This is the final installment in our series on Google AdWords Campaign Settings. Previously we’ve covered:
- Naming and organizing your Google AdWords campaigns
- Locations and language settings within the AdWords settings tab
- Google AdWords bidding and budget settings
- Networks and device settings in Google AdWords
And in this post we’ll walk through the “advanced settings” section within AdWords campaign settiings to explain how they work and how you can best use them.
What’s Available in Google AdWords Advanced Settings
Within the settings tab are a number of different options surrounding how your ads are displayed, targeted, and served:
- Ad Delivery
- Demographic Bidding
- Social Settings
- Automatic Campaign Optimization
- AdWords Campaign Experiments
In this post we’ll walk through each advanced option.
Ad Scheduling in Google AdWords Settings
Start date and end date are fairly straightforward: if you have a seasonal campaign you might want to set an end date so that you don’t forget to shut the campaign off, or a start date if you’re setting up the campaign in advance of the season.
Ad scheduling offers a lot more functionality in that you can start to target certain days of the week or times of day:
Leveraging the Google AdWords Time report is a great means of identifying which days and times would be the most advantageous to allocate more (or less) budget to. This can be a great optimization to make once you have a lot of your campaign’s fundamentals (keyword targeting, bidding, ad copy, landing pages, etc.) in order: not unlike understanding your AdWords geographic report and then leveraging that data within the location settings.
Ad Delivery on Google AdWords
Ad rotation is an interesting setting – the commonly accepted best practice for ad testing is to set this to rotate evenly and optimize the ads yourself based on which ad performs better. But there does exist a rotate versus optimize debate amongst PPC managers, so I’d recommend reading that excellent post by Alan Mitchell (as well as the comments, which were also great) as well as this post on AdWords’ optimize for conversions setting and then determine which option – given your own time and expertise for managing AdWords accounts – is best for you and your accounts.
This section also includes frequency capping for the display network – this allows you to throttle the number of impressions a campaign gets during a given day. If you have concerns about high impression campaigns that may be hurting your Quality Scores (i.e., the campaign gets a lot of impressions, but never actually caps out on budget because it gets so few clicks) this can be a means to limit impressions.
AdWords Demographic Bidding
Similar to day-parting or geo-targeting, demographic bidding can be an interesting way to allocate budget within a display campaign that you’re looking to get additional efficiencies out of:
Once you’ve looked at your Google AdWords demographic reports, you can then use that data to modify bids based on over- or underperforming demographic segmentations on sites that apply. This is only applicable on the display network and on sites where Google has demographic information (Myspace, Orkut, etc.), but if you’re running an extensive content campaign with a lot of clear winners and losers in the demographic data, this can be a nice way to squeeze additional efficiencies out of your campaigns.
Google AdWords Social Settings
Here you can choose to include the +1 button and +1 annotations (i.e. your friends who like something) on your ads. Google’s done a nice job of incentivizing advertisers to add this (you have a chance to increase click-through rate and trust by having these added to your ad as it’s displayed) so generally it’s a good idea to include this data in your display ad.
Automatic Campaign Optimization
This is similar to AdWords’ conversion optimizer for bidding – the setting works off of historical conversion data within your campaign and works to optimize your display network campaigns based on that data. Like many AdWords settings this can be effective, particularly when you take into account the time it would take you to manage your account yourself or the costs to hire someone to manage the campaign for you, but you’re ceding a lot of control to Google and in many instances might be better off optimizing the campaign yourself or hiring a professional.
Google AdWords Campaign Experiments
AdWords campaign experiments can be an extremely useful means of split-testing different variables within an AdWords campaign that were previously very difficult to split test. We wrote a very detailed guide on how to use AdWords Campaign Experiments that is worth looking at so that you can understand where the opportunities to leverage the feature within your campaigns may lie.
Who Should Use Google’s Advanced AdWords Settings?
Some of these settings (like rotate versus optimize) are worth considering for any advertiser, but ultimately even useful settings within the advanced options such as demographic targeting and ad scheduling are nice options for advertisers who have already done a lot of the work around keyword targeting, bidding, Quality Score and campaign structure, and ad copy and landing optimization and are looking for improved performance in other areas within their campaigns.
About the Author
Tom Demers is co-founder and managing partner at Measured SEM, a boutique search marketing agency offering search consulting services including pay-per-click account management, SEO Website audits, content marketing strategy and services, and a variety of link building services and packages such as guest posts and blogging strategy.