Q and A: What is the Best Keyword Approach for Google AdWords?

QuestionHi Kalena

I’ve seen two totally different approaches to AdWords keywords this week and I was wondering if I could get your opinion on them?

Both account mangers target roughly a million residents in their target markets and have the same type of business.

The first manger prefers to focus on 32 keywords providing about 64 ads.  Over the past 30 days, 10 of those keywords have no impressions and therefore no clicks (20 ads).

The second manager prefers to focus on 340 keywords providing 600+ ads.  Over the past 30 days, 239 of those keywords have no impressions (478 ads).

I side with the first manager, but I didn’t want to second guess the other.

Does having that many no impression keywords have any negative affect on how AdWords views the account?

Which keyword management system would you prefer?

Thanks a lot,

Brendan

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Hi Brendan

There are too many variables to that scenario to be able to give you a fair opinion on either approach. Numbers don’t really matter as much as parameters. Firstly, are the two approaches for the exact same campaign and campaign settings? Having the same type of business is not enough information to compare the two fairly.

Secondly, are these brand new AdWords accounts – are they in the testing phase where they are both testing new keywords? This is crucial. If yes, then I strongly recommend the second approach – the *spray and stick* approach where you basically try as many keyword combinations as you can in a set period and see which ones build the most impressions and/or clicks. In terms of number of keywords and ads per AdGroup, there really is no magic number. It all depends on how tightly you theme your AdGroups. Some AdGroups may target very few keywords, but others may still have a tight theme, but many similar keyword combinations that all need targeting.

It also depends on your chosen match type. If you have mostly chosen Broad Match targeting, you will have fewer keywords, because Broad Match will automatically trigger your ads for more keyword combinations without you needing to specifically target all the possible combinations. Target [Exact Match] and you will likely have a lot more keywords in your AdGroups. It really is relative to the products/services you are advertising and the way you have structured your campaigns.

As for how Google views the account – I’m assuming you are talking about Quality Score here? See this article about how Google determines Quality Score. If keywords have zero impressions, it simply means people aren’t searching for those keywords. This shouldn’t affect your Quality Score for those particular keywords, but having non-performing keywords within your account may impact the overall quality of your account. You should pause any non-performing keywords – or better still, delete them – to ensure they don’t impact your entire account.

However, if you get impressions but no clicks, then THAT will affect your Quality Score. Please note that landing pages and ad text can have much more of an impact on your Quality Score than you may realize. So in my opinion, you’d be better off making sure your ad text and landing pages reflect the keywords you ARE targeting than worrying about a specific number of keywords or how many impressions those keywords attract.

My tried and tested approach to AdWords (and Bing Ads for that matter) is to make sure every single AdGroup is constructed tightly around a particular theme or topic, so that I can allocate only the most relevant keywords to each AdGroup and build my ad copy around that specific theme. Sometimes that means having hundreds of AdGroups in a single campaign.

Once campaigns are beyond the testing phase, I review each AdGroup every 30 to 60 days and delete all keywords and ads that have received zero impressions and zero clicks, pause all keywords and ads that have received clicks but zero conversions and add all new keywords suggested by AdWords. Then I take a close look at the keywords/ads I paused to see if I can improve the Quality Scores by tweaking them. Then I un-pause them and let them run another 30-60 days before starting the cycle again.

Try this approach and see how much better your campaign performs.

Good luck!

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Search Engine College to Provide US $100 in Bing Ads Credit to Students

$100 advertising credit to spend on the Yahoo Bing Network

$100 ad credit for the Yahoo Bing Network

As part of our paid search advertising curriculum at Search Engine College, we walk students through the process of setting up a new Bing Ads advertising account and help them to structure their campaigns to achieve the maximum conversion potential across the Yahoo Bing search network.

With the assistance of Microsoft Advertising, we can now help new marketers apply this knowledge by providing the opportunity to work on a live advertising campaign of their very own.

After several weeks of discussions with staff from Microsoft Global Search and Display, we have managed to secure sponsorship for Search Engine College training courses in the form of US $100 in Bing Ads advertising credit for our students and subscribers.

Check out the official press release for the deets and it’s also up on PRWeb.

Subscribers can use the $100 credit to launch an actual Bing Ads campaign for their website or company, with helpful guidance along the way from our tutors.

Are you excited? We sure are!

To receive the credit voucher, you need to be a current Search Engine College student or subscriber (enrolled in at least 1 course) and be one of the first 200 people to request a voucher. If you’re not a current student, it’s simply a matter of signing up for a US $99 subscription to immediately qualify for your US $100 credit. Heck, that’s like us paying you $1 to join!

Once you have activated your student account, simply message me within the course area by clicking on my name and quoting *Free Bing Ads credit please* and I’ll email you the voucher and instructions. To activate the credit, simply follow the instructions in the email and in Lessons 5 and 6 of our PPC Starter Course.

See you in class!

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Bing Ads Accredited Professional Status: Unlocked

Bing Ads accreditationAfter months and months of putting it off, I finally took the Bing Ads Accredited Professional exam this week.

Although I have been managing Bing Ads campaigns now for several years – even separately managing MSN adCenter and Yahoo! Search Marketing campaigns before they combined to form Microsoft adCenter in 2010 (rebranded to Bing Ads in 2012) – I had avoided taking the exam because I knew there were 100 questions and I didn’t feel confident I knew the program back to front.

I thought I would need to set aside time to revise the training materials and kept putting it off until I “had enough time to prepare”. Finally, after being asked outright by a client if I was a Accredited Professional, I thought carpe diem. What the heck was I waiting for?

I don’t know what I was worried about. I got 97 percent, without even glancing at the training materials, so now I’m a recognized Bing Ads Accredited Professional.

Similar to the Google Certification (now Google Partners) program, there are a number of benefits to being a Bing Ads Accredited Professional:

As an accredited member, you can:

  •     Use your official badge in your marketing materials, including your website.
  •     Print the certificate that confirms your accreditation.
  •     Get listed in the Find a Pro Directory to connect with potential clients.
  •     Enjoy industry recognition in the Accredited Professional Membership Directory.

So I’m throwing down the challenge to you – if you manage Bing Ads campaigns but haven’t yet become a Bing Ads Accredited Professional, don’t wait for the *perfect* time and don’t let the idea of an exam scare you off. Trust me, if you use the program regularly, you’ll know the answers.

 

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Google AdWords Promotional Credits for AU/NZ

advertising creditsFancy $100 worth of free AdWords advertising?

As members of the AU/NZ Google Partners program, our consulting agency – Jordan Consulting Group Ltd – is regularly given access to certain resources and exclusive benefits to help our clients gain the most from their search marketing efforts.

Our latest perk is a stack of email vouchers each worth AU $100 in AdWords advertising credits. If you are based in Australia or New Zealand and would like to test drive Google AdWords or kick-start a new AdWords campaign, I’d be happy to hook you up with one of these vouchers.

But WAIT! There are a few conditions:

1) The credit can only be applied to AdWords accounts that are no more than 14 days old.

2) You must have a billing address in Australia or New Zealand to be eligible.

3) You need to allow Jordan Consulting Group agency access to the account for the first 30 days via our My Client Center account. This blog post explains the process. This is to allow us to monitor and track the account spend without needing your login credentials. You retain exclusive control over the account and the level of access we have to it. It also ensures Google can reconcile the voucher code with our agency account. You can terminate our agency access to your account at any time after 30 days.

4) There are specific terms and conditions for the use of these codes in each country:

Still keen? Please contact me via this form or via my Twitter account @kalena. and I will get you set up.

Here’s to free advertising!

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Google AdWords Glitch Locks Out Account Holders

There appears to be a major glitch happening in Google AdWords right now that is preventing a large number of account holders in Australia and New Zealand from accessing their campaigns.

It all started about 8pm last night – I had my MCC account loaded and I tried to shift beween client accounts when I found I couldn’t get the campaigns to load. I tried to shift back to the client I was working on previously and found I couldn’t get their campaigns to load either.

So I tried several other client accounts, clicking on the campaigns tab – with the same result – a rolling *loading* icon, which eventually resolves to a blank screen where the campaign details should be (see image).

adwords fail

AdWords campaigns failing to load

So I logged out of my MCC account and tried to log in to an individual account, only to receive the same error. I could login to the accounts, but could not view any campaigns. I took to Twitter and asked if anyone else was having trouble and so far it seems as though only account holders in Australia and New Zealand are affected.

Google emailed an announcement this week, advising that account holders in Asia Pacific were being moved from Google Ireland to Google Singapore for billing purposes (can you say tax break?), so I have a sneaking suspicion that this outage is related.

But this is mission critical stuff – the only way for my clients to control their AdWords accounts right now is to remove their credit card details! At the time of publishing this post, it’s been 17 hours without campaign access to my client accounts and my clients are getting antsy. I have a good mind to demand all click costs during this outage be reimbursed to their accounts.

The other problem is that I can’t grade assignments of my PPC students at Search Engine College because I can’t see their accounts to grade them! I’ve tried contacting Google via Twitter and through the AdWords Support team, but I’m yet to hear back.

Regardless, I’ll be interested in hearing Google’s excuses for this one. I’ll keep tabs on the length of the outage and report back when I know more.

Are you having trouble accessing your accounts right now? Please leave a comment if you are.

Postscript: Paul from AdWords California was kind enough to email me (and comment on this post) to confirm the issue and let me know they were working on it. Thankfully, it was resolved about 2 hours after this post was published. Turns out it was simply a bug in the system. Not sure if they got it ironed out completely, because I had trouble accessing the Billing tab in my MCC account this morning, but at least I can edit client accounts now.

 

 

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