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The Definitive Search Campaign QA Checklist

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If there’s a box that can be checked, I’m in! I have a checklist for just about everything, including a checklist for my checklists. There’s something very satisfying about ticking off all of the boxes and knowing you’ve covered all your bases. If you can’t already tell, we here at Hanapin love a good checklist. We also love a well-built search campaign. So here to give you the warm, gooey feeling of a completed checklist and make sure your search campaigns are up to snuff is the definitive search campaign QA checklist:

Campaign Setup

Ad Rotation

Are you testing ad copy? Maybe ad rotation should be set to rotate indefinitely. Want the best ad to show every time? Set your rotation to optimize. 

Network

Be sure to disable display for search campaigns. If you feel it’s appropriate for your account, enable search partners, even if it’s just to see how it performs. 

Budget

Are your budgets appropriate for your campaign? Make sure your budget is allocated efficiently and makes sense in comparison to your other campaigns. If you have monthly spend goals, do your campaign budgets align with that goal? In general, we like to play by the 70/20/10 rule. 70% of your budget should go toward strategies you know will work, 20% to strategies you’re pretty sure will work, and 10% to trying something completely new. 

Bidding

What’s your bidding strategy? Are you bidding manually or are you using an automated bidding strategy? If you’re using an automated bidding strategy, ensure it aligns with your campaign goals. Use this guide if you’re not sure how to decide.

Conversion Settings and Tracking

Choose the conversion actions that align best with your campaign’s goals. You can set conversions at either the account level or the campaign level. To ensure that your conversions are set up and your Google tag is firing correctly, navigate to the page where your Google tag should be attached, open and enable your Google tag assistant, and refresh the page. If you need more help setting up and trouble-shooting conversion tracking, check out our whitepaper.

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Automated Rules

Set up automated rules to avoid overspending or to pause promotional ads. 

Ad Schedule

Does your ad schedule make sense for your account? If you’re limited by budget, you might want to confine ads only to times when you know users are more likely to convert. 

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Language

Are you speaking the same language as your customers? If you provide products or services to people across different countries or multiple languages, create separate campaigns for each language. 

Location

If you’re not selling it there, don’t advertise there. Make sure your location settings align with your campaign strategy.

Audiences

What kind of users should be seeing your ads? You can choose to target and bid on specific audiences or simply set audiences to observation to see how they perform before setting bid modifiers. Audiences can be set at either the campaign or ad group level, so double-check that they’re set up in a way that aligns with your goals for the campaign. Don’t forget to set “all visitors” as an observation audience in case you want to set up remarketing later.

Demographics & Device

If you feel confident you know what kind of users and devices are most valuable to you, make sure you have bid modifiers in place. If you’re not quite sure, leave out the modifiers for now and come back later to see how things are performing.

Structure

Naming Conventions

Does a campaign, by any other naming convention, smell as sweet? Make sure your naming conventions align with the rest of your account, and if you don’t have a consistent naming convention across your account, for shame! Learn why they’re so important here and then implement them!

See also  Google Updates Search Ads 360

Ad Groups 

Does your ad group structure make sense in this campaign? If appropriate, have you broken them out by match type? 

Keywords

Are the keywords within each ad group tightly themed and relevant? Ensure the match types of the keywords fits with your ad group and that any modified broad keywords have the necessary “+”. 

Negative Keywords

Make sure you add any relevant negative keyword lists to the campaign. If you think there might be cross-pollination between campaigns, add the appropriate negatives to ensure you’re funneling users to the correct place. Don’t forget about embedded negatives if ad groups are segmented by match type. 

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Ads & Creative

Ad Copy

Spellcheck, spellcheck, spellcheck! It’s so easy to push that little button but oh so common to see typos in ad copy. And don’t forget about good grammar. Make your former English teachers proud. 

Ad Variation

We recommend at least 2-3 ETAs and 1 RSA in each ad group. Take this opportunity to test different ad variations and see which performs better.

Ad URLs & Tracking

Verify that your URLs are working properly, direct users to the correct landing page, and have relevant tracking codes attached. Ensure the correct UTM or 3rd-party parameters are attached if you’re not using auto-tagging.

Verify Approval

Add a calendar reminder to come back and ensure your ads have been approved. If you’ve added labels to your ads, you can create automated rules to enable or pause ads on a desired date. (Labels also help you to pull quick reports). 

Ad Extensions

Sitelink Extensions

Sitelink extensions allow you to take up more space on the SERP and highlight different sections of your website. Google requires a minimum of 2 sitelink extensions but can show up to a maximum of 8.

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Structured Snippets

Structured snippets allow you to highlight specific products, brands, and services. We recommend adding multiple sets of structured snippets to allow you to highlight more aspects of your business and increase the likelihood that the relevant snippet appears alongside your ad.

Callout Extensions

Callout extensions promote specific benefits for shoppers, like 24/7 customer service or free shipping & returns. We recommend 4 per ad group and ensuring they’re not repeating the same information contained in your ads and other extensions.

Call Extensions

Call extensions allow users to easily contact your business. If call extensions are relevant for your account, keep in mind that vanity numbers, premium numbers, and fax numbers won’t be approved for call extensions. Don’t forget to set call extensions to show only when your business can take calls.

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Location Extensions

Location extensions can help you drive foot traffic to your business. These extensions can include the distance to the user’s location, the business’s street address, a clickable call button, and access to a details page for information like business hours. Keep in mind that location extensions can shoe on Google Maps, Google Display Network, or Youtube Ads.

Price Extensions

Price extensions are a great way to highlight the prices of your products and services. Price extensions can be updated without resetting their performance statistics, but you will need to ensure you keep them up to date.

Promotion Extensions

Promotion extensions are great for highlighting special offers. Be sure to double-check that you’ve correctly set the start and end dates for both the display and extension scheduling sections.

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MARKETING

Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

Old Navy will update its yearly Fourth of July promotions by saluting the metaverse with an NFT drop, going live June 29.

In honor of the year they were founded, the retailer will release 1,994 common NFTs, each selling for $0.94. The NFTs will feature the iconic Magic the Dog and t include a promo code for customers to claim an Old Navy t-shirt at Old Navy locations or online.

“This launch is Old Navy’s first activation in web3 or with NFTs,” an Old Navy spokesperson told MarTech. “As a brand rooted in democratization and inclusivity, it was essential that we provide access and education for all with the launch of our first NFT collection. We want all our customers, whether they have experience with web3, to be able to learn and participate in this activation.”

Accessible and user-friendly. Any customer can participate by visiting a page off of Old Navy’s home site, where they’ll find step-by-step instructions.

There will also be an auction for a unique one-of-one NFT. All proceeds for the NFT and shirt sales go to Old Navy’s longtime charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Additionally, 10% of NFT resales on the secondary market will also go to Boys & Girls Clubs.

Support. This activation is supported by Sweet, who’s played a major role in campaigns for other early NFT adopters like Burger King.

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The Old Navy NFTs will be minted on the Tezos blockchain, known for its low carbon footprint.

“This is Old Navy’s first time playing in the web3 space, and we are using the launch of our first NFT collection to test and learn,” said Old Navy’s spokesperson. “We’re excited to enable our customers with a new way to engage with our iconic brand and hero offerings and look forward to exploring additional consumer activations in web3 in the future.”

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Read next: 4 key strategies for NFT brand launches

Why we care. Macy’s also announced an NFT promotion timed to their fireworks show. This one will award one of 10,000 NFTs to those who join their Discord server.

Old Navy, in contrast, is keeping customers closer to their owned channels, and not funneling customers to Discord. Old Navy consumers who don’t have an NFT wallet can sign up through Sweet to purchase and bid on NFTs.

While Macy’s has done previous web3 promotions, this is Old Navy’s first. They’ve aligned a charity partner, brand tradition and concern for the environment with a solid first crack at crypto.


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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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