Eight free tools to help you maximise Google AdWords

Google offers a range of free tools to help you get the most out of your AdWords campaign. Here's our guide to what they can offer your business

1. Conversion tracking

You can track your conversion rates and cost-per-conversions using 'conversion tracking'. And, with this information, you can work out the return on investment (ROI) of your AdWords campaign. To take advantage of conversion tracking, you need to put the AdWords Conversion Tracking code on to your website. That puts a cookie on a customer’s computer or mobile phone when they click on one of your AdWords ads. Then, if the user reaches one of your conversion pages, the cookie is connected to your web page. So when someone converts by buying something or making an appointment, for example, Google records that as a successful conversion.

2. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a more sophisticated analysis tool. As well as basic conversion tracking, Analytics shows you how people found your site and how they explored it. With this information, you can improve your website return on investment and increase conversions.

3. Google Trends

With Google’s Trends, you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories and time frames. It’s a useful tool if you want to track seasonal trends. For example, if you run a holiday business, you can analyse when customers are most likely to book their summer holiday. With that information, you can spend more on AdWords when demand is highest and cut back during quiet periods. Google Trends can also help you test advertising messages and find the one that hits the spot with customers.

4. Impression share report

This tool shows you the percentage of possible impressions that your ads could have received if your campaign budgets were higher. Impression share report data helps you make an informed decision about whether to increase your AdWords budget.

5. Bid simulator

How much you bid for keywords and phrases affects where your results appear in the searches. The bid simulator tool shows how your campaign would have performed if you had been using different bid amounts. This tool takes the guesswork out of bidding so you can see whether bidding higher or lower would be more cost effective.

6. Keyword planner

Before you add new keywords, get estimates for their cost and the amount of traffic they generate by using the keyword planner tool.

7. First page bid estimate

The first page bid estimate predicts how much you would need to bid for your ad to appear on the first page of Google search results when a search exactly matches your keyword. It’s based on the Quality Score and current competition for that word. However, it is an estimate so there are no guarantees. That said, it enables you to maximise the chances of a higher placement in the results and can drive more traffic to your ad as a result.

8. Ad scheduling

Ad scheduling enables you to control when your AdWords campaigns run. With ad scheduling, you can specify certain hours or days of the week when you want your ads to appear. This is a great way to make your budget work harder as you only need show your ads when they are most profitable. With ad scheduling, a campaign can run all day, every day, or for as little as 15 minutes per week.

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