AdWords Campaign Settings: Best Practices

Google laptop

Let’s get back to the basics for a moment and take some time to review Google campaign settings.  These settings are simple switches that can have a massive impact on your account.  We recommend campaign settings be audited every 3 months, at a minimum.  For the sake of the article, we’ll be focusing on search network only campaigns with all features.

Networks: Your options here are to enable or disable Google search partners.  This includes YouTube, AOL, Comcast and more.  I recommend leaving this on as it will generally only constitute ~10% of your spend.  If you find your cost/conversion metrics are lagging on search partners, you can turn it off later.  To see reporting by google vs. search partners, use the segment feature found in adwords.

Devices: If you’re advertising inside the USA, keep in mind that there are now more daily mobile searches than desktop ones.  When setting your bid options, keep this in mind.  I recommend leaving all devices at 0% and running for 30 days to gather data. From there, you can decide to tweak bids for mobile or tablet devices.

Location: Let’s consider two businesses located in LA: a world-class plastic surgeon, and a local pizza delivery chain restaurant.  That surgeon will want to appear when someone from say, New York, searches “Best Plastic Surgeon in LA.”  Since traveling for expensive medical procedures is common, and potential ROI is great, we’ll turn on People in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location.  Now for that pizza chain: they definitely want to show up when someone in LA searches for “best pizzeria,” but I’d argue they would be wasting cash targeting anyone outside of their area.  For them, it’s best to target only people in my targeted location.

The third option (People searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location) can be used to segment your campaigns for people not in your target geo, but still searching for it — this can help you message differently and bid accordingly.

Languages: Google uses a combination of query, language settings and more to determine targets here.  If you are targeting a language, it’s best practice to ensure you have copy in that dialect.  Certain exceptions can be made for countries with high incidence of bilingualism.

Delivery Method: Standard delivery means Google will attempt to spread your clicks out evenly over the course of a day.  Example: There are enough queries to result in 1000 clicks per day.  Your budget can pay for 100 clicks per day.  Rather than spending all of your money on the first 100 clicks that come in, your ad will turn off periodically throughout the day to preserve budget.  Accelerated delivery means your ads will show as frequently as possible until budget is exhausted.

Ad Rotation: I recommend rotating for clicks to start: this will help increase your quality score and let you know what message resonates best with your users.  Once you know what ads work best, you can begin to rotate for conversions.  I recommend only rotating evenly if you are testing landing pages or want scientific (read: significant) data on what ad performs best.



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Will Goldfarb About the author
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