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by Tara West on 17th October 2012
Hello. My name is Tara, and I’m going to be talking to you about some top level AdWords checks you should be doing on all of your AdWords accounts. So these checks aren’t going to move mountains, but they are going to make sure your ads are moving in the right direction and that everything in the account is running smoothly.
One of the most important checks I would say is to make sure that no particular keywords are running away with all of your AdWords budget. So go to the Keywords tab and filter by cost. You could, for example, filter for anything that has spent over 200 pounds. Alternatively, you can just click the heading on the Cost column, and it will sort by high to low.
If a keyword is using up a lot of your budget, you should make sure you’re getting a good return from this. So look to see, if you’ve got conversion tracking, whether this keyword is bringing in a good number of conversions and whether it has a good conversion rate.
If you don’t have conversion tracking, look in Google Analytics and see how long people from this keyword are spending on the site and how many pages they’re looking at on the site, whether they’re getting a good level of engagement and whether it’s worth what it’s costing you.
Look at your ad status on a regular basis. You can do this by going to the Ads tab and filtering by status. You want to look for anything that’s disapproved or under review.
Google have made lots of changes to their AdWords policies recently. So you might find that something you didn’t expect to be disapproved might be disapproved. If you do find anything is disapproved, you can hover over the little bubble next to it, and it will give you a reason why. You can then go back and edit it.
If a keyword has a particularly low click-through rate, it could be bringing down the rest of the keywords in that particular ad group. The reason you need to check this often is because if it’s got a low CTR, it’s going to be reducing your quality score, and you’re eventually going to end up paying more per click because of this.
So go to your Keyword tabs, either click on the CTR column to filter low to high for click-through rate, or you could put an actual filter for anything that’s has got a click-through rate below one percent. When you do this, you should also put another metric to make sure that you’re only looking at keywords which have got over at least 100 impressions. This makes sure you’re dealing with a nice sizable amount of data that is significant enough to make a decision on.
Keyword status is similar to ad status. So you’re checking this for the same reasons, just to make sure nothing has been disapproved and to make sure everything is running fine within the account. To check this, you want to go to your Keywords tab and filter by anything that’s disapproved or under review.
The average position of your ads is quite important, because if you don’t have a strong average position, you’re not going to be achieving those good, strong click-through rates. So you want to go to your Keywords tab and filter for anything that’s got an average position worse than three. That’s if you’re working on just desktop or PC devices.
If you’ve got campaigns for mobile and tablet devices, you should be looking to have those keywords in position two or above because there are only the top two positions in those devices. They don’t have the top three positions like standard AdWords on a PC or laptop.
Sometimes keywords are below Google’s first page bid estimate. This means they might not be able to get the average position that they should be achieving. It’s also not always picked up in your average position checks. So you need to filter by status and click anything that’s below Google’s first page bid estimate. You can then increase the bids.
Email checks are something you should set up when you first take over the account. Set it up so that you get alerts if anything is disapproved or if there are any billing issues, just basically anything that you need to know about as soon as it’s happened to make sure the ads stay running.
Search queries are probably the most time consuming of these checks, but it’s actually probably the one you’re going to get most benefit from. To look at your search queries, go to your Keywords tab and then Keyword Details and View All. You can then see all the queries which are triggering your keywords in your ads.
From this list, you should filter so that you’re looking at only keywords which you haven’t already added or excluded. You should also filter to make sure you’re only looking at the specific campaigns you want to be optimising at that point. Look through. If there’s anything that’s irrelevant to the services or to that particular campaign, add it as a negative keyword at campaign level. If you see anything that is relevant, you should be adding that as a positive keyword. Look for in particular anything which has got a particularly good click-through rate, anything that’s low cost, but still very relevant, and of course anything that has converted.
So those are just some top level checks you should be doing, possibly on a weekly basis.