2 Telltale Signs of a Poor Performing AdWords Campaign

May 26, 2011 by  Filed under: PPC 

Is your AdWords campaign making you money or are you simply buying advertising? Do not think for a minute that just because your website traffic has increased by leaps and bounds that your AdWords campaign is performing at its full potential. In order to insure profitability you must continually plug the holes.

What I mean by this is that you need to optimize your account so as to eliminate the stuff that is not working or in other words is “costing you money!”

Metrics that Scream Things Need Changing!

Poor CTR (click-through-rate)

  • Searchers find your message (ad) irrelevant
  • Ads are not ranked well enough for visibility.
  • Keywords are too ‘broad’

A good rule of thumb for beginners is that anything with a CTR under 1.00% should be killed (paused) or replaced. This includes ads and keywords. It may even include entire ad groups or campaigns depending on your situation and business.

There are exceptions to the rule and as your campaign grows this number can be raised. I manage certain campaigns where I kill anything under 5.00%. If you are advertising on the Google Display Network for direct response, then look for a minimum CTR of 0.50%.

To increase your click through rates you can write better ad copy, increase bids and/or quality scores and target more long tail (specific) keywords.

Poor Conversion Rate

  • Low visitor quality
  • Unattractive or Unclear Marketing message
  • Customers coming in the wrong door
  • Too much fluff (Non Relevant or too much Media/Content)

Once you have the holes plugged and your click through rates are up you should then start to focus on conversions. Hopefully you have conversion tracking installed and are tracking user actions you deem valuable online. If you provide a phone number on your website then use a vanity number to track customers calling in from your PPC (pay-per-click) advertising.

Conversion rates and costs vary greatly depending on your business goals and only you and/or your AdWords manager can decide what good statistics are for your business. When you ‘know’ your conversions are too low for profitability then it is time to optimize.

This all starts with what we already discussed for improving CTR. However, here we tend to kill ads/keywords with lots of clicks but no conversions or too high of a conversion cost. 97% of your campaign will produce low quality results so eliminating ad spending for non-converting metrics and spending that money on the things that convert will increase revenue.

Not producing enough conversions to optimize or have you optimized but conversions have not changed? The problem then most likely lies within your website! This is a common problem most people tend to overlook. Internet shoppers are looking for an answer to their problem or for more information on how to solve their problem. They will only stop searching and re-searching and re-searching when they find what they are looking for.

You must design and lay out your website in a way that is appealing, attractive and easy to use. Make sure when customers land on your website that they know they are in the right place. Let’s say you sell Exmark and Craftsmen lawn mowers locally. When a searcher types “lawn mowers” into Google search then you will be wise to send them to a page on your site that has all you mowers or at least mower brands sold. If a searcher types “Exmark Lazer Z E-Series” then you would send them to that particular mowers product description page. Make sure customers are coming in through the front door!

K.I.S.S – keep it simple stupid!

Most of you are familiar with this old sales antic. I have been in sales most all of my working career and yet am still reminded of this by my business partner almost too often. Focus on getting rid of any unnecessary media. You want to get straight to the point then let the customer know exactly want you want them to do next. Most People scan content and few read it! Keep it short and simple. Use easy to read text, bolding, italics, quotations, bullet points, numbers, videos, buttons etc to walk your customer through your content quickly and informatively. Make it easy for them to see the solution and then give them a clear call to action of what you want them to do next.

The Short and Sweet of it All

Do not be afraid to pause or delete keywords and ads that are not performing well in your campaigns and make sure your customers find your website/landing page relevant. Here are some general rules of thumb to go by.

  • Search network CTR < 1.00% - Kill it
  • Display network CTR < 0.50% - Kill it
  • 20 clicks in search with 0 conversions – Kill it
  • 30 clicks in display with 0 conversions – Kill it
  • Conversion cost to high – kill it
  • No conversions – change your landing pages

It is always a good idea to base your decisions from not only what is going on in your AdWords campaigns but also by what your analytics data is telling you about user behavior.

Brian is a Google Certified Partner who specializes in AdWords Pay-Per-Click Management.

Visit http://www.TNPayPerClick.com for more information.

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Brian McDaniel - EzineArticles Expert Author

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