AdWords Success Tip: Prioritize Your Campaigns

AdWords Success Tip: Prioritize Your Campaigns


Working with Google AdWords you quickly learn: It is one thing to create and monitor the activity of a campaign. It’s another thing to know what actions to take based on the data you collect. You’ll see AdWords Success when you learn to Prioritize your Campaigns.

Out of my own frustration, I researched and came across a system to analyze and improve campaigns, turning what used to be a drudgery into a relatively easy and enjoyable task.

It’s called the Growth-Share Matrix, created by the Boston Consulting Group in the early 1970s. Applying their matrix, I came to understand that all AdWords campaigns fall into one of four categories:

Stars:  The campaigns that are both profitable and popular.

Workhorses: The campaigns that are very popular, but generating little money – or you’re losing money on them.

Puzzles:  The campaign with a low cost-per-click for one of your most profitable products, on which you get to the first spot with little trouble, but after weeks, there are zero impressions.

Dogs: This campaign is unpopular, and on the rare occasion that you do get a click, it’s at such a high cost you don’t make any money on the conversion.

AdWords Success Tips

Click here to download a PDF of the chart

How to Prioritize your AdWords Campaigns

In the end, you want a portfolio of Star campaigns. Here is a step-by-step process to follow:

First, identify your Star campaigns.

  • What aspects of this campaign are working? The URL?  The Headline?  Is it easy to show up in the first position? Take the best elements of your Star campaigns and apply them to poor performers.

Next, let’s tackle the Workhorses.

  • If you are on “Automatic bidding,” switch to Manual Bids and lower them.  With all other aspects of the campaign being equal, you may have a good click-through volume at a lower cost.
  • Look at the quality score.  If it’s below 6/10, you could likely raise it for a lower CPC.
  • Cut Bad Keywords!  If you’re using a keyword with high cost-per-click, consider cutting it completely.

 Time to solve the Puzzles.

  • People like what they see when they actually SEE this ad.  Is there an opportunity to increase impressions by adding more keywords & ads?  Think about other search terms being used for this product or service and consider them.

 Consider Letting the Dogs out.

  • Can anything be changed to save this campaign?  Is it worth saving?  If the low performance is impacting the account overall quality score, consider pausing it indefinitely or deleting it altogether.

Once you have sanitized your campaign portfolio using this method, you’ll need a plan to monitor, evaluate and improve campaign performance going forward.  We recommend categorizing campaigns by their performance at least once a week.  Over time, you’ll find it’s very easy to identify the campaigns in seconds!  If your time is limited, always attack campaign improvements in this order:

  1. Dogs
  2. Workhorses
  3. Puzzles
  4. Stars


 Keep at it and within weeks you should see better performance on all your campaigns. Little by little, you’ll end up with a portfolio of Star Campaigns!

Lucid Business Strategies

 Lucid Business Strategies helps people like you build and grow a revenue stream throug Google AdWords.

email for info or call (586) 254-0095.

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The Flip Side of Google AdWords “Automated Intelligence”

The Flip Side of Google AdWords “Automated Intelligence”

AdWords Pay-Per-Click ServicesBe careful when you let Google do the thinking for you in pay-per-click!

Last week, one of my Google AdWords clients ran through their entire ad budget within a few of days. That might be fine for some campaigns, but in this case, the plan was for those dollars to take them through the entire month.

When I received the “low balance” notice from their AdWords pay-per-click account, I had one question:

What is Going on Here?

The first thing I do when there is unusual activity in an AdWords account is check the account balance. The best information about what’s happening with an under-performing, over-performing, or just downright confusing AdWords campaign is right there, under the Billing tab.  And sure enough, the balance had fallen to a whopping $0.01!

What keywords were costing my client so much money?

I headed over to the Search Terms Report – the place in AdWords that shows you the exact search terms people entered that caused Google to show them an ad.

The client was advertising for participants in an study about ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), but much to my surprise, the keywords driving clicks to the site were things like, “add songs to your ipod,” “adding lawn seed to soil,” “add reminder,” and just plain “add” – all ranging from $5 to $36 per click.

Why people searching for how to add songs to an ipod would click on a link to an ADHD Study is a question for another day. Suffice it to say that the monstrous costs per click and the number of clicks from these bad search terms wiped out my client’s budget in a heartbeat, all because Google decided that “ADD” was a suitable synonym for ADHD, and showed my client’s ads to people searching with those terms.

As a Google AdWords Certified Professional, I know when it’s the right time to call Google directly, and this was clearly it.

I knew exactly what the problem was – my campaigns were set to “use close variants” of my keywords. Google is pretty forgiving and willing to return credits for these types of mistakes, so long as you take the steps necessary to avoid it happening again. Realizing the potential of more ADHD-related keywords improperly attracting searches including the word “add,” I changed the settings so that the campaigns run only for the exact spelling of my keywords – no close variants. Google agreed to credit the client’s account.

The Lesson Learned: Think about & research what words Google might consider as a synonym or “variant” of your keyword before starting, or you might be out of cash before you know it!

Lucid Business Strategies


 Lucid Business Strategies helps people like you SPEND LESS and EARN MORE through pay-per-click marketing programs.
email for info or call (586) 254-0095.

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Want to increase your Marketing ROI? Build Effective Landing Pages and Invest in Google AdWords

Want to increase your Marketing ROI? Build Effective Landing Pages and Invest in Google AdWords


What is a Landing Page?

A Landing Page is the place you want people to go to find specific information or offers on a product or service. Landing Pages carry your branding and contact information, but in most instances, they are not visible from your main web navigation. The sole purpose of a Landing Page is to cause a prospect to take a specific action—most commonly, to fill in a form, or to make a phone call. Landing Pages serve an entirely different function than your “main” website.

A good Landing Page helps you convert a higher percentage of visitors into qualified leads.

Why are Landing Pages so critical?

Landing Pages have only one purpose

Many business owners and marketers think they should drive advertising, email, or Social Media traffic to their homepage.

Big mistake.

Advertising—whether by traditional means or Social Media—brings the best results when it is for a specific item/service, and targeted to a specific demographic. When you know a stream of targeted traffic will be checking you out, you can increase the likelihood of converting that traffic into leads by sending them to a targeted Landing Page.

Let’s say you own a home remodeling business. You can do most anything from change out a leaky faucet to adding an entire wing to a home. But your sweet spot—in terms of ROI—is drywall repair. You do your homework and find the terms people looking for drywall repair are most likely to use when searching online, and run a Google AdWords campaign focused on drywall repair.

Now, when a homeowner whose teenager just put their fist through the wall finds your ad, do you think they want to wade through multiple pages on your website to get to your Drywall Repair info? Or are they more likely to stay engaged if the page they are directed to is 100% about Drywall Repair, and gives them instant access to your phone number and/or a form they can submit to have you call them?

Determine what you want your prospect to do and send them to a Landing Page that prompts them to complete that action – and only that action. You’ll see the effectiveness of your online marketing improve dramatically.


Helpful hints for more effective Landing Pages:

Limit Navigation. Don’t distract people with links back to your site, and never, ever include links to an external site. Keep them focused on completing your form or making the phone call. HIDE your website navigation elements on landing pages.

Deliver Value. Prospects will give you their contact information if your offer is compelling, and your Landing Page demonstrates that value.

Keep it Short. The longer your landing page and form, the more likely people are to click off your page. Short and to the point will increase your conversion rate.

Test, and test again. There is “best practice,” and then there is what the data shows. Your Landing Page can and should improve over time and with the natural shifts of time and culture.


Remember: The function of Landing Pages is to capture lead information. They serve an entirely different function than your “main” website.

Lucid Business Strategies

Lucid Business Strategies is building a GREAT company that helps other people build GREAT companies.

Learn more about our strategies and services on the Lucid website or call us at 586-254-0095

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The Most Misunderstood Marketing Tool in the World

The Most Misunderstood Marketing Tool in the World

One thing we’ve learned “for sure” over the last several years is that few businesses know much about the power of Google AdWords, and even fewer understand how it works.

At its most basic, AdWords is an advertising tool provided by Google, which facilitates quick connections between people looking for a product or service, and the people providing that product or service.


It’s time to enroll your first-born in driver’s training. You go to Google and enter, “Driving Schools, Royal Oak, MI”Adwords SERP Example in the search box. The resulting page looks something like this:


The two ads in the Yellow Box at the top left, and the three ads down the right side of the page are AdWords ads. When you click on the ad for, you are directed to a special page they have created called a Landing Page. Google charges the school a per-click fee, based on several factors we’ll discuss another time – for now, just understand that when you have the most common type of Google AdWords ad, you pay a fee each time your ad is clicked.

The process is simple:

  1. You research the keywords your customers are likely to use to search for your business.
  2. You create ads that utilize those keywords.
  3. You make your ad point to a Landing Page that is 100% about the keywords you’ve chosen (this is called “Relevancy” and is part of the equation Google uses in the amount you are charged per click).
  4. You watch the results through your AdWords account, and make adjustments to the ad and the landing page until you see the conversions that make it worthwhile for you.

No matter what your budget – there is no “minimum spend” – you can reach new customers and grow your business with AdWords. You can choose where your ad appears, set a budget that’s comfortable for you, and easily measure the impact of your ad.

For a small business with a short time frame for profitability, Google AdWords is a great marketing tool that can bring immediate cash flow into the company.

 Lucid Business Strategies

Lucid Business Strategies is building a GREAT company that helps other people build GREAT companies.

Learn more about our strategies and services on the Lucid website or call us at 586-254-0095

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Adventures in Adwords #1

Adventures in AdWords, Part 1

Adventures in AdWords #1“No matter what your budget, you can display your ads on Google and our advertising network. Pay only if people click your ads,” says the Google Adwords landing page.

Yep. That’s the plain and simple truth. No matter what your budget, you can create ads for display on the Google network. It’s simple, too, and the costs are reasonable.

Until they’re not, because someone who doesn’t understand the inner workings of AdWords and it’s keyword-driven programming has changed your campaigns.

Case in Hand:  Unintended Consequences

We took a start-up company from zero income to a projected $600,000 gross income in just 90 days with a Geo-targeted, highly specific series of AdWords campaigns. The ads were bringing in business like crazy. Total campaign costs were running around $500 per month. Meanwhile, the average sale was over $1,200, so the ROI was spectacular.

It was spectacular up until the day the owner gave a person who was unfamiliar with the strategies we employ and the “inner workings” of the program his log-in details. That person added a list of new keywords, most of which were of such low search volume that they didn’t impact anything. But there was one key phrase that drove up the cost-per-click for the entire campaign by $0.40.

Now, forty cents may not seem like a big deal. But when it is a high-click through rate campaign, a forty cent increase per click can wreak havoc on any AdWords budget. In our client’s case, it added $1,500 to his credit card bill, by adding more than a thousand inappropriate “clicks.”

All because someone who wasn’t familiar with the “Why” and the “How” went in and added one three-word key phrase.

“No matter what your budget, you can display your ads on Google and our advertising network. Pay only if people click your ads,” says the Google Adwords landing page.

Yep. That’s the plain and simple truth.

But please: Make sure the people to whom you entrust your AdWords campaigns actually have experience, and a strategy in place.

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