Articles in the Campaign Optimization Category

Learn how to optimize your PPC, display, social media and remarketing efforts with help from our SEM team. From big-picture strategy ideas to the granular tweaks that will help you to improve your campaigns’ performance, our campaign optimization blog posts will provide you with the information you need to improve your ROI and drive qualified, converting traffic to your website.

July 13 2009

Why is it that I have 500 keywords and only 5 of them are getting clicks?


Your Question Answered: Why is it that I have 500 keywords and only 5 of them are getting clicks?

If you are faced with this question, you should consider how your campaign is structured. In most cases, it means you have too many keywords sitting in one ad group.

For those who are unfamiliar with how an SEM campaign is structured, there are some basics to know. I will cover this at a very high level.  First, each search engine you run traffic in will require you set up an account.  The account is the highest level, overarching component.  Within your account you are able to set up campaigns.  The campaign level is responsible for setting daily budgets, as well as campaign targeting settings (example: selecting demographics and geographics, etc).   Within a campaign you can set up Ad Groups.  Ad groups are responsible for housing the keywords you are bidding on, and determining of the overall budget, how much you are willing to allocate to this keyword ad group. It is also at this level that you set the bids you are willing to spend on individual keywords.

If you have 100 keywords in one ad group competing for the same budget, it goes without saying only the most popular keywords will consume that budget. These keywords they will be clicked on more often than the niche keywords simply due to broad keywords having higher search volumes. 

So what is the solution?  First, find out what keywords are getting the most clicks and put them in their own campaigns.  These keywords need to have a budget controls set so they don’t exhaust your entire budget. Why should you worry about this?  In most circumstances, keywords that are getting the most clicks are broad keywords.  Broad keywords probably aren’t converting as high, but they are very important in the early stages of the sales cycle to be found for. Thus, when a searcher learns about your brand while they conduct their initial product search investigation.  By nature, these keywords are certainly getting you traffic, but as a default they are eating up your budget.

The remaining keywords you have are probably more niche in nature, which means they have a tendency to convert higher.  Niche keywords usually means a searcher is now at the buying stage, and looking for exact product specifications.  These keywords are going to have lower search volumes, but they are also valuable since it’s an indication someone is ready to buy. These keywords should be pooled into their own relevant ad groups and given their own budget, so when a searcher does come, you have much greater probability to have your ad displayed.

June 22 2009

People See That I’m #1, but They Aren’t Clicking


In the world of search engine marketing companies work to get the most bang for their buck. Many setup their accounts with keywords, ad copy and cpc bids and they are off to the races. The difficult part comes once a campaign has been running for a while. How do you analyze the data and make beneficial adjustments? If you find that you’re averaging position 1, receiving a good amount of impressions but no clicks, there are several steps you should take. 

Step 1. Check Your Keyword Grouping
Many times when a search engine account is opened, one campaign is created with one or two ad groups and all keywords are put into them. This isn’t a good setup practice. Make sure the keywords in each ad group are relevant to each other. For example, if you own an Italian restaurant, don’t just throw keywords like: homemade lasagna, garlic bread, Italian restaurant, and baked ziti under one ad group. They should each have their own separate ad groups; from there you can add in more keywords that are related to your main keywords. For example keywords that could be added into the lasagna ad group would be: homemade Italian lasagna, homemade meat lasagna, etc. Organization is always important when structuring keywords, ad groups and campaigns.

Step 2. Check Your Ad Copy
Is your ad copy relevant to your keywords? For example: If you are bidding on the keyword running shoe but your ad says: Shoe Sale. Shop Now and Save. Free Shipping on All Shoe Orders Over $45. Guess what? Your ad isn’t specific enough. Think about it, there are all types of shoes out there, men’s shoes, sneakers, sandals, flip flop, dress shoes, etc. How do they know you have the shoe they are looking for? Being specific is always better.

Step 3. Run Reports & Add in Negative Keywords
Reports can always give helpful data that isn’t always visible from a top level view. Google offers a report called the search query report which tells what keywords a user typed in when your ad appeared. For example: If you sell jewelry collections and one of your keywords is the Twilight collection, you may have noticed that in recent months your impressions went up, but you received no clicks. This was probably due to the fact that many movie and book fans were searching for items related to the movie Twilight. Therefore, you would want to add in negative keywords like: books, movies, dvds, etc to your negative keyword list. This way your ad doesn’t show for irrelevant searches.

These are only a few of the steps that need to be taken when optimizing an account, but they are definitely a good starting point. If you’re in a high position, but not seeing the clicks, start making adjustments to your search engine campaigns. The results may surprise you.

April 24 2009

Defining Your Advertising Goals


What are your advertising goals? What is your return on investment? How much are you willing to pay per conversion? All of these questions seem pretty straightforward; however you might be surprised how many advertisers can’t answer them.

Defining your goals should be a priority in any form of advertising: online or offline. While traditional advertising has always had more barriers to tracking performance, online advertising offers ways to evaluate performance that some businesses might not be using.
Define what your conversion points are. Do you want your site visitors to sign up for a newsletter, become a member, or make a purchase? Next, decide how much you are willing to pay for that conversion.  You may have many conversion points on your site and each one may be worth more or less than others.

What do you want to track? With the transparency of online advertising, you have the ability to track just about any metric you want. You can track how much revenue was brought in by a particular search engine, such as Google or Yahoo. You can even determine which keywords are generating conversions.

Once your goals are clearly defined, you can then begin to determine how effective your advertising is. Are you making a profit? What is your return on investment?

Investopedia defines ROI as “a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments”. You can easily calculate your ROI by using the following formula.


For example, if you earned $18,000 from your Google paid campaigns and you spent $4,000, your return on investment would be 350%.

If you are able to determine if your goals are being met, you can easily begin to optimize the performance of your efforts. If you are not seeing a return, you can also determine what efforts you should not continue or work to improve.

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