Building the Complete Set of Google AdWords Optimization Checklists

Are you managing a Google AdWords Account?

If you are, you’ve probably figured out that succeeding in AdWords is all about making small, continuous improvements.

AdWords is a robust tool. It’s the largest and most sophisticated PPC advertising platform on the planet. But it’s not always easy to figure out when and where to make the adjustments that will improve your results.

It’s almost like you need a master AdWords account optimization manual. But who has time to read a manual when you’ve got AdWords campaigns to build?

How about a set of checklists instead? Checklists are a great way to keep yourself on track and make sure you don’t overlook any critical parts of the AdWords optimization process.

Sounds great, right? Well, today we have a big announcement.

We are hoping to build the complete set of Google AdWords optimization checklists

We are considering developing checklists for every phase of the AdWords management process. We’re even creating a set of AdWords checklists for client management.

If we succeed with the plan, our AdWords optimization checklists will be available for download and purchase in the coming months.

But before we start releasing these guides, I want to hear from you. Which part of the AdWords optimization process do you need help breaking down into a set of efficient, easy to follow steps?

Take a look at the list of resources we are building, and let us know which guide you want us to release first. Vote for the checklist you want the most in the comment section at the end of this post.

10-Minute Adwords Account Audit Checklist

If you haven’t already, you can download our 10-minute AdWords account audit checklist. It’s free, it’s easy to use, and it will help you make sure you’re keeping your AdWords account in optimal order!

Why use AdWords Checklists?

When I was an up and coming AdWords account manager, I started managing some pretty big budgets. I’ve racked up well over $25 million in ad spend during my career so far.

But that career almost ended before It got started.

$10K wasted in under an hour

Here’s what happened. I was managing an account with a nice sized budget. And I did everything I needed to do to build out a great campaign. I pushed the campaign live, finished up few other tasks, and went home for the evening.

The next morning I checked in on my new campaign to see how things were going. The results were not good. In fact, they were horrific.

I had blown the entire monthly budget in one hour. The problem was, I missed a vital step. I forgot to turn off a setting. One simple setting cost me $10,000 in wasted ad spend.

Because of my screwup, I had to go to my client and offer to cover their budget out my companies funds. Fortunately, this was an understanding client. They stuck with me, and I made their money back for them many times over.

Don’t be like Jeff, use a checklist

But I learned an expensive lesson. From that day forward, I had a checklist for just about every phase of my AdWords process.

If NASA uses checklists to launch space shuttles, why not use them for AdWords? AdWords isn’t rocket science, but it can certainly be complicated.

And when one setting adjustment can cost you $10K, checklists are a valuable asset.

Every day I’m optimizn’

The other reason I love using AdWords checklists is that AdWords is about routine processes. Regular daily, weekly, and monthly improvements are how you optimize an account. It’s the small positive changes that lead to significant gains over time.

If you manage AdWords accounts, optimization is a daily necessity.

Daily AdWords Optimization checklists

The key to making small improvements is to have a guide to keep your strategy on track. Here is the list of the guides we are hoping to build to help our customers make timely and efficient AdWords optimizations.

Account build-out checklist

This guide will help follow a proven process to build out your accounts. It will walk through the steps you need to take to structure the foundation of your account. This checklist will detail how to get your Campaigns, Ad Groups, and other components set in strategic working order.

Client onboarding checklist

This client onboarding checklist will guide you through getting new clients set up in AdWords. We’ll look at the components every client account needs to have. And we’ll include steps to help you set the right expectations with your clients.

Daily optimization checklist

This checklist will include the most critical steps you need to follow every day to get the best AdWords results.

Bid management checklist

Managing keyword bids is one the most challenging parts of working in AdWords. This checklist will teach you to monitor and adjust your keyword bids based on a proven schedule.

Keyword list building checklist

Keyword list building is the foundation of customer targeting in AdWords. But it’s easy to spend weeks to months targeting the wrong keywords, or using the wrong match types. Inefficient keyword targeting can cost you a lot of money.

This guide will help you refine your keyword list building process. And it will help figure out when and how to adjust your match types.

Placement checklist

You need to monitor the sites where your Google Display Network (GDN) ads display. It’s important to know if your ads are showing in the right place and at the right time. This checklist will help you keep track of where and when your ads are showing on the GDN.

Conversion optimization checklist

Conversions are why we advertise with AdWords. This checklist will help you make sure your conversion tracking is dialed-in. And it will help you maximize your cost-per-conversion.

Weekly optimization checklist

This checklist will detail the weekly AdWords tasks you need to perform to get the best results. As opposed to our daily checklist, this guide will focus on week-over-week performance. And it will help you maintain good account standing.

Reporting checklist

This list will help you deliver reports that are accurate, effective and on-time for your AdWords clients.

Ad targeting checklist

Keywords are just one part of AdWords targeting. We still need to manage locations, geographies and other targeting options. This guide will help you track and adjust your targeting for efficient results.

Audience definition checklist

Advertising to audience lists is a great way to maximize ad spend. This checklist will walk you through the process of creating audiences lists. And it will show you how to assess the results of your audience list versus your other campaigns.

Account settings checklist

Account settings are paramount to AdWords efficiency. As we already discussed, settings can be the difference between a successful campaign, and massive amounts of wasted ad spend.

Our account settings checklist will help double check your AdWords settings before you push your campaigns live.

Monthly optimization checklist

This guide will focus on the steps you need to follow every month to keep your AdWords account in order.

AdWords spring cleaning checklist

A clean, and fully functioning AdWords account is critical to scaling PPC management. This checklist will detail the process for cutting the dead weight from your account. And it will help clean up all the nooks and crannies of your account, so your prime for AdWords growth.

That’s the complete master list of AdWords checklists we’re building. You can jump on our waiting list to get notified immediately when a new checklist is ready.

Vote for your favorite AdWords optimization checklist

And don’t forget to vote in the comment section below for the checklist you want the most.

  • Account build-out checklist
  • Client onboarding checklist
  • Daily optimization checklist
  • Bid management checklist
  • Keyword list building checklist
  • Placement checklist
  • Conversion optimization checklist
  • Weekly optimization checklist
  • Reporting checklist
  • Ad targeting checklist
  • Audience definition checklist
  • Account settings checklist
  • Monthly optimization checklist
  • AdWords spring cleaning checklist

Your comments will determine which AdWords checklist we release first!


This post and video was episode 87 in our 90 Day Challenge digital marketing series.

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About the Author

Jeff Sauer is an independent Digital Marketing Consultant, Speaker and Teacher based out of a suitcase somewhere in the world. Formerly of Minneapolis, MN and San Francisco, CA.