15 May 2012

Best AdWords Tools for PPC Management

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re already well versed in the basic tools and features that AdWords has to offer. That being said, even the most knowledgeable PPC professionals can find a refresher course helpful. This blog will cover some useful tools within AdWords, and how using these can help you enhance your campaigns and increase the number of conversions you see on a daily basis.
Keyword selection is immensely important. Sometimes it’s easy to forget about checking in on these pillars of your campaign. Remember to use the Keyword tool regularly in order to get a gauge of which keywords are performing at the highest levels, or the lowest comparatively on the general display network. You can search phrases that you might use in your ad headlines, website URL’s and even industry categories to find the corresponding keywords that will work best for you. Having this information should feed into your strategy. You can even estimate the levels of traffic you can expect by selecting certain words. Feel free to click around and experiment with some keyword by visiting this link.
Along the same lines, you may find yourself using the “Insights for Search” tool, which will show you how your keyword and campaign performance measures up against your biggest competitors. Here you can see how your keywords are performing in relation to other variables such as categories, seasonality, geographic distribution and more. You can see how you compare in the market by exploring Insights for Search.
While we are on the subject of keyword performance, you’re also going to want to know which of them are faulty. You can use the “Diagnose Keywords” tool within AdWords to help decipher which keywords are either performing poorly or are not being triggered at all. Some likely causes for phantom ads might be that the keyword was never approved, poor quality scores, or a number of other reasons. This tool allows you to see these issues upfront.
Once you’re all set up in the keyword department you’ll want access to an easy tool that can show you how you are performing overall. You can do this quickly by using the toggle graphs tool. You can compare metrics at a glance such as your position and CTR ratio, or even conversion rates. You can easily toggle between these graphics to see how your campaigns are performing over a set date range.
If you find certain metrics helpful and easy to navigate, then try visiting the Columns option under the Campaigns Tab. This option gives you the ability to add custom metrics columns to automatically appear within AdWords. These can be swapped at any time and are easy to organize with a user-friendly add and remove setup. You can also access the Filters option from the same tab. You can apply metrics filters on the campaign, ad group, and ads levels. These options allow you to look at and compare the different facets of your campaigns with a click of a button.
It’s no question that as a business owner you want to be cautious with how you spend your money, especially when planning PPC campaigns. Did you know that there is a tool that can alert you to the most economical times to place bids on your keywords? Under the Settings Tab in AdWords you will find a feature for Ad Scheduling. This will act as your personal assistant to allow you to bid more or less during certain times of the day. The idea here is that if you are able bid lower during hours that might be less profitable and higher for higher traffic times. This is all about strategy, so you may find that this tool conflicts with your plan, but give it a shot to see if it works for you.
Google offers you the ability to download reports throughout your campaign, as well. Depending on which tab you’re working under, just click the pointing-down arrow in order to download a quick and handy report. You can also use your segment options to include or exclude any information from the report. You can examine a full list of your Segment Options by visiting the Campaigns tab. You can segment by device if you’re running campaigns for mobile platforms like phones or tablets. You can segment by time, placement – the sky is the limit here. This provides great ways to compare your campaign performance.
Finally, if you’re running multiple campaigns at once, you’re probably finding the PPC rat race to be rather time consuming. The Automate Function can help you manage the amount of time it takes to apply standard rules at the campaign, ad group, ad and even keyword levels. For example, you can create certain rules to all your ads at once instead of having to manually apply a change for each one. You can set a number of rules, but be sure to monitor these closely because as campaigns change, rules can start to conflict. You might find that it is worthwhile in some instances to engage in manual changes to enhance your performance and avoid any problems.
You will need to explore AdWords to find which of these tools are most useful for you. Google is great at providing options for you to customize how you manage your campaigns. In the end, everyone has to find their perfect way to do so. If you are just beginning, these are some great options to investigate; if you’re an AdWords veteran then it doesn’t hurt to go back to basics every once in a while.