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Are you dissatisfied with your Adwords ROI, but don’t have a ton of time to manage and optimize your ad campaigns? If so, these four proven and practical AdWords management tips below will help you. Implement them and improve your conversions, stop wasted ad spend, and boost your AdWords return on investment.
1. Setup conversion tracking correctly (don’t skip this!)
This is arguably the most important step in your AdWords management process, and also one of the most commonly overlooked.
If you want to be able to track your AdWords return on investment – and understand what keywords and audiences are really driving revenue – you must use the AdWords conversion tracking script.
First, you need to know what type of conversion (goal) you are going for. What online action do you want visitors to take? Some conversions you can track with Google AdWords include:
To setup your AdWords conversion tracking pixel, sign into your AdWords dashboard and follow these steps:
- Click Tools at the top of the page, then click Conversions.
- Click + Conversion, and you’ll see step-by-step instructions, depending on your conversion goal (see screenshot above).
- After you’ve installed your AdWords conversion tracking pixel, check the Conversions page 24 hours later (Tools > Conversions) to make sure that your conversion tracking pixel is working properly.
In addition to using the AdWords conversion tracking pixel, we also recommend you improve and track your AdWords conversions using call tracking software (we use and recommend CallFire) and live chat software (we use and recommend Zopim). This will help you track conversions when people come to your landing page(s), and choose to call or chat with your company instead of purchasing or filling out your form.
I once talked with an ecommerce store owner who closed a $250,000 deal over live chat. (Crazy, I know!) It’s important that you allow your customers to engage with your business in the way they feel comfortable, and that you’re closing the loop on all advertising channels.
2. Setup automated rules (and a shared budget) to control your ad spend
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.” If you’re not looking at your pay per click (PPC) dashboards daily – and if you’re not working to optimize your ad campaigns – small PPC clicks can drain your wallet fast. This is where AdWord’s automated rules can help you stop wasted ad spend.
With automated rules, you can automatically pause specific campaigns once they reach a specific spend amount. For example, let’s say you don’t want to spend more than $3,500 on AdWords this month, and you currently have 10 campaigns running in your AdWords account. You can select all the campaigns and apply an automated rule to them, telling AdWords to pause your campaigns once the total ad spend reaches $3,500.
To setup an AdWords automated rule to control your budget, login to your AdWords dashboard and follow these steps:
- Click Campaigns at the top of the page and make sure the Campaigns sub-tab is selected.
- Select all your campaigns (or specific ones) then click Automate > Pause Campaigns When…
- Set your settings for your automated rule. (I usually pause the campaigns when cost is just under the total monthly budget. That way, your ad spend doesn’t exceed your budget before the automated rule runs.)
- Preview results, and make sure everything is working correctly.
- Click Save.
A second option you can implement to control your ad spend – in addition to AdWord’s automated rules – is setting up a shared budget. Instead of having an individual budget for each campaign, you can have one budget shared across various campaigns.
To create and use a shared budget in AdWords, login to your AdWords dashboard and follow these steps:
- Click on the Campaigns tab at the top.
- On the lefthand side, click on Shared Library and click Budgets underneath it. (See screenshot below for example.)
- Click + Budget to create your shared budget and apply it to the campaigns of your choosing.
3. Setup your AdWords remarketing tag ASAP
Have you ever been browsing on one website, and then seen an ad for that same product/business while browsing on a different website? That’s called retargeting or “remarketing.” If done right, it can be an effective advertising channel for your company.
With Google AdWords, you can retarget the following audiences:
- Website and landing page visitors
- Customer email addresses
- Mobile app users
- YouTube users
To setup your AdWords remarketing tag on your website or landing page, sign in to your AdWords dashboard and follow these steps:
- Click Shared Library on the lefthand side, and then click Audiences.
- Click Set Up Remarketing and follow the step by step instructions. (If you’re an eCommerce company, make sure you select dynamic remarketing. This will allow you to show specific product ads, based on a user’s previous shopping history.)
- Recommended: Connect your AdWords account to your Google Analytics account, so that you can have more data to work with.
Remember: Be sure to check back in 24 hours, to make sure that your remarketing tag is installed correctly. If it is, you should see this:
Once your tag is installed correctly, you can begin running display and search remarketing campaigns.
If you need further guidance along the way, here’s a helpful article on remarketing from Google.
4. Do these five things once a week
If you’re managing your company’s AdWords and are strapped for time, here’s a weekly AdWords management process you can follow to keep AdWords performance strong. This weekly process will help you avoid wasted ad spend, increase conversions, and boost your overall return on investment from AdWords.
Every week, spend 30-60 minutes doing the following:
- Check and track your return on investment. We use and recommend a simple Excel spreadsheet, so that you can format the data as necessary and add conversions that occur through another means (such as: advertising source on checkout, call tracking, and live chat).
- Check your settings & fix any account issues: Keyword conflicts, disapproved ads, billing problems, conversion tracking, and remarketing tag. All should be checked weekly to make sure everything is running smoothly in your AdWords account, and that there aren’t any problems in your account.
- Check search terms report and add/adjust keyword match types: Utilizing keyword match types allows you to control what search terms your ads show for. If you see a common string of words generating a lot of conversions, utilize the best keyword match type to maximize conversions.
- Check search terms report, add negative keywords as needed: Negative keywords tell Google what words and phrases you don’t want your ads showing for.
- A/B test your ads: Make sure each ad group has at least two ads being a/b tested at all times. After your ads have gained enough impressions and data, pause poor performing ones and test new copy/images/sitelinks/etc. to see what boosts click-through-rates and conversions.
This may seem like a lot of time, but if it helps you generate more leads and sales, isn’t the time (and money) well invested? You don’t want to be running AdWords for your company and have no idea what’s going on. This leads to wasted money and a poor return on investment.
Google AdWords is an incredibly profitable and effective digital marketing channel. We know that the above four AdWords management tips work well – and that they dramatically boost your AdWords return on investment – because we use them in our own business and for our clients.
What AdWords management tips have you found beneficial in improving ROI? Share your experiences and results with us in the comments below. (And don’t forget to download our free AdWords checklist, where you’ll learn how to stop the seven most common, costly, and overlook AdWords mistakes that secretly sabotage revenue.)