Auditing your AdWords campaign prior to it's launch takes more time then most people are willing to invest. But the fact of the matter is, it's worth every minute to save yourself from future turmoil.
The first step should be making sure to geo-target all the areas you want to reach as Google will default to only the US. To take this step even further you should audit with the targeting method by making sure your ads are showing up under the right searches per their current location or per the location they are searching for.
Below are all 8 of the most important steps to take before launching your newest AdWords campaign:
- Geo-Targetting – mentioned above
- Network – Do not target Search & Display Networks in one campaign. Double, triple and quadruple check that you’ve targeted the correct network.
- Budget – Is your budget set to the correct amount?
- Mobile Bid Adjustment – Is your site responsive to mobile? Or, is it a poor experience and you don’t wish to spend any money serving on mobile devices? If that’s the case, set your mobile bid adjustment at -100%. Or, if your mobile performance is outstanding, then you may want to increase your mobile bid (up to 300%).
- Exact and Phrase Matching – If you don’t opt out of this, the default setting in AdWords Editor allows Google to match queries that may include plurals, misspellings and other close variants to purchased keywords within your campaign.
- Delivery Method – Two options – Standard or Accelerated delivery. Standard delivery serves ads evenly throughout the day. Accelerated serves ads as quickly as possible.
- Ad Rotation – In new campaigns, I recommend Rotate Evenly for 90 days, especially for a campaign that is an ad copy test. Across all other campaigns, optimize for clicks and/or optimize conversions is effective when you have enough data.
- Negative Keywords – A campaign without negative keywords is like…well, it’s just…bad. Make sure that the appropriate negative keywords are applied across non-exact match campaigns.
Once you've followed each step thoroughly don't forget the basic check-list like running spell check, keyword optimizing your ads and checking to make sure you have all of your ad extensions properly placed.
What other suggestions do you have on auditing prior to launching an AdWords campaign?