Digital Marketing

    Nursing Your Paid Search Campaigns Back to Health

    These days, the competition for paid search advertising is fierce. If you’re not continuously optimizing your campaigns, it’s difficult to stay at the top. Throwing more money on your bids won’t help – you’re going to need to take some serious care of your campaigns in order to nurse them back to health.

    Are you seeing a slow decline in click-through rate (CTR) or a steady increase in cost-per-acquisition (CPA)? Your campaign problems might be the result of several different factors. In the post, you’ll learn what optimization strategies you can apply with AdWords to nurture your paid search campaigns back to health.

    Get a Bandage

    Review your keyword performance report and search query report from the last 60 days. Pausing keywords that have a high CPA, lots of clicks with zero conversions, or an extremely low CTR (< .10%) and no conversions should lower your cost-per-click to start.



    Stop the Bleeding

    In your search query report, you can see all the keywords you purchased. If there are irrelevant terms that are costing you cash, stop the bleeding and add these as negative keywords.

    Run Some Tests

    Always testing your ad copy. With only one ad variant, you’re missing out on the opportunity to test messaging. Two to four active ads per ad group will add some lift to your campaigns. Just don’t forget to pause the losing ad as soon as you have enough data to identify it.

    Use Segmentation Therapy

    I’ve commonly seen campaigns grouped together for network, device, and location targeting. However, organizing campaigns this way actually makes it very difficult to optimize your ads for the particular device, audience, and network. By creating separate campaigns for devices, networks (search and display), and locations, you can optimize each campaign separately.

    Don’t Overmedicate

    Having too many keywords in a single ad group could be detrimental to campaign health, as some of those terms could be highly irrelevant. Additionally, if you’re only targeting broad- or phrase-match keywords, your ads could appear for very irrelevant search queries. To fix this issue, try using exact-match keywords, especially if they are able to drive enough volume. For ad groups that have more than 25 keywords, break those out into more smaller ad groups that target a single concept.

    Take Preventative Measures

    Make sure to include ad extensions whenever relevant. Ad extensions give searchers more information up front, taking up more real estate on the search page. You can use Sitelink Extensions, Call Extensions, Product Extensions, and Location Extensions to increase CTR and conversions.

    In the example below, the  ad with extensions occupies a larger space in the search engine results.


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