March 13, 2015 by Danielle Enzinna
As part of our on boarding process, we gain access to, and evaluate, existing Sponsored Search accounts. Time and time again, we come across the same mistakes that lead to wasted budget and poor performance. Often times we hear that advertising online didn’t work for a potential client only to learn that their account was riddled with rookie errors.
In general, allowing automated rules in an account is an invitation to waste budget by leaving decision making up to a computer. There are cases where automatic bidding is helpful, but we always recommend close supervision. For example, enabling the Enhanced CPC option allows Google to increase the bid you set by up to 40%.
There are four match types available in AdWords. Broad match is the default match type within the interface, so we see several accounts that are set exclusively to broad match. Because this strategy hands over most of the control to Google’s matching algorithms to determine what’s relevant, we like to set strict boundaries. This includes bid restrictions and isolating broad match keywords.
Adding negative keywords to an account helps to improve performance almost instantly. We often see accounts with negative keywords either missing or set to the incorrect match type. There are also several levels of negative keywords including Ad Group level, Campaign level, and List level. It’s important to know which to use and for what purpose.
Search intent is (arguably) the most important aspect of an AdWords account. Understanding the differences in the end goals of what people are searching for will impact your bottom dollar. Most people research products and services online before they make a buying decision. Some of this research can include initial searches to determine if they can do it themselves or find an inexpensive alternative. By reaching a searcher after they have completed their research and are ready to make a purchasing decision, you avoid paying for wasted clicks.