10 actions to be successful with Google Adwords

We have been working with Google Adwords since 2002. Over the years we condensed this list of actions in order to be successful with Google Adwords if you run an online shop.

More or less all of the Google Search Result page is paid Adwords ads if you look for a product.
  1. Make sure that the conversion tracking (e-commerce) including value really works. Preferably with Google Analytics. Make a couple of test orders in order to make sure that the tracking works, and the currency is correctly set. Without the conversion tracking you run blind. In the end you would like to focus on “return on ad spend” – ROAS. Many agencies use the Google language of “break even” when ROAS is 100%. This ignores your cost of goods sold and other costs. If you think that a sales cost of 20% of the turnover is acceptable, you must reach a ROAS of 500% (1/0.2 = 5).
  2. Work on your product detail pages. Make sure the product information is up to date and correct – in all your languages. You reach the best results with linking your ads directly to the product detail page – on these pages the customers have the least clicks to complete the order. Work on the direct product ads first, when these run well, you can create broader ads. For these very specific ads, start with high bids – try to be on position 1. You can always reduce later if the results do not come.
  3. Split up all your ads by language, and limit strictly by language. Make sure the ad is linked directly to the right language. This is a lot of work, but worth every minute.
  4. Strictly limit the ads to where you can deliver your products with profit. If you are located in Switzerland, limit the ads to “Switzerland” – at least to start off with. Google sometimes make changes to the location option in order to widen it. Make sure it is set as “in the user location”.
  5. Be very careful with display ads, video ads, etc. Many times the results – in terms of conversions – are bad. There is a trend to make the advertiser pay for clicks that occur inside the Google products. Here you can reach great click-thru-rates “CTR”, even if the customer is not even visiting your site.
  6. Use Google Shopping: but check the result of every product ad carefully. If your competition is cheaper, pause your ad, or put in very low bid. Otherwise customers will go to you for information and to your competitor for purchasing.
  7. Only run ads where products are available. If the product is not in stock, make sure that the ad or the Google shopping item is paused.
  8. Only use exact match keywords or broad match “+” keywords (combine at least 2 keywords here like “+Philips +lamp”. Avoid phrase matches and Googles proposed broad matches, since the latter include a lot of stuff that is not relevant to you.
  9. Work on your negative keyword list. These lists are available in the “shared library”, and you can save a lot of time by using one list for several campaigns.
  10. If a keyword, an ad, an adgroup, or a campaign perform well – let us say above 600% ROAS – just run with it. At least double the bids and see what happens. To compensate.

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