So You Want To Optimize Your Google Ads Campaigns (Tips For Beginners, Intermediates, and Experts!)
Over the last decade as Google AI continues to evolve and the Google Ads universe expands, more and more of our clients are asking us for assistance in managing their campaigns. Some have never run a Google Ads campaign before, and others have been running fruitful campaigns that now require more time than they’re able to devote. So whether you’re a Google Ads newbie, or a seasoned pro seeking ideas for testing and optimizing elements of your campaign, we’ve got you covered. Here are some quick tips for increasing clicks and conversions, optimizing your campaigns, and reducing your costs, no matter what your skill level happens to be.
If You’re a Beginner…
Metrics to Watch
When you look at your metrics, you’ll notice right away there is a whole lot of data to absorb! The metrics you want to look at closely are the click-through rate (CTR), the conversion rate, and the cost per conversion (CPC). Determining whether your conversion cost is “good” depends on a few factors, including your budget, your industry, the amount of the purchase your customer is making, and the length of your sales cycle.
Set Up Ad Extensions
Extensions help increase your conversion rate while also reducing your costs by qualifying your leads before they have to click on your ad. The more they can learn about your business from the ad, the fewer clicks that will be wasted on a buyer who isn’t ready to make a purchase. Here are just a few of your options for ad extensions:
Location: if your campaign is local, it might make sense to include your address in your extension. That way, customers know where your offices are located, or where the item they purchase is shipping from. It could save you the cost of a click if the user is across the country and can’t take advantage of your product.
Call: This adds authenticity to your ad, by offering people who may be skeptical an alternate way of reaching you. Using a phone number that’s unique to your campaign will allow you to track conversions generated by the ad.
Sitelinks: These can add precision to your ad by directing prospects directly to the page they’re seeking on your website.
App: Link to your app’s download in mobile search.
Image: We probably don’t have to explain why adding a visual component enhances your search ad. Pro tip: make sure the image is striking but simple and very closely related to the content of your ad.
Aim for Small, Hyperfocused Ad Groups
The keywords that are organized in each ad group should all be related and the ads should be very closely related to the keywords. Ad content should be perfectly consistent with your keywords and landing page content. The keyword quality score tells you how closely related your keyword is to the ad and landing page content.
Capitalize Your Ad Headline
We could write blog posts for days about whether or not to use title case or sentence case in your web content headings and blog post titles, but one thing is very certain: capitalizing each word in your ad headline makes it stand out, and easier to read. (Yes, even the word “The!”)
If You’re Intermediate…
Test Different Match Types
Using broad, phrase, and exact keyword match types will help you either broaden or narrow your audience. Google removed the option for broad match modifiers in 2021, incorporating elements of that match type into the phrase match. As Google continues to refine its algorithm to better align with the searcher’s intent, the recommendation is to use a broad match along with smart bidding, which optimizes based on data from all of your campaigns. We've seen conversions rates improve significantly for our clients after incorporating this strategy.
Incorporate Negative Keywords
Identifying keywords you don’t want to be associated with your ad helps you narrow your audience to increase CTR and reduce CPC. For instance, a negative keyword for your ad group on new electronics might be “refurbished” to filter out users who are looking for used electronics. A commercial flooring contractor might use the negative keyword “residential” to exclude people who are searching for non-commercial flooring solutions.
Use a Keyword Research Tool
SEO tools can help you reverse engineer your ad copy and check the search volume of your keywords. We like Ahrefs, but there are free keyword research tools that are also effective. Google also offers recommendations to help your ads perform better.
If You’re Advanced…
Isolate one variable of your ad for testing at a time, so you know exactly which variable performs better. In Google Ads, you can test landing pages, ad copy and ad extensions, display URLs, and other elements of your campaign including targeting, keywords, and bidding strategies. Google support offers precise instructions on how to set up your test.
Have you ever seen an ad for the exact pair of boots you were looking at yesterday but never purchased? Then you’ve been remarketed. Reaching users who have previously interacted with your search ads or website is a great way to hone in on prospects who may be close to converting. Google offers several options for remarketing, including the method mentioned above, which is dynamic remarketing, or showing users an ad for a specific product or service they recently viewed on your app or website. You can also create Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs), or duplicates of some of your best-performing campaigns.
Use Customer Match
Another form of remarketing, customer match allows you to use your first-party data to create an audience for your Google Ads campaign. First-party data is information you collect directly from visitor interactions on your website. It could be a newsletter or webinar signup, an information request, or a purchase. Because this audience has chosen the interaction, it’s the most authentic and transparent way to collect data and engage with them. If you meet Google’s criteria, you can upload this audience and reach them via Google Ads. Make sure this is a list you’ve cultivated yourself (not purchased) and follow Google’s customer match policies.
Supplement Your Search Ads With Display Campaigns
Not every prospect is ready to make a purchase. Ideally, you want to have prospects at every stage of the buyer’s journey, and a display campaign for brand awareness enables you to continually feed prospects into your sales funnel. You won’t see as many conversions from Google display ads, but if you’re playing the long game, they can be a great tool for prospecting. Another way to supplement your search campaign is Display Expansion on Search, which allocates your unused search budget to the Google Display Network at a similar cost per conversion as your search campaign.
Ask the Experts
BoxCrush has years of experience optimizing Google Ads campaigns to drive conversions and generate qualified leads for healthcare, manufacturing, flooring, real estate, retail, and technology fields. If you’re not seeing the conversion rates you want, or you just no longer have the time to devote to a successful campaign, let us crush it for you. Use the form below to contact us today.