Insanely Useful Adwords Checklist

Adwords checklist for new advertisersThis is not a checklist for your big budget advertisers.

This is a checklist for I-need-more-customers-now advertisers.

The kind of advertisers who are just small businesses looking to keep their spend LOW while only bringing in ready-to-purchase leads.

Sound like a checklist for you?

Keep reading.

#1 – Get yourself an advertising credit.

If you’re new to the Adwords game, no need to spend a lot of money out of pocket to get yourself started.

Unfortunately, Google no longer offers *completely* free credits – they’re now of the variety “spend $25, get $100.”

If you’re on the Google mailing list, you’ve probably received one of these. If not, head to Google to search for one or send me an email – I always have a few on-hand.

#2 – Sign up for your account.

Head over to Google Adwords, and sign up for your account with that new advertising credit you’ve just gotten your hands on.

#3 – Hook it up to your Google Analytics account.

Check out this post for details.

Basically two things:
-make sure your links are auto-tagged by Analytics
-make sure Analytics is importing Adwords data into your Analytics account

#4 – Do some solid keyword research.

Head to the Google Keyword Tool.

Pop in the your own website or a competitor’s.

Once you have the data – be RUTHLESS with your editing. We’re looking for keyword phrases that are purchase ready. These tend to be detailed product names (“keyboard model 345x” vs “keyboards”) or service-related names. Avoid all keywords that would make great blog posts or are somehow related to your specific offering but not your actual service or product.

#5 – Put some tight limits on your campaign

Forget the Display network for now. Make sure you’re only using the Search network – we’re looking for ready-to-buy-searchers, not casual ones.

Think about if location matters. Do you only service a certain area? Do you ship your products across state or country lines? If location matters, lock it down on your campaign – you can get as specific as metropolitan areas.

One other limit to keep in mind? Your dollar spend. You can limit your spend by day to help keep costs low.

#6 – Watch out for broad match keywords

Their search volume looks nice, but broad match can be expensive, and ultimately, non-related.

Broad match is generally for larger budgets. I almost advise staying closer to the exact-match or phrase match keyword match types.

But you don’t have to necessarily avoid broad matches, but do consider using broad match modifiers to help limit their scope.

#7 – Use at least two ads in every ad group

Having more than one ad allows you to see what text is working for clicks and conversions for your campaign. Be sure to mix it up.

#8 – Don’t forget the call to action

Give the searcher a reason to click on your ad.

Great calls to action words include: Buy, Sell, Schedule a Free Quote, Sign up, Order, etc.

#9 – Pick the right landing page

No, not your homepage.

The best landing page for your Adwords campaign will relate *directly* to the searcher’s intent. For this I-need-customers-now campaign? The page about this specific service or product is perfect.

#10 – Make sure that landing page is optimized.

Meaning make sure your landing page (naturally) includes some of the keywords you’re targeting in your campaign.

Also – be sure to include a call to action on your actual landing page.

This means they’re better be a buy now or call us now or link to contact form or some other way for the searcher to actually close the deal with you. (How else are you going to measure it’s effectiveness?)

#11 – Make sure goals are set up in Google Analytics

Make sure that call to action on your landing page is associated with a goal in your Google Analytics accounts.

How do you set up goals? Check out this post.

Since you’ve already linked your Adwords & Analytics accounts, this final piece will make sure you can see which keywords/campaigns/ads are actually turning into dollars for you.

#12 – Monitor, Monitor, Monitor.

No Adwords campaign is perfectly optimized from the start – the best Adwords campaigns come from continuing to monitor your matched search queries, your keyword performance (which ones are sending dud traffic? eliminate and/or refine), or your ad performance (which ones are getting zero clicks? pause them and create others).

#13 – Don’t forget about negative keywords

Negative keywords are one of the best ways to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns while lowering your ad spend at the same time.

Keep an eye on your matched search queries, and when you find ones that are completely out of whack, refine your campaigns by adding negative keywords. Adding modifiers to your broad match keywords work well here too.

Your Turn

What else? Am I missing anything on this checklist? What would you add? Did you find this useful? Share this post or let me know in the comments!

Did you hear? I’m hosting a free webinar this week
where I’m spilling all my Adwords secrets.

Find out more here.


One Response so far.

  1. Great post Liz! I would love to get one of those Google credits :-)

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