Identifying ways to cut waste in your AdWords spend can be very simple, if you know where to look. The information is easy to find and by the end of this article you’re going to be able to start formulating a strategy to trim the fat.
We are going to focus on the Search Terms Report. When you properly work this section of Google AdWords, you’re going to start to see a shift in not only your overall cost per lead, but you’ll start to see a drastic improvement in your overall lead quality. So if your lead costs are rising and your results are flat or diminishing – there’s a good chance this section of your PPC strategy is not being worked correctly.
Here’s how to properly manage your Google AdWords Search Terms:
When you log into Google AdWords, you want to click on your keywords tab and from here you’ll notice search terms. All of my clients have full transparency and access to this screen so they can verify our progress. If you can’t get in you may want to consider reworking your agreement with your provider. It’s easy to give a client read-only access. This is a Google permission that serves the best interest of both parties and it is a win-win for everybody involved. If you can’t get access there’s one of two things happening here.
You are not in a direct bill relationship with Google and you’re paying a 3rd party for advertising, which is the worst possible relationship to be in because you can’t see anything and you don’t know for sure the numbers that are being reported to you are factual. It’s very easy in this industry to hide and markup numbers.
Or Second, you’re in a relationship with a provider who doesn’t want to be exposed. They hide behind “proprietary” setups. In reality – they just don’t want to be held accountable, because once you get your hands on the information you might actually discover there’s no one really steering the ship and your account is on cruise control.
Now, when you get to the search terms report, you’re going to be able to see all of the keywords and phrases that resulted in a person clicking on your ads. Here, you’re going to be able to determine if the actual term that triggered your ad makes sense to the type of lead you actually want to generate.
You are going to uncover a lot of waste when you get here, or you may realize that you are missing opportunities and your keyword strategy does not contain the right set of keywords that impact revenue.
You are not only going to see all of the keywords that you paid for, but you’ll also be able to see the keywords that triggered an ad and did not result in a click.
When I go to this screen, the first thing I want to look out for, is if the account is being properly maintained. As a Google AdWords pay-per-click manager, this screen is the first place I go to assess the keyword performance of all my client’s account. There is a very specific process that goes into this part of your Google AdWords performance.
When I was a teenager I worked for a lumber yard in the summer. When I clocked in every morning the first thing I did was cull the lumber. I would go to the 2 x 4 cradles and reorganize them, lay them flat and make them presentable for the customers that day. Part of the job was to pick orders and stage them for builders and remodelers and the other part of the job, the most fun part, I got to drive a forklift. I’d pull up the forklift and take all of the warped lumber and put them on the forks. This lumber would go into a second pile to be sold at a discount.
Now, instead of breaking my back lifting 2×4’s, my team and I work this screen for our clients on a daily basis. This is the first thing my team does in the morning – we go into each of our clients and assess the activity that happened the prior day. We stay on top of it, because if you let it go – you’re wasting budget. It’s like driving a car 100,000 miles without an oil change, if you are not staying on top of this screen.
Depending on how much the client spends, this can be a 10-minute process or an hour long process – it just really depends on the volume that transpired the day before.
And we are following the very same process as I did in the lumber yard. We are isolating the keywords that performed really well and delivered a lead and put them into their very own Top Performing Keywords Pile. The keywords that don’t make sense are isolated and they are placed into a Negative Keyword List – and this is a very basic function of management. And here at Ad Machines, it’s part of our daily management program to attack this list every single day. Over time, we’re able to focus in on the top performing keywords and allocate more budget. And the negatives are shut off from the flow of traffic, so we are constantly refining lead quality.
Now, if this is your first time going to this screen – go ahead and open up your date range to ALL TIME. Here you’re going to get an entire history of your account. This is the most valuable piece of data you have as it relates to your Google AdWords account. You’ll be able to download and extract all of this history into an excel spreadsheet.
When you do this you can drill into the spreadsheet and determine where all of the waste is. You’ll discover keywords that don’t make sense to you, you’ll be able to identify keywords that do actually make sense and are not performing – either they are not receiving any clicks, or the click costs are so high that they are not yielding a tangible return on your advertising investment. You’ll also discover competitive terms and names of your competitors and technical terms where someone in your industry may have Googled a procedure or part, and ended up clicking on your ad, you’ll discover really long phrases where people searched by talking to their phones, you’ll see misspellings and you’ll also see the good keywords that are delivering a good result.
Now, think of this screen as a treasure map. Google is going to show you the keyword that triggered the ad. Here is the match type – this is rule that was setup for the keyword. Exact is the tightest you can run a keyword and broad is the loosest you can run a keyword. Match types is a great topic for another 10-minute pay-per-click. I can dedicate an entire episode to this. Google is going to tell you where to find this keyword – by campaign and in which ad group. And here you’ll be able to see the individual keyword performance.
Here is a quick rundown of what each metric you will see in the Search Term Report and what each measures:
Number of Clicks: This is what you were charged for.
Number of impressions: How many times your ad was triggered for this search term. Impressions is a sign of market demand and overall search volume.
CTR: this is a percentage that tells you how many clicks you got based on the number of search impressions. Now you can learn a lot from this one performance metric. If you have a low click thru rate than you may have an ad that is not performing or your keyword match type is too loose and you need to rework your keyword strategy.
CPC: this is how much it costs to have fun. This is what you are paying for someone to click on your ad. Every single keyword has its own unique rate and it changes all of the time.
Total Cost will tell you how much you have invested based on the data range you select.
Average Position: This metric will give you a sense of what position you were in at the time of the click activity. It’s always a healthy strategy to test different bid rates and test your performance at different average positions in an effort to optimize your spend.
Conversions close the loop; it tells you how effective this keyword is. A keyword is a top performer when it gets a conversion. A conversion is a lead – somebody either called you or submitted a form. It is an advanced feature we do setup for our clients – it requires integrations with your call tracking system, your reporting system and with Google Analytics. But when you do set this tool up and use it – it is a huge game changer in your strategy. It’s the difference between a $125 cost per call and a $50 cost per call. When you can identify keywords that work, you can spend more on them. And when you identify keywords that don’t work you can eliminate them because they don’t make sense to your strategy or you can develop a plan to retool your individual keyword strategy to elevate their performance and work to achieve a higher result.
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How To Instantly Eliminate Waste In Your PPC Account
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