Five reasons to check your Campaign Settings in Google Adwords.

PPC 101 Chalkboard

Why PPC Campaign Settings Matter

Pay per click settings are important.

If you don’t deliver your message to the right geographical location, at the right time, and on the right devices, you could be wasting your PPC budget. Get the wrong settings and you’re bleeding money.

That’s why you should review your PPC campaign settings.

As a hat-tip to traditional print advertising, pay per click accounts are organized by campaigns. Campaign organization is crucial to your advertising success, just like the old days of counting coupon returns. For our purposes, we are only reviewing PPC campaign settings on the Google search network.

I won’t attempt to rehash Google’s helpful tutorials for Adwords. However, I will remind the beginning PPC jockey why Campaign Settings are so important. If you want to succeed in paid search, you should understand some critical components in Adwords.

#1 – Location, Location, Location

One of the benefits of search advertising is the ability to target searchers by area. You can target by country, state, province – even zip codes. This is extremely important for local searches. When someone needs an electrician in Atlanta – it’s not very helpful for a Sacramento electrician to display ads for that search. It wastes the searcher’s time and the electrician’s advertising dollars.

It’s not a relevant search.

Check your location settings. Make sure you’re only displaying ads for the areas you sell to. The current default Campaign setting for location is the United States and Canada. If you can’t sell to Canada, change the setting. You’re throwing money out the window if you don’t target the right location.

#2 – Networks: My Ad Shows Where?!

There are now 5 separate platforms for your Adwords ads to show: Google, Search Partners, the Content Network, Desktop and Laptop Computers, and Mobile Devices.

The biggest area – by far – is Google. Users type their search query into Google, and Google displays ads on the top and right hand side of the search results. Search Partners are places like AOL and Ask – search engines that own additional search inventory but don’t have enough advertisers on their networks. The Content Network displays ads on independent websites (publishers). The last Settings relate to displaying ads on Mobile Devices.

Make sure you’re only displaying ads in places that match your overall strategy. Also, periodically review these networks so you get the best ROI from your efforts, i.e. conversions. Plus, these networks can change.

#3 – Bidding Strategy For Beginners

There are now three bidding strategies. The default bidding strategy is called “Maximum CPC Bidding”. That means you join an auction-like experience with other advertisers. After all, it matters where your ads display in Google. The higher position ads receive the most clicks and are usually the most expensive. The more you bid on a click, the higher your ad is placed (more or less).

There are two other options: Conversion Optimizer and Budget Optimizer. Conversion Optimizer is for advanced users – it sometimes brings in more conversions into your account (but not always). If you have Conversion Tracking in place and you get at least 30 conversions in a month, it’s worth testing. Budget Optimizer is for basic users where Google tries to get you the most clicks for your money.

In most cases, you should stick with the default “Maximum CPC Bidding”. You can test “Position preferences” to try for position 3. It’s no guarantee you’ll get your preferred ad position, but it could be worth it.

#4 – Budget : I Have To Pay For This?

That’s right – Google is not a charity. That’s why every Campaign should be set with a maximum daily budget that won’t break your bank account. Depending on what and how many keywords you loaded into the Campaign, you may not meet the budget. However, the budget setting serves as a safeguard for your account.

The Budget setting may be the most important setting on your Campaign. It helps keep you solvent while using the Adwords advertising platform.

#5 – Scheduling: But I Don’t Work on the Weekends!

Also called “dayparting”, ad scheduling allows your ads to only show at certain times. This can be a very helpful setting.

If you have industry insight that every Friday your prospects don’t search online, then it might be smart to pause your ads on Friday. Likewise if you’re only selling to businesses (B2B), then it might be smart to test not running ads on the weekends or late at night. This also will help you conserve your ad spend so that you’re only displaying your ads at the most opportune times.

If you’re not sure when to show your ads, don’t use ad scheduling. You can always review the Settings later after you collect more data on conversions. It’s best to make your PPC decisions on data rather than guessing.

How to Change Your Campaign Settings

To get to your Campaign Settings, crack open your Adwords account. Make sure the upper “Campaigns” tab is selected, then click on “Settings” on the lower tabs to drill down to your Campaign Settings for each active Campaign (see below). From here, you can make your Campaign adjustments.

Campaign Settings in Google Adwords

Where to change your campaign settings in Google Adwords.