Do you have the right campaign settings?
Andrew Lolk has an interesting illustration about the importance of this topic when he says, "Compare it to running a marathon, but you forgot to put on your shoes. Yes, you can do your best to walk ahead, but you'll never go full speed and you definitely won't finish first." He has written A Guide to Optimal Campaign Settings for AdWords in 2014 for Savvy Advertisers over on Search Engine Journal to explain the way he approaches this foundational topic.
Campaign settings are pretty basic, but many times we overlook a basic thing and wonder why things aren't going as smoothly as we anticipated. Here's a quick rundown of his idea of the basics:
- Focus on one network at a time: don't include search and display together.
- Always include the search partner network when starting a new AdWords campaign.
- Target the languages the demographic in your location targeting speak.
- Use specific areas within the area you want to target.
- Stick to manual CPC bidding and potentially enhanced bidding.
- Ensure your ads show every time users search for your keywords.
- Apply ad scheduling that fits your business objectives.
- Rotate your ads so you can make a cost-benefit analysis including ALL important metrics - not just one.
- Work smart and let Google worry about misspellings, plurals, and close variants.
- The optimal campaign settings are determined by your goals and circumstances.
I think the most important tip to keep in mind is #10. Your online marketing strategy in all its forms is optimal when it is specific to your goals and circumstances, because then you are speaking to the people most apt to respond at the times they are most apt to listen.