2018 Google AdWords Fundamentals: Study Guide

2018 Google AdWords Fundamentals: Study Guide

Google AdWords Fundamentals: Study Guide

Outline

Introduction

  1. Why learn about the different AdWords strategies and Online Advertising
  2. Designing an AdWords campaign
    1. 2.1.How to Identify a defective campaign
    2. 2.2.Settling on an online campaign audience
    3. 2.3.Deciding on bid strategies and budget
    4. 2.4.Handy tools when designing an AdWords campaign
    5. 2.5.Structuring an AdWords campaign and creating Ad groups
  3. Tracking and evaluating an AdWords campaign performance
    1. 3.1.Progress reports
    2. 3.2.Tools used to measure Ad performance
    3. 3.3.Comparing campaign progress to your goals
    4. 3.4.Optimizing the campaign

What do you gain from this AdWords campaign study guide?

The AdWords Fundamentals Study Guide is made up of three modules. Each thoughtfully designed to equip you with the basics and complexities of AdWords and online advertising. Throughout this guide, you will not only appreciate the value of online adverts but also learn to create and run a successful campaign. The guide also equips you with the necessary skills needed to pass the Google AdWords Fundamentals exam.

  1. Appreciating the Importance of AdWords and Online Advertising

Online advertising creates an almost level playing field for companies interested in digital marketing. Most importantly, the different tools used in designing and running various campaigns ensure that you are in absolute control of the various aspects of your ads like design, budget, and target audience. PPC Hire notes that there is more to Google AdWords than their cost-effectiveness, especially when it comes to visibility on different networks and control over where the adverts are shown.

Here are some important benefits of Google AdWords as a form of online advertising:

Cost-effectiveness

Unlike advertising on TV, print, and radio which is not only expensive but operates on a fixed budget, AdWords prices are action-based. With AdWords, the service provider only incurs advertising costs after a target audience clicks on a link directing them to the promotional product. On the other hand, traditional media adverts have a fixed predetermined budget that doesn’t consider whether their audience takes note of the promotional material or not. 

AdWords have, therefore, been found to have a greater return on investment (ROI) compared to any other form of advertising. Furthermore, the cost of running different adverts is a usually determined by the size, location, and performance of an ad. Plus the campaign administrator is in control of these first two variables. Additionally, you have control over these costs as you can quickly adjust the digital campaigns depending on their performance.

Targeting

With AdWords, you can target and retarget potential prospects with the content of the right ads. The AdWords campaign creation tools provide you with several profiling strategies that have proven effective with time. Note that, as an entrepreneur, you have absolute control over the direction of the campaign and can, therefore, adjust different strategies accordingly to meet your desired goals.

When determining a target audience for your AdWords campaign, you can base it on a combination of several profiling bases. For instance, you can target an audience that uses a specific keyword, another living within a particular geographical area or yet another that uses distinct devices such as the smartphones or computers.

For the combination factor targeting, you can fine-tune your ads to only serve particular groups of people such as individuals falling within a certain age, location, and using a particular language. You can also determine the day, time, and the frequency by which your AdWords appear on your target audience’s screens.

Measure ads performance

If you are running two marketing campaigns using the offline media such as print and TV ads, it would be difficult to gauge the level of traffic each platform contributes. However, the case is different for AdWords marketing campaigns. When it comes to AdWords, you are not only able to identify the number of customers that clicked through to your site but also their ensuing activities while there.

Therefore, if you are running two or more campaigns, you can decide about the campaign to retain and which to discard based on their performance. Through trial and error experiments on different AdWords campaign strategies, you can also settle on the most impactful. With every campaign, AdWords provides you with powerful ads management and monitoring tools. These not only allow you to make necessary changes to the campaign but also help you analyze the performance of the different campaigns.

Multi-network visibility

Google has two primary advertisement networks; Google search networks and Google display networks, and they both support AdWords campaigns. Depending on your AdWords goals, you can choose to host a campaign on either or both networks.

The Google search network allows your campaign to feature on the different Google search pages and Google maps as well as non-Google search partners. In most cases, these websites match your keywords to the user’s search queries and help maximize your site visibility. Just like the search network, Google display seeks to promote your text, image, and video ads through such platforms as YouTube.

Flexibility

Unlike changes to the traditional media advertisements that have to wait for days and often follow a bureaucratic process AdWords campaign can be modified instantly. These campaigns can be altered by just a few clicks in response to changing advertising environments. Similarly, these campaigns can be paused when necessary and reactivated at a later date. This ensures that such ads remain competitive and that you can quickly respond to changing customer needs as soon they are discovered.

Measure your visitor’s site engagement

In some cases, your site visitors might be pulled to your site by a particular product or keyword but end up paying more attention to an entirely different aspect of the site. It is therefore important to have a tool that not only tracks your customer’s site visits but also monitors their engagement with your page. For instance, it would be interesting to note the ads that generate most traffic as well as its conversion rate. Such information comes in handy when determining the most engaged prospects as well as how best to extend their reach.

  1. Designing an AdWords campaign

2.1 How to determine the most effective AdWords campaign

Ideally, there are six types of AdWords campaigns that every marketer should familiarize themselves with before deciding on one that suits their enterprise best. While their sole goal of increasing your website’s visibility and conversation rate remains the same, each type of campaign adopts a different route towards achieving this. Therefore, as Guttulus online marketing experts would recommend, it is important that you first think about what you hope to achieve with your campaigns as this ultimately determines the type of campaign you should implement.

Here are the most popular types of AdWords campaigns:

Search Network Only

With the exclusive Search network drive, you can only show text ads as they only tend to feature on the text-based search engines only. Like the rest of the AdWords campaigns, the search network has the standard and all-features campaign extensions as well as other additional call-out and structured-snippet extensions that make it mobile-friendly.

PPC Hire observes that that search network campaign remains the most commonly used as well as one of the most recognizable AdWords marketing tool. It works by linking your AdWords keywords and key phrases to searches on Google.

This type of ad network is most appropriate for the promotion of local brands and works with almost every business. The Search Network campaign is also aimed at showing your pages atop Google pages and is, therefore, most suitable for brands that want to appear on the first pages of the search engine. Plus, considering the flexibility of the campaign, it has no specific budget limits.

Display Network Only

Display ads are famous for promoting optimized image and video ads on the search engines. And just like the Search networks that only deal with text-based content, the Display Network only popularizes images and static banner ads on visual websites like YouTube and other non-Google partner sites.

For new businesses that are still testing out the AdWords Campaign waters, Guttulus encourages you to implement a Display Network campaign as it proves effective in building brand awareness. It also comes in handy when coming up with retargeting campaigns, aimed at reaching an audience you had previously targeted through the same or equally efficient system campaigns like the search network.

Search Network with Display Select

PPC Hire observes that this type of campaign is most effective for new brands seeking to establish a foothold in local markets or established brands introducing a new product to the market. Whatever the case, the campaign capitalizes on the features of both the Search and Display networks. Therefore, the campaign uses text ads, animation ads, images, and multi-media ads.

Notably, instead of coming up with different ads for each of these campaigns, SNDS mostly re-purposes text-based ads, converting them into responsive banners and presenting them as either image or multi-media ads.

Given that the campaign embraces two ads on either front means that the promoter is expected to dig deeper into their pockets as their budget is split between the two campaign strategies. PPC Hire also believes that this campaign is only suitable for small geographic target areas or a small industry.

Others include:

Video Ads

The primary difference between video ads and Display network is their intrusiveness on an internet user’s web page. Unlike display networks that are partially disruptive, mostly appearing on the margins of this page, video ads are fully intrusive and only allow viewers chance to skip ads after five seconds with several buffers in between videos that also run for a few seconds.

Google shopping ads

This is a goal-oriented and niche specific AdWords campaign practiced by online entrepreneurs seeking to promote their e-commerce stores. Unlike Search and Display networks, setting up shopping ads is relatively straightforward and doesn’t need ads creation or audience targeting. In most cases, you only need to link the store with your Google Merchant Center.

Universal App campaign

Like the shopping ads, app campaigns are specific and solely goal-oriented. Creating and promoting the ad is also quite straightforward. The only difference between app ads and their shopping counterparts is the fact that you have to modify your campaign objectives. For instance, you have to decide whether you just want your target audience to learn about the new app, download it, or promote in-app sales.

Campaign sub-types

After settling on the Search or Display networks as well as the Search Network and Display Select, you now have to choose on either the Standard or all-feature sub-type. With the standard settings, the promoter has most of the work cut out for them. Your ad filters only involve selecting the basic settings such as language, best location, maximum cost per click and the budget settings.

On the other hand, the all-features settings grant you access to the more advanced aspects of the AdWords campaign. It involves customizing almost every detail of your campaigns like determining the ad schedule and delivery methods.

2.2    How to access your target audience online

While deciding on the right set of keywords and phrases to use for a campaign as well as creating quality video ads is crucial to your online advertising campaign, they will never prove successful if not presented to the right audience.  PPC Hire notes that such factors that inform audience targeting strategies include the language and the devices they use as well as their preference for text or video content. Here are the four most popular methods of reaching out to your AdWords campaign target audience.

Keyword targeting

The search network remains the most popular advertising module and is also believed to have the widest reach. Ideally, keyword targeting uses textual phrases to reach out to individuals searching for similar terms on Google. Keyword targeting brings your ad close to an online audience searching for your product offers either directly or indirectly.

Interestingly, there are different subtypes of keyword matches that you can use to broaden your keyword’s reach further. These include:

    Broad match: This offers the widest scope of campaign reach as it considers not only your preferred keyword phrases but also the misspellings, synonyms, and related variations.

    Modified broad match: Just like the broad match, this audience targeting tool seeks to achieve the highest number of engagements. However, while broad match targets display your ads alongside almost every search terms related to yours, modified broad match only concentrates on the revised terms of the phrase and its close variations but not its synonyms.

    Phrase match: Only targets an online audience that searches for words close to your key phrase and its close variations.

    Exact match: By adopting this audience match technique, your ads will only be displayed to the online audience searching for an exact phrase as your preferred keyword or phrase.

    Negative match: By including negative search terms to your campaign, you are directing Google not to show your ads when users online search for particular keywords.

Device targeting

You can also decide on your preferred online audience based on the devices they are browsing from. For instance, you can choose to only target online product consumer’s searching for specific terms or phrases on their smartphones or personal computers. PPC Hire notes that device targeting isn’t limited to the number of devices you can target thus implying that you can host multiple devices targeting campaigns for the same product or service.

Location targeting

Guttulus observes that this is probably the most appropriate for small and medium enterprises seeking to establish a foothold within the communities in which they operate. Location targeting concentrates on promoting your brand to an online audience within a particular geographic area. In most cases, this type of audience outreach is complemented by other types of targeting such as keyword and display targeting or both.

Depending on the local market you seek to influence, there is no limit to the extent your geographic your ad can cover. For instance, you can choose your audience location based on the country you wish to promote your products to, a region or the distance from your physical location.

Language targeting

This comes in handy when targeting an individual community or when reaching out to a group of people that only use a particular language. PPC Hire advice that most language targeting features work best when matched with a location targeting strategy. Nonetheless, remember that your ads should also be communicated in the targeted market’s language as Google doesn’t offer translation services.

Demographic audience targeting

This ensures that you only promote your products to audiences falling within a particular demographic. With demographic targeting, you can set your ads to only reach an audience of a specific gender or age bracket.

Interested audience targeting

This means targeting audiences with particular interest by promoting your ads in their areas of interest. For instance, if you seek to promote your product to individuals interested in such online engagements as Facebook or online games, interest audience targeting enables you to place your ads on such platforms. PPC Hire observes that regardless of the contents of your AdWords campaign, it will still show on these platforms even when your ads don’t relate to the website themes.

Contextual targeting

You can decide on the websites on which to promote your AdWords depending on the topics they publish. In this case, you choose the types of information posted over the internet where your ads can be placed without considering the keywords or phrases. For instance, you can just have your ads appear on any website that publishes a particular topic even when they don’t relate to your niche.

Audience retargeting

Considering the number of sites similar to yours all over the internet, your one-time customer may be swayed into trying your competition’s products when making another purchase. It is, therefore, your responsibility to regularly remind them of your brand or product superiority and offers through retargeting.

However, this only works with online audiences that you have a history with. For instance, this may be appropriate for audiences that have already purchased products with your site, subscribed to your service or merely expressed interest in your products such as creating a shopping cart wish list.

2.3    Deciding on campaign bids and budget

As an AdWords campaign administrator, you have absolute control over how much you spend on your campaign bids. Using the campaign manager’s tools, you have an opportunity to set not only the type of bids you wish to embrace but also their respective budgets. This translates to setting up daily budgets for particular bids and campaigns.

When setting up a campaign, you will be required to set your maximum cost per click (max CPC). This shows the amount you are ready to part with for single click that ultimately determines your campaign performance. Expert AdWords campaign consultants with Guttulus believe that higher bid prices translate to more site traffic with conservative bids resulting in few clicks and minimal conversions.

If you are to run a successful campaign, it is important that you first learn about how AdWords budget works as well as the different bidding strategies and their respective settings.

The AdWords budget

When coming up with an AdWords campaign budget, it is important to ensure that AdWords charges you according to the number of days your ads show to the different audiences. Nonetheless, if you seek to set up a monthly campaign, you can still come up with a monthly budget that is often arrived multiplying the daily budget by Googles 30.4 days.

Note that even after depleting your daily budget, Google still allows for an additional 20 percent clicks on your campaign. These extra clicks are discounted and, therefore, don’t affect your budget.

How AdWords bids work

While the theory that the higher the bid amount, the higher the potential traffic holds true, PPC Hire believes there is more to bid performance than just its value. This implies that even with the highest bid values, you can still be outranked by your competitors regarding click through and traffic generation as long as they use quality ads and relevant key phrases.

Therefore, the only sure path to a successful AdWords campaign is the creation of quality ads that are then matched with relevant keywords. Additionally, these two must be presented to equally relevant websites and marketing platforms with the right target audience. Most importantly, you have to come up with a realistic bid strategy.

Bid strategies

There are three primary bidding strategies for the AdWords campaigns aimed at helping a business achieve varied marketing needs.

Cost per Click bidding

This is a goal-oriented bid strategy whose main objective is to channel as much traffic to your website or e-commerce store as possible. With CPC advertising technique, you are only charged when the potential customer clicks on your ads that then direct them to your website.

This bid allows you more control over your advertising budgets as you are free to determine the maximum amount you are willing to pay for each successful click through, in what is commonly referred to as the maximum cost per click (max CPC).

Cost per Impression bid

Sometimes a business is only interested in popularizing their brand or product name, especially after rebranding or introducing a new product. Such a business would, therefore, be willing to pay just to get an ads banner promoting their brand or product name on people’s faces. The cost per impression (CPM), therefore, refers to the maximum amount you are willing to pay per 1,000 ad views.

Just like the cost per click, you are at liberty to set the maximum cost per impression (max CPM) for your bid. Guttulus, however, notes that you can have both the CPC and CPM competing for the same ad space on the display network. In such a case, Google Analytics will provide you with data estimates as to how many clicks your ads attract per 1000 impressions.

Cost per Action bid

After establishing a brand name and pulling in massive traffic towards your site, there now comes a time when you need to convert the site visitors to actual customers. That’s the point at which you introduce the cost per action bids that refers to the amount you are willing to pay for every sales conversion achieved through AdWords campaigns.

AdWords bid settings

When setting your bid, you can use the AdWords campaign automatic settings, the maximized clicks as well as manual bidding.

Maximized ads settings

Maximized bid settings are only applicable to the cost per click as well as the cost per impression. In both cases, the ads campaign administrator only needs to set the maximum daily budget while the AdWords system takes care of the rest. The system then ensures your ads achieve maximum clicks within your budget.

Manual ads settings

This gives more control over your AdWords campaign allowing you to not only determine the maximum budget and a chance to schedule the times your ads appear on the different promotional networks. Most importantly, it allows the administrator chance to popularize best performing keywords. In such a case, the administrator can allocate more resources to the best performing keywords and phrases.

2.4    Handy tools when designing an AdWords campaign

After identifying the most suitable AdWords campaign and settling on the right audience and target them, you then have to come up with creative ads to populate. This can be text, image or multi-media-based. When designing an AdWords campaign, Google, as well as other marketing entities, provide entrepreneurs with free and premium tools that they can use to create quality, appealing and relevant ads.

According to PPC Hire Google AdWords experts, the most significant step towards setting up an online advertising campaign is choosing a relevant key phrase. Most individuals have also termed this as the most challenging step towards successful ad campaigns. Therefore, whether you are planning for a search or display network tool, it is critical that you get the phrase right. In most cases, individuals have had to rely on the keyword planner for search network campaigns and display planer when designing display network campaigns.

Keyword planner

The keyword planner is your go-to tool in all matters keywords and phrases for your search network campaign. The free Google system helps you identify the most popular and relevant keywords based on your product name or niche. Keyword planer has a wide reach and can, therefore, be used to verify an analysis of the most searched keywords on the internet based on different criterion. For instance, you can use the keyword planner to generate various types of keywords such as geographical keywords, in grouping keywords as well as forecasting their costs and performance.

Using keyword planner in keyword research

During the early stages of designing your campaign, the keyword planner can be used to identify terms and phrases that are most relevant to your product or business. When using the keyword generation tool, you only have to input your business or product name, and the planner serves you with a list of the main phrases based on their relevance to your business, with an option to add them to your plan.

You can also use the keyword planner to fine-tune the performance of an existing AdWords campaign. It also helps you identify the rate by which your keywords are searched during the different periods of the time. Based on these estimates, the AdWords campaign administrator can then decide on the healthiest keywords to add to the campaign as well as others that need to be modified.

Did you know that the keyword planner can also be used to influence the type of your campaign? For instance, if you are creating an AdWords campaign targeting a particular geographical location, the keyword planner can be used in determining the relevant searches within such locality. The keyword planner can also be used to influence different types of campaigns such as language and demographic targeting campaigns.

Keyword planner and cost forecasting

The Google Keyword planner doesn’t just show the keyword relevance but also provides users with their detailed statistical data. This includes detailing the historical performance of every keyword, thus helping you estimate the cost of adding them to your campaign.

Display planner

The display planner is a free AdWords tool used to boost your display network’s campaign. In most cases, the display planer is used to come up with targeting ideas for your campaign, keywords, and placements for your ads.

Using keyword planner to find campaign targeting ideas

When starting out with your display network campaign, you will need a keyword, phrase, website name or any other topics that link your site pages to your customer’s interests. The display planner then combs up the internet for the most suitable targeting ideas as well as lists of relevant keywords to for display ads. The two eventually form the basis of your campaign.

PPC Hire notes that, just like the keyword planner, the display planner can be used to influence other aspects of the campaign like coming up with bid strategies. For instance, based on different types of targeting such as location and bid type, the display planner can find the most relevant placement sites for your ads.

Using display planner in bid forecasting

The display planner can also be used to identify statistics for different types of display AdWords keywords that can in effect estimate the budget of your AdWords campaign. Just like the Keyword Planner, display planner highlights statistics for different kinds of keywords and expected prospects in terms impressions and the clicks each key phrase attracts. These forecast estimates can then be used to estimate the future costs of such ads that are in effect depended upon when formulating campaign budgets.

Other tools

While these aren’t the only AdWords campaign planning tools available today, they are free and also quite reliable. The fact that they have stood the test of time, even in the face of more sophisticated premium tools is enough testament to their effectiveness.

2.5 Structuring an AdWords campaign and creating Ad groups

After creating an AdWords campaign, settling on the keywords as well as the right target audience, you now need to come up with an effective ad group. In most cases, an ad group refers to a set of keywords aimed at promoting one or two ads. Each ad group is an essential component of pay per click marketing as it ensures better management and control of your campaigns. Used effectively, ad groups can also be used to drive more traffic to your site while increasing the number of conversions for your site.

Structuring an ad campaign

For an online advertising PPC strategy to work, it must be organized. This implies creating a meaningful hierarchy for all advertising variables. In most cases, you need first to create an AdWords account that is then followed by the ad campaign that in effect houses the ad groups. Within the ad group, you will find the text and visual based keywords, as well as the landing and product pages they seek to sell to the public.

Importance of creating an ad group

Maximize return on investment

An ad group presents campaign administrators with an efficient method of arranging the keywords systematically. In effect, this helps maintain the campaign focus that in effect translates to improved marketing scores and thus returns on investments for the adverts.

Promote campaign relevancy

PPC Hire reminds you that Google rates each AdWords campaign based on content relevancy. If your drive scores highly according to the Google metrics, you should expect to get a significant reward that has a major impact on your cost per click. You, therefore, need to create highly relevant campaigns. And this relevance can only be achieved through properly organized keywords in equally well-structured ad groups.

Easy of management

While it takes just a short time for some AdWords campaign to post meaningful returns on investments, most campaigns take time. You also need to keep adjusting different aspects of the campaign such as changing keywords depending on their performance while you wait for them to post meaningful ROI. At other times it becomes necessary to keep interchanging the focus keywords based on their performance.

Such performances and changes can only be monitored and amended at the ad group level. Therefore, having carefully organized ad groups makes keyword monitoring and adjustments less complicated and in effect resulting in higher quality and relevance score rankings.

How to create an effective ad group

Guttulus AdWords campaign experts believe the ad groups to be the foundation pillars of every successful campaign, and that their efficient organization has an overall effect on the performance of your campaign. It is, therefore, important that you take time to consider all the factors influencing the ad performance. These include:

Ensure consistency

If your ad group is to work, you should ensure consistency in the kind and type of messages the ad communicates to your site visitors. Therefore, the content of your text ads as well as their display counterparts should be consistent with that of the respective landing and product pages. This should also be expertly matched with your product consumer’s online searches.

Integration with the campaign

The online advertising landscape is gradually changing implying that the keywords, phrases and visual ads that worked yesterday may not achieve similar results tomorrow. There is, therefore, need to come up with ad groups that allow for constant adjustment. Such modifications involve regularly evaluating the performance of current keywords and adding better performing ads to the group while removing redundant ones.

Tailor ads to suit multiple devices

Current internet search projections estimate that close to 60 percent of current searches, including e-commerce orders, are made through mobile devices. In response to this development, Google made it clear to website developers and owners that their current search ranking algorithm would give preference to mobile-friendly sites.

In such a case, just making the site you are promoting mobile friendly isn’t enough. PPC Hire recommends that you also ensure your AdWords campaigns and as well as the keywords you add to a group put the mobile-friendliness features into consideration.

Call to action

What do you hope to achieve with your current ad campaign? Do you seek to drive traffic to your site, push for more sales, or just promote your brand or product name? Whatever the case, ensure that you include a call to action alongside the ad text or display banner in your ad groups. Studies reveal that simple calls to action like buy the product here, call us today or even view our products have significant effects on your campaign as they direct prospective customers on what to do next.

Use keywords in ads

While keywords help you understand what your potential customers are looking for and thus providing you with a means to reach them, ads pull them into your site. What if there was a way you could use both the keyword and ads to bring in more traffic to your site? However, these keyword-ads match must be expertly blended lest the keyword infiltration makes the ad text incoherent.

3. Tracking and evaluating an AdWords campaign performance

3.1    How to check your AdWords progress reports

After creating an AdWords and matching it with the right target audience, you now need to know its performance. You need to know whether your ad texts are receiving as much click-through rates as expected or the display ads bring in the much-needed impressions. Monitoring your ad progress not only gives you an idea of the return on investment but also equips you with ideas on areas that need improvements.

Each ad campaign is segmented into different components such as the keywords and ad groups whose performance can be measured individually. Google AdWords system isn’t short of progress reporting techniques. These are at the disposal of a Google AdWords campaign administrator and can be used to determine the effectiveness of different aspects of the adverts.

Set up conversions

What happens when customers click on your ad directing them to your website? Do they subscribe to email communications or fill up the contact forms? How many clicks through online advertising lead to product purchases or app downloads? A campaign administrator that hasn’t set up a conversion rate calculator will never know.

Setting up AdWords conversions equips you with the vital and necessary data about your campaign that in effect helps you make the necessary campaign adjustments. Through conversions, you can identify the best performing ads and keywords from the rest by comparing each of their conversion rates. You are also able to determine your promoted products that appeal most to your site visitors by comparing the sales rate or by comparing the time most customers spend in each.

However, PPC Hire reckons that setting up conversions requires a little knowledge of HTTP but also reminds you that considering the value it adds to your online campaign, it is worth every minute you spend learning the conversion process.

Data customization

The AdWords reporting system is quite comprehensive. It is often laden with statistical data relating to your campaign that, though necessary, can sound overwhelming at times. In this regard, Guttulus advises every campaign administrator to filter the data reporting system, ensuring that only the most crucial data gets through to the progress report.

For instance, you can start by determining whether you want to receive your campaign performance data in the form of graphical illustration or segmented row and column basis. Additionally, you can set the level and period ranges at which you would like to examine your data. These date and level of data are, however, determined by the size of your campaign. If you operate a small campaign with just minimal ad groups, PPC Hire recommends that you consider your examining your AdWords at the campaign level while large-scale campaigns require data examination of data at the ad group level.

Search terms comparison report

Are your keywords and phrases a hit or miss? How close do they compare to the search terms that your target audience uses when searching for products online. Google AdWords progress reporting system allows you to compare your keyword performance to that of different other search words used over the internet.

Such a system also helps you identify how to determine what keywords to add to your campaign, which ones need to be pushed to the ad groups and others that need to be discarded. But do you need to shed particular keywords especially when they don’t bring in traffic? Guttulus advises on treating them as negative keywords that prevent your ad from showing when your audience searches for a product you don’t offer thus saving on ads expenses.

Competition comparison report

How does your AdWords campaign compare to your competitor’s? You can access this information from your AdWords auction insights status report. From such reports, you get to understand how your ads rank in comparison to the competition. PPC Hire advice that by further querying the auction insight report you are not only able to identify niches within the campaign where your competition may be winning but also the reason why they are winning. You can then proceed to implement strategies to catch up or even outdo the competition.

Note that an auction insight doesn’t vaguely compare the overall AdWords campaign performance. It compares all the little details of the campaign such as the keyword choices. It is important that you keep comparing examining such reports and they not only determine how high your ads features on the Google search engine but also the amount of traffic and conversion your ads attract.

There exist several other Google AdWords reporting systems that a campaign administrator can rely on when fine-tuning their online advertising campaign. While they vary in technicalities, they are all aimed at helping you even out your campaign.

3.2 Tools used to measure Ad performance

A Google AdWords campaign is usually a long-term engagement that requires constant adjustments. As a campaign administrator, you need to keep evaluating the performance of various aspects of your marketing strategy like determining what keyword to incorporate to your system as well as which ones to consider negative. You also need to determine the conversion rate of different search terms and display ads.

Here are some of the most useful AdWords tools used to determine the performance of your online advertising campaign.

Google analytics

To run a successful ad campaign, you need to come to terms with all details about your site concerning your target audience. For instance, you need to know how your site visitors found about your website, the pages on your site receiving most views as well as how long each client stays on a given page. Since asking for such information from the visitors when checking out is unrealistic, you need Google Analytics to collect this data for you.

Through Google Analytics, you can get a free and full reporting of your site visitors activities while on your page. This information can then be used to identify areas within your site and online advertising campaign that needs improvement.

The information can also be used to amplify or expand your AdWords campaign. For instance, by identifying your product pages that receive the least traffic, you can decide to either change the information contained therein while coming up with possible search terms aimed at driving traffic to these neglected pages. The same case applies to site pages receiving loads of traffic but minimal conversions. Google Analytics helps campaign administrators identify such pages and devise ways of converting the visitors into potential customers.

Quality scores

For every keyword you choose for your campaign, Google assigns you a quality score. This score rates the relationship between your keyword, landing page and ads as well as their relevance to your preferred target audience. In most cases, higher scores are proof of higher ad relevance. On the other hand, a low-quality score reflects a reduced ad relevance to your audience.

The quality score is, therefore, the first ad performance measurement tool given that if you have a low score, you should only expect minimal ad clicks and conversions. The quality score also comes in handy when perfecting your ad campaign. For instance, if your ad keeps falling short of the quality score threshold, that is an indication that you might be failing in different aspects of the ad formulation and not just matching it with the right audience.

Click through rate metrics

These can also be referred to as conversion rate metrics and come in handy when determining the overall performance of your online advertisements. By tracing the click through, the campaign administrator gains insights on such aspects of the online advertisements as how many keywords and banner ads resulted in clicks and impressions as well as how many of the visitors achieved ended up buying a product from the company web.

Click through and conversion rate calculators are particularly useful in determining your ads return on investment. Unlike most other performance measurement metrics, a campaign administrator can attach value to each successful click-through that results in a sale. Additionally, the click-through metric can be used alongside other measurement metrics like Google Analytics to improve the accuracy of the measurement further.

Campaign experiments

The campaign experiment is used during a campaign to complement other performance measurement metrics as well as sales performance. For instance, what happens when you realize your AdWords campaign isn’t as successful as your competitors? Better still, what happens when you seek to introduce a new set of keywords to a campaign or change others that have been performing well without risking the fate of your quality score? PPC Hire recommends adopting the campaign experiment strategy.

Just like the name suggests, Google AdWords allows you to experiment on different keywords for the same campaign without affecting the ongoing ads. This means that you get to run two ads for the same product simultaneously. You also get their performance rating as you would any other campaign.

From the campaign experiment metrics, the administrator can now compare the two ads or campaigns. These statistics then influence your decision to either change the campaign appropriately or stick to your current plan.

What do you hope to achieve with these performance metrics?

By checking the performance of your online advertising campaign, you are exposed to aspects of the campaign that need to be relooked. For instance, these metrics help you determine your campaign progress concerning conversions and return on investments. From here, campaign administrators also get an idea on what should be done to improve the performance of these ads such as revising the keywords or creating more calls to actions.

3.3 Comparing campaign progress to your goals

When coming up with an online advertising campaign, every campaign administrator hopes to not only break-even on the cost of the ads to their conversions but also hope that these ads ultimately help them achieve particular desired goals. For instance, some only hope to increase traffic to their websites and increase the conversion on their websites while others are just after brand awareness.

Regardless of the motive behind your AdWords campaign, there are goal-progress measurement metrics that a campaign administrator can employ in identifying the progress of their goals. The goal progress metrics are just a sub-category of the overall campaign performance. Therefore, AdWords uses the performance measuring tools to identify goal progress. However, your campaign administrator has to use several metrics to determine the progress of a given goal.

Brand awareness metrics

This works for online advertising campaigns that seek to improve brand or product visibility or even promote a service. The progress of brand awareness goal can be measured using any performance measurement that relays statistics about impressions.

When it comes to measuring brand awareness, impressions coupled with the reach and frequency metrics work best. In this case, the “ads reach” as seen in a performance tool report implies the number of people your ad was exposed to. On the other hand, impression refers to the actual number of individuals that laid their eyes on the ad, while frequency refers to the number of times an ad was presented on the visitor’s screen.

While impression and reach and the most reliable when it comes to metrics when determining the brand awareness goal performance, PPC Hire believes that one can also rely on the click-through rate and conversion statistics to determine the brand awareness metrics. This conclusion is based on the fact that, to achieve a click-through or even a conversion, an individual is first exposed to the brand or product.

Return on investment metrics

The return on investment calculation remains the most effective when it comes to determining the success of your AdWords campaign. The results therein can then be used in making strategic decisions relating to the product or brand in question such as deciding whether to continue with the campaign or to retreat and re-strategize.

For every AdWords campaign, the return on investments is arrived at by dividing the cost of goods sold by the expected profit.

ROI = (REVENUE – COSTS OF GOODS SOLD)/COST OF GOODS SOLD

When determining the return on investments, PPC Hire advises that campaign administrators use conversion or direct sales metrics. In most cases, a combination of Google and conversion rate metrics enables a campaign manager track down ad clicks that eventually led to an actual sale. Nonetheless, the administrator should always ensure that the cost of every conversion doesn’t exceed the revenue you gain from such conversion.

Conversion metrics

There are several aspects of ads conversion that every campaign administrator should learn. These include conversion rates and the cost per conversion. The data relating to the conversions can be obtained from the conversion rate or Google analytic tools.

The total number of conversions recorded reflects the number of conversions your AdWords campaign achieves and can be instrumental in determining the relevance of the ad. A highly relevant ad often results in equally voluminous conversions and vice versa. Additionally, from the number of conversions and the total AdWords budget, an administrator can calculate the average cost per conversion.

AdWords campaign cost metrics

The return on ad spend is quite similar to the total returns on investment. However, instead of comparing total revenues and costs, ROAS only takes into consideration the sales generated directly from the ads. The ROAS calculation data can be accessed from the conversion as well as the Google analytic performance measurement tools.

Site traffic generation metrics

There only exists a thin line between impressions, conversion, and web traffic generation and it is therefore important that you understand these differences before subscribing to related ad campaigns. The click-through rate performance indicator tool is specifically designed to calculate the amount of web traffic each campaign is driving to the website.

Nonetheless, you can also rely on data from any other performance measurement tool that records a client’s actions on the web. These include conversion and Google analytic tools based on the premise that they were pulled in by an ad before converting to a client.

Why evaluate your goal progress

Checking on the goal achievement progress for your AdWords campaigns helps identify areas around the drive that need improvement. Through such interim reports as the return on investments and Return on ad spend, one can determine whether the resources devoted to the achievement of the campaign correlate to the ensuing revenues. Others like the conversion and web traffic generation reports help you understand the relevance of your keywords as well as the appeal of your text and visual ads. Their high or low scores determine whether you need to re-strategize or keep pushing with the campaign.

3.4 Optimizing the campaign

The journey to optimization starts with identifying tools to measure both your overall campaign performance as well as relevant goals. From these metrics reports, the campaign administrator can define the different aspects of the campaign that works as expected, those that need to be improved and others that are pulling the campaign down. After a thorough analysis of these reports, the administrator now has to come up with creative strategies for optimizing the campaign.

Emphasize on relevance

For your campaign to rank highly on Google quality score, it must be relevant in all aspects. To a large extent, this means matching your ads with the right target audience. However, this relevance should also extend to the keyword and the respective product pages they represent. Note that this connection is only said to have been achieved when the site bounce rates drop to a minimum. It is attributable to the fact that when the site visitors click on an ad, they not only find exact information displayed by the ad but that information must what be what they searched for in the first place.

Guttulus advises that you take the campaign relevance and quality score as they ultimately determine whether your ad appears on the first pages of Google. You should also note that a higher quality score translates to a more cost-effective campaign as your ads receive more clicks for reduced costs.

Focus on keywords

When optimizing for keywords, you should examine factors that may be dragging the search and conversions down as well as what can be done about it. For instance, how many keywords have you added to your AdWords campaign, how many reflect on your keyword, and how they influence your search analysis? Did you know that Google only links one ad to a keyword? Therefore, Gutttulus advises that you remove all the repetitive keywords to avoid redundancy unless you are running different ads for audiences in separate geographical location targets.

What do you do with low-performing keywords, that won’t improve even after optimization? According to PPC Hire, AdWords experts it is best that you add them to the negative keywords group instead of just removing them from your campaign. Shelving this keyword not only helps you avoid unnecessary advertising costs but also ensure that you only get ads that are relevant to your ads with a promising conversion rate.

Improve on the ad formats

How often do you use the display network for your ads and which form of interactive media do you use? PPC Hire believes that it is high time you shifted your campaign attention to the display ads network while paying close attention to highly interactive media. Guttulus is of the opinion that while text words are still visible, they don’t have an influencing appeal as other rich media displays. Consider embracing more visual doormats like video and animations.

Tag the ads

Did you know that you can help improve the overall click through and conversion rates by tagging as much ad content as possible with the promotional material URLs? You can also consider using the free Google AdWords auto-tagging feature. PPC Hire observes that tagging adds value to your site URL without changing its destinations. Additionally, it helps you discover additional conversion leads by preparing a tagging report. Here you can see the different leads such as ads, pictures or extensions that users clicked on to get to your product page.

Enhance your ad extensions

Did you know that ads with clear calls to actions achieve more clicks than any other text ad? It is, therefore, important that you add the call to action and extensions to the several ads on your page. This may range from link extensions to call and location extensions. Proceed to monitor the extensions while noting the one with most clicks and optimize it.

Optimize at the group level

Sometimes poor optimization at the ad group level is the only reason your campaign is still lagging behind your competition and reporting low ROI. You, therefore, need ensure that vital ad settings at the group level such as optimizing the ad for different devices are on and that they are all reporting positive feeds. While at it, check whether low budget or low-quality score might also be contributing to the poor campaign performance.

The Google AdWords control console can also indicate the percentage of search impressions you are losing due to insufficient budgets as well as others lost to ad rank due to low quality score.

Importance of campaign optimization

The motive behind a campaign optimization as well as the type of the optimization is highly dependent on the goals the campaign administrator hopes to achieve. For instance, for sales and ROI driven campaigns, there will be more emphasis on every aspect of the campaign that champions higher conversions or cost-effectiveness.