The most successful AdWords accounts and what they’re doing right

It’s sometimes hard to manufacture the perfect AdWords campaign. After all, you have so little to work with. A short headline, text description, URL and an image is what you have to sell your brand. It’s very easy to get wrong and takes a bit more creativity to get it right.

Before you start your next AdWords campaign, it helps to know what others have done, and what elements you need to get right.

Account structure

Before you even think about getting creative and writing your copy for your ad, it’s important to ensure your account structure is correct. If not, you could potentially be losing money.

When reviewing your account structure, make sure you get these factors right:

  • Campaigns: you will generally only have a few campaigns, which topics divided up by budget.
  • Ad Groups: each campaign will include its own ad groups. The ad groups include keywords which will trigger the text ads. Make sure you don’t use too many keywords – keep each group of keywords to between 10-20 per group. Each group will contain between 2-3 text ads.
  • Keywords: it’s important to ensure you undertake keyword research to make sure the keywords used within your ad groups are accurate. If you’re using the wrong keywords, your ad won’t get triggered and your AdWords campaign won’t be a success. Each keyword will have a:
    • Max cost per click (CPC)
    • Match type
    • Quality score
  • Negative keywords: if you’re wanting to avoid unnecessary searches, your AdWords campaign needs to include not only keywords but also negative keywords. These are a list of keywords that you don’t want your ad to display for. Remember to keep updating this list to ensure your ad appears for the most relevant searches.
  • Copy: the final factor is the actual text that will appear within your ad. Remember you can change your text in each ad, so it’s a good idea to A/B test your ads to see which copy has the best results.

Examples of Successful AdWords Accounts:

A great way to learn exactly what you need to do with AdWords is by looking at those who have run successful campaigns. So who exactly has achieved their goals with AdWords?

  • Adore Me

Adore Me is a women’s intimates e-retailer based out of New York, who was hoping to grow its customer base around Valentine’s Day. The company aimed to increase the install volume of their app and find new customers, as well as drive quality installs at an efficient cost-per-install.

Adore Me decided to create a Search app campaign for their mobile app. They were able to target the right customers by using relevant Valentine’s Day keywords. This strategy saw the brand achieve a 4X higher in-app conversion rate than other online channels, 60 percent lower cost-per-install compared to other channels and achieved a 30 percent increase in sales within four months.

What they’re doing right: Adore Me were able to use keyword research to know what keywords to use to target their customers.

  • Trivago

One of the most well-known and largest travel companies, Trivago was aiming to quickly increase its search campaign coverage in all markets across large volumes of long-tail keywords. Trivago wanted to establish itself as a global brand for hotel search, while also driving traffic at a profitable cost-per-acquisition.

To achieve this, Trivago decided to:

  • Create Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) campaigns across all markets
  • Use conversion-base automated bidding
  • Use category recommendations

Trivago used DSA to crawl its website and find the best category targets. Trivago were then able to use these targets and the search term recommendations within its campaign. Using this strategy meant Trivago’s ads automatically appeared for hotel searches in markets with relevant landing pages. This allowed Trivago to launch its campaign in over 50 markets in just a matter of weeks.

The results saw Trivago achieve a 140 percent higher click-through-rate on its DSA ads, compared to regular search ads. There was an increase in conversions for new markets, while already established markets saw a decrease in cost-per-acquisition.

What they’re doing right: knowing who the audience was allowed Trivago to expand its campaign to such a broad range of markets, and therefore achieve the higher click-through-rate.

  • PetSmart

PetSmart is the largest retailer of pet supplies and is a longtime AdWords customer. PetSmart aimed to gain a better understanding of the value of its paid search investment and wanted to improve customer experiences online and in-store.

To do this, PetSmart implemented AdWords Store Visits to find out more about the influence of search investment on in-store visits.

Doing this allowed for PetSmart to confirm search ads had a direct influence in driving visits to local stores. They were able to get a specific store rate which showed the full return on search investment. They found 10-18 percent of clicks on their ads resulted in an in-store visit within 30 days. The comprehensive data allowed PetSmart to get a deeper understanding of the customer journey.

What they’re doing right: PetSmart used data to gain a better understanding of their customers and the customer journey. They were able to use this data to see the impact digital ads had on visitors to their physical stores.  

  • Etermax

Etermax is a leader in the cross-platform game development industry within Latin America. The company aimed to grow revenue, acquire high-quality users, and target global users in locations including the US, India, South Africa and Denmark.

To achieve these results, Etermax decided to create a brand new universal app campaign for their mobile app, known as Trivia Crack. They also measured the return on investment and volume of app installs on Search, Display, and YouTube.

By doing this, Etermax was able to lower its cost-per-install by 40 percent when compared to other channels. They received over 400,000 downloads of the app in the first two months of the campaign and were able to reach high-quality users on a global scale.

What they’re doing right: Etermax were able to assess the current digital environment and understand their audience would download a mobile app. As a result, they were able to use the app for in-game advertising.

These AdWords success stories show it is possible to have an AdWords campaign which achieves all of its goals and is able to achieve a positive return on investment.