I don’t believe in separating match types into their own campaigns or ad groups - I’ve tested this in several Google Ads accounts and not felt that it delivered improved performance. However, what I do is use BMM, Phrase & Exact match keywords and deploy a tiered bidding system emphasizing Phrase and Exact match keywords. For example,
BMM: $1 Bid
Phrase: $1.05 Bid
Exact: $1.10 Bid
Why do I use broad match modified (BMM) instead of regular broad match? You get most of the benefits (Reach) of broad match but a tighter grip on what searches can trigger your ads - there is still some use for regular broad match (especially if you’re still learning what search terms to target) but as your ad account get’s more sophisticated moving away from regular broad match keywords is best.
Unbranded and branded search terms have to be separated - I look at campaigns in these terms. Within each campaign I identify all possible variations of each and separate those into their own tight ad groups, sometimes making use of SKAG’s (single keyword ad groups) when we need to deliver high relevance and there are enough searches for individual keywords.
I DO believe in fully utilizing the available bid modifications we have, within the first 30 days I should be able to identify location, device, time of day, audience & other bid adjustments to apply for the best performance.
RLSA and other audiences should be used regularly in search, and they don’t need to be separated into their own campaigns - Google rep’s have given me their recommendation, use RLSA but just add it into your existing search campaigns. Observe and apply bid modifications.
My preferred bidding methodology is to use manual CPC bidding & accelerated budget delivery. What happens then is if our campaigns are spending their full budgets we can keep lowering bids until we find the point where we are bidding the minimum amount to capture enough clicks to spend our full budget. That is an optimized ad account. However, if you’re in a niche market you have to be more aggressive - knowing your market and the competitive search landscape is how the best ad accounts are made. Things always change too, so your strategy shouldn’t be set in stone.
Optimization starts with something I mentioned up above in setup, understanding the best bidding and budgeting system is important and I prefer to use manual CPC and optimize my bids with accelerated delivery. But to dig into this more the reason that this is such a good system is that by using standard delivery if we are reaching our full budget Google’s algorithm is going to show your ads just often enough to reach your budget with your current CPCs. If we switch to accelerated delivery and drive our bids down this counteracts that and finds the minimum acceptable bid to maximize clicks within our budget. That’s just smart.
Reporting is done through Google Data Studio so data is constantly available, but for most clients I’ll do monthly reporting (I didn’t always do this, reporting can sometimes feel less important than spending time on work - but I’ve realized working on enough ad accounts that it’s an essential part of our relationship. We need to meet regularly and talk about goals, results, how to improve.
6 Month Innovation
Google is always releasing new tools. Competitors are making new ads, finding new keywords, increasing their bids. Your business is changing, your target CPL decreased, your conversion rate increased so we can bid higher. Things change. My goal in working with you is to get your account in order as fast as possible, optimize it over 6 months then do another deep dive and pivot as needed. What does this mean for you? Your results should never get too stale, but from a management perspective my initial fee will be higher before settling into an optimization period then the cycle repeats every 6 months.