Building A Good Keyword List
Now that you understand the match types, let’s look at how you can build a good keyword list. There are many different tools and ways for going about building a good list. Below I’ll list a few of them and then go into more detail on each.
- Organic research
- Keyword applications like Moz, SpyFu and SEMRush
- Googles built in Keyword tool
Organic Research – A good place to start when trying to determine your keywords is to start by looking at your source material. Ie. if you’re creating a campaign to sell athletic shoes and sneakers online start by looking at your website and pulling out the key words that it contains. You’ll often find many of them are in description text or even the menu system you use on your site and inside your online storefront. Try to get into the mind of people you envision shopping on your storefront and what they might be searching for. Once you’ve compiled a good list take them to your Adwords campaign and then click on the Tools > Keyword Planner on the top menu bar of the page. Once there go to the “Get search volume data and trends” section and copy and paste your keyword list (one per line or separated by comma’s) into the box provided. You’ll have other options here you can mess with if you so choose, such as date ranges (default is the average over the last 12 months)
Keyword Applications – These can be very useful as they will tell you all you would want to know and more. The best way to utilize them is to not only look at your own website keyword information but also that of your competitors. One of the nice features here is that it will not only tell you the search volume but also what it is expected it would cost you to run your desired keywords.
Googles built in keyword tool – also located under the Tools > Keyword Planner is the last option “Search for new keywords using phrase, website or category”. Here you can input your product or service, your landing page and a category and Google will offer you suggestions back that it would recommend. While this works I believe the two options mentioned previously will probably garner better results. There are tweaks to this option that you can select, but as I have already said it’s probably better to add to the results you’ve gotten from your previous planning than it is to use this as your primary tool.
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Congratulations you should now have your first campaign and ad group set up and ready to run.
Now that your first campaign is set up and ready to run let’s take a look at some of the things you are going to need to be checking on in order to maintain and improve the campaign.
AdWords Day To Day Maintenance.
So we have our campaign up and running, now comes the fun part, day to day management of our newly minted beauty.
Campaigns come in all different shapes and sizes, with all sorts of situations you can find yourself in. Luckily, many of the issues you’ll encounter are similar enough that it’s easy to identify and start correcting them immediately. Below I’ll list a few of the pitfalls as well as hopefully some solutions that will allow you to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Know your budget, have a plan and stick to it. Nothing is as frustrating as running out of budget half way through the month. While most will not want to have a monthly budget that is divided into daily spend as it is often looked at as holding your campaign back. I’ve found that if you pay attention to it and actually balance it out with your expected cost, it can be quit useful and easy to maintain. Otherwise you’re really going to need to keep an eye on it as it can go quickly when you’re not paying attention.
So how do we divide up the budget and how do we maintain a smooth flowing campaign when some things over perform in some ad groups or campaigns and under perform in others. I typically start off with a balanced spend across like campaigns and let it run for a few weeks to get a good measuring stick for future decisions. Given a little time you’ll start to see which campaigns are running through their daily budget, and which campaigns are not. It’s at this point that furthering dividing up the budget would make sense. You’re always going to have campaigns that will fall outside this rule like branding or display, both of which often cost much less because you’re CPC should be much lower here. These types of campaigns I’ll break out from the beginning and just monitor daily until I feel they are positioned with the right amount of spend.
Once you have determined where your budget should be across your campaigns and ad groups (accomplished hopefully by easy to understand conversions points that are adding value for you or your client) you going to need to start refining your spend within said campaigns. Looking at the data you’ve been gathering, you need to make some decisions on what is or is not performing and the amount it’s costing you. If you’ve got a campaign that is spending $500.00 without a single conversion it’s probably time to start looking for other ways you could be spending that money. Of course, saying that is depending on what your required ROI (return on investment) might actually be. After all, spending $750.00 to sell a $30,000.00 item might be perfectly fine for you. All things being equal I’m referring to items that have a much lower CPA or cost per acquisition (or action depending on who you ask.)
Back on track though, look at your ad groups and campaigns and start measuring just how many clicks it’s taking you to get the actions you desire to get. Now look at how much money it’s costing you on those very same clicks. The more you’re working with the campaign it will start to make sense on roughly how much you’re going to spend and how often (how many clicks) you’ll be expecting to see a conversion. Try to work this formula out and your well on your way to controlling your campaign spend.
Another place you’re going to want to look is bid adjustments. Bid adjustments are a good way to fine tune a campaign because it further allows you look under the hood and pull back or push forward on things like: underperforming hours of the day, devices and even locations.
Look at your campaign by hours of the day and days of the week and you’ll more than likely find that some of these days or times would make sense to scale back what you’re willing to spend, while others would be a good time to push and make sure you’re ads are visible throughout the given time. You might even find that you’re running out of money at some point during the day or night time hours. This can be particularly bad if say, late evening hours are the prime time that your potential converters are looking for you but your ads stop showing just an hour earlier due to insufficient funds.
The device upon which your ads are being viewed can also be a boon or a money pit for campaigns. Often and depending on the service your offering or the market you’re in, different types of devices will work better or worse for you. Some campaigns are perfect for mobile devices and or tablets. Some campaigns work much better when viewed on a desktop device. There are many factors that go into the why’s of this. Some of the reasoning is, as I had said the market you’re in and preferences or habits of the demography you are targeting. If you’re wanting your campaigns to produce an action that people often do while outside the home, it would only make sense that mobile or tablet bid adjustments be looked at. On the other hand if you’re campaign is looking to produce a result that requires significant research or manipulation on page that isn’t easy to do on a mobile device, I’d be checking early and often to make sure I’m not spending too much money on a losing cause by not lowering mobile bids.
These are just a few (trust me, there are many many more things you’re going to be juggling to keep your campaigns running smoothly) of the often overlooked things you should be mindful of in your day to day operations. Hopefully it will give you a few places to look when you get into the real meat of PPC management.
Good luck, and I’ll see your ads online.