Let’s delve a little deeper into the wonderful world that is AdWords. In this section we are going to go through some of the hierarchical layers of AdWords and some of the key metrics you need to know about—what they are and why they are important.
On the second layer of the tree, we have Campaigns (Account > Campaigns), which are going to form the the meaty part of your account. Ad Groups and Keywords both live within your campaigns and the keyword research you do and the way you structure your accounts using ad groups will seriously affect how your campaigns perform. Follow a couple of golden rules while creating your campaigns in order to attain PPC nirvana:
1. Do exhaustive keyword research
- This point cannot be stressed enough. Your keywords are how your prospective customers are going to find you, and every single one of them will search in a different way. So don’t just have a couple of keywords in broad match to act as a catch-all. I guarantee this method will end up costing you a great deal of money for very little return.
- Put yourself in the shoes of one of your customers. How would you go about looking for goods or services? Remember, your customer might not have industry knowledge like you do, so don’t rely on jargon style keywords, but think about how the layman may be searching.
2. Segment your campaigns as much as humanly possible
- Remember that you can have up to 20,000 ad groups per campaign so don’t be afraid to segment your head off. I would even recommend having one keyword per ad group, per match type! This will allow you to write unique ad copy for each keyword, giving you the best chance at the highest quality score possible.
Now you’ve got all that, let’s look at some of the key metrics within the Campaigns tab that you will learn to love.
Fairly self explanatory, this is the daily budget per campaign that you are willing to spend. It is worth noting that these are not the absolute maximum amounts of your spend. Be aware that campaigns can spend up to 30% more per day than the budget that you have allocated to it. For example, if you set your daily budget for a campaign to £20.00, then (provided there is enough search volume) you could be easily spending up to £26 per day. So remember the 30% leeway when setting budgets.
If you have an absolute daily limit, then don’t set the campaigns to that amount—I’d go for about 15-20% lower. Sometimes, there will be a lot of search volume for keywords within your campaign, more than you can afford or at least more than you have set your budget for. We’ll see how Google lets you know about this in the next section below.
Again, status is pretty self explanatory—it shows the current status of your campaign. There are a couple of possible statuses, so I’ve dropped them into a handy table for you below:
|Campaign status||What this actually means?||How to fix it?|
|Eligible||Your campaigns are good. The ads are live, and without any problems or limitations.||There isn’t anything to be fixed.|
|Paused||Your campaign is paused. Ads from this campaign are not showing, and no costs will be incurred.||Either leave it or re-enable it!|
|Removed||Your campaign has been removed. It is not active; the ads aren’t live, and no costs will be incurred.||Once removed, the campaign cannot be reactivated. Be careful while selecting this option.|
|Pending||The campaign is currently paused, but is scheduled to start at a later date.||Either let it start when it was scheduled to do so or head over to the campaign settings tab to alter the start date.|
|Ended||The campaign is inactive (paused) as the date you have set for it to end has elapsed.||Either manually reactivate it or head over to the campaign settings to alter the end date of the campaign.|
|Suspended||The campaign is not active as the pre-paid funds on your account have been exhausted. Ads will not be shown, and no further costs will be incurred for this period.||Head to the Billing Settings section >Transaction History of AdWords and hit the ‘Make A Payment’ button.|
|Limited By Budget||Campaign is active and is showing ads but AdWords is limiting the frequency of the ads as the budget you have specified is not sufficient enough to show your ads.||Hover over the “graph” icon next to the status to see how changing your budget will affect how many impressions you will get. Either increase your budget or leave it as it is.|
Data or metrics that you see on AdWords are displayed for a specific date range. To change the date range, select the date drop down menu in the top right hand corner of the AdWords interface. Here you can choose one of the pre-defined date ranges or specify your own custom date range.
The number of clicks your ads have received on the Google Search Network or on the Display Networks, if you have search partner networks enabled in your campaign settings.
The number of times your ad appeared in the Google Search Network or anywhere on the Display Network.
Click-through rate (CTR)
This is a measure of how many times your ad has been shown (impressions) versus how many times it has been clicked (clicks). Remember that a higher CTR is desirable, because it is an indication that your ads are highly relevant to the search term used—users not only spot your ad but also are tempted enough to click it.
CTR is the main component of the quality score so try and get your CTRs up. A well-written ad, good keyword research and a thorough negative keyword strategy are all great ways to get the best CTR possible.
Average cost per click
As the name suggests, this is the average price you pay to Google per click. In your bid, you set the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a click. However, this certainly doesn’t mean you will pay this amount every single time.
AdWords is fundamentally an auction, so all you need to do is outbid the other guys who are bidding on the same keywords. Cost per click will vary throughout the day, but it is safe to assume that you will pay less in times of less traffic such as late in the night, early in the morning, and during the times when most people are at work. Generally, search traffic may peak between 8 and 9am, between midday and 2pm, and early in the evening, and you could be competing with a number of advertisers during these hours.
This is the cost incurred by the number of clicks on your ads. Bear in mind, however, that this does not include phone call costs. To see complete costs, add the column ‘Total Cost’ in the column list views.
This is the average position of your ads in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). As mentioned earlier, competition (for the same keywords and the search term) is likely to vary throughout the day, and so is the ad position. Hence, we evaluate this metric as an average and not as an absolute number.