8 Simple Things You Might Be Overlooking In Your AdWords Account [New Guide]

September 13, 2017

Our latest white paper is now available for download. Below is an excerpt from the guide. Click here to download the full text of this new, free guide (PDF).

8 Simple Things You Might Be Overlooking In Your AdWords Account

AdWords makes it incredibly easy to set up and run a pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaign, but some advertisers assume that after they've written an ad, typed in some keywords, set the budget, and switched on the campaign, there's nothing more to do except sit back and watch the clicks and conversions roll in.

In reality, any account – large or small – can benefit from a few quick, simple tweaks designed to optimize the advertiser's reach, click-through rate, and return on investment (ROI). These updates don't cost anything extra, and they're simple enough that even someone with limited experience managing accounts and limited time can set them up with ease.

In this guide, we'll offer eight easy-to-implement, impactful techniques to keep in mind when optimizing your ad campaigns. 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. Conversion tracking also lets you compare ad spend vs. ROI. For example, if last month you spent $500 on ads and only sold $400 of goods or services, you'll want to make some adjustments to your campaign.

First, decide what constitutes a conversion for your business. The most obvious example of a conversion is a purchase made through the website, but conversions can also be counted when a customer signs up for a newsletter, fills out an online survey, clicks the "Contact Us" button, downloads an app or whitepaper, calls a phone number from a mobile device, and so on.

AdWords Conversion Tracking

Setting up conversion tracking involves generating a bit of HTML code in AdWords that you paste into the URL of the webpage on your site that people visit immediately after completing the conversion (such as an "Order Confirmation" or "Thanks for Contacting Us" page). Visit the Conversions section of the Tools & Analysis tab to get your HTML code.

AdWords Conversion Tracking Code

Once conversion tracking is up and running, you can use the Search Funnels in analytics to track detailed data on your conversions and inform your conversion rate optimization efforts. (Access Search Funnels by clicking the Search Funnels link at the lower left of the Conversions window.)

AdWords Conversion Tracking Search Funnels

Analyzing this data can help you gain insights about how customers behave on your website, such as how much time elapsed between when they clicked on your ad for the first time to when they completed the conversion, and how many times they saw your ads before converting.


If your goal is to track conversions, consider setting your ad delivery method to "Optimize for conversions" in the Advanced settings section of the Settings tab. When this is selected, the ads deemed most likely to result in conversions will be served in the auction more frequently. (The default setting is to optimize for clicks.)

2. Assign Conversion Values

Assign AdWords Conversion Value

One of the options 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 how much those conversion types are worth to your business.

Once you've assigned your values you can measure data about the volume of conversions attached to different campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords. Conversion data appears alongside the other information columns in the Campaigns tab.

Tracking AdWords Conversions

Assigning conversion values means you can more immediately understand not only the volume of conversions attached to different campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords, but also the actual business impact of those components of your campaigns.

3. Test Multiple Ads

Running multiple ads per campaign is a basic best practice that even the smallest of accounts should make use of....

Click here to download the full guide, "8 Simple Things You Might Be Overlooking in Your AdWords Account" (it's FREE!)

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Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert is WordStream's Director of Content and SEO. Likes include wine, karaoke, poker, ping-pong, perfume, and poetry.

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