Don’t Let Google Know it Has the Upper Hand:

How to Optimize AdWords Campaigns

to Make Money for You and Not Google

This article was originally published on The Huffington Post Blog

Why does using Google AdWords seem like you’re working for Google, instead of for your own business? Probably because they are raking in the cash on AdWords, to the tune of over 32.2 billion dollars to date. So the question is, how can you monetize on Google, instead of having Google monetize you? It’s not as intimidating as it sounds.

There are a few key strategies you can use to optimize your campaigns, but it really comes down to one thing: due diligence. The more time you spend on your keyword campaigns, the more dividends you will see from your investment.

The first step in staying ahead of Google is understanding their game. This means budgeting your ideal Cost Per Click (CPC), understanding Ad Rank, and learning how to react in real-time. The second step is running an ever-evolving campaign, and the third step is tracking your performance and maintaining your Quality Score.

You also need to realize that if tracking sales is your only metric, you’re playing the game Google wants you to play. It’s like throwing your hook into the same ocean in the same spot over and over again, and hoping something bites.

So where do you start? If your keywords are too general, and set against broad match types, you’re leaving your success up to chance encounters. Instead, split your keywords up into smaller Ad Groups that share a common thread. That’s where due diligence comes in. It takes a lot of effort up-front, but like almost everything else on AdWords, constant maintenance equates to consistent profitability.

Ensure that every single one of your Ad Groups has multiple ad variations. That way you can mix them up, monitor results, and keep only the settings that yield the highest CTR (or Click Through Rate.)

Why is CTR important? Because it helps your Quality Score. Why is Quality Score important and aren’t you playing into Google’s hands? Yes, you are appeasing the Google Gods, but it also means they charge you less money for your highly-relevant clicks and award you with a better Ad Rank. These ranks are often more important than your max bid when it comes to determining where your ad appears.

Keep in mind, that when it comes to Quality Score—Google. Knows. All.

If you’ve created a slew of unsuccessful ads in the past, Google gets suspicious when you suddenly get it right and gives you a lower score.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is directing all of your ads to one landing page. If you’re asking customers to dig on your site, you’re wasting money. Instead, all ads should be deep-linked to a relevant destination. Again, this will take some extra effort on your part, but the payoff is worth it.

In order to maximize efficiency, it’s also a part of your job to pause campaigns and take stock. If you don’t, Google wins. You become a constant flow of cash for them and the vouchers they send you end up right back in their hands. Evaluate your campaigns… every single one of them.

Finally, Google does not have to be your enemy. AdWords helps you out by enabling you to A/B test more than one ad at the same time. So for every ad group, always have two competing ads running simultaneously. Remember, Google Analytics is a free tool built for you to track performance. Use it.

The bottom line is that AdWords can pay off for you if you’re willing to put in the time to build an awesome campaign. What’s the biggest mistake you can make that gives Google the upper hand? Simple. Kicking back, and putting your feet up. Never stop the work when it comes to AdWords, and you will always stay ahead of the publisher.

For more AdWords tips and insights, contact the Internet marketing experts at Rebuild Group.