AdWords Editor 101
Fun fact: I run a dog training business! It probably looks a lot like your business. Today, we’re going to talk about how to setup your business properly online using the AdWords Editor. As a kid I was never fond of big family get-togethers. Too much small talk, too many people I didn’t really know (even if they remember when I was ‘this’ big), certainly too hard to communicate to them that I’d rather be at home playing World of Warcraft. However, for some reason I always got along with the dogs during such occasions. I’d always end up sneaking aside to play with the family canine for hours on end. At 10 years old, I started volunteering with Guide Dogs for the Blind. When I went to college, I volunteered with the local Police Department as a cadet. I wasn’t a very good cadet. I didn’t care about the police work; I just wanted to spend time with the dogs (I only signed up for events when the drug, attack, or tracking dogs were involved). I also only signed up for ride-alongs with the K-9 officers (this lack of diversity was often frowned upon by my sergeants, but it was my passion, so their opinion didn’t have much of an effect). After watching my first episode of “The Dog Whisperer” with Cesar Millan, I told myself “You could do that!” From there, I started my own business as a personal dog behaviorist to help people communicate with their canines more effectively. Anyways, enough rambling about my life with dogs… Let’s say that I reach the point when I want to build a CPC campaign for my personal dog training business. For those of you who have been through the same steps in pursuing your passion and are now ready to build your own PPC campaign in AdWords, I have created an AdWords Editor 101 guide to help you get started building your very first campaign. First, you’re going to need to create a new campaign:
Step 1: Campaigns Tab
Click the +Add Campaign drop down box and select Add CPC Campaign. From there you’ll fill out the boxes highlighted with the neon pink arrows above. The reason that we want to set our ads to rotate evenly will be clearer later on (once we start creating our ads). The default is set to have Google optimize our ads for us, but keep in mind that Google is primarily concerned with how many clicks your ads are receiving (since that’s how Google makes money). Rotating your ads evenly lets us optimize our ads manually. After creating your campaign, you will need to create ad groups:
Step 2: Ad Groups Tab
I’ve created three ad groups for my dog business. The types of ad groups that you enlist are going to be very dependent on your industry. In this example I have three different ad groups: one for my dog training services, one for my dog boarding services, and one for my dog e-commerce (toys, leashes, etc). Keep in mind that each ad group gets its own set of ads. I want to have separate ads for my dog training, dog boarding, and my dog e-commerce because they are each individual branches of my business. Some people get confused with default max CPC. Keep in mind that you can always change your bids later on. If you already have a good estimate for what you expect to pay per-click on AdWords, then you’ll be able to input a more accurate number. The truth is that every industry will have a different cost per click (CPC), so I recommend setting it at $0.50 or $1.00 to start. You can let your ads run, and if you’re getting too much (or too little) traffic with your starting numbers, you can adjust it later. AdWords campaigns are a lot like a science experiment: try something out, see if it works, and then adjust and try again..
Step 3: Keywords Tab
Creating a list of keywords can be harder than you might think, but I’ll show you a trick. I like to use a pairing system. Most ad groups you create are going to have a subject and subject type. In this example the subject is “training.” What type of training? “Dog” training. Training is your subject. Dog is your subject type. Now use your knowledge of your product/service to think of all the synonyms of these within the given industry: Synonym for dog: puppy, dog, canine Synonym for training: training, behaviorist You can see with my keywords that I’ve paired each one of the subjects with the subject types to develop a list of keywords that works for my industry. You will need to start by setting all of these keywords to broad match, and then you’ll want to copy and paste them into the same window (twice) and set the copies to phrase match and exact match, respectively, as well. You want to make sure to increase your bids for phrase match and exact match since those match types are likely to bring in better traffic than broad match keywords (this is known as a tiered bidding system). It’s important to bid more aggressively for keywords that are more specific to your product/service. Some people are afraid that broad match will hemorrhage money by generating bad traffic, so you can feel free to add a + sign in front of any broad match keyword. Any broad match keyword with a + sign in front of it will not trigger unless that exact word is somewhere in the Googler’s search query. You can see in my top three keywords that I put a + sign in front of my synonyms for “dog” to guarantee that those words had to be somewhere in their search query in order for my ads to show up. The last thing I want is for my ads to pop up for people who are Googling “personal trainer” or “fitness trainer” or “reptile behaviorist” or… you get the idea.
Step 4: Ads Tab
Let’s talk a bit about AB split testing our ads: Remember when we set our ads to rotate evenly instead of letting Google optimize them for us? This allows us to accurately test whether certain lines of text within our ads are successful. For example, we could run two different ads with the headlines “Affordable Dog Trainers” and “Professional Dog Behaviorists.” After we’ve let those ads gather some clicks, we can see which ad has resulted in more conversions, more clicks, higher CTR, lower CPC, high average position, lower bounce rate, and a myriad of other pieces of data that determine which ad showed better performance. When you let Google optimize your ads for you, then they will run the ad that has the highest click-through rate (since that’s what makes them the most money). Clicks and CTR are good pieces of data to be aware of, but they’re not the only metric that determines whether one ad is outperforming another. Too many amateur Adwords users succumb to the pitfall of analyzing too few pieces of data. If you only consider a few data points to make decisions, you will likely make changes that are hurting your campaign rather than benefiting it. A few tips for best practices when you are AB split testing ads: 1.) Don’t test too many things at once. If you change too many variables it becomes difficult to determine which ones actually affected your results. Keep most of the text in your two ads the same, but always ensure that one line is significantly different than the others so that you can see which catch phrases and call-to-actions work best for your advertising campaign. 2.) Don’t split test more than two ads. Split testing more than two ads means that you’re testing too many variables at once. It also divides your data, meaning that you’ll need to wait longer to collect a sufficient quantity of data before you can make educated decisions about which ad is winning. 3.) Always try to incorporate a call-to-action. These tell the customer what you want them to do once they click on your ad and arrive at your website. It’s good to communicate this with your customers before they even get there. Here’s some good examples of call-to-actions that you can use in your ads: Call Today! Get A Free Quote; Complete This Form! Buy XYZ Online for Free Shipping! (side note: people love clicking on ads with the word ‘free’ in them: free shipping, free quote, toll-free, etc) Complete This Survey For $5 Off Your display URL is not the actual URL that will be linked to your page, so you can type whatever you want here. It’s easier to read and remember display URLs if you capitalize the letters for your customers (example: www.assertingalphadogtraining.com vs. www.AssertingAlphaDogTraining.com). Only the destination URL actually sends the searcher to your website, so just make sure that your destination URLs are appropriate for your ads. Lastly, you need to make sure that you’re advertising in the right areas, so let’s review the Locations tab of the AdWords Editor.
Step 5: Geographic Targeting Tab
The locations tab is extremely important, and there’s a lot you can do in here to optimize your campaign’s performance. Not kidding: I’ve had clients who sell local products/services hand me PPC campaigns set to advertise all over the world. Do you think that I should be advertising $50 dog training sessions to people in Europe? Africa? Australia? Seems like a bad ROI to me. Luckily we have plenty of control over this. By default, every campaign you create starts by advertising everywhere in the USA. If you’re a local company, you need to make sure to change this setting to only advertise in specific areas. Even if you do advertise everywhere in the USA, there are always going to be certain places where you’re interested in advertising more aggressively. For example, if you sell beach equipment, you might want to set custom parameters to bid more aggressively for coastal states (Oregon, California, Hawaii, Florida, Rhode Island, etc). You could also set parameters to bid less aggressively for places that seem less profitable. The world of online advertising is much like the World of Warcraft. It’s impossible to do everything, so we need to allocate our time effectively and expediently in order to be successful. Equipped with the tips in this article you should be ready to start building your own PPC campaign in AdWords Editor, but there’s still so much more to learn. If you’re looking for more resources, check out more of our posts to learn how to better optimizing your campaigns.