Tips to Help Improve Your Google Ads Performance: Part 3
Get the most out of the Google Ads platform to unlock your full potential as an advertiser. Industry experts submitted their favorite tips and ideas for Google Ads users. We have 21 tips to help you learn more about keyword targeting, supplemental tools, bidding strategy, and other techniques worth trying.
Department Head / Director of Paid Search, Studio Center
Create remarketing lists early, and give automation a little time to learn.
Keyword research and Ad Group setup
Keyword research is key to a performing campaign. Remember to use multiple tools to source your keywords. When creating your Ad group, don’t forget to group keywords by theme. Best practice calls for about 20 keywords per Ad group.
From the very beginning, create remarketing lists based on your website’s pages. In addition, thanks to these lists, Google will create Similar Users lists. These will help in reaching an audience beyond your website’s visitors.
Google Ads offers two types of bidding strategy. Manual or automated. My recommendation is to start with a manual strategy to position your ads and gain insights into your leads. Once this is done, and after you have accumulated a fair amount of leads, you can switch to an automated bidding strategy. My preference goes to the TCPA automated bidding strategy. Give it about three weeks to learn and then you will see great results in most cases.
Search query analysis
Always run search query reports at a regular interval in order to filter negative keywords out and find new ones. After launching a new campaign, you want to run the report daily, then weekly, then monthly.
Add a layer of demographics to your campaign based on your target audience. Not only can you add/exclude categories, you can also add a bid modifier. This is the basics of targeting when it comes to your audience.
Digital Marketing Manager, Hipicon
Create a voice search campaign and use video as well.
Let AI to take control of your bid strategies. According to Google, almost 80% of digital marketers spent their time on manual tasks. Time is getting very important day by day and with turning your bid strategies from manual to automated, you have more time to dive inside your campaigns. There are five different smart bidding strategies (Target CPA, Target ROAS, Maximize conversions, Impression share, Enhanced CPC) you can try based on your goals. Following Google suggestions for your campaigns helps you if you don’t know how you start.
Every day, users watch more than 1 billion hours of content on YouTube and 70% of this watch time comes from mobile devices. You don’t have any excuse to running digital campaigns without YouTube ads. Create content based on what your customer needs, choose the right ad format, target exact audience and set up remarketing campaigns.
Google announced on August 2019, Gallery Ads is available in beta version for 11 languages. Gallery Ads lets you add images to your search ads. If your account lets you use this format, jump on it! Some tests show Gallery Ads gain 25% more clicks than standard search ads.
According to research, by 2020 50% of all searches will be voice search. Do not forget to check your search query reports and create a new campaign based on voice search keywords. Adding keywords starting with words like “When, How, What, Where” will get more relevant customers to your website.
Marketing Manager, Primacy
Use location data to determine which places are worth a higher bid.
It’s great to see your account receiving clicks and impressions, however, having conversion tracking properly firing and implemented is one of the most crucial things you can do with any account. Whether you want to track online form submissions, clicks on phone number or even scroll length, you’ll need to make sure conversions are part of your strategy. This will help you make smarter business decisions and give you extra data to analyze (cost per conversion, conversion rates, etc.).
Search Terms / Negative Keywords
Pay special attention to the search terms that your targeted keywords are capturing. The search terms section will help you see the exact query that your audience has typed in before they clicked on your ad. This is especially relevant if you are using phrase and broad matched keyword types for targeting. These keyword types cast a wider net on targeting and always have the potential to reach irrelevant audiences. Once you’re aware of all irreverent search terms, you simply add them as negative keywords to prevent your ads being served incorrectly in the future.
User Location Report
If you have been running paid search campaigns for some time, consider checking the “user location report.” This report provides a granular view of current geo-targeting performance that you can use to further optimize and adjust your targeting. For example, let’s say you’re currently targeting the state of Florida. Use the “user location report” to see how your ads are doing in specific cities, zip codes, counties and many other areas. If your report is showing that Orlando, Florida has been outperforming all of the other cities, you can then confidently use this information to bid higher in the Orlando area.
Making sure your search campaigns have extensions is a no-brainer when it comes to PPC. The more extensions you have, the more real estate your ads will take up in results as well as provide more interaction with your ads and website.
Sr. Paid Search Manager, Rover.com
Use segmentation logically, and spend time on the details to save money.
Don’t segment for the sake of segmenting.
An optimal campaign structure used to mean heavy segmentation, with each topic (or even keyword) living in its own ad group. Now that automated bid strategies have grown more sophisticated, it has become advantageous to consolidate your data so Google’s algorithm has more to work with and learn from. Ask yourself if a topic requires different creative assets or performs noticeably different—if not, it likely doesn’t make sense to break it out.
Leverage automation where it makes sense.
Google is heavily prioritizing automation (not news to anyone in the paid search world), but advertisers and business owners should strike a balance between leveraging the new capabilities, and ensuring traffic quality. An algorithm is only as good as its data input, so make sure conversion tracking is working properly and accurately represents the goals of your business. If you don’t capture many down funnel conversions, set up higher funnel micro-conversions with appropriate weighting to act as proxies. Leverage scripts (there are plenty of plug-and-play scripts available) and automated rules/reporting to make ongoing optimization more streamlined.
Try out new things.
There are a plethora of new betas, targeting options and features for Google Ads users to explore. It’s likely they won’t all be a good fit for your business, but testing those that make sense will keep you ahead of the curve.
Don’t overlook the smaller details of your campaigns.
It can be very simple (possibly by design) to waste spend on Google Ads by not being diligent and ruthlessly detail-oriented. For existing campaigns, audit your bid modifiers (location, audience, TOD/DOW), search queries (this can be automated with scripts!), and bidding strategies to trim down on wasted spend. Before launching a new campaign, invest some time into the smaller details like geo-targeting and preemptive negative keywords.
Digital Marketing Specialist, The Community
Use Dynamic Search Ads and Remarketing List Search Ads to make the most of your opportunities.
Expand Your Targeting with Dynamic Search Ads
Keyword analysis is key to ensuring the success of your campaigns; however, if you’re dealing with a vast product range across multiple categories and thousands of products, you’ll need some help filling the gaps. Enter Dynamic Search Ads, which allow you to target by category or URL, generating an ad headline and display URL dynamically based on the user’s search query, providing them with a contextually relevant ad they are more likely to click on.
Leverage Your Remarketing Audience(s)
In today’s world, it’s not always easy to collect consumer data, especially with increasingly strict policies and regulations. One of the best ways to your maximize return on ad spend in this environment is to leverage your remarketing audience(s). Running Remarketing List Search Ads (RLSA) within Google Ads is one of the most effective tactics you can apply to boost your conversion rate. If you are running ads for an eCommerce client, the “Cart Abandonment” and “Product View” audiences are typically the best performing remarketing options you can configure and use to support your campaigns.
Make Your Promotion(s) Loud
If you have something to say, make it loud! Don’t miss the opportunity to promote your offers online as an extension of your other marketing efforts. The occasion—e.g. Black Friday—doesn’t matter; just make a calendar of all key promotion periods during the year and plan accordingly. Victory loves preparation.
Poke Your Audience
Regardless of how well your campaigns are set up, sometimes you need to trigger your audience(s) to take action. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a sense of urgency, through your ad copy or otherwise. A great tool to use is Google Ads’ “Countdown” ad customizer, which can be configured to dynamically show the remaining days in a promotion. This tool, along with strong ad copy, is one of the best ways to create FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) with your audience.
Director of Paid Media Strategy, Power Digital Marketing
Try new things, check out the Google Ads’ Experiments feature to run useful tests.
Lean Into Automation
Automation is a word that sparks a good deal of controversy in the Google Ads community. Relieving control to an engine whose primary motivator is to encourage you to spend more is not an easily-adopted idea for some advertisers. Although for the forward-thinking, this is not a new idea for 2020. Automated Bidding Strategies, Smart Ad formats, and Optimization Score Recommendations were introduced years ago, and are quickly being perfected by now. They are powerful tools Paid Media advertisers will need to lean into in order to fully optimize their own time and capabilities to drive results for their accounts.
Experiment more, with Experiments
Google Ads’ Experiments feature provides the ideal testing grounds to deliver crystal clear results from elements of your account that are actively being tested. We utilize this feature as a best practice to get actionable results from tests that span across Ad Creative, Bidding Strategies, Landing Pages, Match Types, and more in a time-efficient manner. At the end of an Experiment, you’ll get recommendations on which variant to move forward with, based on a level of statistical significance that you select.
Use YouTube to Drive High-Intent Traffic
Are you fully capitalizing on high-intent traffic outside of Search? Chances are you could be missing out on some lucrative audiences that are searching for your product or service, but not coming to your website. Custom Intent Keyword Targeting gives you the ability to target audiences on YouTube based on their past Search history. This is an innovative feature unlike any other targeting capability in the digital space today. Campaigns we’ve tested—with the right creative assets and funnel structure—drive bottom-line results (leads and revenue), taking YouTube beyond its previous confinements as just a vanity metric channel.
Use a mix of long tail and generic keywords, and check your Quality Score.
- Make sure the structure of your campaigns is clear and gives you a good overview. It’s a good idea to have an ad group per product type to make sure that your customer sees a relevant ad according to his/her search and lands on the relevant page.
- Choose the right keywords. First, ask yourself what your customers are searching for. There are many online tools you can use for the keyword research. Google’s Keyword Planner is integrated into Google Ads and is free.
- Distinguish between the generic and long tail keywords. High-volume generic keywords bring a lot of traffic and are expensive, while long tail keywords have small search volume, but they offer a higher conversion rate and lower costs as compared to common keywords. I’d suggest to have a combination of both; however, it’s important to check the search terms report in Google Ads frequently and exclude those keywords that bring non-relevant traffic.
- Use segmentation to reach your customers. There are many ways to do that: for example, you can create audiences based on the users’ interests and behavior, or you can upload your customer data. Once you have different audience groups, you can show them tailored ads or make bid adjustments in order to make sure that your customers see your ads.
- Last but not least, track your performance. Optimize your campaigns by conversion goals you’d like to reach. Analysis of your Quality Score (including such metrics as Ad relevance and Landing page experience) available in the keyword report will give you important insights to improve the performance of your ad campaign.