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Optimizing Your Google AdWords Campaign

Posted on Monday, June 27, 2011

Most companies have a Google AdWords account, many rely heavily upon it to produce web traffic and transactions, with varying results. But whether your PPC campaign is producing great already or you're looking for ways to get a higher conversion rate, these 5 optimization tips can help.

Tip 1 - Geotarget your Campaigns

If 95% of your customers/guests come from a specific geographic region (i.e. Southeastern US, a specific set of states, etc.), why spend money on the entire country, or even internationally? Higher conversion rates can be had by targeting those regions that house your greatest percentage of customers.

What if there are new, emerging regions in your customer base? Then create a separate AdWords Campaign with its own set budget. That way, you're dedicated some funds to a future market while spending most of your money where immediate transactions can be had.

Tip 2 - Display Ads Only When People Buy

Review your online and offline transactions and analyze the days of the week and times of day people are shopping. Better yet, analyze the times people are not shopping, and use that data to set the days of the week and times of the day your PPC ads will appear. Spend your budget when visitors are shopping and you'll find a better conversion rate and money well spent.

Tip 3 - Divide and Conquer the Networks

With each campaign, you can decide whether your ads will appear in the Google Search Network and/or the Google Content Network.  Search Network ads appear when searches are performed directly on Google's search engines, while Content Network ads appear on any website that is part of the AdSense network. So while enabling your ads to display on the Content Network will most likely improve your reach and provide a greater potential of click thrus, the conversation rate is almost always lower.

What the folks at Google recommend is to separate your AdWords campaigns based on the network. So "Campaign A" would target only the Search Network, while "Campaign B" would target only the Content Network. This allows you to set independent budgets for each of these networks. My recommendation would be to allocate 75% of your budget to the Search Network and 25% to the Content Network.

Tip 4 - Watch Your Devices

A little while ago, AdWords started letting you specify which device you want to target with your ads, much like you would target a network (see tip #3). Devices include PCs, laptops and mobile devices. Since ads on mobile devices are often displayed quite differently from those on a PC or laptop, it's adventageous to create a separate campaign to target them. So "Campaign A" would target PCs and laptops, while "Campaign B" would target mobile devices. Then, within Campaign B, you can create ads more targeted for mobile devices, with fewer words or with telephone numbers.

Tip 5 - Use Keyword Match Types

A long time ago, you'd have to manually enter every single keyword you wanted your ad to appear on. Not anymore! By learning some of AdWord's keyword match types, you can skinny down that list into just a few, smart keywords. There are far too many options to explain in this article, so take a look at this one and learn how to implement them in your own AdWords campaigns.

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