2017 is now fully behind us. No doubt you have big plans for 2018; new clients to take on, accounts to build up and optimise, and ROI targets to chase. However, before you pounce from your starting blocks it is crucial to take stock of your current accounts, review what is working, and see it with a fresh pair of eyes. Now is the time to optimise your foundations before building upon them.
Account Structure and Dormant Campaigns:
Your first port of call should be cutting out ineffective, dormant campaigns. Select a data range of six months to one year, then sort your campaigns by clicks, conversions or impressions (depending on the intent and purpose of the campaign). From this refined data set, you can clearly find the sleeping giants and review their effectiveness. It might be the case that you need to pause or even remove some campaigns that aren’t bringing in conversions or relevant exposure. This allows you to start the year with a tidy account, devoid of any unnecessary campaigns.
Ad Formats & Ad Copy:
Once you’re in the account and clicking into ad groups, it’s worth checking for any lurking outdated ad formats. The Expanded Text ad format provides you with so many more opportunities to get your message out there, so why waste an opportunity to optimise? While you’re down in the details with the ads themselves, check in on the existing ad copy. If there are small errors or moments where the message isn’t quite clear you should make corrections, so you can move on to creating any new campaigns, safe in the knowledge that older ads are as strong as they can be. One final element to consider is the consistency of your ad copy. Are all the ads within each ad group selling the same service or offer? This may seem simplistic, but in larger campaigns, similar model numbers and names can create difficulties in older campaigns. Keep the simple errors at bay.
Keywords & Negatives:
Take a moment to look into your negative keywords. Often overlooked at a significant cost (literally), negative keywords lists can steer your results from messy sprawling lists of irrelevant search terms to streamlined and relevant engagement with your campaign. Look into your existing negative lists, see where they are being utilised, and cross-reference them with any negatives applied to that campaign. If there are duplicates, simply retain the negative in the shared list, and delete the campaign specific negative keyword.
It’s not just the obvious culprits, like old campaigns, that fall victim to outdated or too generic ad extensions. Take the time to go through each campaign individually, ensuring that you don’t have ad extensions from expired offers or services. It’s also worth ensuring that your extensions are very relevant to each campaign, to prevent drawing your customers away from the specific offers of the ad in question. With AdWords’ brand new Promotion Extensions now available, you’ll want to prioritise only the most up to date extensions for your ads.
If you are interested in specific, targeted organisation and management of your AdWords, please get in contact for a Paid Search Review.