Managing Google AdWords campaigns is sometimes a job, sometimes learning and adventure. But once you have more big campaigns, one word needs to come too - efficiency. Effeciency in AdWords management eliminates all inaccuracy and pointless work. This kind of efficiency requires strategic planning of AdWords campaigns and precise approach to AdWords campaigns. The effects are outstanding results in shorter period of time. So there is still time for adventure too.
5 Steps For Bulletproof AdWords Management
Management of larger amount of Google AdWords campaigns can be like teaching students in the class. Without a deep knowledge of a subject and without a curriculum, there is only a small chance of success. The same applies to Google AdWords management.
Deep knowledge of Google AdWords but also a vise approach to Google AdWords are a key to succeed. Good approach to Google AdWords is much more urgent, if you manage multiple bigger AdWords campaigns.
I´ll describe an approach, which in my AdWords experience succeeded to bring outstanding and stable results. I call it "bulletproof" due to various strong benefits:
Bulletproof AdWords management - 5 steps
Taking a look at a picture above, the basic structure is simple:
1. We will prepare full base set up of AdWords campaigns. This eliminates similar tasks in the future.
2. We will exclude extremely weak segments. This will help profitability in the beginning.
3. We will set up full automation. This eliminates our work with bids and budgets.
4. In long term, we will focus on the work with ad texts, extensions and remarketing. Great booster for profitability.
5. Depending client goals, we set up and execute market strategies.
Step 1: The base (1st month)
Step 1 The base is absolutely crucial. The more complex AdWords set up of campaigns, ad groups, texts, keywords, extensions, etc. we prepare in the beginning, the less similar work is required in the future. This is important because in the future we can focus on another steps. Let me say directly, that this step is the most time consuming.
I will use an example of a AdWords campaign for medium size ecommerce to describe requirements of step 1 The base:
Full coverage and set up of strategic types of campaigns:
Full coverage of categories, subcategories and products:
This is the most time consuming, but crucial for AdWords results:
1. To control this bigger amount of campaigns, ad groups is possible via automation and shared budgets (next steps).
2. You can create these campaigns via DSA (DSA itself mostly can´t cover all the web) and via import of prepared CSV file to AdWords Editor.
Full coverage of text ads, keywords, extensions:
Step 1 The base requires also to do some research, mostly:
To summarize, at the end of step 1 The base, we will have created all types of strategic campaigns. These campaigns will contain all categories, subcategories and products. These campaigns will also contain many relevant keywords, at least 3 text ads, extensions, etc.
Time needed for step 1 The base:
For medium sized ecommerce - in average 20 hours.
Step 2: Segmentation (2nd-3rd month)
After a hard work at step 1, we deserve a beer for bloody good job ;) Step 2 is more about observation. The goal is to exclude extremely weak segments, that make worse ROAS or CPA at the initial stage of advertising.
These segments include mainly:
1. This kind of segmentation applies for a new campaigns. New campaigns mostly strugle with profitability. In this step we will exclude extremely weak segments and we can include them back in following step (step 5).
2. We do segmentation always step after the step. Not all segments in one time. We follow the logic: 1. Mobile, 2. Region, 3. Category, 4. Other. Observation gap between each segmentation is about 2-3 weaks. For example: we exclude mobile segment and wait 2-3 weaks how this changes the results. If there are still weak regions, we will exclude them and wait 2-3 weaks for observation. And after this we exclude weak categories.
3. To be statistically correct we need amount of traffic. At least 1000 visits for each segmentation step and segment.
4. Segmentation in this step 2 means only a full exclusion. Not lowering a bid. All bid management work will take place in following step by automation.
Time needed for step 2 The segmentation:
For medium sized ecommerce: in average 3 hours/ month.
Step 3: Automation (2nd-3rd month)
AdWords automation - my favourite step, where we can enjoy the results of our work. Like when you put together a car and finaly you can drive it, step on the gas.
So the goal of this step is to maximally use AdWords automation and machine learning, so we have a space for even more significant tasks.
We will use these AdWords automations:
AdWords automated bidding - step by step application:
We need to follow few rules when applying AdWords automated bidding:
Important note: Keep in mind best practice when setting up new automated bidding (CPA or ROA). Always use AdWords recommended goal. For example, if we set up new CPA bidding and AdWords recommends the goal of 25 USD, we need to set up CPA goal 25 USD. Even we would like to have CPA 15 USD. It is required for smooth machine learning. In following period we can lower CPA goal to needed level.
Note 2: For initial phases of AdWords automated strategies I advise to use reasonable max. CPC bid.
AdWords shared budgets:
For this step we apply 1 shared budget for each campaign type. For example:
Tip: If there are campaigns with high costs and weak results, we can create one shared budget for "weak campaigns". It helps to control results better.
Time needed for step 3 Automation:
For medium sized ecommerce: in average 3 hours/ month.
If we managed to get to this point, we can ask:
"What will we do now? Campaigns are almost fully set up and automation is working to get the goals. Cool!"
This is where performance PPC approach starts.
Now that we built up a Ferrari, from average speed we can accelerate to maximum speed.
Or with PPC words, to increase market share, to increase profitability.
The next important step is Customer.
Step 4: The customer (long term tasks)
If AdWords campaigns contain all categories and products, what more can we offer to customer? I´ll focus on few significant PPC tasks.
Text ads and extensions:
The both communicate with customer, therefore is important, what message these have. If you go daily around the store with the same storefront all year round, it gets boring. Store where the storefront is changing regularly (seasonality), contains discounts (special offers) and tells you why to buy here (competitive advantage) is much more "sexy". The same applies to text ads and extensions.
Extensions (mainly sitelinks) are great place to communicate special offers and seasonal products. Forget about Contact, About us, Why to buy here, Category... type of sitelinks. These are not sexy at all for todays customer.
Text ads are best to communicate competitive advantage and special offers too.
Why this matters?
The significance of great text ads and extensions is really strategical:
In big accounts this apply mainly in campaigns with biggests revenue or costs.
The same applies to remarketing. Seasonality, special offers and competitive advantage.
We need to consider, that remarketing don´t need to be as profitable such as search ads. But remarketing is crucial to communication with client.
Time needed for step 4 Client:
For medium sized ecommerce: in average 4 hours/ month.
Step 5: Market strategies (long term tasks)
Fulfilling steps 1-4 we have built extremely good working AdWords advertising. It gets outstanding results with small need to update (steps 1-3), and it aims naturally for bigger market share and profitability (step 4).
But the market is a live mechanism and the PPC client can change PPC goals in time. Considering this, various marketing strategies can take place:
Effective AdWords management for these strategies requires deep knowledge of Google AdWords and PPC advertising itself. Good news is, having done steps 1-4 we have a great AdWords and effective tools how to manage it. For the most of strategic tasks it is enough to work with:
Time needed for step 5 Market strategies:
For medium sized ecommerce: in average 2-5 hours/ month.
5 steps for bulletproof Google AdWords - The conclusion
Google AdWords management is a constant opportunity to learn and to improve for me. The AdWords model I describe here, is an natural outcome of about 5 years of my PPC performance experience. I would not tell, that it is the best model in the world. It surely has areas to improve and it was not possible to write here everything. But I surely encorage you to try it and to update, based on your experience. Good luck!