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How to Use AdWords Ad Groups

Nov 2nd, 2012 | By | Category: Featured Articles

How To Use Google Ad Groups Paul’s business went over a cliff in January because he didn’t know how to use Ad Groups in Google advertising. Paul Downs runs the Google AdWords advertising for his cabinetmaking business and it worked well last year. His business went over a cliff in January because the Google ads for his profitable custom conference tables were no longer appearing in the late afternoon when CEOs tended to shop online. Budget problem? No. He didn’t realize that adding keywords for his new, low-cost tables had contaminated the advertising that had been working for his high-end tables.

Paul is a regular contributor to the NYTimes small business blog and this article is adapted from his recent five-part series, “My AdWords Debacle.” He goes through the seven stages of grief about his plunging business, starting with Denial.

He moves to the Blame stage when he realizes Google’s automated algorithm is cutting off his lucrative high-end advertising because those keywords have a lower click-through rate. In the Problem Solving Stage, Paul learns that he can allocate his budget to specific product categories. He moves the ads and keywords for his new low-end tables into a new campaign with a separate budget.

“So I started telling myself a new story — not that the economy was collapsing but that my AdWords spending was going to the wrong people.”

Paul realized there was a simple fix for this. He took his overall budget and fragmented it into smaller campaigns and gave each its own budget. That way,” he said, “ads for one product won’t drain traffic from other products.”

An even better solution is to use Ad Groups within a single campaign. As a Certified Google AdWords Professional, I emphasized the importance of AdGroups to my students at Santa Rosa Junior College. Paul Downs could have stayed with a single campaign if all his products are marketed in the same geographical area. Having a single campaign will simplify advertising management.

Ad Group 1-Low Cost Tables: keywords and ad text for school and non-profits
Ad Group 2-High End Tables: keywords and ad text for “boss-driven” sales

This way Paul can spread the entire budget over both Ad Groups and Google will automatically run the Group 1 Low-Cost Tables earlier in the day when purchasing managers tend to call and Group 2 High-End Tables later in the day when CEOs tend to call.

Why separate the products into two categories? When all the products were jumbled together, Google’s algorithm couldn’t tell that the ads for the high-end tables, which got fewer clicks, were more valuable to Paul because the margins were higher on the “boss-driven” purchases and the selling cycle was shorter.

For example, the high-end tables would get high click through on specific keywords like “quality conference tables” and “custom conference tables”. These keywords would appear ONLY in Group 2. The ads would be written to appeal to a CEO, not to a purchasing agent. The ads for the high-end tables would say Custom, Unique, Elegant rather than “durable.”

The algorithm evaluates the performance of the keywords within Ad Group. By separating the products into Ad Groups, the ad text and the keywords can be customized. By having both Ad Groups in the same Campaign, allocating ad dollars based on demand is easier.

If you would like to know more about how to use Ad Groups to make your advertising more effective, please contact me.

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