3 Ideas for Your AdWords Account to Implement Today


Here are some fresh ideas that can help you make the most of both the paid search landscape and the features that Google has to offer in your AdWords account.

With a focus on ad extensions, search queries and location targeting, these can universally apply to any and all accounts.

Idea #1 – Get Up to Date with the New SERP Format

The Search Engine Results Page changed earlier this year. Google stopped showing ads on the right-hand rail and instead renders ads above and below the organic search listings. With this change came another – one that everyone should be capitalizing on.

In the right-hand rail, advertisers were not able to use elongated headlines (where the first description line appends to the headline), nor were sitelinks, callouts or structured snippet extensions eligible to show. With the new format, these features are available for ALL advertisers – not just those who serve in the top 3 positions.

If you haven’t already tailored your ads to fit in the new space, now’s the time!

Do this now:

  • Ensure that your ad is eligible for an elongated headline by including punctuation (a period, exclamation mark or question mark) within the first description line if possible
  • Add extensions – sitelinks, callouts and/or account structured snippets. If you want to learn more about ad extensions, check out this blog by Michael Bartholow.

Idea #2 – Get To Know the Search Terms Report

The search terms report is my favorite. It tells me the exact word or phrase that a user searched for when matching into my chosen keywords.

The search terms report can be eye-opening. You may not realize how much money you’re spending on queries that are not relevant for your business.

And – what’s even cooler – you can exclude queries or words directly from the report.

Do this now:

  • Navigate to the search term report and see what users are searching for. Are you surprised?
  • Identify 5-10 new keywords to add to your campaigns
  • Identify 5-10 new negative keywords to exclude from your campaigns

Here’s how to access the report:

  1. Click on the campaign or ad group that you’d like to see search term reporting for
  2. Navigate to the ‘Keywords’ Tab


  3. Click on the ‘Search Terms’ button

From there, you will see a list of the search terms with corresponding metrics (impressions, clicks, cost, etc.).

Idea #3 – Get Granular with Location Targeting

Did you know that Google has advanced location settings? You can do really cool things with it.

In AdWords, we have the ability to target by location. Maybe as an advertiser, you already target the US, maybe international, specific states, etc. But “hidden” within Google’s location targeting feature is a neat world of possibilities. Did you know that AdWords allows you to target by DMA region, by zip code, by radius (meaning you input an address and tell Google to target a specific radius in mileage or km), by place of interest such as airports or colleges, based on your Google My Business Locations (if you are not familiar with Google My Business locations, read this post to learn more), and even based on household income?

Above and beyond the granular location targeting is the ability to increase – or decrease – bids based on that location. For example, if you want to serve your ad at a higher position for users who are located within a specific radius of your store location, you can do that.
Do this now:

  • Identify if using more precise, specific location targeting can improve your business. Perhaps look at locations that drive conversions for your business and use that as a guide
  • Use the bid increase or decrease feature. Bid up on zips, DMAs, radius targeting, etc. that drive conversions for your business or that comprise the most valuable audience segment(s)

Here’s how to update your location targeting:

  1. Select the campaign you’d like to update location targeting for
  2. Navigate to the ‘Settings’ Tab
  3. Search for the ‘Locations’ targeting on that page
  4. Click the ‘Edit’ button
  5. Then click the ‘Advanced Search’ link
  6. From there, you’ll see a pop-up with your targeting info
  7. To radius target, click on the ‘Radius Target’ tab at the top of the pop-up. This is where you can insert your radius targeting
  8. To target by Places of Interest (i.e. airports or universities), Demographics (i.e. household income) or My Locations (i.e. your Google Business Listings), navigate to the ‘Location Groups’ tab
  9. Don’t forget to hit ‘Done’ to save your updated targeting criteria

Lastly, to increase or decrease bids, you’ll want to:

  1. Navigate back to the ‘Settings’ tab
  2. Click on the ‘Locations’ button
  3. From there, you can edit the bid by clicking on the bid adjustment cell
  4. When you click into the cell, you’ll see the bid adjustment feature pop-up
  5. You can set an increase or decrease bid % to increase or reduce exposure with your locations

Try it For Yourself

I hope you learned something new today that can improve your account in the future!

Heather Post is a Senior Analyst at LunaMetrics. Heather is a true paid search marketer, originally trained to focus her efforts on direct response and lead gen campaigns. She always asks the question “how do we get the most value out of every dollar spent?” When she’s not analyzing paid search metrics, Heather is happily at home in her new city of Pittsburgh with her husband, Brian.

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