How Good Is Your Google Adwords Campaign?

You may be running Google Adwords yourself or have an Agency running it for you. What you get back from Adwords varies a lot depending on the quality of your campaign. A great campaign can literally get 10x more work for the same cost as a bad campaign. Adwords performs differently for different industries. You may be happy with your return on investment but that doesn’t mean there isn’t scope to double what you are getting back. Vice versa you may not be very satisfied at all but that may be down to the industry you work in and not the campaign or agency. Although a good agency should do research in advance to give you an idea of what you can expect in return or tell you when adwords is unlikely to work for your business.

Considering the above it becomes apparent how important it is to know how good your campaign is. Here are a few basic checks you can do to see how good your campaign is.

1) Find Out How Much You Are Spending – if you are using an agency and paying your money direct to them then they should be telling you how much you are spending on clicks and how much is going to the agency. In most cases 25% is what you will pay to an agency for managing your campaign. Google likes agencies to be transparent with information like this.

2) Check the exact search terms people are typing in when clicking on your ads, or ask your agency for a report on it. Some campaigns are set up very broadly. For instance an accountant came to me with a campaign that was so broad that when I checked, people had typed in things like “paypal account”, “tesco online”, “sky account online” and clicked on his ads using up his adwords spend! [a]

3) Perform a few searches in Google and check that your ads closely match the keywords you searched for. Ideally you want the keyword to appear multiple times throughout that ad as this is what draws people’s attention to it. You will notice that keywords in your ad that match what was typed will appear in bold making your ad stand out. If your ad doesn’t have much bold text you are doing it wrong.

4) Check the quality score of your keywords. The lower your quality score the more you have to pay when someone clicks on your advert and the lower your advert appears on Google. If you have a quality score of 4 and a competitor has a quality score of 8 for the same keyword you could literally pay twice as much for the same website visitor. Your average across all keywords should be above 5.

5) Make sure you have some kind of conversion tracking in place. If you don’t it is impossible to make your campaign the best it can be. Conversion tracking tracks the people who take some sort of action on your site like filling in an enquiry form. Without this information you can’t optimise the campaign to spend more on the keywords that lead to enquiries and avoid spending money on keywords that don’t bring in anything.

6) Check the number of keywords in your campaign – There needs to be at least enough keywords so that you can target different quality leads. For instance someone who types in “SEO Consultant” might turn out on average to be a different value lead or slightly different work for me than someone who types in “SEO Agency” or “SEO Services”. You also need enough key words so that you can tailor how much you bid, the ad copy and the landing page (the web page they first land on) to suit what the person is looking for. If you are paying for good management then keywords should be broken down in a lot of detail e.g. “SEO Consultant”, “SEO Consultants” and “SEO Consultancy” and other variations should all be in the campaign. This way the conversion rate of each keyword can be tracked separately and your bidding can be adjusted accordingly.

7) You should be using landing pages – most companies, especially service based companies should be using web pages designed especially for your adwords traffic known as landing pages. These pages can double the amount of enquiries you generate without you spending any more on adwords. They can even bring down your cost as they improve your quality score.

If you suspect your adwords isn’t being managed successfully then feel free to contact myself for a free review.


[a] You can check this in your campaign by going to the keywords tab in adwords and clicking “details” then under “Search Terms” click “All”. If you are using an agency then you could ask them to run a report for you.

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