Now that we’ve completed some initial research, it’s finally time to set up our first Google AdWords campaign.  Keep in mind that running a keywords bucket test is one more step toward establishing our overall campaign strategy.  You’ve done your keyword research and now it’s time to to set up a test ad group and then evaluate the results after you run it.

Go ahead and click the “create campaign” button go to the first page of the campaign management:

AdWords Campaign set up steps:

  1. Select “Search Network Only” from the drop down box.
  2. Name the campaign using the following format: Search | Geographic Indicator |Keyword.  For Caribbean vacation it would be: Search | US | caribbean vacation.
  3. Select devices – if you’re using the legacy version of AdWords – .  If you’re using the enhanced version your ads will automatically display on all devices. (eventually everyone will be migrated to the enhanced version)
  4. Select the bid type – since we’re new to this, we’re going to stick with the default option which is to let AdWords maximize the bid for us.
  5. Set your daily budget – start small, you can always increase it later.
  6. Select Ad extensions (enhanced version) – you can display your location, extended site links, phone number, and/or associate the Ad with your Google+ page.
  7. Save and Continue to the create ad group page.

Create bucket test ad group:

  1. Name the ad group with the main keyword.
  2. Create a headline, two description lines, and two URL lines – make sure your headline and description lines are compelling and include a call to action and that the landing page (URL) matches up with your
  3. Enter the keywords from the file that you downloaded
  4. Set your default bid (the maximum you’re willing to pay for a click) – this amount shouldn’t be more than one-tenth of your daily budget so you can get at least 10 clicks per day per campaign.  If your daily budget is set for $50, your default bid should be $5.  You can adjust this later as you learn what works
  5. Pause the campaign – we have a few more things to do.
  6. Create two to three more ads using the same descriptions and URLs, but different headlines.  Make sure that the headlines are different enough to appeal to distinctly different audiences and/or invoke different emotions, e.g. cheap vs bargain, great value vs big discount. You’ll use metrics to determine which is the most profitable.

Now you’ll want to set up a campaign for each keyword from the bucket list you created.  Create the ads and be sure to test them to make sure they resolve to the right landing page. The landing page is very important and absolutely must be highly related to your ad, if it isn’t, the quality score for your Ad will be low.  If it gets too low, Google won’t even display it.

It’s time to start the bucket test. Navigate to the All Online Campaigns page and enable the campaigns.  Once it’s been running for 7 days, you can begin evaluating the results to see what direction you want to take your PPC (pay per click) campaigns.

 Tips for Evaluating the Test Results

  •  Be sure to look at monthly searches and the average CPC so you can determine whether or not you have enough money in your budget
  • Take conversion rate into consideration and calculate how many clicks you will have to pay for before it converts to a sale.  On average you might expect a 1% conversion rate or in other words, you need 100 visitors to gain a sale.  It will take at least 500 visitors before you can draw any conclusions about whether or not the ad will convert profitably.  So let’s say the cost per click is $1, you would need to be willing and able to spend $500 (for each test).
  • Look at more than just traffic and clicks.  If an one ad gets more traffic than another, but no sales it’s not the winner.

That may have seemed like a lot of work, and you may be asking why not just jump in with both feet and see what happens.  That is certainly one approach and it can work. However, if you put the time in up front to conduct thorough keyword research and set up a strategic test you can minimize your overall spend because you will know what works and what doesn’t rather than just guessing at it.

This process can and should be used on an ongoing basis to do A/B tests so you can continuously fine tune and improve your results.

That’s it for the basics of setting up a keyword bucket test in AdWords.  Next up we’ll review tips for setting up and managing your account.

What’s your favorite way to use AdWords to test?

Until next time,