Building your Adwords Account with an Alpha / Beta Structure
The purpose of a beta campaigns is to leverage broad match keywords in order to find new relevant keywords. The Alpha campaign then is intended to only contain exact match keywords that have proven to be performing. Those are sorted in ad groups and are paired with targeted ad copy and landing pages.
First of all: Make sure you have conversion tracking installed, otherwise there is no point in advancing the steps. Conversion tracking is essential. Don’t even think about it.
All set now? Then let’s go!
Step 1: Create the Beta Campaigns
- All keywords should have the broad match modified matchtype. For example: (+red +shoes)
- In the beginning you won’t be sure what keywords are essential to your campaign, so this is the chance to test your assumptions.
- These campaigns are not meant to be profitable. The serve to test new keywords and to figure out which ones work and convert and which ones don’t
- Do your keyword research. Depending on your budget, you will want to concentrate on a certain amount on keywords and build the portfolio from there.
- group the keywords in a topical manner. This will help you keep an overview over your keywords and it is also going to be more telling in the later phase of analyzing the performance of your campaigns. Make the structure as granular as you need.
- For ideas and inspiration use the keyword planner tool or other similar keyword research tools. But don’t just copy everything. It’s important that you know exactly which keywords are in your campaigns. You need to know it best.
- Your ad groups should be tightly themed, because you will want to have relevant ad copy for them. Relevant ads will lead to a higher CTR, therefore to a higher quality score, lower CPS and eventually lower CPAs and a higher ROI. So don’t skip this step.
- Have dedicated search and display campaigns. If your structure allows it even put display accounts into a different account.
Step 2: Analyze the search queries of the Beta Campaign
- Look which search queries actually led to conversions.
- What search queries did surprise you?
- What search queries performed better or worse than you expected?
Step 3: Identify which search queries have performed and which have not.
Step 4: Create the Alpha Campaign
- Move all the winning search queries of the Beta Campaign into SKAGs in the Alpha campaign (SKAGs = single keyword adgroups)
- Don’t just move the keywords that pulled in the conversion, but make sure you have the specific search query as keyword.
- Change all Alpha queries to exact match
- Create targeted and relevant ad copy and landing pages for the SKAGs
Step 5: Move all the losing search queries of the Beta campaign to the Negative keyword list with an exact matchtype.
Step 6: Add all Alpha queries to the Beta Campaign as Negatives with an exact matchtype.
Step 7: Continue the same process over and over.
Additional things to consider:
How much should you spend?
This really depends on what your goal is. If you want to grow quickly, increase the ad spend on the beta campaign, in order to isolate a bigger volume of profitable keywords.
If your main goal is profit though, and you really want to decrease the CPA and continue your growth more slowly, than a lower ad spend on beta campaigns will do.
Never cut ad spend on alpha campaigns, because those are your bread winners. If ever you need to cut the budget do it qith the beta campaigns.