Over the last few years, I’ve managed or consulted on over 100 Adwords campaigns. Here are 15 of the things I’ve learned.

Visitor Value Is The Key

#1: Click prices aren’t “too expensive”, they’re merely a reflection of how much money your competitors make per website visitor. 

#2: If you make less money per visitor than your competitors, you’ll have an uphill struggle.

#3: Selling cheap only makes sense if the increase in conversion rate (percentage of visitors that buy) more than makes up for the decrease in profit per sale.

#4: One overlooked way to increase visitor value is through up-selling: offering either a more expensive version or additional products at the point of sale. That can increase the average profit per sale by up to 30%.

Understanding The Adwords Auction

#5: Because Google factor clickthrough rate into your ad costs, Adwords is closer to “pay per impression” than “pay per click”. 

#6: Therefore, the company that does the best job of turning ad impressions into money tends to dominate the market. 

Managing Campaigns

#7: Your goal is to buy conversions at a profit. This means you need conversion tracking. That’ll tell you which ads and keywords are profitable.

#8: To know what’s profitable, you also need to know the value of a conversion. Few businesses know this important number.

#9: Adwords broad match can be matched to almost anything. This means you’ll get some low quality traffic. Identify these unwanted clicks by running regular search query reports and block them with negative keywords.

#10: Low Quality Scores don’t just increase your cost per click, they also reduce your impressions as your ads are shown less often. 

Split-Testing Ads

#11: Set your ads to show evenly. Otherwise the results from your ad split-tests won’t be valid.

#12: When comparing ads, pick the one that’s more profitable (the one that makes you the most money), not the one with the higher clickthrough rate (which is the one that makes Google the most money).

Landing Pages

#13: The three things that are most often missing from landing pages are: (1) a strong reason to buy from you, (2) proof to back up your claims and (3) a clear (and highly visible) call to action. 

#14: Small changes to landing pages can make 20-30% difference to your sales. See (torpedoed) for an example of this.

Content Network

#15: The content network is much better than it’s reputation. However, it needs different ad group structure compared to the search network. Also good content ads tend to be different to good search ads. Therefore you should put search and content in different campaigns.

Is This All I Know?

These findings are only the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of other insights and principles I use to make campaigns more profitable. However, this information is applied to clients’ campaigns, not shared publicly.

To find out what they could do for you, just drop me an email.

Best wishes

Steve Gibson

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