Looming Recession and your Google Adwords Campaign

What will the UK’s looming recession mean for your Google Adwords campaign?

Tough times lie ahead. We know this. You know this. So you cannot afford to waste cash on AdWords campaigns that don’t deliver. Follow the steps below and we guarantee your AdWords budget will remain both vital to business growth and a bulwark against recession.

It’s easy to take for granted the high quality traffic and conversions that a well-optimised Google Adwords campaign delivers. But now is the time to focus on what action may be required to protect your position as the UK lurches into the tough times which undoubtedly lie ahead during the second half of 2022.

We’ve analysed a selection of the many campaigns that we manage for our clients across a variety of sectors and already we can see a preview of what’s in store in many verticals. 

Our thoughts may help you to better prepare for what could be a bloodbath. Act early and you should be able to mitigate the outcome. Act when the going gets tough and you’ll be in an almighty scrap that will see bid prices escalating and conversions reducing. Do nothing or act too late and you’ll never recover as the cost per click nears and exceeds the true value of that website visit.

Where do you stand?

It’s crucial at the outset to know how well optimised your Adwords campaigns really are. The less solid you are now, the more work you’ll need to do to bolster your defences. Do nothing and you’ll find your cost per click escalating dramatically, in turn delivering fewer visitors of lower value to your site as your budget is used more quickly. Increasing your budget won’t help either as the smart cookies are paying more for the keywords which really work, leaving you to pay over the odds for the scraps and phrases of marginal value.

Here are a few barometer measurements to guide you in terms of how well optimised you are. If you have a professional management solution in place then they should be able to answer these questions which will act as a guide.

1. What is my overall Google Ads Optimisation Score?

Optimisation Score puts a figure on how well your Google Ads account is set to perform. Scores run from 0–100%, with 100% and it is an important metric to illustrate how secure you are for when the going gets tough. 80% or above is considered acceptable. Below 70% and somebody isn’t doing their job! You can see the overall quality score at campaign level within Adwords.

Adwords Optimisation Score

2. What is my overall Quality Score

Quality Score reflects how relevant your keyword, your advert creative and your website landing page are to a user’s search query. You are rewarded for creating a more positive user experience which is indicated by a higher Quality Score. It’s a really important metric and one which is often overlooked. You can find out all about Quality Score on the relevant Google Help page.

You can see your quality scores by navigating the Keywords page in your Adwords account. You may need to add the relevant column in order to view the data.

Adwords Quality Score Navigation

But having done so, you’ll see something like this:

Adwords Quality Score

A score of 8 or over is acceptable. Ideally your keywords should be 9 or 10 quality score, particularly those that have the more activity.

3. What is my average click thru rate (CTR)

Average CTR is a really good indicator of optimisation. Although it varies by campaign and sector, anything above 2% is worthy of being in most campaigns. Above 5% is good. Over 10% implies real value.

4. How many adgroups do I have in my highest spending campaign?

Another excellent indicator. Lazy optimization of a lack of understanding delivers campaigns with few adgroups, often a single adgroup per campaign. Although occasionally this can be tactical, almost certainly this indicates a dramatically underperforming situation.

5. How many negative keywords do I have?

Another indicator of poor optimisation. A good campaign will be setup with a library of phrases that indicate research on the part of the searcher. Or even worse, irrelevant keywords that may be for a different service or product altogether. The names of competitors should generally be negative at adgroup or campaign level and handled within a separate adgroup, or better still a separate campaign altogether.

As a campaign matures, so should the number of negative phrases increase.

6. See what’s been happening.

If you’re paying somebody to work on your campaign, you can check out what they have been up to using the Change History report. You’ll find the link in the navigation on the left hand side of the Adwords page.

This is the Show All for both the level and the quality of activity. Don’t worry if little has been done. You may have fantastically well optimised campaigns. If you don’t have, then worry.

There are many additional factors that could be considered including the proportion of your budget that is spent on exact match keywords which is also vital. However, use the above 6 metrics as a guide and you won’t go far wrong.

I’m well placed

If you see a positive position as per the above metrics, then you’re in a good place. As search volumes reduce, so will competition for the most valuable terms grow. You don’t want to see reduced conversion so you’ll need to be vigilant to ensure that your impression share is retained on the high value terms. That means acting more frequently rather than waiting to assess periodically. In a competitive auction, your campaign performance can easily halve or worse within just a few short weeks.

Get those keyword quality scores up to the max and consider adding new landing pages where necessary. More adgroups with dedicated keywords and ad creative lead to higher quality scores that will be fundamentally important for the battle ahead.

I’m in trouble or unsure?

Speak to us today and we’ll take a zero cost look at where you are. We’ll be able to tell you very quickly if you’re in a good place. We’ll also advise what should be done next to prepare for the onslaught.