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We run AdWords campaigns for our clients (somewhere around 200 or so) - we serve a niche industry (hospitality, hotel & lodging) and we have had the benefit of learning from a few at Google during a program where you have a personal account manager assigned to you for 90 days. We picked his brain on an almost weekly basis and I collected questions from the whole office to ask. This was very helpful.
So back to the original - what we do:
1. Bid on EXTREMELY relevant terms, the broadest we get would be state-type terms, i.e. (Louisiana bed and breakfast vs. New Orleans bed and breakfast.)
2.) Bid to get ourselves in position 2-4 or so. We find clicks from those positions are less expensive and convert to return on investment better.
3.) Land our clicks on THE MOST relevant pages on the site. We are just beginning to think about using landing pages, so currently our clicks are landing on real pages on our website. If the adgroup is about activities in the area, we land that click on the activities page of the site.
Overall we've seen in increase in CTR and in some cases better ROI from our AdWords campaigns than we have in the past. I cant put my finger on the exact reason why this is "working" but maybe it's a combination of all three, or some other obscure thing we're doing.
I hope this helps, I'd love feedback on my little "theory in progress."
[edited by: BlizzGirl at 12:19 pm (utc) on July 21, 2006]
I was just at a seminar with almost 100 PPC advertisers and only a dozen or so people realized something was happening with the quality score. Of those, only 1 claimed to have been affected.
Everyone else was unaffected, didn't see a change in their accounts and it was business as normal.
I keep blog-style track of announcements, so the content changes ever so often.