Star Wars & Adwords

Dec 18th 2015

Star Wars & Adwords

How to Build your ‘SEMpire’

Growing up watching Star Wars was a defining experience for me. I want to say that I learned so many life lessons about perseverance, hope during times of futility, and how good always trumps evil. As these themes can certainly be pulled relatively easily from the plot of Star Wars, I was really not one to do so. Mostly, I just loved the sound and spectacle of lightsaber battles and late-70s, early-80s corniness.

It’s really easy watch the underdog story of a farm boy’s ascent to becoming a galactic hero. To admire the perseverance of a rebellion constantly on its last breath, outmatched by the sheer strength of the Empire. Admirable qualities like courage, love, hope, confidence and selflessness are all reasons to put your ticket behind the good ol’ Rebels.

Within the dark reality of Google AdWords, however, take these life lessons for granted you should not. Once you really start to delve deep into the Google AdWords platform, you will quickly realize that managing your AdWords account is closer aligned to the philosophies of the empire than those of the rebellion. Order, Aggression, Cold Calculation and Peace are all justifications employed by the Sith Emperor. I will discuss these parallels in the context of search engine marketing and how you can use dark Star Wars themes to your advantage.


When order and structure is everything, you need to give yourself enough power to enforce that order.

At its core, the strongest AdWords foundational performance begins with the structure of your build. This is where order comes into play; how you leverage your campaigns, ad groups, keywords, match types, negatives and marketing channels in order to construct the most powerful Google ads account that the universe has ever seen.

When order and structure is everything, you need to give yourself enough power to enforce that order. The more granular you can build out your keywords and ad groups within your campaigns, the more Star Destroyers and Stormtroopers that are at your disposal to provide order. Specifically, leaning towards more ad groups and less keywords per ad group lets you tailor ads to be ultra-specific, have more control in regards to mitigating low performers and extends your relevance within the search engine galaxy.

Another method of order is separating your broad match keywords from your exact match keywords by building them into their own campaigns. This in turn gives you more control over CPCs, scope of keywords and sifting out low performers. Using all of the tools at your disposal will make the data work for you and expedite the time you spend in your account daily.


As the Sith lie dormant until they have accrued enough power and influence to push their ultimate goals onto the galaxy, so must you quietly optimize your account until the moment comes that you can aggressively pursue your business opportunities. In other words, have your own house in order before you go out trying everything and the kitchen sink to push your search engine marketing strategy.

The reason you want to reign in this aggression for the proper time is naturally a result of the inherent nature of being more aggressive; more traffic. If your landing pages aren’t ready, your website is mediocre, your campaigns are poorly built or you’re not connecting with a relevant audience, then every mistake and problem with your current AdWords strategies will only amplify with increased traffic. However, if you have control of the force of your account, then a large variety of aggressive marketing actions can be realized to fulfill your goals. Such strategies may include expanding to platforms beyond AdWords (Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, etc.), rolling out new campaign types, running competitor keywords, or increasing your spend across the board. A good foundation leads to conversions, conversions lead to aggression, aggression leads to market share, market share leads to unprecedented profit.

Cold Calculation

Your emotions can betray you. Nervousness can cause you to make constant changes to your account without regards to statistical significance or the story of the data. Such forced action usually causes you more problems than solutions. Showing patience, waiting for statistical significance after you implement changes, and allowing your decision to remain data driven will serve you well in the long-run.

You obviously care about your business, your clients, and profitability, but you only need to take one look at how Lennie Small tends the rabbits in Of Mice and Men to fully understand how being overly involved in your AdWords account can destroy its performance. In other words, if you are going to overthrow the galactic senate and implement your powerful SEMpire, then you need to show restraint and stick to principles and methods that will grow your account steadily over time and not fall prey to emotional management.


Your last task after building out an account that makes you the ultimate power in the internet is the challenge of maintaining peace across your build. Even a Tie Fighter will rust away if left untended for long periods of time on Endor, and so will all of your hard work if you ignore it for too long.

Optimizing bids, changing out old ad copy, and adding negative keywords at the campaign and/or ad group level will secure modernity and make sure to fend off the rebels (bad search queries, poor keyword performance, irrelevant targeting) for a secure future.

These recommendations are essentially fundamentals, but it is important to assess where your accounts stand in relation to what will fundamentally drive performance. Every account is unique and requires different strategies, but these overarching principles should benefit even the most weathered of account strategists.  < /span>

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