While we all like the idea of doing everything “in-house”, there are some areas in marketing that are best managed by an agency. Paid search is usually one of them. The industry changes so much that you need the external expertise (and the resources) to more effectively manage those campaigns. However, this doesn’t completely absolve you of any responsibility. You need to be involved at a strategic level. Your agency knows how to use the tools, but you know your industry.
So…where do you start? Here are 3 sections in Google Ads you should be reviewing in order to help your agency manage your campaigns more efficiently and spend your ad dollars more wisely:
Look at the Search Terms
Not keywords, but the actual search terms people are typing in the search bar. In this section you will see all kinds of awful, obscure, totally irrelevant keywords that creep into your campaigns. Make sure when you review this section; highlight any of the terms you don’t want to include in your campaigns. Your agency can set these search terms as Negative Keywords and stop the unwanted terms from popping up again and wasting your ad dollars.
Another reason I like this section is because sometimes you see your company or brand name show up in campaigns that are focused on non-branded keywords. (So if you’re company is called ABC Homes, you don’t want your brand name, or a variant, appearing in a campaign targeted with a keyword phrase “luxury homes in Atlanta”.) Don’t pay more for your own brand than you have to.
One caveat…this section requires regular maintenance. You should look at this at least once a month to make sure you are eliminating worthless terms and adding them to your list of negative keywords.
Get a Holistic Picture with the Paid v. Organic Report
This report can be a bit of a bear. It’s big and has a lot of columns and if you don’t like working in Excel and pivot tables, getting it in the CSV/XLS format, may not be for you. However, your agency should walk you through this to find out what keywords are triggering people to come to your site via both paid and organic search. You need to view your campaigns holistically so having a view of the terms people are using to visit your site organically or paid is important.
There are some good stats in this report that your agency can take you through. If you like working in Excel, it’s worthwhile to play around to see for yourself.
My ads are showing where?
If you’re using the display network, your ad can show up in a variety of places online. Use Placements to see where your ads are being shown. You might find that they are coming up on some strange sites or sites that you may not want them to appear.
If you don’t want your ads to show up on a political site, make sure that the site is excluded from the ad group or campaign. If you’re bidding on mobile (which probably most people are), you may not want your ad to show up in an App. Personally, I find that unless I’m marketing another App, in-game ads are a terrible waste and more likely to lead to accidental clicks (which means dollars out the door). This translates into high bounce rates on your landing page which is not a good thing. Make sure that your agency excludes those placements if that’s not your market.
Help Your Agency Help You!
In the home building industry, there are a number of great companies who have the technical knowledge and the industry knowledge (we partner with a number of them!). But if you’re currently using an agency that doesn’t have that combination, you need to take more control.
You know your market, so you need to provide your agency with the guidance. By taking the time to review the areas mentioned above, you can help your agency better manage your campaigns and reduce the waste!