Adwords Tips for the Beginner and Experienced Marketer

Posted September 14, 2016 by   in Digital Marketing, eCommerce Website, Google, Marketing Strategy, PPC


I’m a really big fan of paid search. Some of it, of course, is because it is my job and what I do every day. Also because trying to influence buyers and trying to understand why they did what they did and when they did it is interesting to me.

I am always looking for ways to better my skills and drive ‘baller’ results for our partners/clients. Part of that is checking out the well-known paid search blog sites and looking for new tips and tricks to stretch budgets further and doing more with less.

One thing that has always baffled me is why does no one ever writes blog posts for people that are wanting to get into this wonderful, yet challenging, industry. Here is a recent blog post title that I am seeing, “Here’s an AdWords script to apply shared campaign negative lists everywhere.” Ummmm…. wha? Huh? The beginning paid search marketer would see that and run for the hills. And personally I don’t blame them. I want to try and give the beginning marketer and maybe even an experienced marketer some tips that may be overlooked in the “Sea of Trying to be Super Smart” blog posts.

Now normally I would say to apply the well-known K.I.S.S. method, but my 5-year-old nephew always tells me, “Stupid is not a nice word, E.” He’s right. It’s not. So we’ll still call this the K.I.S.S. method, but we’ll replace that last “S” word with “silly.”

Campaign Setup:

To get started, setting up an account can be difficult. It can be difficult and confusing, but let me to try to explain it and make it simple. I’d recommend building your account to replicate your website structure.

Let’s say you are a shoe company selling all different types of shoes. More than likely in the header of your website you have all of the men’s shoes together, women’s shoes together, kid’s shoes together, etc. You wouldn’t put women’s volleyball shoes in the men’s category. The same with your paid search campaign. Group the similar categories together.

Here is a quick example:

KISS Method

Think of the campaign as your house. You don’t want things in your house that don’t belong in your house. Then think of each ad group as a room within your house (campaign). Be as descriptive as you can when you name your ad groups. Now, as you’re putting keywords into your ad groups, make sure everything actually fits.

Going back to our house example, you wouldn’t put your dishwasher in your baby’s room. You wouldn’t put your toilet in the middle of your family room. If you have an ad group for basketball shoes, make sure all of your keywords are basketball shoe related. If you have an ad group for women’s volleyball shoes, make sure all of your keywords are women’s volleyball shoes related. I really like to build everything out on a spreadsheet or whiteboard before I begin in Google.

Choosing Keywords:

I wouldn’t say this is the most important part, but if you choose the wrong keywords your campaigns will not yield results. You could spend a ton of money with no return. No pressure, right? Don’t worry, Google provides their advertisers with some pretty cool tools to help select solid keywords.

Some advertisers like to try to out think everyone in their space by selecting super amazing, thought provoking keywords. Well, congrats hot shot. Your keywords are so amazing and so fascinating that nobody ever sees your ads because nobody searches for those keywords. As a business owner or digital marketer, you know your industry best. Searchers don’t know your industry like you do. Make sure to use keywords that the everyday searcher would use.

Going back to our shoe company example above, I’d recommend the K.I.S.S. method:

Google KISS Method

It’s a pretty basic keyword list, but I know by creating it this way, if people search for the shoes that I carry I am helping myself show up.

I also am a proponent of using phrase match variation of keywords. Phrase match is putting quotes (“ “) on either side of your keyword. By doing this, you’ll see what searchers use before and after your keywords. They’ll come up with some doozy’s. You can constantly add and remove keywords. Make sure you’re paying close attention to what is and what isn’t driving traffic and leads/sales for your partner/client or company.

I really recommend adding negative keywords as soon as possible. This is you telling Google you don’t want to show up for certain keywords. In the ‘Men’s Basketball Shoes’ ad group, you’ll want to add keywords such as women, running, tennis, training and casual as negative keywords. This helps keep the toilet out of the middle of your family room. If someone searches for men’s basketball shoes, you want Google to show an ad from the men’s basketball ad group, not your women’s tennis shoes ad group. Once your campaign is live you’ll find new negative keywords to add to each ad group.

Campaign Targeting:

This is often where many marketers and business owners need to pump the breaks. You can’t expect caviar results when you have a two burgers for a dollar budget. Own your space and rock it out. For our shoe company example, unless they have the big player budget, I’d recommend a local level type of targeting. There is a ton of competition on the national scale and you could get lost easily. Once you figure out what works locally, then you can look to expand. Do some searches to see who and what shows up for your industry and make the most logical decision from your research based upon the budget that you have available.

Writing Ads:

Writing ads is a unique and fun challenge in my opinion. When I write ads, I try to go into it with the following mindset, “Why is someone doing a search at this exact moment? What are they needing? How can I appeal to them right now?”

I did some work for a HVAC company and that one was pretty easy to write ads for. It’s 100 degrees outside and their air conditioner is broken. They need it fixed. That ad pretty much writes itself.

But for our shoe company, that one is a little more difficult. Why they are searching isn’t as easy to define. Make sure to include your ad group keywords in the ad copy. For the ‘Women’s Volleyball’ ad group, include women’s volleyball in the ad. Don’t stuff the ad and use the keyword five times.

Would you click on that?

Think about what would drive you to click on the ad. I’ve even put two or three sample ads on a piece of paper and walked around the office to see which ad people would click on and asked why. It’s a great way to get feedback. I always shoot for three ads per ad group with different copy. That way I have a good sampling of what does and doesn’t work.

Finally, make sure your ad goes to the appropriate page on your website. If your ad is about men’s basketball shoes, send the searcher to the men’s basketball shoe page. Don’t ask the searcher to continue to search once they click on your ad and come to your website.

There is a lot more we could talk about, but I’ll save that for another blog post for another day. Paid search is a beautiful tool that Google really wants to make work for their advertisers. They are constantly doing testing on their side to help advertisers achieve great results. There is a reason Google is a multi-billion-dollar company / quarter. Make sure when setting up your campaign, you pay attention to the basics. At the end of the day if your account setup is terrible, it won’t matter what script you use or what optimization tactic you use, your campaign won’t be successful. Just remember the K.I.S.S. method. Keep It Simple Stu….I mean, uh, Silly. Sorry there, nephew.