Clean Out & Kickstart Your AdWords Campaigns For Spring

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By Sarah Burke

Everyone knows that Spring is the perfect time of year to clean out your closets, dust behind items that you haven’t moved since before winter, and switch out the winter wear for your summer’s best (whether that means bright colors or just slightly lighter grays). While all of this motivational energy is running through your veins, why not send some of it to your PPC campaigns?

Just like a good home clean out, your AdWords campaigns may be in need of some getting rid of, organizing, and refreshing. Here are 6 tips to clean out your AdWords campaigns and kickstart them for an exciting Spring of paid search.

Regular Tidying Up

First off, are three evergreen tasks that should be completed on a regular basis - similar to those chores that you can’t save until Spring to do once a year. If you’ve been neglecting any of these over the last few months, now is the time to dive in, and add them to your ongoing to-do list to keep on top of all year long.

1. Pause Underperforming Keywords, Ads, Ad Groups and Campaigns

While this undertaking may be on the larger side, the benefits will be immense in the forms of a less bulky account, improved performance, and more effective spending. Look through your keywords and pause those that aren’t showing due to low search volume or are spending without producing any results. If you have ads that are receiving impressions without clicks, kill these off and start fresh. And finally, review ad groups and entire campaigns if the topics they’re targeting aren’t resonating with your target audience or are eating away at your budget with no conversions to show for it. Ah, don’t you feel lighter already?

2. Set Up New Ad Tests

If you’ve been letting your variant ads run side-by-side for the last season or longer, it’s time to make a decision! Even if you’re unable to see a statistically significant result due to a small budget (and in turn not enough impressions and clicks), use the data that you do have to identify trends in the direction of one ad or the other and pause the under performers. Then, set up a brand new ad variation to run side by side with your winner.

3. Try a New Tactic

With the plethora of targeting options that AdWords offers, there is likely at least one strategy that you have not yet tested in your account. While all of them will not make sense for every account, testing those that are in line with your overall strategy could uncover new ways to reach your target market or better resonate with those you are already reaching.

Some ideas include:

  • Remarketing on the Display Network
  • Remarketing Lists for Search Ads
  • Responsive Ads
  • Product Listing Ads
  • Gmail Sponsored Promotions
  • Customer Match Targeting
  • Ad Extensions

Give one (or more) of these tactics a try and you may be introduced to a new staple for your account!

The 2017 Clean Up

The following tips encompass strategies and tools that just weren’t available in 2016. Keep your 2017 going strong and take advantage of all the new things Google has released since January.

4. Check In On The Results of the New Exact Match Change

Now that exact match is no longer exact, it’s more important than ever to review your search term reports as new terms may be triggering your ads that wouldn’t have with the “old” exact match. Take a thorough look through search term reports and add any terms that you don’t want to be showing up for into a negative keyword list at the ad group or campaign level, or in a shared library to be applied to multiple campaigns.

By the same token, when was the last time you reviewed your existing negative keyword lists? Take a look through to make sure there aren’t any terms added in there either by mistake or when campaign goals were different, that are now preventing your ads from showing up for terms that you’d like to show up for.

5. Test a New Landing Page with Google’s New(ish) Tool

This could be especially beneficial if you’re seeing ads garner clicks, but no conversions. Users are clearly reacting positively to your ad copy, but something is going awry once they hit the landing page. Depending on the state of your current landing page, you may want to create an entirely new one to replace the existing, or utilize an A/B testing tool to test one change at a time. If your landing page is outdated, lacking call-to-actions, or not user-friendly on all devices, it may be time for an overhaul. If the reason for the lack of conversions isn’t as clear, an A/B test is likely the better route to take as it may just be a simple tweak that entices more users to convert. Google Optimize, for example, makes it extremely easy to create a variation of an existing landing page to test and then easily review data right in Google Optimize and Google Analytics once you connect the two tools.

6. Move Remarketing Audiences To Google Analytics

Beginning May 15th, remarketing lists created in Google Analytics will have the ability to target signed-in users across all devices. This means that you will be able to show ads to users on any device they may be browsing on, no matter which device they originally used to visit your website. The benefits range from increased visibility to your target audience to more effective frequency capping, and tightened lists as users will no longer be listed separately for mobile and desktop. If you’ve been using legacy AdWords remarketing lists, now is the time to move them over to Google Analytics and reap the benefits of cross-device remarketing.

The Spring season is all about out with the old and in with the new. Clearing out everything that hasn’t proved itself from your AdWords account and adding in new tests and technology to find out how you can optimize performance will leave you with an organized, easier to manage, and better performing account in the months ahead.

Categories: Paid Search Marketing
Author's Headshot
By Sarah Burke


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