Nick Rennard
By Nick Rennard | Uncategorized | March 31, 2014

Broaden Your Scope

The human body is a miraculous machine: 206 bones, over 600 muscles, and ~37.2 trillion cells. There are also 78 organs, each one serving a different purpose. Each piece of your body relies on the others’ health in order to function properly. For example, an infection in your heart, lungs, or brain would prevent other parts of your system from functioning effectively (or at all). You wouldn’t say that you’re in good health if you had gorgeous and healthy hair and a serious heart infection, would you? But yet, both are still important. You need gorgeous hair to nail your $65k/year job interview, but you need a healthy heart to live long enough to see that money.

Great Hair

Sadly, even great hair alone isn’t enough

Believe it or not, this same concept applies to Adwords campaigns.

Google Adwords can be a complicated beast to comprehend. Each piece within Adwords is dependent on each other, and there are hundreds of moving variables that all have their own values and levels of relevance to the performance of your campaigns. No single variable within Adwords means anything by itself.

I can’t preach this enough.

Too many people get tunnel vision and focus on certain variables as the deciding factors for whether or not their campaigns are performing well. Sure, there are certain pieces of data that have significantly more weight than others. However, in order to manage an Adwords campaign properly, it is your responsibility (or that of the person you hire to manage your campaigns) to make sure that all moving pieces are healthy and functioning properly.

Let’s start with an example:

A client of mine (a lawyer) recently outsourced his campaign management to our company about a month ago. Traffic-related cases are the bread and butter of his business (DUI’s, traffic tickets, etc). In our first conversation he told me that the keyword “tickets” was his best. When I asked him “Why?” he told me that the keyword “tickets” has the cheapest cost per click (ergo he gets the highest number of clicks within his given budget).


This makes sense, right? If a click for the keyword “tickets” costs $0.50, and a click for the keyword “traffic lawyer” costs $3.50, then obviously you’d get way more clicks per day for “tickets.”

The problem here (and a classic pitfall for a lot of people) is that you’re only focused on one variable: clicks (and arguably cost per click [CPC] as well). I went ahead and did a search term report for his keyword “tickets” (on broad match) and came up with these as the top 5 search queries:

  1. Justin Bieber concert tickets
  2. Craigslist basketball tickets
  3. Greyhound bus ticket prices
  4. Cheap American Airline tickets
  5. Amtrak train tickets


Oh hi there Justin.

When I showed him this report in a meeting over the phone, I’d imagine (based off his tone of voice and a brief awkward silence) that his face looked something like this:


Analyzing data is more important than reporting data, and it’s crucial to understand what each piece of data means in order to make the right decisions for your business. In the example above, my client would have continued spending money advertising for Justin Bieber concert tickets if no one ever broadened the scope to look at more variables. I could spout off any piece of data from any report (for example):

  • Cost per click has decreased by 20 cents this period
  • CTR has increased by 3.2% this last week
  • Your overall revenue almost doubled in January

Knowing and having this information is good, but the more important questions are:

  • Why?
  • So what?
  • How does this affect the rest of my campaigns?

Seeing that your revenue almost doubled this last period is great, but you need to follow that up with action. Ask yourself what each piece of data means so that you can be proactive. Simply understanding more variables within your campaign can help you get a better sense of how these pieces of data will affect your results in the future (or what you can do to change/take advantage of these results).

It’s funny; no one likes asking themselves “why?” because it generally results in needing to do more work. Sorry to be the messenger, but if you want to make more money in online advertising, then “more work” is something that you’ll need. If you don’t have time for it, don’t worry – that’s why people like us have jobs.

If you’re struggling to improve your Adwords campaign, expanding your scope to look at more variables is a great place to start. You can measure each variable and weigh them against the ones that you’re more used to. I personally love managing Adwords accounts because there are no true gurus within this industry. We are forever students of search engine algorithms (especially since they’re constantly changing), and it’s important to work on improving and expanding your own skills in order to better optimize your business.

background dots

Related Topics

Site Speed’s Impact on Search Visibility and Your Audience

by Ryan Rosati

About 13 years ago, Apple first introduced the iPhone. Since then, the consumption of media through mobile devices has skyrocketed. In 2013, mobile…

Inside the Buyer’s Journey (Pt 1):
Buying into Brand

by Angela Asca

Why is brand important to the buyer’s journey? Branding is so important in catering to your users. It’s also imperative to make sure…

Gutenberg for WordPress: Your Questions Answered

by Stephani Worts

Chances are if you have a WordPress website, you’ve heard by now of “Gutenberg”. While visions of the 15th-century inventor might spring to…

In the time it takes to read this sentence, you could be on your way to a well-oiled demand generation machine. Ready for your blueprint?

yes, i want my Digital blueprint