To be successful a Google Ads campaign has to evolve. You can’t take a set it and forget it approach, even when the campaign is seemingly successful.
One of the things I’m always shocked by when I take on a new client for Google Ads is when I find they’ve done little to almost nothing for their campaign in months.
Even more distressing is when I review a client who was previously working with another agency and that agency did little more than create some new ads and adjust a couple of bids.
Even with the smallest budget in the smallest market you should constantly be monitoring your campaigns and making changes. Otherwise, you'll find yourself falling behind in the race for customers.
Pay per click management isn’t about maintaining the status quo. It’s about ensuring a campaign is doing the most to generate new revenue for a business.
This means taking advantage of all the features Google AdWords offers, and which Microsoft Ads will ultimately offer. It also means looking for wasted spend.
How Often You Need to Be Updating Your Campaign
How often to update a Google AdWords campaign will vary greatly by industry and budget.
Depending on your spend, and the age of the campaign, you might be making changes weekly. As time progresses you can stretch this out to once every two weeks, but this is stretching it.
Here are some factors that will influence how often you need to update your Google Ad campaign.
How New the Campaign Is. The more recently you began your campaign, the more work involved. You're determining what keywords you want to target, and which convert the best. You’re creating new ads and maybe even making alterations to the landing page they go to.
One of the first decisions you need to make is what bidding option you’ll choose.
Google pushes for you to choose an automated system, but in the beginning, this is a mistake. You need data for these to work. Begin with manual bidding and then after a while switch over to automated.
How Many Keywords Your Targeting. This might be the biggest factor in determining how often you have to make updates to your campaign. If you’re targeting a lot of keywords, then this most likely means you have a number of ad groups and a number of ads.
More keywords also means more data to review.
How Big Your Budget Is. A person spending 500 a month on Google Ads won’t have to be as active as someone spending 50,000. That should go without saying.
How Successful Your Campaign Is. If your campaign seems successful and you feel confident about the leads coming in, then you might not have to be as active.
I can’t stress this enough. No matter how successful your campaign seems to be, you still want to be active in your account. You want to build on your success.
If your campaign is struggling, then you’ll need to be more involved until you get it where you want it to. This means a lot of testing, both in your keyword choices and your ads.
Google even encourages marketers to update their campaigns by giving them an optimization score. A low score means you need to do more work.
Why You Need to Be Constantly Updating Your Campaigns
As mentioned, even the most successful Google Ads campaign, can’t be left unattended. Here are 6 reasons why you need to be constantly involved with your campaign or have it maintained by a pay per click specialist actively working for you.
1) The Competition Constantly Changes - Maybe your content with having a campaign on autopilot, but most likely many of your competitors aren’t. They’re testing their ads, they’re trying out new features, and they’re adding to the campaign budget. This means they’re constantly staying ahead of you unless you’re just as active.
2) Google is constantly revising the features of AdWords – in the past couple of years, Google has added a number of new features to AdWords and made revisions to its ad platform.
They’re constantly adding new extensions or even tweaking with the ad formats. Not using these and other features Google offers is giving your competitors a significant advantage.
3) You’re wasting money with many clicks – Even with the most targeted campaigns, there are often clicks that are wasted spend.
You need to review the actual search terms potential prospects used to trigger your ads. Often there are phrases that have little to no value for a business. By adding these words as negatives will help to prevent that from recurring.
4) You need to improve on your ads - Many businesses see that their ads are being clicked on and assume they’re doing well. Yet, if they’re not testing these ads, they don’t know if these are the most effective ads.
By improving click-through rates on your ads, you’re not just getting more potential leads. You’re also improving your Quality Score, which in turn could lower your costs per click.
5) How people search is constantly changing - It seems like a few years ago, people simply searched on their laptops. Now they’re searching on their phone or on their Google devices at home. This also means how they search and the phrases they use constantly change.
6) Your promotions have expired or information is out of date - This to me astounds me and I've seen it with major players.
They have online promotions and pay a lot of money to let prospects know about it. Then the prospect finds the coupon has long since expired.
I ran across this when I was looking to get some brake work done. The ad seemed to meet my needs and was a great offer, but when I clicked on the ad, I found the sale had ended months earlier.
What You Need to Update and What You Need To Monitor
There are several things you need to be doing with your campaign each month. Here are some things you should be doing on a regular basis.
Update Keywords – You should be constantly looking for new keywords to test.
According to Google, 15% of all searches are phrases they’ve not seen in the past 90 days. Google makes it easy to search for new phrases. Just hit the plus sign and you’ll see a list to choose from.
One word of caution. When you add new keywords in this manner, they will be broad match. You need to change this to some other format, so you don’t get a lot of irrelevant clicks.
Adjust Bids - If you're not doing automated bidding then you need to be monitoring your keyword positions.
Google doesn't show the average position anymore but instead provides search top is. This lets you know how often your ads appear at the top of the pages, above organic listings. You want to be in this top group, even if you're not in the top spot.
Update Ads – You might think you have a good click through rate on your ads, but there is always room for improvement.
I suggest having 3 expanded text ads and one responsive ad in each ad group. Each month pause the least performing ad and introduce a new one. You’re not trying to beat the ad you paused but in fact your best ad.
When do you pause an ad? I recommend that the ad has at least 100 impressions. If your campaign has a high budget and you get a lot of impressions each day, then maybe just introducing a new ad in each ad group every 2 weeks.
Review Search Terms – The search term report is required reading. You should be regularly reviewing this looking not only for new phrases to try, but to look for phrases that don’t apply.
Then add words as negative keywords to block them from happening again.
In the beginning, you’ll want to review this a couple of times a week.
As you get the wasted spend down you can space this out more. A couple of months might be enough.
Review Recommendations – Google offers recommendations on your campaign, even providing you a score.
You don’t want to accept all of these recommendations, but there is a benefit to them.
They might suggest new keywords to try or alert you of features you weren’t aware of.
Be cautious, however, as some won’t benefit.
Read my article on what are Google Ads recommendations and when to accept them.
Review Conversion Data. The ultimate goal of your campaign should be either to generate new leads or develop brand awareness.
If your goal is to get leads, then you need to make sure conversions are being properly tracked.
Whether you’re tracking phone calls, forms or goals, you want to see these numbers increase.
If it's been a while then your conversion attributes might be out of date. It used to be that only last click was available, but now you have a variety of options.
Choosing the right attribute will often depend on what type of leads you generate.
If you’re not, then you need to adjust your campaign accordingly.
Google Might Make Changes For You
One of the results from your inaction might be that Google will take action.
Under recommendations, they often suggest new ads. Depending on your settings, these ads will be added automatically to your campaigns. The problem is that their ads are often terrible. A company name is often the first title. And they seldom fill in all the elements of an ad.
Google is also testing out adding other recommendations without your knowledge. You might find new keywords in your account that you hadn't added yourself.
What About Automated Campaigns
If you're using automated bidding you might think you have less to do. This isn't the case.
You still need to monitor your search terms, develop new ads, and review recommendations.
You also want to monitor your cost per conversion and your monthly spend.
Results should be improving over time and if not, then review your settings for your automated bidding.
For a successful marketing campaign, you need to be constantly reviewing, monitoring, and tweaking. This could be large actions such as site audits or simply tweaking an ad here or there.
If you don’t have the time or staff to properly manage a campaign then consider bringing in a specialist such as myself. The money spent will more than be recouped through the elimination of wasted spending and the discovery of new opportunities.
As a Google Ads Consultant, I help numerous businesses increase their revenue through strategic PPC campaigns.