Hello everyone, I would like to share and discuss with you the strategy that I use to build my campaigns on the Search Network. I hope I'll be clear and synthetic - do not hesitate to ask me questions to deepen. After every point, in green-italics, I have placed some food for thought. So: 1) IDENTIFYING SERVICES TO PROMOTE This is clearly the first step. There is little to say about it. 2) CREATE A FIRST LIST OF WORDS Having in mind the services, I create a list of words. I do this step using brainstorming and KeywordEye tool (free version). This tool is very useful because it shows the same suggestions from Keyword Tool Planner but displays them in a visual manner: big word = high volume; green word = little competition; and so on. > There are other tools to implement the first phase of brainstorming? 3) CREATE A LIST WITH *ALL* THE WORDS SUGGESTED BY GOOGLE I put the words found in step 2 in the Keyword Tool Planner. One by one. For each of them I fetch ALL the suggested words in the first 3-5 pages, using the "Copy to Clipboard". Then I get a txt with thousands of words, some of which are duplicate or bad - does not matter for the moment. 4) FILTER AND GATHER WORDS In this step I use a PHP script created by me (string functions + regular expressions; no special effects) to filter out unnecessary/double words and group the remaining ones in appropriate groups. Then I get 7-15 groups containing a few dozen words each. Each group is tightly focused on a specific need. "Useless" words will be inserted into the negative words at campaign level. 5) APPLY 3 MATCH TYPE Each word is changed via 3 different match type: modified broad / phrase match / exact match. So the number of words in groups triples. > Am I wrong to act so widespread? 6) WRITE THE ADS For each group write at least 3 ads highly relevant with the need detected by the words of the group itself. 7) SET A (LOW) OFFER I set a very low offer; the same for all words. Let's say 0.30? (0.40$) > You also start from a low bid or use another approach? 8) IMPORT INTO ACCOUNT Words and ads are all handled by my script, which generates a csv file that I can load in AdWords using AdWords Editor. 9) CAMPAING ADJUSTMENTS I set geographic target / language / daily budget / eventual extension. I don't use any automatic optimization proposal from Google because I prefer to have more control over everything. > Do you use AdWords automatic bid functions? How do they work for you? 10) CAMPAIGN STARTS (SLOW BID ADJUSTMENT)! Initially, Google will not be happy with my low offers and propose a minimum bid for the first page. I choose the words with [first page minimum bid] <= 2? and I get up the offer to [minimum bid for the first page ] + some cents. I begin to get the first impressions, clicks and conversions. If the specific market sector requires it, I raise the offer further following the same procedure. This procedure last about 7 days. > Are there any scripts that you use? > Do you like my general approach (start with lots of keywords, bid low and then incrase slowly)? 11) OPTIMIZATION When I reach a considerable number of impressions/clicks I begin to optimize. For this phase, maybe I should open another post - suffice it to say that I do two jobs in parallel: A) Ad Groups: I look at the statistics of each group and try to optimize ads and keywords by hand; here I use intuition more than anything else. B) Keywords: I export all the words on excel. I add a column with a formula of my own invention that takes into account the main parameters: (0.8 * QS) * (0.7 * CTR) * (0.6 * (1 / AVGCPC)) * (0.4 * AVGPOS); I order this column so you can see immediately the words with higher performance, those that I have to improve, those that have not yet collected enough data, those badly-performing that I have to set in pause. > What script / formulas / excel do you use to optimize the offers? What do you think about my strategy? Criticisms and suggestions are welcome!