So, you’re running a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign. Either you’re doing it yourself, or you’ve got someone handling it for you. Everything’s set up and you’re told it’s up and running. But, you really want to make sure that your campaign is:
a) actually working, and
b) check what keywords you are coming up for to ensure they are relevant.
However, one of the key components of a successful Google AdWords campaign is the campaign’s ‘Quality Score’ — you could be seriously hurting your campaign without even realising!
The quality score of a campaign is really important because campaigns with higher quality scores can achieve higher positions and lower cost per clicks (making your investment more worthwhile).
The quality score is made up of three things:
1. Ad relevance — How relevant is your ad text to the search query?
2. Landing Page Experience — How well is your landing page satisfying the consumer’s search intent when they arrive on the landing page?
and most importantly…
3. Click Through Rate — How many times your ad is shown (impressions) VS how many times your ad is actually clicked on.
The click through rate is one of the strongest measurements for the quality of an ad, as Google assumes if people are always clicking on it then it must be relevant and if they never click on it then it must not be very relevant. (Also keeping in mind that Google makes money when the ads are clicked on — not when they’re not.)
Why is this important for you?
If you use Google as you would normally to test that your ad is working properly, by just opening it and searching to see if your ads are coming up, you are driving up the impressions but not the clicks. Therefore, you are driving down the click through rate and the quality score, as well as negatively affecting the performance and return of investment for the whole campaign. Not good, right?
So in short — searching for ads in Google to find your own ads is detrimental to your campaign, and you should avoid this wherever possible.
Instead, use the Google Ad Preview Tool to check which keywords your ad is coming up for.
The tool works just like a regular Google search and shows exactly the same results (in fact, it will give you even better results because it doesn’t recognise your personalised history and just gives pure search results as the user would see them).
The real benefit of this tool is that searches via the tool are not counted as impressions, and therefore will not affect the click through rate of your quality score and will not hurt your campaign.
You can do a thousand searches a day if you like and it won’t hurt your campaign.
So save a shortcut to the Ad Preview Tool in your browser and you’ll be ready to go whenever you want to check your ad.
Photo Credit (Flickr)