In recent months we’ve put together a series of posts to help provide small to mid-sized AdWords advertisers with easy-to-implement, impactful tweaks they can make to their campaigns, even if they have limited experience managing accounts and limited time to make these updates. These include:
- Google AdWords Quick Wins Volume 1 
- Google AdWords Quick Wins Volume 2 
- The Overworked Advertiser’s Guide to AdWords Bid Management 
- The Overworked Advertiser’s Guide to Google AdWords Bid Management: Volume 2 
- Google AdWords Basics: 5 Things to Get Right First 
In this post we’ll offer seven quick, simple things to keep in mind in optimizing your accounts. These are common mistakes that new and smaller AdWords advertisers frequently overlook that can help transform underperforming AdWords accounts.
1. Make Sure Conversion Tracking Is Installed
A surprising number of AdWords accounts aren’t even tracking conversions. This makes tasks like optimizing bids and ad text very difficult and imprecise, as you’re unable to actually identify which areas of your campaigns are working. You can leverage the AdWords conversion tab  to get a hold of your conversion code and implement it on your website, which is critical for optimization efforts.
2. Assign Conversion Values
Another option within the conversion tracking tab as you’re implementing your conversion code is to designate values for different conversions. This can be very valuable if there are multiple offers on your site – for instance, you can assign different values to a purchase of your product versus a newsletter sign-up or a white paper download, based on your business metrics and much those conversion types are worth to your business. This means you can more immediately understand not only the volume of conversions attached to different campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords, etc., but also the actual business impact of those components of your campaigns.
3. Test Multiple Ads
Not unlike conversion tracking, setting up multiple ad tests is a basic best practice that a lot of newer and smaller accounts don’t make use of. For many small to mid-sized accounts, it can take too long to generate significant statistical data for three or more ads, but in general you should create at least two versions of each ad in your campaign to test different messaging, headlines, calls to action and so on. Running just one ad is an enormous missed opportunity. To get some ideas on what PPC ad copy performs well, check out our copywriting category .
4. Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion
A good item to test in your ad text tests is dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) . Dynamic keyword insertion allows you to have the keyword that triggered the ad dynamically placed within the ad text (be it the headline, description, etc.). Because this mirrors the user’s actual search query back to them in your ad, it can be a really effective means of increasing click-through rates  and driving more qualified traffic to your site.
5. Separate Your Display & Search Campaigns
Splitting out display and search campaigns is another well-known best practice among more experienced advertisers, but many people first creating campaigns opt their campaigns into both display and the search network. This is problematic for several reasons:
- It causes these advertisers to pay the same price for high intent search traffic and lower intent display traffic
- It causes these advertisers to use the same ads for both people searching for a specific keyword and visitors browsing a website on a different topic
- It uses the same keyword structure for both search and display – these two types of campaigns require distinct approaches to segmenting keyword lists
This frequently leads to large volumes of wasted spend on the display network, as most advertisers follow search network oriented best practices with these campaigns, leaving them far from optimal for display.
6. Add Image Ads to Display Campaigns
A great way to expand the volume of impressions you have access to on the content network is to create image ads for your AdWords campaigns . Many sites on the display network only accept image ads in certain sizes, so by creating ads in these formats you can gain access to other impressions and conversions you might not otherwise be able to take advantage of.
7. Implement Ad Extensions
Ad extensions are relatively quick and easy to implement and offer a simple means of generating more traffic, increasing click-through rates, and getting more conversions by making your ads larger and more visible. Ad extensions include sitelinks, location extensions, call extensions, product extensions, and communication extensions. Learn more about all of these in our Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords Ad Extensions .
Any of the tactics above can be a simple, quick means for a newer advertiser to improve performance within their AdWords campaigns.
About the Author
Tom Demers  is co-founder and managing partner at Measured SEM , a boutique search marketing agency offering search engine marketing consulting services  including pay-per-click account management, comprehensive SEO audits , content marketing services , and a variety of link building services  such as guest posting  and blogging strategies .
Image via mrbill