Jedi or Sith? How to Avoid the Dark Side of AdWords

Jedi or Sith? How to Avoid the Dark Side of AdWords

Ever wonder how to generate a higher ROI from your campaigns, without crossing over to the dark side of AdWords? Be patient Padawan, you’re about to learn the mindset of an AdWords Jedi and how to create an account that will not only increase ROI, but sustain growth for many light years to come.

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It all begins with the structure of your campaigns. When you have multiple services or thousands of products to target, it’s tempting to take the easy route and build a single campaign targeting everything you offer and try to make that work… but as we all know…

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The so-called “easy” route will make long-term success much more difficult. Your goal is to generate a positive ROI, and the best way to do that is to give yourself as much control over your account’s spend as possible. Bottom line, getting as granular as possible gives you control. Control, leads to better attribution for conversions, and better attribution for conversions, leads to a larger ROI.


One way to tighten your campaigns is to focus on more ad groups and less keywords. You might be thinking, “Less keywords? Doesn’t that give me less traffic?” While that might have been true a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, Google has changed the SEM landscape over the last couple years. Adapting to these changes is very important and will help generate that positive ROI you’re chasing. Limiting keywords in each ad group is the jedi mind trick that lands your ads in front of people looking for what you’re selling, eliminates irrelevant traffic, and extends your reach into the galaxy.

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It doesn’t stop there though. Just as the Sith lay in wait for their perfect opportunity to strike down the Jedi, you must first plan and optimize your account. In other words, make sure your account is dialed in before throwing everything and the kitchen sink towards your AdWords strategies.

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If your website, campaigns and ad groups aren’t properly optimized, you’ll see the light of that positive ROI you’re chasing start to dim. However, if you have granular control over your account, a variety of aggressive campaign adjustments can help you fulfill your goals.

Here are a few strategies to try:

  • Targeting competitor keywords
  • Running on other platforms (Bing, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
  • Increasing your budgets to help maximize your traffic

If you’re not immediately pleased with the results in your campaigns, (or lack thereof), don’t panic. It can be easy to make changes based on a few days of poor results, but like most good things, they take time. Spending money without seeing a return right away can make any business owner a bit nervous, but that nervousness can cause you to make knee-jerk adjustments, which can lead to more problems than solutions. Patience, making data driven decisions, and waiting for a statistical difference to evaluate those changes will lead to the best results in the long run.

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In other words, if you want to see your account rise to a level that matches the Galactic Empire, show your restraint and stick to the methods that will steadily grow your account over time. That being said, even the most beautiful gardens on Naboo will wither and die if left unattended for long periods of time, so make sure you’re checking in on performance regularly.

Alright Padawan, let’s review some Jedi-level optimization tactics so you can create your own SEM-pire:

  • Create a granular structure using multiple ad groups and fewer keywords to easily and accurately monitor how your money is being spent. This process will help you eliminate waste and boost your top performers.
  • Use your budget more efficiently by pausing keywords that are spending and not converting. Reallocate budget to top-performing areas in your account.
  • Run remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) targeting relevant audiences who previously converted
  • Create separate campaigns for top-performing keywords

These may seem like basic strategies for more experienced advertisers, but it is extremely important to understand where your account stands with proven fundamental methods before trying experimental changes.

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Once you’re happy with the general performance of your account, the next steps in the journey towards your SEM-pire is to dive deeper into your strategy and optimization tactics. Testing In-market audiences for search, affinity targeting, and dynamic search ads are some methods to try and potentially drive even more ROI. These strategies may take a bit more work to get dialed in, but they will help take the account to the next level and can separate a good return from a great one in the long run.

You are the barrier that keeps your account from straying to the dark side, and trying out a few of the above strategies can help you in your fight. Every account is unique and requires a different approach, but utilizing these overarching methods should help even the stalest of accounts, awaken the dormant power within. Good luck, and may the Force be with you. 

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