Build Better AdWords Campaigns By Ignoring Google’s Advice

This post originally appeared on the Obergine blog.

When people start using Google AdWords they often start building their campaigns with a similar structure. It’s a structure that’s logical, easy to implement, and encouraged by Google themselves. It’s also wrong and could stop them from seeing RoI on their ad spend. This post explores why that might be and how to stop yourself from falling into the same trap.

“When you start using AdWords Google encourages you to think from the highest level first. “Give your first campaign a name”, they say, “then worry about what goes into it”. So you:

  1. Create a campaign, perhaps named after what you want to sell, perhaps named “Campaign #1” (after all you’re new to this)
  2. Create some ad groups for the products you want to sell
  3. Pop in some keywords – however many you think makes sense
  4. Write your ads about your products

And there’s your campaign built – easy!

The trouble comes when you follow the same approach to expand your campaigns: once you get to a certain point perhaps you found your campaigns weren’t performing quite as well as you had originally hoped, or that expanding your ad groups to include some nice long-tail keywords had nothing like the impact you expected. Or it comes when you start reading blog posts about how some people get 7% click through rates on their ads, while yours are limping along at 1-2%. You start thinking that maybe the way you’re setting up your campaigns isn’t the best way.”

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