November 15, 2016

Anatomy of an AdWords Account

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Published: 15 November 2016 

So you’ve heard about Google AdWords, but you’re not really sure what it is? Why should you even bother with it? We’ve got you covered.

First things first, what is Google AdWords and how does it work? Webopedia defines AdWords as:

AdWords (Google AdWords is an advertising service by Google for businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network. The AdWords program enables businesses to set a budget for advertising and only pay when people click the ads. The ad service is largely focused on keywords."

When starting to use Google AdWords, make sure you have established a campaign strategy, a monthly budget, and you have undertaken extensive keyword research, which can be done using Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner.   

The Three Tiers of Adwords

AdWords has a three tier design, which includes campaigns, ad groups and keywords.

Image: WordStream

1. AdWord campaigns

Campaigns are at the top-level of your account, it’s how you start to segment your account based on your advertising goals. When you set up your campaign, you will be asked to pick a campaign type, as well as a campaign subtype.

Google AdWords has various types of campaigns:

  • Search Network with Display Select: you will be able to show your ads with search results on the Google Search Network, with relevant placements on the Display Network. Basically, you get coverage across both networks. So if you want to make people aware of your brand, you can be featured on Google, as well as other similar websites.
  • Search Network only: this ad will appear throughout sites on Google Search Network. This is useful for advertisers who want to connect with customers searching for their products or services. This is a good option if you have a limited budget. You can always consider expanding into Display network.
  • Display Network only: your ad will appear throughout the Google Display Network. This allows your ad to have various types of formats, including text, image, rich media and video ads. Your ad will be matched with websites, such as YouTube, that have content similar to your targeting. For example, if you’ve got a recipe, it could be displayed on a cookware website. This is the perfect option to raise more brand awareness and increase the search volume of your business.
  • Shopping: this is great option for retailers to promote their online inventory, while boosting traffic to the website. Shopping ads are not purely text, they show the product, title, price, and store name. Shopping ads appear in Google Shopping, next to search results in Google Search, and partner websites including Youtube and Image Search.   

Subtypes will let you focus on features relevant to you and your business goals. This includes:

  • Standard: uses basic location and language targeting, bidding and budget settings, and all common ad extension.
  • All features: this option, as the name suggests, allows you to use all the campaign features available. This includes everything in standard, as well as advanced options including social and experimental settings and ad delivery methods. 

2. AdWords ad groups

An ad group contains one or more ads which target a shared set of keywords. You bid a price which will be used when an ad group’s keyword will trigger an ad to appear. This is known as a pay-per-click bid. Individual keywords can also have their own price. You can use ad groups to organise your ads by a common theme, such as similar products or service types.

3. AdWords keywords

Using the right keywords will ensure the right customers are seeing your ads. Well organised keywords will lead to high-performing ad groups. These will have high click-through rates, more conversions and high quality scores.

AdWords allows you to match keywords in three ways:

  • Exact Match: this will cause a keyword to trigger your ad to show only when someone searches for the exact keyword, or a very close variation which you added to your account. This is the most used match type.
  • Phrase Match: This allows you to target search queries with multiple words, such as “where can I buy the new 5D Canon camera.” Because you won’t necessarily have this as a phrase match, it is important to ad route keyword phrases, which could include “new Canon camera” “5D Canon camera.” Adding these will mean a Google ad will still be shown when longer terms are searched.
  • Broad Match and Broad Match Modified: you can never cover every search query with exact match. Broad match will catch all long-tail search queries that are not exact or phrase match keywords. This match type will catch keywords that you might not have even thought of or added. This type is great to get specific and refined searches.       

To successfully run a tiered bidding strategy, you need to think about setting your bids based on match type, as well as intent, value and history - it’s an ongoing process but really worth putting the time into get the best results for your budget.

A common strategy when looking at bidding based on match-type is to favour exact match, followed by phrase match, and finally broad match/broad match modified. This is because exact match keywords can be used in ad copy and on landing pages which can really help Quality Score (QS) and the intent of the user is obviously bang on the money.

This strategy will allow your exact match keywords to be shown consistently for searches, as both phrase and broad match will catch different terms you haven’t added or thought of yet. You can use filters to easily apply this method.

If you’re finding you’re not quite hitting the right mark, and the audience is wrong, Google AdWords has made it easy to change this and achieve the desired results.

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Dynamic Remarketing

Dynamic Remarketing involves tailored advertising targeting people who have previously shown an interest in your product by placing ads for those products on the website they visit.

Dynamic Remarketing is one of the most complex AdWords campaigns. It requires a Merchant Centre Shopping feed and Remarketing tags to be set up, as well as a page specific code which identifies what visitors have viewed. Dynamic retargeting allows you to remarket your visitor segment to everyone, general visitors, product viewers, shopping cart abandoners or past buyers. Campmor, a camping and outdoor equipment retailer, was able to use Dynamic Remarketing to achieve a 300% higher click through rate, 37% lower cost-per-conversion and 16% higher conversion rate during a six month period.

Get the right customers with a compelling ad

So you’re ready to use Google AdWords, but you’re not going to achieve much if your ad isn’t any good. Here are a few tips to make sure you ad hits the mark:

  • Highlight what makes you unique: why should I buy your product or service, and not from a competitor?
  • Include prices, promotions and exclusives: this could cause the customer to decide whether to commit to buying a product or service
  • Include a call to action: tell people what they can buy and how they can contact you.
  • Include a keyword: include at least one of your keywords, which will show your ad’s relevance to what people want.

Before you start, make sure you align your ads with your landing page and keywords.

It’s important to achieve cohesion by aligning these three elements. You only want to send one clear message to your customers, not a series of different ones. You ad is the customer’s first impression, and needs to relate to your brand with its logos, colours, fonts (Display ads) and messaging (Display & Search ads).

The ad attracts the customer to the landing page. The landing page needs to fulfil any promises of the ad, as well as reflect the brands aesthetic. Make sure each ad leads to a relevant landing page. Finally, you need to align your keywords to achieve increased conversion rates. If you can successfully align your keywords, you can also achieve a higher quality score as well as an improved customer experience.


Integrate AdWords with reporting

With any campaign implemented using Google AdWords, it is important to do so in conjunction with reporting. Reporting will help you to focus on what is and isn’t working in your campaign, see if your money is being well spent or if it can be redirected, and where you can alter your campaign.

There are many different types of reports you can choose to run depending on your type of campaign and what results and data you want to produce. A few of the ad types to consider are:

  • Ad performance: this report allows you to view performance statistics for each of your ads. This is a single attribution report which will return any criteria that is triggered in the ad, not just in the keyword. Look for themes that alter performance, such as pricing or calls to actions within an ad.
  • Geo performance: this allows you to view performance data by geographic region.
  • Paid and organic query report: provides a holistic view of search statistics across ads and organic listings at the query level. Using this report allows you to analyse strengths and weaknesses in your search presence. You can also see how your paid and organic search listings integrate and connect your business to Google’s users.   

For the best campaign results, you should combine Google AdWords and Google Analytics. Google Analytics is able to show you what happened after users clicked your AdWords ad. This will allow you to have a deeper understanding of your customers. You will get details of conversation behaviour, clear audience profiles and see the customer’s experience on your website.

Now that you know the ins and outs of Google AdWords, you’re ready to start your own account. Just remember these key few steps:

  • Pick the right type of campaign
  • Use ad groups
  • Use correct keywords
  • Tailor your ads to the right target audience
  • Have a compelling ad
  • Use reporting to improve your campaign.   

Follow these steps and you’re sure to find more success with a Google AdWords campaign.

For help getting your AdWords setup right from the get go, GET IN TOUCH with our AdWords qualified team, we’re here for you!

Ben Maden

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