Key Steps to Structuring your Google Adwords Campaigns

Google Adwords can be a trickly concept, with trickly quickly becoming scary when it’s your business’ money at stake. Here at Search Factory we’ve developed a brief guide to help ensure your account is structured in the most appropriate manner.

A solid layout is vital for any SEM initiative to be effective. A logical methodology to the organisation of ads and keywords provides compounding benefits; from the ability to manage, alter and target ads, through to boosting your quality score and reducing CPCs. For the purposes of this explanation, we’ll begin at the upper levels and work our way down.

Campaigns

At the top you have campaigns, and unless you are working on a very small account you’d be remiss to have only one. There are a number of factors to consider when structuring your campaigns, including:

Location – If your business provides products/services nationally or internationally, then it’s sensical to create campaigns targeting different cities, states, regions and countries. This will result in similar keywords throughout different campaigns, but will give you the ability to write copy and incorporate geo-specific terms geared at the various locations your targeting.

Branded and Non Branded – Always ensure you have separate campaigns for your branded keywords. These terms should be visible 100% of the time, and receiving impressions 24/7. If brand terms are consistently competing with more expensive tactical keywords, they will often be limited by budget.

Website/Business Structure – By creating campaigns around specific products/services you provide, you’ll have keyword lists directly relating to ad copy, with ads correlating the relevant product/service pages on your site. This will facilitate control of budgets, bids etc., allowing tighter control across the various facets of your business.

Ad Groups

After you’ve created and structured your campaigns, Ad Groups are the next step. These can be looked at as containers for the keywords, ad copy and landing pages; and are instrumental in establishing a meaningful hierarchy to the account. Again, there are a number of points to consider when structuring your Ad Groups, including:

Too Many Keywords – Don’t let Ad Groups contain too many keywords! Many Search Engine Marketers allow this to happen, creating groups with hundreds or even thousands of terms. This not only detracts from your ability to collect granular data, but adversely impacts the relevancy of ads being delivered to consumers. Once an Ad Group incorporates too many keywords it loses its coherence and theme, which will only end up hurting your ROI.

Too Few Keywords – The reciprocal of the above is only having one or two keywords in each Ad Group when it’s prudent to have more. Generally this issue is an attempt to avoid the first problem, and whilst it does allow for groups to be tightly themed, it’s effectively shifting the burden from creating relevancy to assigning huge amounts of ad copies and landing pages for each term you’re targeting.

Integration & Consistency – Ultimately, any successful search engine marketer ensures they are striving to create a system grounded on integration and consistency. You need to continuously develop keyword groups, ad copy and landing pages tightly integrated with one another. Successfully doing so will create consistency, allowing you to directly cater for the searches used to reach your site. Often this requires a few months of research and testing, but the outlay is nearly always justified by the return.

The Benefits

By following the points above you’ll have an appropriately structured SEM account in no time. The best part is that a well-structured account provides lower costs (thanks to the quality score system) and more conversions (relevant ads convert better than generalised ones). So get optimising!

Facebook introduces ‘Graphic Search’

Tons of people love Facebook, but most will agree that the search function sucks. It’s pretty surprising that new developments have taken so long for Facebook in this area, but today’s big announcement reveals a pretty impressive evolution in the whole search concept.

Graph Search, which is initially launching as a beta product for U.S. audiences only, will allow users to uncover social connections between other members of the site and quickly identify which friends have been to certain places, “liked” specific topics or appeared in certain photos.

Friends, places, interests and photos will be the foundation for queries when the search engine launches, Facebook said. For example, Facebook explained how Graph Search could be used to find “My friends who live in Palo Alto who like Game of Thrones,” “Indian restaurants liked by my friends from India” or “Photos of my friends taken in Paris.” Singles looking to meet people could search “Friends of friends who are single men in San Francisco.” Someone trying to remember a person she’d met at a friend’s party evening before could query, “People named Drew who are friends of Peter and went to Harvard.”

We’ll see if the actual service lives up to the hype, but the potential seems significant.

Google shares plunge on earnings miss

Google shares got rocked today when poor earnings numbers were prematurely released. Trading had to be halted but the bloodbath would have happened regardless, though many investors were caught off guard of course.

I have no idea why Google missed earnings numbers, but I can say that they need a serious lesson in customer service. Google has treated its Adsense partners with contempt, and if Microsoft wasn’t incompetent, Google would be losing even more business.

Online services have to be part of your search

The Internet has become a part of our daily lives, and social media has only enhanced the importance of the web. Yet it’s still amazing how many people don’t take full advantage of the tools that are available online or through their smartphone. Of course that’s changing, particularly with the exploding popularity of phones. Now you can check directions or the weather with a quick tap on your phone. You don’t need to sit down and boot up your computer or tablet.

Still, web searching is much easier on a laptop or desktop if you’re doing real research, and if you want to take full advantage of the web, you should make the time to do research for all sorts of things. This is true in your personal life along with your business life. For example, would you really do work on your home without researching potential contractors online? If so you’re being foolish. If you’re looking for online printing services, you should compare various options like UPrinting brochure printing against your local printers. If you’re shopping for anything, you should always check places like Amazon first or even while you’re at the store.

The bottom line is that you’ll get lower prices and better quality if your spend the time doing common sense research.

Google keeps getting worse

Has Google Search been going downhill? That’s the argument in this article on TPM.

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