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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.

 

Pete Whitmarsh

Published 11 March, 2014 by Pete Whitmarsh

Pete Whitmarsh is Head of PPC at Search Laboratory and a contributor to Econsultancy. 

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Comments (1)

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Dean Jackson

Here's a tip I'm using for my local biz its called day-parting. we saved a lot of money but scheduling our ads to appear during only business hours of the day. I guess there's a report (under the dimensions tab if I remember correctly) that allows you to analyze CPC and cost per conversion by hour of the day so you can just advertise during peak hours. We actually started a process of increasing our bids during those peak hours to push out our competitors during that time and we ended up reducing overall costs by doing this as well since its more targeted. I'm actually having my friend simon manage our adwords account, if you want to speak with him just email him at simon.b@resultsdriven.org or 302-401-4478. Tell him your friends with Dean Jackson.

over 2 years ago

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