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The little things I've learned after spending $10,000+ an Adwords
Over the years, I've been running PPC ads, paying for banner placements, and running retargeting without thinking about the little details of my campaigns that have become second nature to me. Most people running an Adwords campaign will set up an ad, let it run, and hope for the best. In my experience, that's not the best thing to do, and that's why I get so meticulous when it comes to optimizing for every click and dollar spent.
I'm not rich by any means, so I have to watch what I'm spending, and that makes me more cautious when it comes to my Adwords spending. I pretend I'm Santa Clause and check everything twice to make sure it's all correct, then I'll run the campaigns, and I'll monitor the data like a hawk for the first few weeks and ease off a bit after that.
Below are a few things I've learned that not many people usually think about when it comes to running an Adwords PPC campaign.
Negative keywords are your best friends
I recently started running a new ad and had a lot of people asking me for my name and age. I couldn't figure out why until one person posted "xxx" and then the lightbulb went off. My SEO related website must be showing on some sort of XXX website on the display network, which I had to fix immediately, so I went into my negative keywords and added around 600-650.
After the negative keywords went in, my clicks drop dramatically, but the people who were contacting me now were interested in SEO and backlinks
Excluding countries is a requirement
When I'm running an ad for my agency, I will want to target people who can afford to pay me. This means I need to exclude a lot of countries where their currency isn't valued enough to pay top dollar for SEO services. I usually exclude countries like India, Phillippines, most of Africa, and some other countries where they'd have to spend a full year's salary on one month of my services.
By adding in these countries to my excluded list, I can now target people who are more likely to be able to purchase my services and not haggle as much. I will still notice some people landing on my pages from the countries I've excluded, but not every system is perfect, and I'm ok with a few slipping through if the majority of them are excluded.
High bids bring in better clients
In the past, I would bid low to land on page 2 and snag some decent clients but I've recently started to switch up my tactics. Now I bid to be on the first page, not always on top, and I will pull in many more quality clients than bidding low and landing on the top of page 2 every single time.
I will spend twice as much on a campaign to land on page one and I'll pull in 3x-4x as many high quality clients paying me top dollar for services. I get fewer people haggling me on pricing, they tend to be more professional, and I'm less stressed about chargebacks because they seem to have the funds to spend on SEO and Marketing
Exact match keywords > Broad Keywords
If you want to show up for various broad match keywords, go for it, but it's not what I'm trying to do with my campaigns. Sure, I'll set one or two of my keywords to be a broad match, but that's about it. I want to be sure I know what I'm showing up for, I want the people who are clicking through to my website to know what I do, and I want the conversion rates to be better because of it.
When someone looks up the keyword "Backlinks" and finds the #1 listed website then clicks through to find an email service, they're not going to convert into a sale. Now, if you have an exact match keyword for "backlinks" then there's a much better chance that the person clicking through is looking for what you're selling and they will purchase if your sales copy is perfect
Split testing MUST be in the works
You'll never get your ads right the first time and that's why split testing is so important. I hear a lot of stories from people saying they've split test 3 different ads and kept the best one. To me, that's not split testing, that's running a couple of ads and picking your favorite, and that's never going to be the best ad in the end.
Split testing, to me, is setting up dozens of ads and filtering out the ones that don't perform well. Over a few weeks, you can remove all but three of your ads and let the winners run for a while before you need to add more ads in there as competition to see which perform best. You might have to delete one of your top performers and put a new one on the pedestal and, that's also why you shouldn't get attached to your ads.
I've spent plenty of money on Adwords, much more than the title says, and I've learned plenty of little things to make my campaigns work as well as possible. I will split test, use hundreds of negative keywords, and use more exact match keywords than I probably have to in order to target specific searches and where I will show up. You can never be too protective about your money and a positive ROI is what we're all trying to achieve, so I hope you run the best campaigns possible and get rich
Thanks for reading