AdWords Optimization Step 8: Focus on Relevancy

iStock_000006915087_ExtraSmallMy last tip is perhaps the most fundamental – make sure your landing pages and ads are relevant to the keywords and sites you’re associating them with. Remember Google is a search company, and “relevance” of search results is baked into their DNA. The number one thing on Google’s tenets is “focus on the user and all else will follow.”  Just as they want to ensure users get what they’re looking for when they perform a Google search, they want to ensure users get ads relevant to what they are looking for as well.

Keep your Ads Relevant

This means it’s not enough to plunk down cash in the form of bids, and expect Google to happily redirect people who searched for your competitor’s product to your site just because you listed that product as a keyword. You need to ensure:

  • The words in your text ad include keywords you are bidding on
  • Your display network  ad copy incorporates what the sites you are targeting are about. Even have different ads for different sites, tailored to be relevant to each site you’re targeting.
  • The landing page you direct your ads to contain the keywords you are bidding on. If those keywords are in the title or header tags, all the better.

In conversation with an AdWords rep from Google, he implied that even the name of your campaigns used in your AdWords dashboard is used to determine relevancy. I’ve done some experimenting with making my campaign and ad group names more descriptive without any results, so I’m not sure how true this is. Still, it can’t hurt to rename an ad group from “Ad Group #1” to something more descriptive of what the ad’s audience is looking for.

This is all for your own good. Ensuring you have relevant ads and keywords for your targeted audience means lower costs per conversion for you. You won’t waste as much money attracting people who weren’t really looking for what you have to offer.

Relevancy Troubleshooting

Fortunately, Google makes it easy to identify relevance problems. You can apply a filter for quality scores on your keywords, and dig into the ones that score the lowest. They also offer a diagnosis tool on the keyword tab that can help you find issues preventing your ads from reaching their intended audience.

Overly broad keywords that don’t match what your landing page and ad is about can actually limit the audience for your ads. If Google dings your keywords with a low quality score, they won’t be shown often. It seems a bit counter-intuitive, but making your keywords more specific – and therefore more relevant to their audience – can actually expose your ads to a larger audience.

Google offers some guidance of their own on the topic as well.

That wraps up my brain-dump of AdWords optimization – these techniques helped me to grow my own business, and I hope  you can use them to grow your own as well!

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