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3 Reasons You Should Never Let AdWords Run On Autopilot

Posted on 19th Apr 2016 by David Ogletree


Far too many businesses and consultants put their businesses on autopilot with AdWords. The “set it and forget it” method seems tried and true for some business owners, but the end game is losing visibility. Considering that visibility is truly one of the things that sets competitors apart in AdWords, you simply must check in and make sure your account is running smoothly. If you truly want to succeed with AdWords, there’s truly no skipping those check-ins.


Let’s talk about three reasons you should NEVER let AdWords run on autopilot.


1. Policy changes. If you’re not checking in and you’re not keeping on top of the latest AdWords news, policy issues could come back to haunt you. Case in point: A few years ago, network/affiliate marketing was at its peak and the paid search results were quickly filling up with network advertising landers. These guys had money to spend so they were consistently positioning above businesses that Google considered to be more relevant.


Because of this, Google quickly enforced some policies it’d been lax on initially. A strong privacy policy or TOS had to be visible on or near contact forms. Landing pages with certain appearances or multi-click information funnels were Google slapped fairly hard. Worst of all, a suspended account could be turned back on only through a multi-step compliance process that involved talking with a go-between – never speaking with an actual decision maker on the compliance team, which rendered making changes on landing pages a difficult process.


If you’re not checking in on your account, you could miss some of the disapproved ads or slow performers that indicate a policy shift or enforcement is coming.


This also includes design or interface changes. A big reason to watch is Google’s shift to getting rid of the results sidebar.  If you weren’t watching your accounts, this shift may have greatly increased the cost of your keywords over a very short period of time. If you’re not around to catch these things you can’t fix them as they happen – and automated bidding may push you out of your budget range quickly.


2. Positioning and ads. AdWords doesn't play around when it comes to auctioning. Your competitors are out there looking to outbid you. If you aren't watching things like positioning, it's very possible competitors could have a leg up on you out of the gate. Position 5+? You're probably off the first page by that point for most of the search queries you're getting. Don't leave it up to Google to position you - make sure you're the one in charge of your positioning strategy.


The same goes for ads. Your ad copy has to be tested. If you don't know which ads are bringing decent CTR and qualified traffic, it's time to get back to the dashboard and do your testing.


3. Mistakes. Ever accidentally set a keyword bid to $29.00 when you meant $2.90? It happens, and because it happens you MUST be prepared to go through on a regular basis and analyze what your keywords are spending. Additionally, if you’re not using conversion data as a basis to filter our keywords that simply aren’t doing the job and are costing you too much money, you’re taking performance opportunity from low CPC keywords away.


So the moral of the story is this: Check on your ads! Check on your keywords! Even if you have someone under you watching metrics, chances are they’re missing something you’ll catch. Even checking in twice a week can yield better overall results for your account.

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