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Why are you having problems?

Not using Search Query Data

Fitting that this comes right after using the broad modifier as a crutch. Search queries can give you some of the most valuable data available to improve your Adwords campaign. Many marketers think the search query report is only really good for finding negative keywords but that is only one part of it. Understanding your search terms is also a great way to find more keyword ideas to flesh out your campaign.

What you can do to fix it:

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The truth is, how you search for a product, may not be how they search for it. Getting the full story will allow you to build a better keyword list, write better ads (more specific to the actual terms coming in) as well as stop those rogue keywords from coming through dragging your quality score down and Avg CPC up.

Combining Search With Display

I still can’t believe how many people and agencies are still doing this. Never run display and search in the same campaign. It makes zero sense to do so as both types of campaigns work completely different and all you end up with is a whole bunch of skewed data, a low CTR and a lot of wasted money.

What you can do to fix it:

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Split them up and keep them separate, search is not display and display is not search. Jimmy says no.

Not Testing Different Ads

Have you decided that your current adcopy is good and simply left it? Or have you tested any new adcopy at all? Often PPC marketers and agencies either don’t test enough adcopy or they don’t test at all. You could have the greatest campaign potential, however have deemed its useless as a result of simply not having good adcopy which can be attributed to not testing variations.

What you can do to fix it:

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Good adcopy will mean not only higher CTR but also may lead to: 1. More impressions 2. Higher Adrank 3. Lower CPCs 4. More conversions. No brainer really, test your adcopy!

Not Using Trends To Anticipate Dips

If your organic sun screen business did really well in December, chances are April or May will be a big shock. Not all products are ‘evergreen’ and some are affected (sometimes significantly) by cyclical or seasonal trends. Understand where the trends are an anticipate the ups and downs. Just because your campaign was working well last month, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work well in 2 months times. Find the trends and adjust accordingly. Some interesting trends we have noted (dog fleas, Gutter and Window cleaning, Dating over Christmas)

What you can do to fix it:

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Apart from search queries you could try using Google’s trend tool – http://www.google.com.au/trends/

Not Remarketing

What do you do with the traffic that has not converted on your website? I’m concerned about that blank look your are giving me which usually means ‘err.. nothing’. If you are advertising on Adwords then there is no question about it, not everyone will convert. You will most likely be losing potential leads, new business, qualified traffic and sales at some point, so why not try and bring these people back? You’ve done all the hard work already.

Think of it this way. You have spent a small fortune to get the traffic to your site and paid a premium CPC. We know not everyone will convert that should have (ie those that will benefit from your product.) This may not be your fault, some people, depending on where they are on the buying cycle need several touch points to take action, so don’t take offense.

So why not pay a fraction of that CPC to bring them back again?

What you can do to fix it:

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The conversion rates I have seen and the acquisition costs from remarketing is truly remarkable in some instances. Try it at least and forget the concern that ‘display doesn’t work’. Trust me, try it.

Not Remarketing Properly

Are you selling products and simply remarketing by sending people back to your website? Then you are most likely not remarketing properly and should be using some really cool tools that Google gives you at your disposal.

What you can do to fix it:

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You can remarket with product ads so if someone was looking at that stunning black dress on your website, then you can show them more stunning black dresses as they browse the net. What could be more relevant?! Were they searching for accommodation in Bali? Then chances are they are still considering going to Bali so use your cookie pools effectively to target the right people and most importantly, send them to the right place.

Using Automated Rules

Automated rules can be great and can save you lots of time but its important to know what you are doing when you use them.

A thing to note about automated rules is that they are exactly that, automated. I have seen people run automated scripts daily, trying to stay within the top 2 Adrank. This can be a true disaster if your competitor is doing the same or you have a quality score issue.

A common script to run is trying to keep a high adrank by increasing bids automatically if the average position is consistently below a certain number. The script does not know that your profit margins are at $8 so it will happily bid $15 a click.

Ensure you set your limits with automated rules. Even if yo are reluctant, set a max CPC ceiling so its doesn’t go over board.

What you can do to fix it:

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Add Quality score in your automated bid. Ensure you dont increase bids where the quality score is under 5, There are other factors you need to address and simply upping bids with your automated rules won’t solve the issue.

Not Testing Dynamic Insertion

Getting really bad CTR’s but are convinced that your keywords are driving in the right market? Well then maybe your ads are simply not good enough or not relevant enough. Using dynamic keyword insertion into your adcopy is one super easy way to make your ads more relevant to the user.

What you can do to fix it:

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Simply add this to your Headline: {KEYWORD:Default Headline}. In the section where it says ‘Default Headline’ put in your default headline (please don’t leave it as is!). This essentially tells Google that if the search term typed in by the user is too long (over 25 characters) then replace it with the default headline. Easy? Now go give it a shot.

Relying on Dynamic Insertion

Word of warning. Don’t rely on dynamic keyword insertion. I have seen this reliance many times over ,and in many cases, caused many issues for that advertiser. The risk with running dynamic insertion ads is that it will mimic what the person has typed in, which in some cases may be irrelevant.

Lets say you install solar systems and solar panels for companies looking to save money on their energy bills.

Naturally you bid on terms such as ‘Solar systems’ and are also using dynamic insertion. So you are happy and satisfied that this is going to work brilliantly.

Enter the inquisitive 9yr old who visits Google and searches the term ‘Solar System Map’. Guess who’s ad shows up? Guess what the ad headline said? You have not disappointed the 9yr old, you have paid a fortune for that useless click and not one got what they wanted. If on the other hand your ad said ‘Solar Panel Installer’, would the child have bothered to click your ad? Probably not.

What you can do to fix it:

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Don’t use dynamic keyword insertion as your crutch, but a great testing tool.

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