The following five steps are the “must have” during the optimization of a Google Adwords Campaign.
Step #1 – Define your targets
I know that this sounds a little too obvious to you, but every optimization has to be performed against a certain target. Is $1 a click cheap or expensive? Depends. Is a CTR of 20% good or bad? Depends. Is an average cost of 50 cents per conversion high or low? Depends. It all depends on the targets you’re trying to achieve, which of course will be the foundation of your optimization process, because only after you’ve defined them will you be able to compare your campaign/ad group/keyword/ad to them and see if there’s a match.
Step #2 – Make Sure You’ve Checked The ‘Auto Tagging’
This is the checkbox that will pass the ‘gclid’ through to Google Analytics and allow AdWords to send data to it as well. The checkbox is located under Account Settings > Preferences after clicking the wheel at the top right corner of the screen (Next to your customer ID & Email)
Step #3 – Make sure that your ad rotation is set to “Rotate Indefinitely”
The default option in AdWords is ‘Optimize for clicks’, but the default options are in most cases meant for beginners. You should set your ad rotation to ‘rotate indefinitely’ so that all ads will get an equal opportunity. This way, your CTR will be a lot more meaningful, and won’t be a reflection of one ad that got 1,000 impressions while the other only got 10.
Step #4 – Never Start A New Campaign On Friday
The best tip I can give you is to go over the campaign in depth 24 hours after it has been uploaded, and this of course can’t happen if you upload a new campaign on Friday. The reason I’m telling you this is because from my personal experience you always, but always will find keywords or ads that will waste more money that you expected when creating the campaign, and by examining the campaign from top to bottom the day after you’ve started it you’ll be able to identify and fix the waste as soon as possible. In addition, the manner in which people search during weekends is significantly different than during the rest of the week, therefore is you start running a new campaign on Friday and do your first optimization on Monday – you might make wrong decisions.
Step #5 – Make Sure Everything Is Approved
I know that this might sounds like an obvious tip, but often you’ll be able to find disapproved ads that you missed (and as a result – the entire ad group was inactive), important keywords for which the bid was too low (perhaps a competitor entered the arena and raised the minimal bid?), or keywords that clash with other keywords within a different ad group.