Google Adwords Tutorial: A Comprehensive FAQ for PPC Marketers

Google Adwords Tutorial - Salil Panikkaveettil
Salil Panikkaveettil

Last time AdNabu‘s Salil joined us for a Google Adwords tutorial session, he shared quite a few PPC tips that Adwords beginners can use. You can check out the recording here, and the questions asked during the session here.

This time around, we wanted him to discuss things that are a little more advanced, and the session was a huge hit. Here are the questions that came in (there are close to 100, so you just might find what you were looking for). Also, here’s the recording.

Google Adwords Tutorial: Webinar FAQ

Keyword Planning

1. What is the best way to find new keywords in AdWords?

A simple way is to use ‘Keyword Planner’ and look at your ‘Search Query Performance Report’.

Google Keyword Planner:

Google Adwords Tutorial - Keyword Planner

Search Query Performance Report:

Google Adwords Tutorial - search query performance report

2. Can we use the keywords suggested by AdWords Keyword Planner in SEO project?

Yes. Use a combination of Keyword Planner, Moz, SEMRush, Webmasters data and other keyword data available to you.

3. Is it advisable to use keyword generator tools?

Yes – you will get different variations. Check their search volume, competition etc., on Keyword Planner to check if it makes sense to run ads on them. It doesn’t make sense to run an ad for a keyword with very low searches.

4. Can you suggest some good keyword research tools online?

AdNabu, SEMrush, WordStream, Google Keyword Planner, Moz are all great keyword research tools online.

5. Is it a good idea to take keywords for ads by referring to the search volume in keyword planner tool?

Yes, you can go ahead with that.

Keyword Match Type

6. Please explain a bit more about the order of words in phrase and exact match. 

Let’s discuss this with examples:

‘Exact’ is the strictest match type. Here, the ads will trigger only for searches which are exactly the same, or really close variations of it (misspellings or singular or plural form). Unlike phrase match, which triggers the ad for longer-tailed variations of your keyword, exact match does not trigger the ads if the search term is accompanied by additional words before or after it. If the keyword is [women’s hat], the ad would get triggered for women’s hats and women’s hat respectively, but not for buy women’s hat.

Google Adwords Tutorial - Exact Match

‘Phrase’ is slightly broader than exact but it is much stricter than broad or modified broad. However, as specified above, longer tailed variations of the keyword would also trigger the ads.

Google Adwords Tutorial - Phrase Match

Another one is ‘modified broad’. This is something new. So what you need to understand is that it is essentially broad match with a plus sign in front of some words. And when you put a plus sign in front of some words, it means that, show the ad only when this particular word is present.

Example: ‘+formal’ and ‘+shoe’ means show this ad to any search which has ‘formal’ and ‘shoes’ in it, in any order. It could be ‘formal evening shoes,’ ‘shoes for formal wear’ or anything similar, with the condition being, ‘formal’ and ‘shoes’ need to be present.

In the slightly modified example where the plus sign is only in front of shoes, that means it has to be related to ‘formal shoes’ but ‘shoes’ as a word should be present in the search query. It’s not necessary that ‘formal’ needs to be present. So the ad can also trigger for ‘evening shoes’. The broad match is mostly a ‘wild character’ type of match type where the ad can trigger for a lot of searches. You should be extremely careful if you are using broad match.

Google Adwords Tutorial - Broad Match

7. Can we use all the match types like best shoes, +best+shoes or “best shoes” at the same time?

Yes, you can use all match types together.

8. The searches in the Google Keyword Planner (GKP) for exact, phrase and broad keywords all show the same now. What’s going on with that?

Google Keyword Planner treats all three different match types as one “exact” match type. This article, by WordStream, will help you to find out that how you can estimate the broad and phrase match types’ volume.

9. Can we use Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) in ad copy, when my ad group is using Broad Match Modifiers (BMM) keywords? 

When your keywords are meaningful, certainly you can use DKI in your ad copy.

10. Can keyword modifiers be used in content marketing initiatives?

If you are talking about keyword match types, then no. PPC and organic work differently in those terms. For organic, you can rank a variety of related keywords if your content is good and well optimized, and the user experience is good.

However, you should definitely use “keyword modifiers,” i.e. additions to your main keyword to create long tailed keywords for your content strategy. That is how keyword planning for a good organic content marketing strategy is done.

Use a variety of tools – Keyword Planner, Moz, SEMRush, Google Adwords search queries, Webmasters, and cool tools like Answer the Public to put together different variations of your keywords, and write content around them. You can read this post you get more help around this.

11. What is the best match type for Single Keyword Ad Group (SKAG)?

To find out the best match, create three different ad groups with BMM, phrase & exact keyword match types in each ad group. Or, start with BMM match type, check the ‘Search Query Performance Report’ (shown below) and tweak the keyword match type accordingly.

Google Adwords Tutorial - Match types in single keyword ad group

12. Is it advisable to keep broad match with negative keywords or other types of match types?

If you would like to exclude short tail keywords, broad match type can be used to add in negative keywords. When you want to exclude long-tail keywords, you can use phrase or exact negative keyword match type.

13. If I add a “best lawyer” as negative to [best lawyer], will it block traffic for the exact match type? Which one is an effective match type?

Yes, it will block. When you are using exact match type keyword, Google will show your ads when people search for the exact search term. So there is no point in adding negative keywords to exact match type keywords.

14. Does BMM count synonyms?

No, it doesn’t.

15. How to set up modified broad keywords in AdWords?

This post by WordStream will help you set it up.

16. Which match type should be preferred for adding Negative keywords to an Ad group?

If you want to exclude a particular search term, say only a particular search, then Exact Matches are the best. But I usually prefer to put ‘Phrase Matches’ in negative.

Google Adwords Tutorial - negative keywords

Let’s say, you are an e-commerce company, and want to avoid showing ads when ‘free’ is a part of the search term. The best way to do it is, put ‘free’ as the negative keyword in Phrase Match and apply it across all your campaigns. Do not make the mistake of adding negative keywords only at the ad group level or at the campaign level.

17. What match type would give me the highest impression share (out of 100%)?

It is not only about match type, it is also about the way you segmented the campaign with targeted keywords. Single Keyword Ad Group (SKAG) method can also give you highest impression share.

18. If I understood correctly, one ad group should have one match type?

Yes, it is good to start with one match type for one ad group. If you want to test the match types, create different ad groups for different match types to check what’s working the best.

19. Will exact match keyword also trigger for misspellings?

Yes.

20. Should I add “+” to all words for Broad match modifier?

Yes.

21. What are the best match types to use, especially in the initial stages?

Start with ‘Broad Match Modifier.’ It’s a good bet. It’s slightly more restrictive than Broad so you will be able to weed out some irrelevant clicks. But it is broad enough to get you enough clicks for identifying whether AdWords is working or not.

22. What is the best keyword match type option for better conversion?

Phrase and exact would bring quality traffic. If your ad copy and landing page are really good, it will give you better conversions.

23. When we apply different match types, the keyword bid keeps changing. So how do we control this for a budget wise campaign?

Yes, the keyword bid keeps changing. It is a holistic process:

  • We cannot control the bids but we can control the money spent by creating automated bid rules.
  • Optimize your campaign – Analyse the past performance. Bid only on the performing regions rather than bidding on all regions.
  • Schedule your ads – This involves dayparting and hourparting. Optimize this in such a way that it drives quality traffic and clicks on the landing page as well.

There are several other factors that you need to consider including adding negative keywords, adding extensions and so on. More importantly, utilize the minimum budget wisely.

Single Keyword Ad Group (SKAG)

24. Why do Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAG) have more efficiency? Which match type should be used? Does it impact impression count as well?

There are many reasons for its high efficiency. In simple words, because you have just one keyword and a very relevant ad copy, the relevance of the ad would be more, and so would be the Quality Score of the keyword. This would obviously lower your impressions. However, the CTR would be higher because of high relevance between search term, keyword, and the ad copy.

Which match type you should choose would be decided by variations of tests and measuring the performance of your ads. Start with broad match modifier. If you are getting irrelevant searches, then mark negative keywords, and try using phrase or exact keyword instead – testing would give you a better idea of what to use. For consumer businesses, like e-commerce, this ad structure can become very hard to manage, however, it is one of the most efficient ones.

(Note: You should look at the best practices Salil discussed in the webinar to get a better idea of single keyword ad groups.)

25. It won’t be possible for big advertisers to separate each keyword with an ad group. What is the best solution for an e-commerce company who has hundreds of campaigns and ad group?

When I say, make single keyword ad groups, I do not mean, create an ad group for every single search that a user can make. What I’m saying is that every single search which is statistically significant, make an ad group for that. If a search is only done 30 times a month, don’t create a separate ad group for it. It’s wasting time.

But if a keyword is being searched more than a hundred times a month, then it makes some sense to create a separate ad group for it. But having said that, I understand that e-commerce companies will find it a little harder to create single keyword ad groups. You are then trading efficiency over ease of management. It’s a call that you have to make.

26. Single keyword ad groups would increase the number of ad groups exponentially? How to tackle that?

If you want that kind of efficiency from PPC, you have no other option. The increase in number of ad groups is okay if you have that many keywords. It’s not going to really affect you much. That’s my personal opinion. In case you can’t maintain a single keyword ad group strategy, you can combine related keywords together into multiple ad groups. It is not as good as single keyword ad groups but it’s a decent compromise.

Ad Rotation Settings

27. How do ads rotate within an Ad Group?

There are 4 different ways in which you can choose to rotate the ads within an ad group, based on your objective. Before we get to that, do this – in the campaign settings, look for “Delivery method” and select “Standard: Show ads evenly over time.” This makes sure that your budget is distributed evenly.

Google Adwords Tutorial - ad delivery method

Now, coming to the 4 settings available for ad rotation:

  • Optimize for clicks
  • Optimize for conversions
  • Rotate evenly
  • Rotate indefinitely

Google Adwords Tutorial - Advanced Settings

Based on your goal, which in the case of most advertisers is to at least get the ad clicked first, you can choose your setting. This is how your ads would rotate.

28. What do you mean by Google “choosing the ad” from multiple ads?

It depends on the ad rotation settings that you have chosen. So, for instance, if you have chosen to show ads that’ll get more clicks, then it would be shown accordingly.

Google Adwords Tutorial - Ad rotation settings

Display Campaign

29. For real estate consulting companies, is search ad better or display ad better?

For every business/industry, Search and Display will perform in different manners.

  • Search will give you high-quality leads, with higher cost.
  • Display will give you lower quality leads with lower cost.

You should always start with search campaigns, and later on, go on ahead with the display campaigns once you have some traffic coming in.

(Plug: For more tips on real estate marketing, take a look at these posts.)

30. Will YouTube Ads & Gmail Ads work better than Display Ads, as they are cheaper?

You need to test all the ad types, find out which is working better for your product/service and then take a call. The results vary from business to business.

31. I am wondering if ad rank on the display network is calculated the same as it is for the search network. I know that the display network CTR will generally be lower than the search network but will a really low CTR on the display network affect the cost per click?

The parameters used are more or less the same. We have much more data from search network and comparatively less for display network because the number of websites where your ad can be triggered is immense. In display, it’s not just about keywords. It’s about a lot of other stuff. It’s about audience targeting, placement targeting, and so on. Give ‘Keyword Quality Score’ more preference. ‘Search Campaigns’ is not really a big deal in the content network.

Bidding Strategy

32. When I am using automated bidding strategy (CPA), what option should I use, “optimize for conversions” or “rotate evenly” for A/B testing?

Most of the tests around PPC have found that the ad text has no relevance in the conversion ratio. No matter what the ad says, the user is going to convert based on the keyword and your website. The ad has very little influence in increasing or decreasing the conversion ratio. So if you are doing ad level A/B testing, it is recommended to optimize for clicks itself. However, you can definitely test that and maybe rotate it evenly for a few days to figure out if it’s working.

33. What is better, in general, CPC or CPA?

If you have the time and are willing to invest it in AdWords optimization, then CPC. But if that’s not true, go for CPA. But keep in mind, if you have fewer conversions, it’s just not going to work at all. Ensure you have at least 50-60 conversions per month. Otherwise, CPA is just not going to work for you.

34. Can we bid on competitor keywords? How to get good Quality Score on competitor keywords?

You can bid on competitor keywords, but your quality score would be always below 3 because you are not allowed to use the competitor’s name in your ad copy.

Google Adwords Tutorial - Match types in single keyword ad group

35. How to make sales with a low budget campaign? What’s a cost-effective match type?

If you are looking to make more sales, then the quality and not quantity of clicks and impressions is important to you. You should try more of exact, phrase and BMM keywords, instead of broad. Also, you’ll need to continuously track your campaign performance and tweak it for high-quality conversions at a lower cost. This post would help you understand how to get high-quality leads from AdWords.

36. How frequently should the bid be optimized?

If possible once in every two days, because the auction happens every time someone searches for a keyword. The keyword which shows your ad today, might not show it tomorrow depending on competition and other metrics. These metrics will help you figure out the bids – “Est. first page bid, est top page bid, est. first position bid”. You can find this metric at keyword level.

37. Can you explain how exactly CPA bid works?

This AdWords Help Article on CPA bidding explains it best.

38. What is the best practice to bid for a popular keyword? The auto bid is usually very expensive. 

Never follow the bid that is exactly recommended by Google. Usually, Google might suggest a slightly higher bid. Try out with half of that or even less. The best way is to figure out what the keyword is worth to you and then make the bid.

39. What is device level bid?

Device level bid simply means that you can adjust the bid for each device like mobile, computer & tablet separately.

Google Adwords Tutorial - device level bid

40. Is there any tool that can help me identify keywords bid level change with time?

There isn’t really a tool available for that. Rather than thinking about the keyword competition, think from a user perspective. How much is that keyword worth to me? If the conversion ratio is 10% and I want the conversion at Rs 1000, I can only bid at max Rs 100. I cannot go to Rs 200 and expect it to come at Rs 1000 CPA. Your keyword level bid should be decided, not by the competition but what that keyword is worth to you.

41. Sometimes in CPA, whatever we put as the targeted Bid, the end cost goes more than that of a CPA? How to control this? [E.g. I put a CPA as 50 but the end value goes up to Rs 70]

It’s like trying to predict the future. That will happen with any system. In any kind of AdWords management tool, like Google AdWords conversion optimizer or AdNabu conversion optimizer, we try to optimize it on the conversion value also. But all these systems essentially try to predict the future by looking at past data. This might not give you accurate results.

But, if it’s 50 and it’s showing 70 for you, and if you have not made any landing page changes or ad changes, then it’s not an ideal situation. Maybe you should go back to manual CPC bidding for some time, increase the number of conversions and then go back to CPA bidding because 50 to 70 is an increase of about 40%. I generally see an error of maybe 20% but 40% is a little too much.

Budgeting

42. Any tips for startups who have just started with AdWords? What is the best way to optimize with low budgets?

Low budget is not a problem. Don’t really aspire for the number one position. Be reasonable and aim for an average position of around 3-4. Now you might not get as many clicks as some of the other big guys are getting. But they would give you an idea of what’s working and what’s not. Then grow your campaigns. So I would recommend that you aim at an average position of 3-4 initially. For more inputs, take a look at our earlier webinar session on Google Adwords for Beginners.

Google Adwords Tutorial - Tips for beginners

43. Should we divide the budget while dividing the ad groups and match types?

You don’t need to and you cannot, as the budget is a campaign level setting.

44. The search algorithm has changed in Google, where the right side ads are not coming for the keywords. This has increased our CPC. How to tackle this?

There is no going back now. From my experience, I haven’t seen the cost increase that much and this is after seeing maybe close to 1000s of AdWords campaigns. What happened was, the right side ads always had a lower CTR. Now it is being pushed to the bottom. And they have actually added one more position on the top. So instead of having 3, a lot of times now you’ll see 4 ads on the top. Overall, there has been an increase in the number of clicks. Your cost might have increased because the number of clicks has also increased. But it can also happen because of a lot of other factors. Maybe this is just a coincidence that the algorithm changed recently. But that alone should not have affected the increase in CPCs.

45. How much should a SaaS startup (whose buyers are of a traditional mindset, i.e not technically savvy) spend in the first 6 months on AdWords?

It would depend on your general cost of customer acquisition, and how much is a customer worth to you. If your cost per customer (in Adwords) is Rs 50,000 but the revenue from your customer is only Rs 5000, then it doesn’t make sense. The ideal way to decide a budget is this: Do a calculation based on how many customers you wish to acquire in 6 months and your “lead to customer” conversion ratio – this would tell you how many leads you need to get the required number of customers. Then, you need your landing page conversion rate and the average cost per click. This would tell you how much money you need to generate the number of leads necessary to get “x” customers.

Doing a calculation with these numbers will help you come up with a budget that makes sense for you.

Here’s an example:

All values here are assumptions – you should consider values by looking at your existing metrics.

So let’s assume:-

  • Landing Page conversion rate: 10%
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): Rs 150
  • Lead to customer conversion percentage: 3%
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): 2%
  • Impressions: 2000

Using basic formulae, we arrive at:-

  • Clicks = 2% (CTR) of 2000 (Impressions) = 40 clicks
  • Leads = 10% (LP Conversion rate) of 40 (Clicks) = 4 leads
  • Cost = Rs. 150 (Cost per click) * 4 (Total Leads) = Rs. 6000
  • CPL = Total Cost/Total Leads = Rs.6000/4 = Rs. 1500
  • Customers = 3% (Lead to customer conversion percentage) of 4 (No. of leads) = 0.12

So, to get at least 3 customers,

  • No. of leads = (4/0.12)*3 = 100 leads
  • Cost = 1500 * 100 = 150000

So, your campaign budget should be minimum Rs 1,50,000, to generate 3 customers. To reduce your campaign budget, optimize your campaign well enough so as to improve your conversion rate, and lead to customer conversion rate.

Campaign Structure

46. What does the message, “the ad is showing for another ad group” mean? Is this due to competition?

That means the same keyword is being used in two different ad groups. If the targeting settings are same for those ad groups, the keywords will compete against each other.

47. What if we have same keywords for different ad groups? 

The keywords will compete with each other. Google will start showing the ad from that particular ad group where the keyword has a better quality score and landing page experience.

48. How to identify the internal competition in your own ad group within a campaign?

Internal competition occurs when you have two or more ‘duplicate keywords’ that share identical targeting in your Google AdWords account. To identify easily, use google AdWords editor. This post by LunaMetrics will guide you.

49. Is there an ideal number of keywords you would suggest per ad group?

If you have a manageable number of keywords, and you are willing to do some hard work structuring your campaigns, have 1 keyword per ad group, otherwise 2-4 closely related keywords per ad group.

50. What are the character limits for search and app ads in Adwords?

Here is the character limit for search ads:Google Adwords Tutorial - ad text limit

Source: https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6021630?hl=en

The app ads work a little differently. Even though the character level is 25 for each of the ad text lines that you put, each of the text ideas can be displayed alone or with a combination of the other ideas. This image would give you a better idea.

Google Adwords Tutorial - App Install ad character limit

Quality Score:

51. Is quality score directly proportional to the landing page?

Yes, quality score is dependent on a lot of things, and a good landing page experience is one of them.

52. Name one best practice, to have a good quality score for the keyword?

Quality score is dependent on everything: Keyword relevance –> Ad copy to keyword relevance –> Landing page experience and actual conversions. So, it’s like a cycle. If your traffic, ad copy, landing page are all high quality for a particular keyword, the quality score would be high as well.

53. If a keyword has a low number of searches, do I have to pause this keyword to improve CTR and consequently improve my quality score?

When you add a keyword to an ad group and it says ‘low search volume’, pause the keyword and try to add some other keywords which are relevant and has decent search volume.

54. From a quality score perspective, would it make sense to separate search campaigns from Content Network campaigns? The Content click-through-rate (CTR) is obviously lower than the Search CTR; I am concerned that the Content CTR would negatively affect the Search CTR of the keywords in the same campaign.

It doesn’t actually. Even inside search network, if you are signed in to search partners and your CTR is low on search partners, it wouldn’t affect the quality score of Google search. But, having said that, it’s an absolute must that you separate campaigns for content as well as search, because, these are two different mediums and they have very different conversion ratios.

55. In Fintech domain, there are limited keywords to target; so, many players are bidding on the same keywords. How to differentiate and be on the top of the page?

There aren’t too many options there. It’s not like SEO where you can do something and get the rankings increased. It’s much more straightforward. If you have a lot of companies vying for the top position, don’t vie for the top position then. Look a little lower. Get in the 4th or 5th position and get some clicks. There are just 2 things – quality score and bid. That’s what can bring you to the position you are aiming at.

(Plug: Interested in trends in the Fintech domain? Read this to know more)

Targeting

56. For B2B campaigns, we need to target ‘Industry’ and ‘Job Roles’ which can be done on LinkedIn. Does Google provide any such filters?

In display campaign, you can choose affinity or in market audience but specific industry or job role can’t be done in Google AdWords. You can’t target a particular company. You can target keywords that these individuals might search for. Facebook is a different medium. Google Search is a different medium. LinkedIn is a different medium. There are some use cases where LinkedIn ads might work best. There are some use cases where Google Ads might work best. And there are some cases where Facebook might work best. You have to identify what works for your company.

If you are selling to very targeted individual positions, keep in mind that LinkedIn CPCs are really really high. But if you have a very high ‘customer value’, it makes sense to invest in LinkedIn ads also. But it’s a totally different medium. You cannot compare PPC with LinkedIn ads.

(Plug: Click here to know more about successful LinkedIn ads and how you can achieve that)

Mobile Targeted Campaigns

57. Can we create mobile targeted campaigns separately?

Since the expanded text ads have been introduced, device preference no longer appears while creating the ads.To show the ads completely on a mobile device, decrease the bid adjustments by 100% in computers. Make sure, that you are using responsive landing pages in your ads.

Remarketing

58. Can you share some remarketing tips for travel agents? And also review extensions?

You need to follow the standard best practices for remarketing for your travel business. I would just want to highlight that for travel, remarketing can be extremely effective, because

  • The decision making in buying a vacation is a long process. If you follow your visitors with the best offers right from the first time they land on their website, the chances of them remembering you is high.
  • In travel, the average buyer researches online a lot, and while he’s doing that, he’d keep coming across your ads – again, brand recall.

Review Extensions Setting up review extensions is very easy, and very relevant for travel businesses. This is how you can do it. Here’s where you’ll be adding it in Adwords interface:

Google Adwords Tutorial - Review extensions

But, you have to remember that your reviews won’t show up all the time in your ads – it depends on the bids, relevance and the space available to your ad. Also, you must remember to follow Google’s guidelines to review extensions, otherwise the reviews won’t show up at all. Here’s a review extension in action:

Google Adwords Tutorial - review extensions

(Plug: Want more tips for travel and tourism marketing? Here’s everything you need to know. Well, not everything but a decent amount) 🙂

Google Adwords Tutorial - Tourism Marketing

Other Ad Types

59. Can you talk about Gmail ads? You can get some good insights into Gmail ads

You can get some good insights into Gmail ads in this post by Search Engine Journal.

60. AdWords and AdWords Express, what’s the difference?

If you have a small business and absolutely no time to maintain a website or track anything and you just want some kind of visitors coming to your website, go with AdWords Express. It’s not really recommended because you don’t have any kind of optimization options available. You cannot track which keywords are converting. You cannot make keyword level bid changes. There is very little flexibility out there. My personal recommendation is to stay away from AdWords Express Ads and at least create a simple AdWords campaign.

Google Adwords Tutorial - device level bid

Expanded Text Ads

61. What has been the performance of the new expanded text ads? Any suggestions on how to get the best out of this?

People have seen mixed results with expanded text ads. Here’s a post by Search Engine Land giving you some insights into it. Here are some best practices of expanded text ads.

Performance Measurement

62. What is the key performance metrics that you need to track to check whether a certain ad is performing or not?

Clicks, conversions, conversion rate, quality score, etc. These are the basic metrics to start with.

Google Adwords Tutorial - Adwords performance metrics

63. How much time will it take for us to decide the right ads for our keywords?

I would give it at least 7-8 days. After you start running the ad, you need to first see the impressions of the ads and percentage served. See the performance of search query for the quality clicks and then analyze the CTR.

64. For a service company, which kind of metrics are the best?

For a services company, I am guessing you would aim at generating leads. So, conversion rates, the percentage of high-quality leads are the most important metrics. To make sure that you get high-quality leads, you’ll need to optimize your campaigns to get high-quality impressions and clicks.

Note: If you want more insights on marketing metrics in general, watch this webinar.

Google Adwords Tutorial - Key Marketing Metrics

65. What is the ideal time for running a specific campaign to get desired results?

7 to 10 days.

66. What is the best way to monitor the performance of an AdWords account? As in, with many ads, how do you keep track and keep optimizing without wasting time?

The ad level optimization can take some kind of a backseat in my experience. You can experiment with 8-10 ads but after a point, spending too much time on ad optimization is not needed. What you can rather do is, look at optimizing keywords and bids. Monitor the performance of keywords. Find out which ones are working and which ones aren’t. Change the bids. If you don’t change bids actively, you might be losing a tremendous amount of money. I have seen accounts which can work at least 2x better if they do keyword optimization and bid optimization better.

67. How do you know that your AdWords is working well? Is there specific target/percentage set?

It’s very subjective. Nobody really knows if their AdWords account is working well. You can do a lot of checklist mistakes. For instance, you might not be using site link extensions. If that’s the case, there is a chance for improvement. Other than that, you can never really know if your campaign is at its best or not. You should not really worry about what can potentially happen in AdWords, rather, if AdWords is really making sense for your business. That is the best scenario for you to be in. Do not really worry about the competition that much.

68. How is percentage served measured by Google?

Several factors influence how often a given ad appears, including your ad rotation setting, when the ad was created, and the ad’s approval status.

69. Is there a way we can get competitive insights on bids and keywords used for similar ad groups?

Auction insights report lets you compare your performance with other advertisers who are participating in the same auctions that you are.

Google Adwords Tutorial - auction insights report

This information can help you make strategic decisions about bidding and budgeting choices by showing where you’re succeeding and where you may be missing opportunities. The Auction insights report is available for both Search and Shopping campaigns.

Google Adwords Tutorial - auction insights reports

Testing

70. What is A/B testing method?

A/B testing is a method to test two variations like ad copies, landing pages, same keyword with different match types, etc against each other to figure out which is performing better.

71. What is multivariate testing?

Multivariate testing is a technique for testing different variables in campaigns, on a landing page, an email template, etc. Multiple variables are modified for this testing. The goal is to determine which combination of variations performs the best out of all of the possible combinations.

(Plug: For further reading on multivariate testing and ways in which it can be done, take a look at these resources below)

Google Adwords Tutorial - link to conversion rate optimization webinar

72. We have 4 ad copies in an ad group but only one ad copy is performing out of 4. What should we do?

Check what sort of ad rotation settings you have chosen. Let’s say, you have chosen, “optimize for clicks” and then concluded that one ad copy is performing better. If this is the case, I would say that you haven’t given a chance to the other ad copies. However, if you have chosen the correct settings and then concluded, pause the non-performing ads.

Google Adwords Tutorial - Match types in single keyword ad group

Landing Page

73. If we don’t have a website. Can Google+ page be used as a landing page in AdWords?

Yes, you can. Click here to know the guidelines.

74. Is it better to have a distinct landing page for each ad group?

Yes, it is a good method or else you can use UTM parameters with the same landing page URL for different ad groups. But, a distinct landing page can help you keep landing page relevance high, and give you higher conversion rate.

(Plug: Since we are talking about landing pages, here are some PPC landing page mistakes that you need to avoid!)

Google Adwords Tutorial - Landing Page Mistakes killing your conversions

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

75. What is CTR?

Click through rate (Number of clicks/Impressions)*100

76. How to increase your CTR?

Search term + keyword + ad copy relevance – have your keyword in your ad copy (preferably in the headline).

77. How is expected click through rate calculated? The CTR on my search ads is generally >8%. But the keywords’ CPC is still expensive because the expected CTR and the landing page experience is “below average”. How do I fix this if it for an app install and the CTR is actually high?

If it’s an app install campaign, maybe you can improve the app store ranking by adding more relevant keywords. But here’s the thing, 8% CTR is good for search but actually quite low for app install campaigns. Because the number of ad positions in the app store is generally lower. You should be getting much higher CTR. Expensive is very relative. If you want more number of clicks or conversions from a fixed search volume, you’ll have to pay exponentially more.

78. The average position went down due to the removal of right side ads. How can we tackle that?

Average position is one of the most deceptive metrics that you will see. A lot of times when people think that their average position is four, they believe that they were getting clicks when the position was at 4. That’s not the case. Most of the time, what you need to look at is ‘Top vs Other Clicks’ data.

Google Adwords Tutorial - Top vs Other Clicks data.

If you look at the ‘Top vs Others’ data, it will tell you the number of times your ad got clicked when at the ‘Top’ position (the 1, 2, 3, 4 positions) vs the number of times it got clicked when on ‘Other’ positions. And I can guarantee you that more than 70%-80% of the time, your ad must have gotten clicks from the ‘Top’ positions. The only reason why your average position is low is because a lot of times your ad was shown in the 5th to 10th position. It does not mean you are getting clicks from those positions all the time.

App Install Ads

79. Is Universal App campaign as effective as App Install search campaign?

Universal App Campaign is an easy way to start, but there are a few problems there.

  • There’s no real insight into what’s working and what’s not.
  • You will absolutely have no control over the ads.
  • I have also seen slightly deceptive app install numbers from Universal App Installs.

The problem is that you cannot opt out of display network. Display network will drive a lot of app installs but these users will just uninstall your app after some time. If you are able to measure something post install, you will see that the CPA that you see in Universal App Installs is deceptive. The actual CPA is much higher because a lot of conversions will come from display network which might not be that relevant to you.

For more inputs, take a look at this comprehensive post by WordStream.

80. Which third party Mobile Analytics tool is best for Apps?

Flurry and Localytics are among the best.

Note: We did a webinar on mobile app marketing as well. Watch it here:

Google Adwords Tutorial - link to mobile marketing strategy

81. Any suggestions you have for app install ads?

App install ads are nothing but an extension of search ads. Everything that I have talked about – the structuring, the best practices, everything is relevant here as well. The only difference is that the ad type is different. One of the things you need to understand is that the conversion ratio in Play Store ads is much much higher usually. It’s around 30% normally. If you are getting more than that, it’s great. The device level bidding is not really important here because you are only showing ads on mobile devices.

82. It becomes difficult to track conversions for iOS downloads. Is there any conversion tracking tool for the iOS app? What is the best tool for lead generation?

I think there is proper documentation available for tracking iOS app installs. It essentially pings the Google Ads server and tells you that the app has been installed. The conversion tracking is not as smooth as the Google Play Store, obviously. But we can still do it. There are some SDKs available for that.

Miscellaneous

83. Is it better to aim at organic rankings or is it okay to directly invest on AdWords?

You should do both. Adwords would just give you quicker results. You should continue to optimize your website for SEO as well while running ads.

84. How does an AdWords campaign differ for product-based companies and service-based? Is display Ad a better option than search ads?

I haven’t seen any specific differentiation with respect to AdWords advertising in product and service businesses. If you ask me if which is a better option – display or search, I’d say it’s very subjective.

However, most of the time search works better. There might be some cases where you might be able to find some arbitrage in display. Let me explain this with some statistics.

Google gets most of its revenue from search. And that tells you that advertisers are putting more money in search. Why are they putting more money in search? Because it is found to be profitable for them. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to waste money in search. So mostly, search should work.

85. What is the difference between keywords and ad text?

Keywords are something added to the ad group, which would help to trigger your ads when some searches something related to your services on Google:

Google Adwords Tutorial - keywords

Ad text is an ad copy that gets triggered on Google.

Google Adwords Tutorial - ad text

86. What are the common mistakes that generally people do while doing AdWords?

I’d recommend you read this post by Kissmetrics. It’s a great guide for those who are just starting with Google AdWords.

87. AdWords works best for B2B or B2C?

AdWords works best when the products or services is searched online. Use Keyword Planner tool to find out the volume for your relevant search terms.

Google Adwords Tutorial - keyword planner

Google Adwords Tutorial - auction insights reports

88. How can we change the prices for flight campaigns daily without changing the ad copy manually?

You will have to use Google AdWords Ad Customizers. Click here to learn more.


Thanks for reading! Hope you found it useful 🙂 Visit our blog for more tips on PPC marketing, past webinar recordings and other marketing blog posts.

About the Author

  • Rajat

    Very good, detailed post. thanks

    • Shibani Roy

      Thanks Rajat 🙂

  • Yoganand Seo Trainer

    Very Impressive Post.. Thanks a lot for sharing valuable information.

    • Shibani Roy

      Thank you! Appreciate it 🙂

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