10 things we’ve learned about Google AdWords that nobody told us

- Updated August 22, 2019


1. Device targeting isn’t as obvious to setup, as it sounds.

Google has made it quite difficult to manage device targeting. As you make your campaigns, you are no longer allowed with the possibility to set the devices you want your ads to be displayed to. So, in order to exclude, or include specific devices, you have to go to Settings=>Devices, where there is a list of all the devices available out there. You can manage all of them per ad group.

In order to exclude mobile phones, for example, from an ad set, you have to set the bid adjustment to -100%. Or, if you want your mobile ads to show twice as much as on a computer, set the bid adjustment to 200%.

Set your bids according to keyword planner, really! Put all your keywords in keyword planner to adjust their bids and do It regularly. No matter if you have a small budget, and the keyword cost is high. It most commonly won’t spend that much either way.

2. Put each important keyword in a separate ad group.

Then build all other keywords variations blending them with it. Let’s say you have an online shop and sell women’s shoes online. And you want to use AdWords in order to sell more boots for the winter season. Then, your ad groups should look like this, for example:

buy women’s boots
buy women’s boots online
women’s boots for sale

short women’s boots
buy short women’s boots
short women’s boots for sale

So do not put general keywords like:

Women’s shoes, or online shop. They may bring a lot of traffic to your website, but they sure won’t bring you many sales. And they’ll cost you much more.

3. There are no general rules onto what works in ad copies, and what doesn’t.

You will read a lot of tips on the Internet, like:

  • Include your brand name in the ad copy (especially if it’s a popular one)
  • Include copyright, registered signs
  • Insert a call to actions
  • Insert numbers/prices
  • Make the location precise

But, from our experience, there is no one rule that fits them all. Sometimes it’s best if there is a price included. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes brand name works, sometimes It doesn’t. Just experiment as much as you can and see what’s best for you and your shop. But, of course, stick as much as you can to these general rules.

4. Display network only works if customers know you/you already make a lot of sales.

When we’ve started our first campaign 6 months ago, a month after our display campaign was going we weren’t making any sales and the business was new. We’ve started a display campaign, going parallel to the search network. It’s didn’t work out, so eventually, we’ve stopped it.

5.  If you get a lot of traffic on the website, and yet no conversions, search for the problem in the landing page.

We had a lack of human resources to design a new landing page, so decided to improvise using our homepage as a landing page. Enough to say it didn’t work out at all. On the homepage, the user could immediately choose the product type, put it in a cart and purchase. But, it also had a lot of oversights. Like, missing a form that visitors can fill in and leave their e-mail. Or, (a request for) pricing information. A lot of contact details to establish trust. And similar.

6. When you have a lot of ad groups, better divide them into different campaigns.

In our first campaign, putting and taking keywords in and out of ad groups became chaotic. So, we decided to stop it, and create it from start. This time, with important keywords, put into different ad groups, too. The number of ad groups went up to 60. As much as they were organized well, it was difficult to manage bids that way. So, in our third version, we separated all of them into 5-6 campaigns. It made it much easier to manage budgets and compare results.

7. Increasing the budget does not necessarily mean greater CTR.

We’ve tried doubling the budget for 3 campaigns that had a very small daily budget. Can’t say we’re surprised that didn’t mean more conversions with a growing progression. The number of conversion just doubled up, as well. So, the CTR was exactly the same.

8. Check out what is your optimal ad positions and rank for it

Go to Ads => Segment => Top vs. Other. See, which is the position for your ad. Is it always being in the first place? Not necessarily. If you’re in a highly competitive industry, like software development, you are betting with competitors who spend a huge amount of money on AdWords, so you nearly stand a chance. Therefore, maybe just being on the first page works fine for you. Take your time and develop your next strategy.

9. Use view change history frequently

This option is set at the very right of the search bar, in your campaigns window. It is a very valuable tool, especially if you’re in the early stages of managing your campaign and experiment a lot with your ads. You can track your changes to see what caused a specific result and even correct them if you do not like how those changes performed on your website.

10. You can create customized reports using AWQL

If you’re familiar with SQL, you can get reports using that language. If you do not and have no intention of working with databases in the future, then AWQL Is the AdWords version of SQL.


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