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Paid search is a vital part of the marketer's arsenal, but effective PPC requires time and effort.
Here are my 10 AdWords commandments. What are yours?
Thou shalt test ad copy
Test your ads using sensible methods. Plan your test in advance and make sure you use appropriate ad copy and testing methodologies to maximise the effectiveness of your tests.
Thou shalt bid mathematically
Use your conversion rates, order values, lifetime values etc. to feed your bids. Avoid generic bids for whole ad groups and campaigns. Just remember the simple little formula of Target CPA x Conversion Rate = Target CPC.
Thou shalt maximise ad extension usage
This is really a no-brainer since the updated ad rank algorithm came in.
Make sure you’re using all appropriate ad extensions and doing everything you can to get the most from your CTR.
Thou shalt use new features
Google is constantly blessing us with new features. Being an early-adopter can generally reap some huge rewards.
As features attract more users then they naturally become more competitive, potentially more expensive (PLAs, YouTube TrueView) and less exciting for the users (the first ever display banner got a 44% CTR!).
Thou shalt use appropriate bid adjustments
Device, location and time make a huge difference to expected conversion rates. Be sure to bid appropriately on all of these factors.
And please, don’t just guess – use past data to find out what adjustments you should make.
Thou shalt not be reliant on broad match
Broad matches are a gift but can also be a curse. Delicate usage can assure a strong reach, but over-reliance can really damage an account.
Poor search terms, irrelevant ads and inaccurate landing pages can all come as a result.
Thou shalt always aim to improve conversion rate
Landing pages are all too often ignored by the amateur PPCer.
Constant focus on improving the landing experience for users can make a huge difference to conversion rates.
Thou shalt analyse everything
Whether it’s the weather, the effect of search partners, the impact of natural listings, or the impact of a new feature, make sure you can test everything and act accordingly from the results.
Thou shalt be granular
Granularity is the key to a successful AdWords account. Break down into numerous campaigns and ad groups to ensure all search terms trigger a relevant ad.
Use ad group negatives to cut out leakage to the wrong terms. Make sure you have full confidence in your structure before setting anything live.
Thou shalt plan all activity
Rushing into a task can really limit your success. By all means, work quickly, but just make sure you know what you actually need to be working on.
Don’t waste time reviewing a search term report if your entire match type strategy needs to be revised. Don’t set up some tricky RLSA adjustments if your whole keyword set is wrong.
Make sure all the work you do is the most appropriate work to bring the account forwards.