Apr 10, 2012

3 Tips for Efficient Google AdWords Management

What does it take to make your next Google AdWords campaign a success? Is it all about split-testing? Is it about using a wide variety of keywords and keyword phrases, ones where each campaign is maximised with anywhere from 20 to 30 keyword variations, or is success ultimately about letting Google do the homework for you and relying upon their keyword tool?

Whilst most webmasters like to think they have a readymade solution for running a successful pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, the reality is that success ultimately comes down to focusing on a couple of essential criteria. Granted, a large number of webmasters rationalise that the quickest way to increasing a website’s PageRank is to go with the most expensive, most sought-after keyword. However, it’s not quite that simple. More importantly, it doesn’t need to be that expensive. So if one were to put together a simple, straightforward list of the most important guidelines to use, what exactly would that list entail?

Focus on Your Target Audience

Granted, this first tip may obvious. However, in our constant pursuit of trying to appeal to a wider audience, we tend to broaden our scope, so much so that it impacts our PPC campaign’s effectiveness. Instead, identify your target audience and use one main keyword to build your entire campaign around. For instance, if your company provides fishing gear, then your primary keyword would be “fishing,” and any keyword phrase would be centred on this main keyword. Your keyword phrases might include “fly fishing gear,” or “fly fishing hats”. Granted, a keyword like fishing is likely highly sought-after, and therefore very expensive. To alleviate the high costs associated with high value keywords, it’s best to follow the strategy outlined in our second tip.

The Long Tail of the Demand Curve

Most webmasters are well aware of the long tail of the demand curve and its implication for keyword focused PPC campaigns. The long tail is simply a statistical property that implies that 80% of a given sample is made up of more common outcomes. It states that the top 20% of a given sample is skewed by high values in the sample portion. In terms of a Google AdWords campaign, the long tail implies that webmasters may be better served by focusing on less expensive keywords, ones that are no less important, but ones that easily fall within this 80% sample range. This means they’ll be less expensive, but might just be more highly sought-after in online searches.

Test and Test Some More

This is where you begin to analyse your PPC campaign’s results at a granular level. No AdWords campaign will ever be successful without the ability to scrutinize results. A good rule of thumb is to create one end goal for each of your PPC campaigns. Consider this third step as the first step in a constant feedback loop, one where each campaign is maximized and tested in order to ensure that it is ultimately reaching its target audience, and most importantly, that it’s falling within your budget.

First, use your target audience to identify your primary keyword within your PPC campaign. Second, reduce your costs by using the long tail of the demand curve. Third, create one end goal for each of your campaigns. Finally, treat that last step as the first step in a continuous process. In the end, it’s not just about maximising PPC campaigns, but also about adopting a best business practices approach to all your Google AdWords strategies.