Learn about the campaign settings within Adwords Editor. This post will give straight-forward, to-the-point advice without a lot of fluff.
What you will learn:
- How to decide whether to create a CPC or CPM campaign
- How to decide whether to target the Search Network, the Display Network or Both
- How to decide what devices to target
- How to decide whether to set Enhanced CPC or not
- How to decide what ad delivery method to set
- How to decide on the best ad rotation setting
- How to set specific geographic targeting
How to decide whether to create a CPC or CPM campaign
First ask yourself, do you want to advertising on the Google Display Network (GDN)? In other words, do you want to place ads along-side content on websites within the Google Display Network? If you don't want your ads to show on websites, then choose to create a CPC campaign.
CPM bidding is only available on the Google Display Network. CPM bidding means that you pay per 1,000 ad impressions regardless if your ads get clicked or not. This type of bidding model is good for raising awareness, branding and increasing your ad's visibility and reach.
How to decide whether to target the Search Network, the Display Network or Both
Never advertise on BOTH the Search Network and the Display Network within the same campaign. These are two very different networks. Your strategy will be different on each network.
If you plan on advertising on both the search and display network, create 1 campaign targeting the search network only and 1 campaign targeting the display network only.
If you want to be able to go to Google and type in a keyword to see your ad show up, that is called the Search Network so under "Search Network" within Adwords Editor, you will want to choose either "Google and Search Network" or "Google Search Only".
If you want your ads showing up on websites, then you will want to choose the Display Network. If you select "Relevant pages across the entire network", this means you want to target the entire Google Display Network. What Google determines is "Relevant" may differ from what you think is relevant so if you choose this option, just keep that in mind.
If you choose "Relevant placements only on the placements and audiences I manage", this means you will tell Adwords the websites that you want to target. To do this, you can use Google's Placement Tool or Doubleclick Ad Planner.
How to decide what devices to target
You can target:
- Desktop and laptop computers - Choosing this option means your ads will show to users on desktop or laptop computers.
- Mobile Devices with full browsers - Choosing this option means your ads will appear on high-end mobile phones with full internet browsers. For example, iPhones and Android phones. You can choose to target all mobile operating systems or specific operating systems like Android, iOS, and webOS. You also have the choice of targeting All mobile carriers or specific carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc.
- Tablets with full browsers - Choosing this option means your ads will show on tablets like the iPad
So what device should you target? Here are my suggestions.
First understand that user behavior differs by device. For example, being on an iPhone is not the same experience as being on a desktop computer. It's a completely different mind-set.
If you're new to paid search and you want to be conservative when getting started, I would recommend you set-up a Search Network campaign targeting Desktop and Laptop computers only.
As you start to get comfortable with Adwords, ask yourself "What does my site look like on Mobile devices?" Then, grab an iPad, iPhone and Android phone and check it out. If you have a mobile-optimized website, then you may want to start advertising on these devices early-on if your mobile website aligns with your marketing strategy.
I also suggest that you separate your campaigns by network AND device if possible. I like to name my campaigns in a way that indicates what network and what device the campaign is targeting. This makes it easy to search for within the Adwords Interface and using Adwords Editor's Advanced Search.
How to decide whether to set Enhanced CPC or not
Enhanced CPC automatically raises your Max CPC bids by up to 30% but it won't go over 30%. Conversely, Enhanced CPC lowers your Max CPC bids on keywords less likely to convert without limit.
Enhanced CPC monitors and optimizes its performance by keeping a portion of your traffic with your regular (not enhanced) Max CPC bids. If it detects that it's hurting your campaign performance, Enhanced CPC will automatically reduce its impact.
So first ask yourself, "Do I have conversion tracking set up?" If you don't, then Enabling enhanced CPC won't do anything.
If you do have conversion tracking enabled, but your account doesn't have a lot of conversion data, I suggest you keep it disabled. You definitely don't want to turn it on for a new account because you don't have significant conversion data.
If your account is somewhat aged, and you don't have enough conversion data to turn on Conversion Optimizer (15 conversions within the past 30 days), I would recommend enabling Enhanced CPC for a month to see what happens. I've personally had mixed results using enhanced CPC so it's best to try it out for yourself once your account has significant data.
How to decide what ad delivery method to set
Standard - this setting shows your ads evenly throughout the day.
Accelerated - this setting shows your ads as quickly as possible.
I have found that you get better conversion results when you use standard ad delivery. Choose Accelerated if your goal is to maximize impression-share and to spend your budget as quickly as possible.
How to decide on the best ad rotation setting
- Optimize for clicks - will let Google decide which ads to show and when in an attempt to maximize clicks.
- Optimize for conversions - Google will show the ads that convert the best in combination with your keywords
- Rotate - Google will show your ads evenly regardless of performance.
If you are launching new adgroups that contain multiple ad variations that you want to test, I would suggest choosing Rotate to show your ads evenly. The reason is, you will give each ad an equal chance. When you choose Optimize for Clicks, Google heavily favors one ad over the others early-on. As it shows the favorable ad more often, the ad naturally gets more clicks... but it doesn't mean it's necessarily the best ad. Eventually Google will stop showing the other ads in the adgroup and just show the one it favored from the beginning.
What I like to do when launching new campaigns and adgroups is add multiple ad variations to each adgroup. I then set ad rotation to Rotate for a month or so. Then I look at the highest-traffic adgroups to see if there are particular ad variations that work better than others. At this point, I might manually pause individual ads that have lower CTR, or I might just turn the ad rotation settings to Optimize for Clicks since I've given each ad an equal chance to perform.
How to set specific geographic targeting
If you're targeting entire states or countries, then setting your geo-targeted settings within Adwords Editor is fine. But, if you plan to target complex geo-targeted metro areas, parts of a state, parts of multiple states, metro areas in multiple states, etc... then I would recommend you set the geo-targeted settings within the Adwords interface and not in Adwords Editor.
In the Adwords online interface, you have many more map options for setting geo-targeted locations and it's much more user-friendly than in Adwords Editor. You can add radiuses, custom maps, search for locations, and much more.