While I believe firmly that having and expert manage your paid-search campaigns will often times more than pay for itself in increased ROI, we still see tons of small businesses that have managed their own in the past. What we find is that more often than not, small mistakes cost big dollars! If you are planning on building you very own campaign [I still recommend a professional], at least follow the campaign settings guidelines below to spend your money more effectively.

All of the following can be found in the campaign settings menu in AdWords.

Number 1: Are you doing only search advertising on Google? Are you sure...? MAKE SURE YOU SHUT OFF THE DISPLAY!

I see this scenario, time and time again, so pay attention or you can be the next victim! A client builds out one single campaign. After setting up the perfect ads, keyword lists, and billing information, the campaign spends their entire daily budget within 30-minutes of launch.

More often than not, our culprit tends to be hiding in the campaign settings tab. Bingo! Just as suspected, Google Search and Display Network are both enabled. The worst part about this is that the default setting in AdWords Editor actually enables the Display Network by default. If you fail to ignore this, you can rack up a big bill very quickly without even knowing what hit you.

As a rule of thumb, if you are planning to build out a campaign for search, it is important to make sure that you are targeting only search.

As my mother always told me, “Never mix a Display and Search campaign! It will end up biting you right in the bullocks!”

Now I’m not mocking Display Network. In fact, it makes sense for a lot of clients, but please, for the sake of your wallet, build it into a separate campaign.

By separating search and display, you can control your bidding more effectively. Display networks clicks usually cost a fraction of what a search click will cost you, so don’t pay more than you need to for those clicks.

Number 2: Does your location targeting that makes sense? OPT IN TO ONLY AREAS YOU SERVICE!

So, imagine this scenario.

Potential Customer (Jimmy): “Hi, I saw your ad online, I need a plumber now! My pipe burst in the kitchen and water is getting all over the place.”

Store: “Not a problem, there is an emergency fee, but we should be able to get there within a half-hour. Can I have an address?”

Potential Customer (Jimmy): “Sure. I am located at 142 **** St. in downtown San Francisco.”

Store: “Sorry, we are actually located in Manhattan.” (click)

In this scenario, the business pays for that call and poor Jimmy’s kitchen is still flooding.

Moral of the story: Don’t pay for advertising across the entire US. Only pay for the areas you service.

Number 3: Have you setup conversion tracking? THEN TURN ON THE OPTIMIZE FOR CONVERSION AD ROTATION SETTING!

If you are a business that is based on leads, and you are not using conversion tracking, shame on you! Honestly, this is one of the biggest advantages that online advertising offers you that many traditional methods can’t. What other mediums can tell you exactly what your money is getting you?

Anyways, if you haven’t set this up yet, find out more from this Google webinar.

Now, if you already have this setup, you might as well put the information to good use and I will tell you how. Let’s start by changing the ad rotation settings to optimize based on conversions. Now ads with highest conversion rates will tend to get shown more often. This is generally the best setting to use as Google uses it's own data to automatically optimize your campaign over time.

The exception to this rule is if you are constantly testing new ads, then you will probably want to set the rotation to rotate ads evenly. Also, kudos to you if you are doing this!

So remember, keep your wits about you and pay attention to details when you are managing/building campaigns. It is the best way to avoid unpleasant surprises. As my father recently told me, “I don’t have no stinkin’ quote for your blog! Now go away.”