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However, there are a number of basic mistakes that we here at I-COM regularly come across when taking on new campaigns, that can be quickly ironed out to easily improve a campaign and increase its chances of success.
1. Incorrect match types and the use of Broad match.
Google uses 3 different keyword match types – Broad, Phrase & Exact, each one meaning your ads can show for completely different searches under the same keyword. Google recommends using a mixture of these match types to best meet your campaign's ROI goals. We regularly see new campaigns with a high percentage of broad match keywords. Broad match is the default setting and can quickly eat up your campaign budget. For example the keyword ‘tennis shoes’ would appear for any search containing either or both words, ‘Walking shoes’, ‘hiking shoes’ – both potentially irrelevant to this campaign. The flip side of this can be exact match – when your ad only shows for the specific phrase ‘tennis shoes’ without any other words in the search, meaning the campaign could miss out on potential impressions, clicks and conversions. Phrase match provides more targeted keywords than Broad match but is more flexible than exact match.
2. Lack of Negative Keywords.
It is essential that the traffic you drive to the site is qualified. The use of negative keywords is a great way of avoiding irrelevant clicks and making sure your PPC budget goes further by reducing traffic that isn’t going to convert. Again, we come across a surprisingly high number of campaigns that have few or no negative keywords which are wasting £££s each day. For obvious reasons negative keywords become even more important when adopting a broad match keyword strategy!
3. No Tracking
No tracking – How do we measure a campaign's success? How do we reach target KPIs & ROI? Too often we see campaigns without any kind of tracking – leading to wasted budget due to the fact that no one can tell which keywords are driving sales or leads! Through the use of Adwords conversion tracking and Google Analytics we can easily optimise a campaign down to keyword level providing ROI and CPL data for each keyword in the account, again helping to prevent irrelevant spend on the wrong keywords.
4. Poor structure of campaign and relevancy.
One of the most important factors in a successful PPC campaign is the account structure, and more specifically the quality of ad text and its relevancy to the keywords in each ad group. Due to time constraints it would often seem a lot easier to dump lots of keywords into a single ad group with the same generic ad text. Don’t do it! This will lead to a poor quality score, which in turn will lead to higher average CPCs costing you more budget! Keywords and ad groups need to be split into common themes with individual targeted ad text. This will lead to an increase in relevancy, CTR and in turn a higher quality score. Don’t be afraid to separate individual high performing keywords into their own ad groups. It’s not uncommon to see ad groups containing only one or two keywords!
5. Content Network
By default, all Google campaigns are set to opt in to the content network. The content network can have many advantages, for example it’s great for branding. The content network can send you a lot of traffic and, if not carefully managed, can quickly eat away at you budget, often with little return. Generally speaking the content network has much lower CTRs and Conversion Rates. Search and Content campaigns need to be completely separate; how else can you measure their individual success? Depending on campaign budgets for clients new to PPC we would initially recommend avoiding the content network and focusing on search until you get a feeling of what works for your account, slowly picking key areas to focus on & selecting targeted sites to run ads on. It is worth remembering that even a good content campaign will usually convert at lower rates.
If you require any more information or ideas on how to make quick changes that can dramatically improve your PPC campaign please get in touch with the I-COM PPC team today.