AdWords Checklist & Rank Formula
Before activating an AdWords campaign you might plan ahead for optimisation. See below for a AdWords checklist and reasons to why you may want to make sure some campaign settings are correct before going live. The list is not extensive – just a starting point:
Three Step Checklist
- Campaign settings (bidding, delivery method, scheduling e.t.c)
- AdGroup settings (competing keywords, negatives)
- Fancy stuff (ad extensions)
- Campaign Type – Try to focus on each type independently to enable budget allocation, use shared budget option if you have to. Splitting search/display campaigns is good practice. Maybe use the new Hybrid Campaign to test top performing campaign type before splitting (for small budgets)
- Networks – Search partners can include sites like Gumtree, when selected monitor Google search vs. partners during optimisation. Deselecting this is a benefit for small budgets wanting impression share.
- Device Targeting – Quality score is device specific. To avoid mobiles you can set bids to -100% but when all are selected, remember to check difference in performance during first optimisation.
- Locations – Advanced location targeting allows you to target people searching about or are physically located in your targeted area. Geographic performance should be understood to later use enhanced features (increase bids by 50% in low rank areas)
- Bid Strategies – Manual bidding allows you to forecast. Based On £1000 profit I can bid up to £10 a click and need to convert 1% (1 out of 100 clicks) to break even. Automatic bids allow Google to set amount you are willing to pay per click and will affect the manual forecast.
- Ad Delivery – If you don’t accelerate delivery then you are not interested in impression share. To understand when budget is being depleted and to measure time of day performance – always accelerate delivery. You have 0% chance of converting impressions you did not appear for.
- Ad Schedule – Can set campaign start and end dates but more importantly, set a schedule to allow enhanced bid increases at a later stage. Use this option if accelerated delivery depletes budget to early in day (i.e. avoid low performing times of day)
- Ad Rotation – Always have 2 ads per adgroup at minimum and always pick one of the evenly rotated option. If you attempt to manually select an auto optimised text ad during optimisation – run statistically fair a/b split testing and stop making decisions based on manipulated stats.
- Negative Keywords – Never activate a campaign with zero negatives. Everyone can think of keywords that will not result in a conversion therefore lack of negatives is an embarrassing set-up. You can also use ad-group level negatives to prevent competing keywords.
Fancy Stuff (New Unit In Ad Rank Formula)
- Ad Extensions – use as many extensions as possible. It increases ad space and can work wonders for ROI and performance. Click to call, Sitelinks (with descriptions), business address, social extension, app, reviews should all be units you can add for free to a campaign. Not using at least one extension would suggest a client is best using an agency willing to give a better service
- The new ad rank formula relies on advertisers to use extra features like sitelinks and you can’t complain about low-rank and costs if you don’t add these fancy features from the word go.