If you’ve been running your Google AdWords campaign for a while now with some level of success, what can you do if you suddenly find that your AdWords performance drops?

It’s important to understand that there are two main categories of factors that could influence your AdWords performance and cause it to drop writes Hosting101 AdWords specialist, Lourens Tredoux.  The first cause of performance loss in Google AdWords is circumstantial factors, while the second is industry competition.  As more of your competitors start using Google AdWords, you will have to adjust your campaign on a regular basis in order to remain competitive.

We will be looking at the following steps you can take to solve the issue of AdWords performance drops:

  1. Circumstantial factors
  2. Check your daily budget
  3. Review your bid amounts
  4. Adjust your keywords
  5. Improve your Quality Score

1. Look at circumstantial factors that could cause poor AdWords performance

Though this isn’t necessarily the biggest cause of poor AdWords performance, it is still very common.  At Hosting101 we’ve noticed that our clients’ AdWords performance tends to have a slight downward curve during certain periods, like long weekends or school holidays.

This can easily be seen when you compare your AdWords performance of the last period, from just before the downward curve started, with the performance during the same period last year.  You can generally see if there is a downward curve during certain times of the year, for example during December or the July school holidays, or over Easter weekend.  Some industries are also very season-driven, like the air conditioning industry, which performs better during summer than in winter.

There isn’t much you can do to increase performance during such periods.  Sometimes you can use some of the steps mentioned later in this post and it could lead to some improvement, but generally the poor performance is due to fewer people searching for your product or service during these times and more often than not, AdWords performance will improve after the seasonal slump has passed.

2. Check your Daily Budget

Another reason for dropping AdWords performance could be that your daily budget is set too low to allow your ads to be shown all day.  This means that Google will show your ads until your budget for the day runs out, after which they will stop showing your ads until the next day, which could lead to missed opportunities.

Usually Google will give you a warning when you log in to AdWords, that your campaign is “Limited by Budget”.  This means that your daily budget is too low and that you are missing out on a significant number of potential clicks.

To solve this problem, you can do any of the following:

  1. Lower your bids:  This means that your daily budget will be stretched, but your ads could also appear lower in the search results, which means that your AdWords performance could still be impacted negatively.
  2. Set your bids to Automatic Bidding:  This setting allows Google to set your bids for you for optimal results within your daily budget.  Similar to lowering your bids, the actual impact on your campaign will differ from campaign to campaign, but it could still lead to poor AdWords performance.
  3. Set your delivery method from “Accelerated” to “Standard”:  The Accelerated delivery method tries to show your ads as often as possible, as quickly as possible.  This means that your daily budget could run out earlier in the day.  If you set it to “Standard”, Google will try to space your ads evenly throughout the day.  This could still mean that your ads won’t feature certain times during the day, but it will be more evenly spread.
  4. Increase your  Daily Budget: In the end, the best solution would be to increase your daily budget, but be warned that this also means higher AdWords budget spend, costing you more.

3. Review your Bid Amount

The amount you are willing to pay for each click is called your bid.  Your actual cost per click is usually a bit lower than your bid amount due to the algorithm that Google uses to determine which ads to show.

When you are viewing your keywords in AdWords, you can often see that certain keywords have a note next to them indicating that this keyword’s bid is “Below first page bid”.  This means that your ads for people searching for those keywords won’t show on Page 1 of search results.  If that keyword is one of your primary keywords with potential good results, it is often a good idea to raise your bid for that keyword specifically.

4. Adjust your Keywords

Sometimes you are missing some of the keywords that people use to search for your product or service.  You can determine if that is the case by using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

In the tool, enter your main keywords, along with your industry, landing page and regional targeting.  Then let Google recommend some keywords.  You could find quite a few golden nuggets that you don’t have in your campaign yet.

5. Improve your Quality Score

Google assigns a quality score to your ads.  According to Google[1], this quality score has a bigger influence on your AdWords performance than your bid amount.  A high quality score could lead to lower costs per click and higher positions in the search results pages.

To improve your quality score, it is important to ensure that your keywords correspond well with the text in your ads and the content of your landing page.  You should ideally have multiple ad groups, grouping the keywords by similarity.  The ads in these ad groups should then contain those keywords specifically, and link through to a landing page where these keywords are included in the page title, some headings, and the body content.  Be careful not to keyword spam the content of the landing page, it should all be relevant and easy to read, but the keywords should be there and clearly visible.


IF you follow these steps, you should see a definite improvement in your AdWords performance.  However, if it all seems like a bit too much of a challenge, feel free to look at Hosting101’s AdWords Management Service and let our professionals assist you!


[1] https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/140351?hl=en

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