Help Desk Hangouts: Reaching the right customers with Google AdWords

Friday, March 30, 2012 | 9:00 AM

Editor’s note: Each week on the Google+ Your Business page, we’re putting you in touch with Googlers and users who can help you as a business owner get the most out of our products and features.

In our latest Help Desk Hangout On Air, we discussed Google AdWords — how to get started, picking keywords, tracking clickthrough rates, and more! Dori Storbeck, Courtney Pannell, Chad Baranik and Gina Bucciere shared some of their tips and tricks for managing a successful AdWords campaign. If you missed it — don’t worry! — you can watch the full hour-long Hangout on the Google Business YouTube channel:



Earlier in the week and during the Hangout, we collected your questions. Here are a few of the things we addressed:

Is there a limit to the amount of AdGroups in one Campaign?

Each campaign can have up to 20,000 Ad Groups.

What is a good CTR? Does my spend affect my CTR?

In general, we consider a good CTR (click-through-rate) to be 1 percent or above on the Search Network. On the Display Network, users are generally at a different point in the buying cycle and, therefore, we expect a much lower CTR. To evaluate the performance of your Display ads, you may want to look at the Relative CTR metric.

What are the top 10 things one can do to improve their Quality Score?

Really, the thing to focus on here is ensuring that you have good account structure and that your keyword lists are tightly themed and highly relevant to your ad text and your landing page. Focusing on CTR, which is a large part of Quality Score, can help too.

I noticed my quality score changes from day to day. Should I only be reviewing my score weekly or monthly before making changes?

Quality Score is a dynamic metric that is actually calculated each time your ad is eligible to enter the ad auction. The score that you can view next to your individual keywords is basically a snapshot estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing page are to a person seeing your ad. While Quality Score is an important metric, we’d suggest focusing on some of the other metrics we also covered in the Hangout, like CTR, average position, and conversion tracking.

Do you suggest eliminating all keywords/ads that don't produce conversions over a six month period?

It totally depends on your goals. If, for example, your main advertising goal is to drive conversions and you notice some keywords have been in your account for a while but aren’t helping you achieve your goal, you might consider pausing or deleting those keywords - particularly if you’re paying a lot for those clicks.

Will your keywords with different match types "fight" against each other if they both qualify for the impression?

Essentially, yes. In determining which keyword enters the auction, the AdWords system is going to try to match the keyword that most closely matches the user’s query, but it will also factor in which keyword will be cheapest and get the highest ad position.

It’s not necessary to have all the match types for every keyword in your account. When choosing a match type, think about how users might conduct a search for your business or services, then choose which match type (broad, broad match modifier, phrase, exact) would allow for the most number of users to be able to find you for relevant searches. You can read more about the main keyword matching options here, and about the broad match modifier option here.

If I had drawn a custom shape before that feature was removed is it possible that I am still targeting that area (the account still shows I am)?

Location targeting by custom shape is no longer supported. If you didn’t select specific targeting areas other than the custom shape before we sunset the feature, the AdWords system would have used your custom shape to match your campaign to the targeting areas (cities, metro areas, states, countries) that best match the area within your previously selected shape.

How do I target just five states? I see most of our sales coming from just these five. I would like to see if that increases my sales.

Within your AdWords account, you’ll want to navigate to the Campaigns tab at the top and then select the specific campaign. Then, on the gray Settings tab for that campaign, under the “Locations and Languages” subtitle, there is a “Locations” section.  By clicking the blue Edit link next to “Locations” you can then select specific states (or cities) to target.

To learn more about how to get started with AdWords, visit our Help Center or check out the AdWords Community forum. And remember to tune in to the live stream of our next Hangout at 11 a.m. PDT Wednesday April 4, when we discuss how to get started on Google Places. We’ll be collecting your Places questions early next week on the Google+ Your Business page.

Posted by Dori Storbeck and Courtney Pannell, Global Online Advertising Associates