Is Your Campaign Too Crowded?

- May 11, 2009

When looking at your search engine marketing campaign, are there too many keywords in your ad groups?  Recently, I have conducted several SEM audits for clients who run their own in-house pay per click efforts.  I was asked to provide suggestions on what could be done to improve the performance of their current campaigns.   

Quite often, the main factor which causes poor performance is the amount of keywords placed within an ad group.  Having too many keywords in an ad group can have many repercussions.  If the keywords do not have a common theme and are placed within the same ad group, it may start to affect the quality score for the campaign as a whole.  It can also make the campaign difficult to manage.

When creating a search engine marketing campaign, it is best to concentrate on smaller ad groups.  While ad groups consist of tightly themed keywords, try breaking the keywords out into more specific ad groups.  For example, an advertiser selling pet products may develop an ad group for leashes; which may contain many various types of leashes.  It is suggested to take that group and divide the keywords into even more tightly categorized keywords such as dog leashes, puppy leashes, retractable leashes and so on. 

Another suggestion is to create separate campaigns when choosing to participate in the content network.  By simply opting into the content network you are unable to control which part of the budget will be spent on searches and which part will be distributed to the content network.  When ad groups are of a substantial size, the budget can be used up quite quickly.  To avoid this problem and manage your budgets effectively, keep the search and content campaigns apart from each other.

It may only take one or two bad keywords to completely drag down the quality score of the entire campaign.  Try grouping your keywords in small, tightly themed ad groups to get the most of out your search engine marketing campaign.

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