Advertising on Adwords is a skill. A skill that many never really master in its entirety. Those who do master it have what it takes to be successful with online advertising, those who don’t usually struggle.
I remember the first mistake I made when I opened my first Adwords account was to dump hundreds of keywords in an ad group and let that campaign run on all networks.
Boy, did I lose money.
Structuring adwords campaigns properly and segmenting traffic sources is important for Adwords success. As such, here are the basic ones I often start juggling with for maximum impact:
I. Google Search
This is the campaign for ads that will only be displayed on Google.com (or other Google domain extensions). It is the first place to start. Conversion rates are usually highest and you can target users at every stage of the sales funnel.
Advertising on the Google.com domain requires that you understand how to choose keywords, how to segment them into tight ad groups and that you know how to write ads that earn you high quality scores.
How to create a Google Search campaign:
- Create a new campaign and in the settings tab under “Networks and devices” choose Google Search only.
II. Search Network
The search network is sometimes confused with Google.com. The search network is a network of search engines in partnership with Google. These search engine include aol.com, ask.com, netscape.com, and others.
Many advertisers chose NOT to separate Google.com from the search network and sometimes it is not necessary. However, the two entities have very varying performances, and separating the Search Network from Google is essential if you want to optimize that campaign which carries a lot of weight in many ways .
Separating the Google.com and the search network is voodoo to some because there’s no clear button that allows it. Follow these steps…
How to create a Search Network only campaign:
- Clone the Google.com campaign (you can do that with adwords editor).
- In campaign settings, under “Networks and devices” choose both Google Search and Search partners.
- Using Adwords Editor, reduce all your bids by 30% or more.
Notice on step 2, this campaign is opted into the Google search and the search network. Which means that ads here can potentially show on Google.com and step on on the first campaign you created. But since you lowered your bids, the ads in this campaign will have a lower ad rank. When ads from both campaigns are eligible to show on Google.com, Google will always choose to show the ones in the Google Search campaign since they have a higher Ad Rank. Hope that makes sense.
IV. Display Network
The display network is probably my favorite.
Display network ads appear on other people’s websites that have opted to be part of Google’s AdSense program. Basically anyone who has a website can put some AdSense ads on it and share the profits with Google.
A lot of people make a living out of it.
To create a display network campaign, all you do is chose a few keywords (5 to 20) and google will match your page with other websites automatically.
I remember reading somewhere that 90% of the traffic that Google can provide comes from the display network. That number may be a little far-fetched, but from experience, the most profitable campaigns I ever created were display network campaigns.
Most people try the display network and quickly quit. Usually because they end up getting too much traffic that they fail to convert into customers and they end up losing a lot of money. So the real trouble with the display network is converting the traffic into profit. When you’re able to do that, you can almost ignore everything else.
How to create a Display Network campaign:
- Create a new campaign and in the settings under “Network and devices” chose Display > Broad reach.
- When it’s time to choose your keywords, only include about 5 to 10 keywords in broad match.
This campaign is a tandem with the more general display network campaign. Placement are Adsense websites that you want to target individually. That means, you don’t let google chose the sites for you, you tell google which sites you want target.
Personally, I only create a placement campaign after letting the display network campaign run for a while.
When I have identified high performance websites, I target them individually in one ad group for each website in this placement campaign. Very often, I will have an ad group for Gmail and YouTube for lead generation campaigns as I have found those two to have a lot of quality traffic.
How to create a Placements campaign:
- Create a new campaign and in the settings under “Network and devices” chose Display > Specific reach.
- Do not add any keywords to the ad groups (unless you want to target a site that has many topics).
- Under the Networks tab in the general menu, click on managed placements and add the websites you wish to target as placements.
So, those are the 4 campgins your adwords account should at least have. Now of them aren’t going to work well and you might end pausing a few to focus on the ones that work well. But with this set up, you will have the right framework for improving results and gathering accurate data about how your ads work with the 4 main targeting options Google adwords offers.