It is important to check your Google Ads campaigns on a regular basis to ensure they are running at optimum efficiency. Google Ads is an expensive platform, highly competitive, and definitely not the place to set it and forget it!
Check Search Terms Report
The Search Terms report shows the actual terms people are typing into Google to find your Ads. The search terms view will allow you to do 2 very important things to keep your Google Ads account fine tuned:
- It will allow you to add search terms you don't want triggering your Ads to the negative keyword list. This keeps your Ads from being triggered by the same search term again. Just doing this one thing will save a ton of money in the long run.
- It will give you new "long tail" keyword ideas. Adding these search terms as exact match or phrase match keywords will save you money by improving your Ad relevancy, which translates to higher position at the same cost.
Run Keyword Diagnosis
If you never run a keyword diagnosis, there is a good chance that you'll have keywords that aren't triggering Ads for reasons you are unaware of, and you'll be missing out on those potential impressions, clicks and conversions. A keyword diagnosis can tell you:
- If you have a negative keyword blocking a keyword
- If your Ad rank is so low that it is preventing display or your Ads. In this situation you should also see a warning to raise your bid to first page level, but this doesn't always happen on keywords with low search volume.
- A range of other technical problems with keywords
Check for Low CTR keywords
Sort your keywords by impression and look for keywords with significant impressions (over a couple hundred) and a CTR of less than 2%. Consider pausing those keywords unless they have an unusually high conversion rate. Low CTR keywords can hurt your campaign's overall quality score and make it more expensive to run. Alternately you can try to improve the CTR of the keywords by writing better Ads, or breaking large Adgroups into smaller, more targeted ones.
Check for Low CTR Ads
Poorly written Ads, or Ads that have low relevance to the keywords that trigger them can lead to CTR problems at both the keyword and Ad level. Check Ad CTR and write new Ads for the lower performing ones. Ad CTR can change over time based on the competition, so this should be checked regularly.
Check Ad Display
Take a quick peek at some of your ads with Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool. It can give you an idea about how you look vs. the competition, and also tell you if your extensions are up and running.
Check for Low Quality Score Keywords
I usually pause any keyword with a QS of two or less, and keep an eye on those with a QS of three. Low keyword quality score will bring down overall campaign quality score and make the campaign more expensive to run. Adjusting the related Ad or breaking larger Adgroups into smaller, more targeted Adgroups is one way to improve keyword QS.
Check Keyword Position (deprecated - Use Impr. Abs Top or Impr. Top)
If average keyword position is too low you won't get significant clicks for that keyword. Usually top positions, say an average of between 1.8 and 2.8 usually perform best. An average lower than 3 can result in missed opportunities, and higher than 1.5 can mean you are paying mean you are paying too much per click in some situations. For instance if you have a rule in place to always increase your bid if it is lower than position 1, and your competitor does too, you could both be driving up the cost unnecessarily. Position 1 keywords also tend to draw accidental clicks by click-happy searchers, so alternating between position 1,2 and even 3 can lead to higher CTR overall.
Check for High Click, Low Conversion Rate Keywords
The ultimate goal of your campaign should be to get conversions, not just clicks. It is possible to have a keyword that has a great quality score and CTR, but does not convert. In those cases it is best to pause the keyword and focus on higher converters. Alternatively you can look at landing page improvements that might lead to a higher conversion rate.
Check Session Recordings
Viewing sessions recorded by a tool like Mouseflow can be invaluable in pinpointing landing page problems or highlighting areas that could use some improvement. Looking at a session or two from a keyword with a low conversion rate often leads to an insight that solves the problem and gets that keyword converting.