Using the Adwords Opportunities Tab

Has this ever happened to you?  You need to quickly increase or decrease PPC spend, and you’ve run out of ideas. You’ve tried everything you can think of, but there’s more work to be done, and you’re starting to panic.

Enter the Adwords Opportunities tab.  The Opportunities Tab is jam-packed with info on how to increase or reduce your spend, including:

  • Telling you if your budget is right for the amount of traffic your keywords are generating
  • Letting you know if any of your keywords bids are too low, or if they can be reduced without major sacrifice
  • Pointing out missed opportunities such as adding sitelinks to campaigns without them
  • Recommending new keywords to add to your account

There are 3 options in the Opportunities tab:

  • Increase traffic
  • Balance spend and traffic
  • Decrease spend

Adwords Opportunities Tab Overview

 Choose the option that’s right for you.  I’ve used all 3, and have gotten good suggestions for each option.

But I’ve also gotten bad suggestions.  Really bad suggestions.  PPC Hero has a good writeup on why you shouldn’t blindly implement the Opportunities Tab suggestions – give it a read.

If you do decide that the suggestions make sense, you have several options for implementation.  You can add keywords or change bids right from the Opportunities tab – very handy if you’re comfortable with the suggestions.

You can also download the recommended changes to Excel.  This is helpful if you need to edit keyword ideas – if you need to add keyword-level URLs, for example, or edit match types.

Finally, you can add the suggestions as an Experiment.  I love this feature.  Let’s say that the keyword recommendations are relevant, but you’re concerned you might get too much traffic and blow your budget.  Or let’s say you’re not sure if the keywords will work for you.  By adding the changes as an experiment, you can monitor results easily.  If the changes perform, you can roll them out to all traffic; but if they don’t, you’ve reduced the risk.

If you don’t like the recommendations in the Opportunities tab, you also have the option to remove them.

Adwords Opportunities Tab

Supposedly, Google will “remember” your choice and not show those suggestions again, although I’m not sure the process is flawless.  I’ve seen some really bad suggestions that I’ve rejected, only to see similarly bad suggestions come up later on.

Wordstream has a thorough post on the Opportunities tab, so check that out for additional information.

What do you think about the Opportunities tab?  Good, bad, or indifferent? Share in the comments!

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Comments

  1. I am a big fan of the opportunities tab when it is utilized wisely. Like you mentioned in the post, I have found some very valuable information in there, but also some really off-the-wall suggestions. I think any marketer would be wise to make a habit of checking this on a scheduled basis (weekly/monthly really depends on the size of the campaigns). Just especially important to remember that Google is in love with broad match and to be cautious with applying changes directly form the interface.

    • Melissa Mackey says:

      Very well said, Jim. I love the recommendation to check the tab regularly, and the reminder of the love affair with broad match is well-put! Another caution is that often the keyword suggestions are good, but the ad group suggestion isn’t ideal, so check that as well.

  2. It’s funny how Google themselves will give you horrid suggestions to line their pockets with money. I think everyone’s paid the Google adwords tax of ignorance once or twice……

    I do get stuck from time to time on how to further optimize an account and forget that this option is there. Thanks for the reminder!

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