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10 Steps to Increase Your AdWords ROI

Filtering through Ad Copy

For some marketers, especially B2B companies, the holidays may be a time of year when things slow down, which can be the perfect opportunity to thoroughly cleanse your PPC account and get it to deliver more bang for your buck. On the heels of my blog post on landing page optimization, here are 10 ways to make your PPC campaign more profitable.

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  • Make changes that matter.

Picking the right Ad Group
Don’t just look for what is not performing well in your campaign, look for areas that would have a big impact on your ROI if it were working better. See what campaigns and ad groups within each campaign represent the greatest share of your overall paid search budget.

Once you’ve identified the most critical areas of your campaign to optimize, start by taking a look at your Quality Score. Improving it will help you reduce your cost-per-click in relation to the position of your ads. This involves looking at each keyword’s CTR, associated ads and taking some of the following steps:

  • Create better targeted ad groups.

Ad Group Targeting
Look through your ad groups to find keywords with low Quality Score or low CTR and see what ads are showing up for them. Consider placing these keywords in another ad group with ads that are more relevant. In the case of broad match keywords, use the “See Search Terms” report to find some common queries you are getting clicks for. If some of the keywords that often get clicks are relevant to you, consider using them as a phrase or exact match in the same or new ad group.

Besides using the “See Search Terms” report to better target relevant keywords, use it also add to list of keywords that you do not want to target.

  • Curate your negative keyword lists.

Negative Keywords
Add negative keywords to your list so that your ads show for more relevant searches. You can find these in the “See Search Terms” report.

  • Use broad match modifiers.

If you have not done so already, add the new broad match modifier to your ad groups. This type of matching is more flexible than phrase and exact match while doing a better job of targeting than broad match. Bid on this match type higher than you would on broad match, and lower than phrase and exact match.

Your CTR does not only rely on your keywords, so it’s important that your ads get users to click.

  • Test your ads.

AdWords Ad Testing
Look for ways to make your ads stand-out against your competition and test different ideas. Let ads compete against each other and gather sufficient data before eliminating one or more ads. When you come across a test result in one ad group, consider applying what you learned to other ad groups.

Everything I’ve listed so far is primarily meant to increase your CTR. But what about making sure that each click is the best click you can get?

  • Filter out unwanted clicks.

AdWords Ad Copy Filtering
Provide information in your ad copy that will deter your most common unwanted customers. For example, if your services start at $5,000, consider using that in your ad copy. This may go against our strategy of increasing our CTR, but its benefits may outweigh the loss by increasing the value of each click.

  • Use match types to control bids.

Look at broad match keywords that are consuming a lot of your budget, without delivering the goods in the form of conversions. Consider reducing your bids on some of those broader keywords and increase bids on phrase and exact match keywords that are delivering good results.

  • Show ads at the right time.

AdWords Day Parting
After doing some preliminary testing by showing ads throughout the day and days of the week, configure your bidding schedule to get your ads more attention when it counts.

I’ve covered most things leading up to the click. Now let’s look at what to do about what visitors see after they click on your ad.

  • Improve device targeting.

Make sure that if you are targeting mobile devices that you are sending traffic to a mobile-friendly page and that this mobile traffic is in a separate campaign from your desktop computer targeting.

  • Conduct landing page optimization.

Work on continually improving the conversion rate of your landing pages. At the end of the day, no matter how cheaply you can generate traffic to your website by improving Quality Score or how well you can filter out unwanted clicks, if your pages are not focused on turning each visitor into a client, then you will always be spinning your tires in the mud. If you need a few tips to get you started, check out 84 Tips For A Killer Landing Page Design.

Below is a demonstration of the effects of conversion optimization on ROI:

ROI of Conversion Rate OptimizationEffect of Conversion Rate Optimization on ROI
In this example, ROI increases by 20% for every 1% increase in conversion rate.

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