Setting up your ad campaigns
and Ad Groups
properly is a crucial part of succeeding in pay-per-click marketing
. This tutorial describes some tips and best practices for getting the most out of your WordStream PPC
account by strategically setting your ad campaign and Ad Group preferences.
Note that this tutorial deals with suggested best practices for optimization: for more information about how to use WordStream's ad campaign and Ad Group interface, please see the Create Ad Campaigns
and Create Ad Groups
Additionally, feel free to skip ahead in the guide:
It's very important to the success of your PPC campaigns that you start campaigns off on the right foot. WordStream has been built from the ground up to strategically interface with search advertising platforms to create cost and conversion friendly campaigns.
That said, there are a few optimum settings that can greatly impact the overall performance of your managed PPC
- Turn off the content network or the search network and Google search (create each in its own campaign)
- Turn off the search network
- Location Target and Geo Target when appropriate
- Utilize conversion optimizer (if applicable)
Search campaigns and content campaigns have to be set up very differently to be effective. For advertisers who are new to PPC, we suggest starting with only search (as search drives users with a higher keyword intent
and typically performs much better than content).
But, if you would like to target contextual advertisements (ads on websites, instead of ads which run next to search engines), we strongly recommend you segment your search and content campaigns.
When you advertise on Google
, you can do this by shutting off either the content network, or the search network depending upon which your campaign intends to target. Here, we are launching a new account and subsequently want to turn off the content network:
Simply uncheck the "content network" box to opt out of the content network, as pictured.
Simply uncheck the content network box, as pictured, to opt of the content network.
Additionally, we strongly recommend turning the "Search Network" off. To do this, you simply highlight the "Google search only" option.
This will limit your campaign to searches on Google.com, which will lower your overall impressions, but typically increases the conversion rate (while lowering the cost per conversion) of your PPC campaigns.
For those who insist on creating a campaign that includes the search network and capturing those impressions, we recommend creating a separate campaign with several unique best practices in order to optimize for the search network:
Turning off search for a content targeted campaign is similarly simple:
If you are running a content targeted ad campaign, be sure to opt out of the search network, as pictured.
For a content targeted campaign, simply check the content network box, and turn off the search network, as pictured above.
Additionally, be sure to check the "content bids" box, so that Google knows to assign different bids for search and for content within your Google ad
We suggest that businesses who wish to limit their messaging reach to local customers or wish to target only specific countries or regions utilize WordStream's integrated language and Geo targeting options:
Utilize WordStream's ad campaign targeting options, as pictured.
For more in-depth information about utilizing these targeting tools please see the WordStream tutorial on creating ad campaigns
In addition to these, you're also presented with the option of enabling conversion optimizer
(assuming you meet the requirements outlined below). If you're not utilizing any kind of bid management software (see our Bid Management Guide
for more information on manipulating bids) and wish to have bids manipulated for you in order to reach a targeted cost-per action
, we suggest that you enable the conversion optimizer (if Google will allow it; you need to have 100 conversions within the last 30 days in an Ad Group to be eligible).
Enabling the conversion optimizer is as simple as checking the conversion optimizer box, as pictured, and designating a "desired CPA" (this is the desired cost per action, or the amount you would be willing to pay for each sale, download, lead form, etc. that your campaign generates):
Use Google's conversion optimizer to control your maximum bids.
This tool manages your maximum bids
(while WordStream is hard at work driving down costs by optimizing your Quality Score
and minimum bids
) and will move your max Google CPC
bids up or down depending on conversion history within your account (the tool will bid
more for high converting terms, less for terms which perform poorly, etc.).
Setting up an Ad Group
is not unlike setting up an ad campaign: it's important to create the right environment for your WordStream managed campaigns so that you can extract maximum value out of them.
The WordStream recommended best practices for setting up your Ad Groups are:
- Create logical Ad Group names.
- Determine a profitable maximum CPA based on your business goals and profit margins
- Utilize some form of bid manipulation
- Set low maximum CPC (cost-per click ) bids at the outset of your campaigns.
- Set your maximum CPC content bids to one cent on search campaigns.
- Set all keywords to "broad match".
The name of your Ad Group is purely organizational, so be sure to choose something that makes sense and will be intuitive for you and for anyone else who may want or need access to your SEM accounts.
As mentioned in the ad campaign portion of this tutorial, you might want to enable Google's free conversion optimizer tool to determine optimal maximum bids. The tool uses historical data from your account to determine these max CPCs for each of your keywords.
Once you've enabled Conversion Optimizer within your ad campaign settings, you'll need to set a "CPA" or cost per action.
This is simply the amount you are willing to pay for each "action" or conversion (sale, lead, download, sign up, etc.).
Set this number based on your unique knowledge of your business, costs, and profit margins. Whatever a "conversion" is worth to you, simply type that number into the Maximum CPA field:
Set your Ad Group's Maximum CPA to have Google's Conversion Optimizer determine what each action should cost.
The two important pieces to note from this image:
- Max CPA - Here we have deemed that we would be willing to pay no more than 2 dollars per conversion. Google's bid optimizer will now adjust our maximum bids accordingly.
- Max CPC and Max CPC for Content Bid - You'll note that when the Conversion Optimizer is turned on, these areas are grayed. This is because Google is adjusting maximum CPC bids to reach your maximum CPA (you're determining what you want to pay per conversion, as opposed to per click, ultimately giving you better overall price control).
If you don't have access to the Conversion Optimizer tool (you need 200 conversions within a 30 day period) we suggest you set low maximum bids at the Ad Group level for your keywords:
Set low maximum CPC
s and minimum CPC content bids for search ad campaigns, as pictured.
There are three important things to note from the above image:
- Low Maximum CPC Search Bid - In more mature WordStream accounts maximum bids can be set as low as 50 cents (because of the application's inherent ability to drive down minimum bids, minimum first page bids , and subsequently, costs).
- Minimum CPC Content Bid - Note that the CPC content bid has been set to 1 cent. This is the minimum Google will allow for content bids. This is an extension of our recommendation to separate content campaigns from search campaigns.
- Grayed Maximum CPA - You can not set a desired maximum CPA, because Google Optimizer is not enabled.
- Harness the long tail - Setting broad match with highly effective negative keyword filters enables you to tap into the specific, late-in-the-buying-cycle traffic present in the long tail of search without having to pay for irrelevant clicks.
- Grow and refine your keyword list daily - By setting broad match on your keywords and by enabling WordStream's Web analytics tools , your pay-per-click campaign will discover new and more refined keywords for you day after day, perpetually refining your message and discovering new, interested leads.
To learn more WordStream best practices, check out any of the next guides in our series: