After a search campaign launch, it will tend to gain serving momentum fast.  Campaign behavior after launch varies by market and campaign design, with average-size campaigns usually developing a consistent serving pattern within a few days of launch.

During the period immediately after a search campaign launch, we monitor new search campaigns closely making a series of corrective adjustments across our post-launch checklists, dialing the campaign into the type of orbit we’re looking for.  The campaign is continuously reporting valuable data about what’s going on.  That allows us to optimize the campaign early on in its engagements and minimize wasted ad spend.

First, we look for major issues such as a single keyword or ad group consuming excessive ad spend.  We’ll monitor the search queries that pull the campaign into auctions (when they are made available by the platform provider), using that information to expand both the negative and positive keyword bases while refining match types for keywords.

Before conversions have occurred in sufficient quantities to use for optimization, ad click-thru-rates (CTR’s) will serve among other things, as proxies for more important conversion-related KPI’s that we’ll discuss in other articles.

Conversion tracking is checked for functionality and accuracy. Geo-targeting is monitored for any anomalies, CPC’s and Quality Scores are checked for any out of line behavior, and the entire campaign is scanned for any error or warning indicators.

This post-launch optimization phase usually lasts 3 to 6 weeks, for an average scale search ad campaign. Coming out of this phase, the campaign has moved onto some form of automated bidding, and is reaching it’s highest levels of performance since launch.