3 Essential But Often Overlooked AdWords Settings

Over the years I have done several account audits for clients looking to improve their AdWords efforts. Some of the clients were managing their own campaigns at the time; others had outside agency managing it for them. In both cases, I’ve noticed many accounts lack use of some basic but important settings that AdWords offers. These days, when I am tasked to audit an account, I often begin by looking within the Settings > All Settings tab at the following options…

Budget Delivery Method determines how a campaign budget is spent over the day. There are two options:

  • Standard Delivery is the default setting and when used, AdWords will attempt to distribute your campaign budget throughout the day. I have found this helpful to use with new campaigns so I can view how performance varies at different times of the day but keep spend at a minimum while in the initial testing phase. However, if your are utilizing this for top performing campaigns you are likely missing out on impressions and potential conversions.
  • Accelerated Delivery method will attempt to show your ads as quickly as possible. This is the ideal setting to leverage the most traffic from top performing campaigns. Just make sure your campaign budgets aren’t capped because if you set them too low you could max them out early in the day and miss out on impressions and conversions later in the day.

Ad Delivery determines which ads are shown more often for ad groups with multiple ads. There are four options:

  • Rotate evenly will show your ads evenly for at least 90 days and then AdWords will automatically start to optimize for clicks unless you are using Conversion Optimizer or Enhanced CPC. With either of those in place, AdWords will start to optimize for conversions after 90 days. I find this setting ideal when I’m testing ad copy, especially for brand new campaigns, but 90 days is not always needed to see the difference in performance between ad copy variations. If your campaigns have high volume it could take as little as a week or two before you begin to see top performers. At that point you can go ahead and change the setting to optimize for conversions…
  • Optimize for conversions will show ads expected to provide more conversions. This requires AdWords conversion tracking so if you have that in place (which you should!) take advantage of this setting. If you don’t have AdWords conversion tracking then you can use the next best option…
  • Optimize for clicks will show ads expected to provide more clicks most often. This option would be perfect if all clicks lead to conversions but that’s just not realistic. If you use this option make sure your campaigns are structured properly and are extremely relevant to your landing pages so you can eliminate as many irrelevant clicks as possible.
  • Rotate Indefinitely will show your ads evenly for an indefinite amount of time without ever optimizing. I have never used this setting but see how it would be useful for advertisers looking to test ad copy for longer than 90 days.

Frequency Capping enables you to limit the number of times your ads appear to the same person on the Google Display Network. You can set daily, weekly or monthly limits and choose whether the limit applies to each ad, ad group or campaign. Without limits, your ads will be eligible to show an infinite amount of times to the same users which could cause over exposure and low click through rates. Low interaction can cause your quality scores to decrease and reduce your impressions in the long run. I find frequency capping extremely helpful for remarketing campaigns since my goal is to kindly remind users to return to my client’s sites – not annoy them to the point where they don’t return in fear of even more ads starting to follow them around the web.

AdWords offers many other important settings that can contribute to successful campaign management if used properly. To ensure proper setup, make sure you read through and understand your options before you apply them to your campaigns. It’s also important to revisit your options from time to time since AdWords rolls out new settings frequency. If you are looking for clarification or guidance on what settings you should be utilizing please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Sarah Hieronymus Costa
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Sarah Hieronymus Costa

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