7 tips to maximise your Adwords campaigns

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Avoid costly mistakes
By Annabel Hodges, contributor. 8 June, 2017
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When it comes to building a strong digital footprint, alongside your audience-led content and social strategy, your suite of rich media, and for some, a foray into the world of chatbots; finance brands also need to consider the more traditional elements of digital marketing – such as pay-per-click search marketing campaigns.

Most marketers have run or are currently running some form of Adwords or paid search campaign, and many find out the hard way that simple mistakes can quickly cost you. Here are seven tips that will help you make the most of your Adwords campaigns:

1. Ensure your Analytics account is linked up

It’s easy to think of your Adwords campaigns in isolation and only ever log into your paid search platform. But this disregards the fact that your channels impact each other, and if your Adwords and your analytics platform aren’t correctly linked and tagged up, you’ll risk mistaking paid traffic for direct traffic. Bonus reporting tip: Use the Search Terms report to determine the exact search terms that are triggering your ads and build out your vital budget-saving negative keywords list.

2. Know your Quality Score

Quality Score is Adwords’ rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords, ads and landing pages. It’s used to determine where your ad ranks on the page in combination with your maximum bid. Based on an algorithm which looks at a variety of elements including click-through-rate, relevance of keywords, quality of the landing page, site speed, relevancy of ad text, even the overall performance of your account; a low quality score can significantly increase your cost per click (CPCs).

3. Use all available ad types and extensions

The Adwords platform extends far beyond standard search marketing text ads and offers a variety of other options including display, remarketing, mobile specific and YouTube ads, call extensions and more.

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Remarketing lists are particularly useful as they allow you to retarget specific visitors to your site, potentially avoiding them from falling out of your sales funnel.

4. Know Google’s policies

Google updated their policy last year, banning any ad considered a ‘payday loan’ or similar. This bans all advertising for loans that require repayment due within 60 days of issue, and those carrying annual interest rates of 36% or higher. Although the update was designed not to affect companies offering mortgages or commercial loans for example, the potential for accidental non-compliance remains high, making it important that you review all of your campaigns any time an update is announced.

5. Consider investing in bid management technology

Although smaller accounts with a lower number of keywords can absolutely be managed manually, it’s worth considering the benefits of third party bid management software if your Adwords account is becoming too big to handle. If you have tens or hundreds of thousands of keywords, it’s probably a sign that things could be improved! Popular tools include Marin and Kenshoo.

6. Keep an eye on your competition

Use the Ad Preview tool to regularly check who is showing on the same keywords as you. You can compare ad copy and extensions and optimise accordingly. You can also use this to check who is bidding on your brand name, and take steps to prevent them doing so if appropriate.

7. Adjust your bids according to campaign specifics

Adwords campaigns can be optimised at a highly granular level, and doing so can hugely impact on spend. Consider reviewing your peak times, geo-locations, devices and adjust your bids up or down accordingly to get the best bang for your buck.

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Originally hailing from the UK, Sydneysider Annabel is a digital marketer with over a decade's experience working with global agencies and brands. A data and spreadsheet aficionado, she recently swapped SEO for motherhood and we eagerly await the analytics report! She is also maternally bilingual in French and English and speaks fluent Spanish.