Offering AdWords services to clients is an exciting yet challenging sector of your business. AdWords demands continuous monitoring and testing to figure out what ads work best. It’s a long-term marketing strategy and can take weeks (or even months!) to gather enough data to make smarter business decisions. While you’re watching leads and clicks roll in, you may be wondering how to improve AdWords campaigns and improve your PPC results.
You want to impress your clients and prove that AdWords is a lucrative and valuable marketing channel. It is a unique revenue stream for you as a web professional, and you’re excited that you’ve already learned how to sell AdWords to your customers. It’s time to take the next step and be the best AdWords pro you can be! Here’s a guide to optimize the AdWords campaigns that you manage.
Letting the Numbers Roll In
In our last post, we covered the best ways to perform keyword research for your client and now you have a list of great ads running. The most profitable AdWords campaigns take months of close consideration and optimizations. As your campaign gathers data, these are the key performance metrics to keep your eyes on. Before we discuss how to improve AdWords campaigns, let’s breakdown each of these metrics. These can all be found in your AdWords reports.
Clickthrough Rate (CTR)
This tells you how enticing your ad is. Clickthrough rate, or CTR, is the percentage of people who see your ad and click on it. Mathematically speaking, it’s the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times the ad is shown. Don’t worry if your CTR is low since it’s very normal for PPC marketing. The average CTR on AdWords is about 2% according to Google benchmark data.
Behold the metric that is all about action! The conversion rate is the number of visitors who take the desired action of the ad. For example, they completed a purchase, downloaded a brochure or subscribed to your newsletter. Simply put, the conversion rate is the number of visitors who have completed the action that you wanted divided by the total number of website visitors.
What’s the difference? CTR indicates how interesting your ad is and conversion rate tells you how successful your landing page is.
One of the best metrics to evaluate the overall health of your campaign is Average Position. It shows which order your ad is placed on the search results page. Even better, it shows how your ad is ranking against other ads you’re bidding against. A good position is 1-3. We recommend having a position of 2.5 or higher at all times or it’s time to make some serious changes.
Google scores your ads on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best. It’s vitally important that you keep this score as high as possible because it affects how much you pay per click. In the AdWords auction, a high Quality Score can help you win a top spot when competitors are paying more. The Quality Score is based on the relevancy of your keyword(s), how helpful/attractive your ad is, and your landing page experience.
Download: Quality Score Infographic
Cost Per Click (CPC)
A great thing about AdWords is that you only pay when someone clicks your ad, not for impressions. However, you could be paying more than you need to. It’s crucial to keep an eye on your CPC to keep this number as low as possible. There are a lot of reasons why this cost can increase or decrease. To understand why your CPC changes, you need to look at changes in:
- Quality Score
- Bid Price
- Ad text or relevance
Want more? Here are some additional blogs just about metrics:
How to Improve AdWords Campaigns
Now that you understand what the metrics are, let’s make them better. To improve AdWords campaigns by these same numbers, try these helpful hints. You’ll notice that some of the solutions overlap with one another, but good news! When you put energy into improving one metric, you’re probably helping another too.
Increasing Clickthrough Rate
Begin by looking at your average CTR. You can reference it to the average for your industry to make sure you’re on track. Then, compare each of your ads against your average. When you find ads that are below your average, begin by improving ad copy. Try including a special offer in your headline instead of buried in your one-liner. Next, put your keyword in your display URL. Another great way to increase CTR is adding extensions.
Boosting Conversion Rate
To improve your conversion rate, you need to analyze your customer. Who is clicking on your ad and where did they come from? Remarketing is an incredible conversion rate tool. By targeting those who have shown interest in your ad before you instantly increase your chances of getting noticed again. We love complementing AdWords campaigns with Facebook ads but there are many ways to try remarketing with Google. Another option to boost conversion rate is by A/B testing. Put various ads and different landing pages up against each other and test which performs better. You’ll quickly be able to see what’s resonating best with your audience.
Bumping Up Average Position
This health indicating metric is affected by quality score and your bid price, so those are good places to begin if your average position is lower. Before you start increasing your bid, note that there are many free ways to help average position. Most importantly, improve your Quality Score (see below) ASAP. Next, check out your AdWords competition. There are many benefits to understanding competitor keywords and it can give you a leg up in the auction. In addition to your competitors, make sure you’re leveraging negative keywords. By finding and applying negative keywords, you improve AdWords results substantially by blocking search terms that do not relate. This will help all metrics, increase conversions and move you up in page ranking when the right search comes along.
The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight. – Carly Fiorna
Improving Quality Score
At Teacup, we recommend a Quality Score of at least 6 or higher. Since Quality Score is an accumulation of multiple factors, this metric takes more work to improve. To optimize AdWords campaigns for quality score, you need to guarantee relevancy. First, make sure the keyword(s) are clearly defined and used in your ad text. Next, make sure the same keyword(s) are the focus of your landing page. While on your landing page, how friendly and usable is it? Does it deliver the promised information immediately? If visitors aren’t finding what they want, they’ll bounce. This bounce rate impacts your score negatively! Make sure your landing pages deliver quality information, focus on your keyword, and clearly define your intentions.
Lowering Cost Per Click
It sounds elementary, but to lower your CPC you need to lower your bids. Check the price of the keyword(s) you are bidding on using Google’s Keyword Planner and find cheaper variations. Change from a broader keyword to a long-tail targeted keyword. The volume may be less, but you’ll find that it is cheaper and it targets a more specific prospect so use that to your advantage! Also, ensure you’re using the correct keyword match types as different types may cost more or less expensive. Your CPC depends on your Quality Score too, so make sure that’s the best it can be!
Download Teacup’s AdWords Bundle! We’ll email you 5 great AdWords resources including: a Budget Calculator, a Duties Checklist, a sample Client Proposal and more!
Keep It Going
It’s not easy to improve AdWords campaigns because there are so many moving parts. One small change could affect multiple metrics. Hopefully, as you learn what works for your campaigns, you’ll see a snowball effect and all your rankings, conversions and results will begin to improve simultaneously. Be sure to track your edits and keep a record of what you optimize so you can learn from mistakes. Also, don’t forget to be transparent with your client. Showcase all the changes you make to improve AdWords campaigns for them. Softwares like Teacup track these changes for you in a timeline making it easy to share with a client. Give it time and this process will become easier and easier. Good luck as you keep improving your ads and your skills!