If you're a paid search expert focused on managing pay-per-click campaigns, you're likely up to date with Google's constantly expanding feature set. But if you're new to AdWords or are managing paid search campaigns as one of multiple responsibilities, it's likely there are some important things going on in your account that you aren't even aware of.
In this post we'll call out five key things that many PPC advertisers don't realize about their Google AdWords accounts.
1. Keywords Aren't Actually What Searchers Are Typing
Mining search queries is a crucial part of the paid search management process, but many advertisers aren't aware of the fact that keywords aren't search queries: the keywords you bid on frequently aren't the things people are actually searching for. Because of the way match types perform within your AdWords account, you can frequently come to confusing conclusions about the performance of your account. You can learn more about the search queries in your AdWords account by:
- Better understanding matching options
- Learning more about mining search query data yourself
- Leveraging a software solution to better analyze your paid search data
2. Your Ads Are Being "Optimized"
Many advertisers aren't even aware of the fact that their ads are being optimized by Google. This is important because Google doesn't always choose opportunities based on what's best for the advertiser. For that reason it's important to arm yourself with information on the pros and cons of the rotate versus optimize ad text settings in AdWords.
3. Your Ads Are Being Served at Google's Discretion
The default setting within your AdWords account has your ads being served to be spread throughout the day. This means that you won't consistently reach your budget and that Google is deciding who sees which of your ads.
4. Your Reports Are in the Dimensions Tab
When AdWords changed over to a new reporting interface, many occasional users of the system lost their report data or struggled to find reports that they had often pulled in the past. Much of that same data is now available in the dimensions tab, and it's worth learning the new reporting process if you're not familiar with the interface. Brad Geddes put together a great video on the new interface:
5. You Aren't Using All Your SERP Real Estate
There are a lot of great opportunities to grab more of the search engine results page real estate for your ads and your campaigns by leveraging AdWords ad extensions. You may not even know that things like product extensions, phone extensions, and location extensions are available in your campaigns -- each of these offers you a chance to generate higher click-through rates.
Know What's Going Beneath the Surface in Your Paid Search Campaigns
The reality is if you're spending real money on paid search it's important to leverage resources like pay-per-click training, campaign management tools, paid search blogs, or SEO and PPC consulting services to help you get the most out of your PPC spend.