
Drive ROI through Sound Structure & Practices
Keywords, ad copy, landing pages, bid strategy, networks, geography, demographics, remarketing, ad extensions…those are all important too, but until you have the fundamental structure and practices in place, I recommend focusing on the core issues above. It may appear overwhelming, but it is possible to resurrect a dying account.
Whether you’re looking for an expert to take over management of your Adwords account or could benefit from a video account audit so you can confidently take the reigns on your own, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re happy to help.