Four Steps to Start 2011 Right with a Quick AdWords Audit!

- January 4, 2011

If you’ve resolved to get more from your AdWords efforts in 2011 but don’t know where to start, here’s a hint: CAMPAIGN SETTINGS.  You’ll want to log-in to your AdWords account, go the “Campaigns Tab” select “Settings” for “All Online Campaigns”; then follow these four quick settings tips to help you get more sales and leads in the New Year.

  1. Location
    Location is exactly what it says it is.  It’s the geographic location that your ads are showing.  If you’re a pizza place in Fort Lauderdale and your targeting “All Locations” that means that someone in Bangladesh looking for a slice could see your ad.  Even if you deliver, crossing the International Date Line is probably out of the question.  If you do have prospects everywhere, run a “Geographic Report” and identify any countries, states, or territories that are not performing and exclude them from your targeting.
  2. Language
    Another obvious column heading; this is the language setting of the users that you are targeting.  If you are running a Spanish campaign, make sure that the language matches the language of your ad copy, target audience and website landing pages.
  3. Networks
    Here is one setting that is likely the most abused.  If you see campaigns with “ALL” then you are wrong!   Each campaign should target one of three things: Google, Google and Search Partners, or the Google Display Network.  (You could also break down the Google Display Network into Content Matched Sites or Targeted Placements but I’ll give you a pass if you are targeting both in a campaign.)   If you are mixing Search and Display, then stop what you are doing and break them out into two separate campaigns now.  Seriously, do it right now.
  4. Ad Scheduling
    What a simple, straight-forward column heading.  Ad Scheduling is when your ads appear throughout the day.  If you’re not a 24-hour shop, people don’t wake in the middle of the night to search for what you sell, or you’re not open on the weekends, then you may want to consider scheduling your ads to appear when you are open or when people are converting.  How do you know if you get conversions on the weekends?  Simple, select a campaign, then select a tab, let’s say Ad Groups, then click on Segment and select “day of the week” and BOOM, all of your data is now segmented by the day of the week.  Do you get conversions on Sundays?  No.  Then click on Ad Scheduling and change your ad’s to run Monday to Saturday.  If you want to get more granular, use Google Analytics or your favorite analytics tool to get a feel for your ROI by the hour.  No conversions between 1:00 AM and 4:00 AM?  Back to Ad Scheduling to make sure you’re not spending any money when no one’s buying!

Campaign Settings are the foundation of your AdWords success or failure; however, these steps just scratch the surface of optimizing AdWords campaigns.  Start here and keep digging and 2011 will be a much better year!

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