This is by no means a definitive list. Here are just some straight forward tips that I have learned over the years from experience with pay-per-click, AdWords in particular, as well techniques I have learned from gurus’ books and newsletters.
I am not merely repeating a combined list. These are in my words, and in no particular order. I believe in all of these and am currently using or have used these techniques in the past for multiple client accounts.
Some of these might require more explanation, which you are welcome to ask for here.
Each are split into categories that should help for reference.
Improving CTR & Conversions
1.) Use the core/parent adgroup keyword three times in the ad text and display URL.
2.) Bid on all three match types for every keyword/keyphrase: broad, phrase, and exact.
(This will get you more clicks for your money).
3.) Bid higher on terms that have been converting well.
4.) If continual ad performance improvement is one of your goals, on campaign settings, change Ad Serving to “Rotate: Show ads more evenly” from the default “Optimize: Show better performing ads more often. Then A/B split test your ads.
5.) Sign up for LowerYourBidPrice’s Winner Alert’s, letting you know which ad wins statistically without having to manually check every adgroup all day long.
6.) Use a relevant call to action in your ads (Avoid clichés such as “Click here.” which won’t be approved by Google anyway).
7.) Here are 13 calls to action verbiage ideas: Browse our store, Submit Your RFP (RFI), See our client list, Free Shipping, Order today, ship tonight. Download our brochure, Free Consultation, Free demo, Free quote, Free Report, Start now, Call 24/7.
8.) Make ad display URLs more relevant by adding a slash /keyword. Example Keyword: Red Shoes. www.companyname/redshoes.
9.) Make separate ad groups for keyword plurals for better bolding (note YSM bolds plurals in ads, Google does not, unless keyword is plural and keyword in ad is plural).
10.) Use prices in ads if:
-Lower than competition
-Competitors are not using prices.
-You are selling highly competitive commodity item in which people shop on price.
*May reduce CTR, but improve conversion rate by weeding out a certain percentage of non-buyers.
11.) Use specifics in ads: Percentages, names, product specs. Examples: Raise profits by 25%. Cut margins by 20%. Decrease skin oil by 10%.
12.) Use quotes & third party endorsements when factual and can be verified by Google. Ebert “Best movie 2007.” Oprah “My top five book.”
13.) From time to time use hyphens instead of commas as a slightly less common, and possibly more attention grabbing grammar tool.
14.) Use the words New and Free when true and appropriate.
Account Efficiency Techniques and Time Savers
15.) Download the AdWords Editor to copy and paste campaigns and adgroups easily (a must before doing #16)
16.) Separate & duplicate all campaigns and use one for Google + search partners and the other for the content network so you can see how each is doing from quick bird’s eye view without having to drill into each campaign.
17.) Clean out account of keywords with zero impressions after two months.
18.) Cross channel all other ppc platforms in order to see clicks and conversions from Yahoo!, MSN, Ask, Miva, Business.com, etc, all from your AdWords interface.
19.) Download account info into a csv using the AdWords Editor and send it to Yahoo! and MSN so they can bulk upload it. Do this after thoroughly optimizing the account, so your other ppc platforms mirror the same structure and keywords as your efficient AdWords account.
**Yahoo! is doing this for free just for a limited time because of the platform change. They will accept bulk uploads regularly if you spend 6k a month for three months. MSN only offers you one chance to do this. Give them a call and get the details.
Optimizing & Cutting Untargeted/Wasted Clicks
20.) Incorporate account wide and adgroup negative keywords by studying raw query strings which trigger your ads and eliminating non-relevant terms.
Increase Targeted Local Traffic
21.) For every campaign, duplicate it. Have one campaign that is manually geo-targeted for generic key terms/phrases and the other campaign for the same terms but with city and/or state added to the beginning or end. Example, one campaign has an adgroup for the key phrase Contract lawyer dallas which shows to all of US, another campaign adgroup had the generic key term contract lawyer, but will only show in Dallas.
22.) On the city/state stemmed keyword campaigns and adroups, use the state or city terms in the ad description text for more bolding and higher CTR.
Decreasing Cost Per Click
23.) If working with a larger budget, and you plan on constantly improving your ads, bid high to be #1 long enough to allow quality score to continually decrease your cpc.
24.) Enable content bids and bid separately for the content network. Typically start ½ - 2/3 lower and bid higher according to conversion rate.
Ad Space Savers
25.) Instead of using the word “and” use an ampersand (&). It takes up two less characters and gives you more room to sell.
26.) Use certain understood and acceptable abbreviations to save space.
Using AdWords As Market Research for SEO
27.) In the Reports tab, run a keyword report and look at high search impressions (not content targeting) on exact matches. Check for organic competition under those, and put your organic SEO efforts toward those keywords for even more clicks and conversions.
28.) Use a savvy analytics supplement to GA and study the raw query strings (GA does not show without special scripts and/or filters) that triggered your Google ads. Use the relevant buffering terms for added SEO as well as specific and relevant keywords for new ads.
29.) Keep ads running even when high on organic search for specific keywords. Having an organic listing and an ad has a 1 + 1 = 3 reinforcing each other and increasing the likelihood at least one will be clicked.
Miscellaneous No Brainers
30.) Set up at least two conversion codes. This is a no brainier and belongs on a beginner’s list. If you don’t do this, you are flying blind or basing results on the “gut feeling” email leads and incoming calls are coming from ads and web presence.
31.) Apply for pay-per-action and use it. Bid according to how
much you are currently paying for leads. If you don’t know that, run a keyword report and find out how much you have to spend before a click turns into a lead. This should be simple if you have your conversion codes set up.
32.) Progress through numbers 1-31, constantly improve, and repeat.