13 Adwords Best Practices

AdWords requires more than just tinkering with bid levels and the creative components of the content to get a great quality score. It requires a full look at the market, including the mobile users who might encounter a campaign. Ignoring just one demographic can spell disaster for an entire AdWords campaign. Here are some best practices to implement to make sure that everyone gets the chance to experience your brand in the way that you want.

1. Put the CTA in the top line of the description and the headline.

For mobile users who are encountering your campaign, some may not have the second line shown on their device. This happens when it isn’t expected to perform better than the extensions that are mobile relevant. Any important information should be included in the first line of the description and headline so that it can be seen.

Even if line 2 isn’t cut-off, it is still a best practice to put your lead material in the #1 spot that users are going to see. The fraction of a second it takes to read the one sentence of the headline is enough for some to determine value. If that initial first impression isn’t deemed to be valuable, then the campaign is going to suffer and the quality score is eventually going to drop.

2. Use ad formats and extensions that are friendly to mobile devices.

The information you place in your campaign and how the extensions are designed will be a critical component to its chances of success. Location extensions are important for physical storefronts. If phone calls are desired or accepted, then call extensions are necessary. Link extensions to a specific page are necessary to create consistency. This goes for mobile users and traditional PC users.

Another often overlooked best practice is the app extension. If you have an app, then you can engage people through your AdWords campaign, even if the app itself isn’t how you’re defining a conversion. Specific callout and review extensions can help to highlight specific attributes that may help to show the value of your brand or business. Incorporating these things makes it easier for consumers to find you, know what you have, and ultimately improve your click-thru rates.

3. Limit your mobile preferred site links.

Mobile consumers are looking for specific data more than anyone else. This means placing them on the wrong landing page can make or break your campaign. Keep the links crisp, short, and meaningful by using the pages that contain the most information that is related to the creative components of the AdWord campaign. Limit the number to 6 so each consumer demographic doesn’t feel like you’re ignoring their needs for those of another demographic.

4. Let the URL speak for you.

There are many different ways that your URL can speak through your AdWords campaign. Specific keywords within the URL can help direct people the perceived value that you’re promising them with a click. It can also communicate that you have landing pages that are friendly to mobile users. The overall goal is to show everyone that they can expect a worthwhile experience with a click of the link.

Don’t pack the URL full of keywords just to do it. That won’t help anyone. A simple message that gives someone an idea of what they’ll receive with a click, combined with the creative content, will give you a great chance to raise your quality score.

5. Use complete sentences whenever possible.

Don’t fall for the trap of using SMS text language and abbreviation in your AdWords campaign. A best practice is to use proper grammar and complete sentences to communicate a specific message. You’ll want to separate the two description lines from each other with separate sentences because the first line may be promoted to the title instead and form a longer header. By separating the sentences, the second description line will still show.

6. Make sure that the ad sizes match up to your targeted demographic.

Desktop inventories and mobile inventories are very different. To get the best results, you’re going to need to use the correct ad sizes in your campaign. Many will just ignore the headache of sizing and opt for text ads only, but this limits the impact an AdWords campaign is able to achieve. Using standard ad sizes of 728×90, 300×250, and 320×50 will let you make the most out of all your creatives and still make a good first impression.

7. Track all of your conversions.

Most people intend to track their conversions, but wind up only tracking some of them. Desktop conversion tracking has always been a best practice and always will be. What many do not realize is that if there is a separate mobile site that is also being targeted, then conversion tracking must also be installed on it. Without the installation, the tracking will not actively work and the information that you’ll need to adjust campaigns in the future will be lost to time.

8. Bid with more strength on mobile ads and less strength on desktop ads.

With the huge screens of a desktop today, numerous results can be instantly seen by consumers and a decision from all of them can be made. Just getting into the top is often enough to generate the amount of clicks that are desired. Mobile ads, on the other hand, have limited viewing because the screens are smaller. Mobile campaigns don’t have the chance to display right sidebar results either, further limiting the chance for a click. Strong bids on your preferred keywords will generate better results because most mobile clicks come from the top position.

9. Don’t underestimate the value of a call only ad.

If you do not accept online orders or you’re trying to avoid bring people through your e-commerce platform to generate leads, then consider creating a call only ad for your next AdWords campaign. This is especially beneficial for companies that may not have optimized their domain for mobile traffic as of yet. It will allow mobile users to quickly place a call and become a warm lead pretty easily and it allows the campaign to place its best foot forward.

10. Optimize the timing for call conversions.

Google includes forwarding numbers that are dynamically generated with a standard campaign. If call conversions are desired and a business wants to display the same number across all of their campaigns, then it will be necessary to opt out of the number forwarding program.

There’s also the need to set up specific metrics that will help determine which calls are beneficial and create warm leads and which ones are not. A scoring system is usually the most effective way to do this. Consumer actions, such as a 5 minute phone call, allow for a better insight into the sales readiness of that potential prospect. In return, success can be better defined and the AdWords campaign can be adjusted to enhance results more effectively.

11. Keep all options on the table.

9 out 10 prospects that are interested in your AdWords campaign are going to move between various devices to accomplish their goals. This means your campaign must be flexible enough to meet the consumer’s flexible purchasing needs. Mobile searches are a key component of this process as more than 90% of them result in some sort of purchase.

Having a targeted landing page for each ad group will help to maximize this fact, but having a 1:1 ratio for campaigns to landing pages will make sure specific demographics are seeing the specific content they need to make a decision.

12. Be action-orientated in everything.

Each component of your campaign should be directed to one goal – a conversion. Ask yourself this question: “What would it take for me to want what I have?” Ask it with an open mind, placing yourself in the shoes of your consumer. Do everything you can to communicate how much value you can offer through action-orientated keywords that drive the message home.

13. Always update your negative keywords.

When push comes to shove, there are many things in an AdWords campaign that can be put off for a day or two. Updating the negative keyword lists, however, is not one of them. A best practice is to update this list 2x per week at minimum. Smaller campaigns may be able to get away with only doing it once. Go through your search reports at every level to see which are the most searched terms and eliminate the ones that aren’t performing. Single word keywords should be immediately added to this list from the very beginning

Many of today’s best practices for AdWords are based on mobile performance. That’s because mobile users are expected to dominate the clicks that come through within the next 12 months. Optimizing campaigns to focus on their needs will be one of the best tickets to punch for a successful AdWords experience.

Adword Campaign Practices