Chapter 12. The Zen of AdWords

Zen is about balance. A successful AdWords campaign is complex and involves a number of potentially competing considerations. Understanding the Zen of AdWords means learning to balance these considerations.

Before you can begin to refine an AdWords campaign, you must understand the goal of the campaign. Since AdWords is more compatible with formal ways to define success and failure than conventional (pre-CPC) advertising, it is desirable to reduce the criteria for a successful campaign to a standard metric. For example, the campaign is successful on an individual basis if a visitor clicks on my site landing page. But it’s better to work for conversions, which are really the point of most CPC ads.

Therefore, a campaign is successful if a visitor buys my product online (or by picking up the phone to place an order after visiting my site).

In addition, you will need to determine the range of aggregate actions that constitute success. If 100,000 people buy my book, it is a success. But if only 10 people buy the same book, it is a failure. With your success metric in hand, it’s time to consider the steps to AdWords success that need to be balanced.

The Customer Life Cycle

A good way to look at things is to remember the five-step process you want your potential customers to take:

  1. Your potential customer searches for something—for example, “digital photography”

  2. Your ad appears above or to the right of the search results (a slight variation is that your ad might ...

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