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Praise and Caution for the AdWords Opportunities Tab

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Last week Google expanded the beta test of the ‘Opportunities Tab‘ in the AdWords interface. It is now fully available in all English-language accounts. According to Google, this new feature is designed to help advertisers find more cost-effective traffic in their pay-per-click accounts. This new tab surfaced in many of my accounts last week and I started testing it. Overall, I found this new feature to be pretty effective for keyword expansion. However, I do have some cautions for the tab moving forward.

To access the ‘Opportunities Tab’, login to your AdWords account. It is now located in the main navigation in your account.

The tab has replaced the ‘Tools’ section within the interface, and will act as a stepping stone for further optimization tool expansions in the near future. However, it did not replace any existing Google AdWords tools. You can still find all the other keyword and ad tools in the left-hand navigation within the ‘Opportunities Tab’.

The ‘Opportunities Tab’ acts as an ad group level version of the keyword tool. It provides keyword suggestions at the ad group level, including estimated monthly search volumes and advertiser competition. Similar to the Google Bid Simulator, you can also select to view the proposed cost-per-click for each keyword.

Google also allows you to filter keywords by relevancy. If a keyword is not relevant to your ad group or account, you can ‘rate’ that keyword and eliminate it from the suggestion tool in the future.

With this tool, Google makes it very easy for advertisers to expand keyword targeting in pay-per-click accounts. Last week I used this tool for many clients, and found it to be useful. The keyword suggestions identified many holes in my accounts. It also helped me identify new targeting opportunities. Plus, Google makes keyword expansion easy, if the keyword is relevant to your ad group, you simply check the box and save the changes.

Now some words of caution. Keep your account structure and quality score in mind when adding new keywords. The keyword tool does not always take into account your ad group structure. In many cases, this new tool suggested was not always the best fit for the recommended ad group. For example, for an ad group that just focuses on ‘shoes’, Google suggested I add the keyword ‘buy red shoes’. While this keyword would be good to add if I sell red shoes on my website, it should live in its own ad group for the sake of quality score.

Google makes it very easy to find and add new keywords with the new ‘Opportunities’ tool. But you need to be careful. Make sure the keyword suggestion makes most sense in that ad group. If it doesn’t, start a list of new keyword opportunities and add them to existing relevant ad groups, or launch a new ad group and expand on the keywords. Don’t let this quick-add keyword tool affect your account organization and quality score.

About the Author

Carrie

Carrie Hinkle is a former Search Marketing Consultant at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through pay-per-click advertising.
  • http://www.vizad.com Robert Brady

    A typical AdWords improvement, adding ways for companies to spend more money. I always advise people that Google is excellent at taking your money and they could care less if you make any money back. The Opportunities Tab is like any other tool, only as good as you make it.

  • http://www.dragonsearchmarketing.com Siobhan from DragonSearch

    I agree with Robert. I actually haven’t used the opportunities tab yet and don’t know when I will. Classic Google.

    Siobhan from Dragon Search

  • Matt Umbro

    Hi Carrie,

    Good insight into the Opportunities tab. Whenever Google recommends new keywords, either through this feature or the “quick add keywords” option, I first add them into an Excel spreadsheet and determine which ad groups they should go in. If no current ad group exists I will create a new one. I will take Google’s suggestions, but filter them myself and then add them into my campaign.

  • http://www.searchenginesmarketer.com Mark Kennedy

    I took some time and went through it and it’s not too bad. It’s just like any other keyword tool. You have to find the ones you think will work, ignore the ones you know won’t work, and use the really bad ones as negative keywords.

  • http://www.portentinteractive.com Elizabeth

    The opportunities tab has been really hit or miss so far. I tried it for an ad group on “Wedding Etiquette” and was offered up all sorts of keywords for dresses, planning and budgeting, nothing I could use. But on another ad group, I did manage to find one keyword!

  • Carrie

    @Matt Umbro I agree with your method. It can be tempting to use the quick add feature. But in the end it may not be best for you account structure.

    @Elizabeth Try using the filters of “relevant” and “not relevant” for the keyword suggestions. The relevance may improve over time.

    @All I agree with all of you that this tool is only as good as you make it. We have used is as a resource for keyword and expansion, similar to the keywords tool.

  • Abertawe

    This is just a revenue generator.

    I tested this against an adgroup that is targeted at a town for example – Hicksville Cakes, Hicksville Birthday Cakes etc, but came back with no relevant keywords for Hicksville. It even came back with a term for a completely different town.

    If you are just after traffic at the lowest cost and don’t care about targeting then fine this is a great tool. BUT if you care about your campaign, be careful, very careful.

    I for one will not being using it.

  • http://www.optimalprint.com Henrik

    Hi Carrie

    Could you please elaborate on:

    “For example, for an ad group that just focuses on ’shoes’, Google suggested I add the keyword ‘buy red shoes’. While this keyword would be good to add if I sell red shoes on my website, it should live in its own ad group for the sake of quality score.”

    How is the quality score affected by this action? Does such action decrease quality score on the ad group/existing keywords as such or the newly added keyword only?

    Thank you

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