Every Adwords account that I take over for my clients is virtually useless. The typical campaign consists of one or two ad groups, one ad in each group and very high bids. The most keywords I have ever found was about 100. Many clients made the mistake of using Google’s automated campaign optimizer. The only thing it optimizes is more $ for Google. A professional Adwords consultant / firm can often use the same budget – double or triple the clicks, get quality clicks, generate a huge increase in business – and still take their cut for building and managing the campaign.
If you are not using Analytics in conjunction with Adwords, then you are wasting your time and money. Unless you determine the quality of your clicks, you can’t improve your campaign’s perfromance and lower the costs. Setting up goals and looking at other metrics will help determine a keyword by keyword performance. Used with the Adwords Editor, you can quickly change bidding strategies on top and poor performers.
Adwords is where any legit SEO campaign should start. It can generate lots of keywords data, quickly. Since SEO is based on keywords, Adwords is a very powerful tool.