What To Do If Your AdWords Campaign Isn’t Working

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March 23, 2017

Posted By: Jessica Warner

Paid search is an excellent tool. It allows more control than most forms of advertisement. If you’re new to the digital marketing world and need a quick lead generation tool, AdWords can get the ball rolling. With that being said, there are a lot of settings and factors to consider when you begin that can affect your campaign’s performance. If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut because clicks and conversions are coming slowly and you can’t figure out what needs to change in order to be successful, don’t fret! We understand that frustration. Here are tips for revitalizing your campaign in order to see some positive movement:

  • Conversion Tracking – I present this idea to you first, because I would hate for it to be the culprit of your problems. Who wants to do all of the work to revise other parts of your campaign if the real problem is that you’re not properly tracking conversions? The configuration of conversion tracking will depend on which platforms you’re using to run and track your campaign. Implementation typically consists of placing the correct tracking script within the header of the website code and syncing accounts. If you’re using Google Analytics and Google AdWords, make sure you link your accounts, so that conversions can be tracked in both. Google provides great guidance if you’re struggling with AdWords conversion tracking setup. If conversion tracking is in fact your problem, then you’re now that much closer to success!
  • Location Targeting – If you read our, Five Things to Know Before Creating An AdWords Campaign blog, you’ll remember that we suggest choosing a few areas to target from inception and then later consider expanding your geographic targeting, if necessary. Have you considered this recently? If your budget is spread too thin, this may be the reason for your defeat. Your keywords, ad groups and written ads could be perfect, but if your budget is not large enough in your selected regions, you could drain your budget without ever receiving a call. You have two solutions to consider. The first is to cut back on your chosen areas, and consider funneling more of your budget into primary geographic locations. This can help you make gains in these markets before you consider expanding outward. The second option is to increase your daily budget in your existing selected regions. This allows your ad to be served more often and can positively affect your rankings. The problem with the second option is that it may not be plausible for everyone. Fortunately, AdWords is a great tool because of its scalability and flexibility. Even if you’re not able to increase your budget, you can look to option one to help you get ahold of your situation and see positive campaign changes.
  • Too Broad of Keywords – Our third suggestion is to go take a look at your keywords and see if they’re an accurate and specific representation of your products and/or services. Your keywords could be triggering your ads and your written ads may not be specific enough for some user searches. This means that your ads are showing up at unnecessary times, and it’s for this reason that your campaign appears to be performing poorly. For example, if you’re a lawyer that only handles malpractice cases, then using the keyword “lawyer” probably won’t get you a very good ROI. If someone looking for a “tax lawyer” sees your written ad for “lawyer” and clicks on it only to see that you’re a malpractice lawyer, he or she will immediately go back, as your services cannot meet his or her needs. Using the phrase “malpractice lawyer” instead of “lawyer” might drop your number of impressions, but it will also help attract more qualified traffic and can save you money in the long run. The challenge with this is choosing the appropriate keywords to ensure that your ads show up when users need your products and/or services, and not when your users need similar products and/or services that you don’t offer. If your ads show up for the latter, it could be hurting your budget and campaign performance.
  • Negative Keywords – The use of negative keywords should not be neglected. They can prevent unqualified traffic from seeing your ads. If you know there are specific keywords you do NOT want to trigger your ads, then be sure to add those keywords to your negatives in your campaign. This ensures that users searching and using your keyword(s) along with your negative keyword(s) will not be served your ads. Negative keywords will always take precedence over your regular keywords and can prevent campaign reporting inaccuracies. It wouldn’t be fair to your campaign to determine your click-through rate using an inflated number of impressions due to the fact that your ad is served to people who were never initially interested in your offerings. Make sure you think through what words you don’t want and check the specific match types for your negative keywords as well. While most keywords may be singular and would be fine as a broad match type, keep in mind that not all are suited for this. If it’s a two or more worded negative keyword, you should consider other match types like the phrase or exact match types. A good example of this is if you don’t want your ads served to people searching for “how to” documentation. If someone wants a “how to” explanation of a product, it is likely they are not looking to buy from you, but rather make their own. Make sure you change that keyword to a phrase match so you don’t rule out users searching using the words “how” or “to” singularly.
  • Match Types – If you’ve already thoroughly examined your keywords and are still having very little luck with your click through and conversion rates, consider changing your keyword match types. If your match types are not specific enough, you may find yourself driving unqualified traffic to your site. Take a minute to think about how the consumer is searching. Building off our example from above, let’s use the keyword, “malpractice lawyer.” If using broad match type, your ads will be served to users searching similar terms which could include synonyms, common misspellings, or phrases that contain your keywords. Examples include, “mal practice lawyer,” “malpractice laywer,” “legal counsel practice”, etc. If those are not the keywords you want triggering your ads, then consider phrase match. Phrase match allows you to be more specific in targeting ad audiences because it does not include synonyms or phrases that place a word in the middle of your original keyword. For example, it would not trigger your ad for someone searching “malpractice case lawyer.” However, it would trigger an ad for “orlando malpractice lawyer” or “malpractice lawyer in brevard county.” If that still doesn’t suit your needs, then your last option is exact match. Exact match does just that. It only allows your ad to be triggered when a user’s search matches exactly that of your keyword (exceptions could be the use of plural versus singular words). Exact match may be too targeted depending on your needs and goals within your campaign and the types of products and/or services that you provide. If you prefer to learn through video, check out this helpful Google AdWords keyword match types explainer video. One thing can be said for sure, the match type you choose for your ads should not be ignored as it allows you to hone in on those users that need exactly what you sell.

Running an AdWords campaign doesn’t have to have direct correlation to regret. Nobody wants to put hours of effort into something and see no results. As business owners and employees, we look for our return on investment in all campaigns we execute. Don’t let yourself get discouraged because you have yet to see a positive ROI for your AdWords campaign. Many companies choose to hire agencies with individuals who are certified and have worked within various campaigns. If you’ve found yourself in a position where the time and effort you put into your campaigns is no longer worth it to you, consider hiring someone to manage them for you. When run correctly, you will see that ROI you’ve been anticipating. Don’t be afraid to hand it off to professionals! The reaped benefits from a successfully performing campaign will be well worth additional costs incurred.