Are you running Google ads and maybe not getting the results you hoped for? Want some tips that can help you improve your campaign performance? In this article we will share some less common tips that are often overlooked when setting up and managing Google ad campaigns.
As the world’s most used search engine with 83.84% of the market share, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that marketers want to use Google paid ads to promote their business and grow their reach. Google Ads is a powerful tool for businesses and marketers to reach their target audience and drive traffic to their website. With the right strategies and tactics, it allows you to get ahead of waiting for organic growth and instead reach your audience faster and more efficiently.
Google’s Ad Revenue Was $54.48 Billion in Q3 2022 and shows no signs of slowing down, so it’s quite clearly a competitive market, which means you need to do things right if you don’t want to see your ad spend disappear into thin air.
In this article we are going to look at some of the lesser known tips that are often overlooked when setting up and managing successful ad campaigns.
Make sure your conversion tracking is set up correctly
If you are at the stage of wanting to run ads, you will probably already have Google analytics set up on your site. While you may be using this to track visitors, bounce rates and time on page, it’s important to note there is a big difference between analytics and conversion tracking. When we are running ads we need to be tracking an outcome, ie. our conversion point.
Google states “A conversion occurs when an ad click or other interaction with your ad leads directly to a behavior that’s valuable to you, such as a purchase, newsletter sign-up, phone call, or download.”
Conversion tracking is essentially how you tell Google what you want to get out of a campaign and gives you insights into the performance of your ads. If you tell Google to track the wrong conversion, it’s going to work towards achieving the wrong outcome. On Top of this, if you don’t correctly track conversions, you can’t optimize your campaigns, cause you do not get the correct data.
Last year I started working with a new client after someone else had been running their ad campaigns. They had rocked up a whacking bill over $100,000 USD, yet their sales totaled a measly $900 USD. So what the hell went wrong?
They had set their conversion tracking to page views. They were getting a lot of traffic, and Google was doing exactly what it was being told to do, bring more page views. But they wanted leads that could then be nurtured to sales. A quick change of conversion tracking from page view to leads immediately improved their lead rate. We are going to come back to this same example a little in the optimized landing page section.
So our takeaway here? Make sure you have the correct conversion tracking set up for all of your ad campaigns.
Use negative keywords, but not too many
While keywords are the words you want your ads to show up for. Negative keywords are the exact opposite and tell Google not to show your ad if certain words or terms are used in the search queries. For example, you are a pump manufacturer that designs and builds manual fluid pumps for industrial uses such as fuel stations. A negative keyword might be ‘breast’ as these are keywords that would be searched by mothers looking for manual breast pumps for feeding their baby. Two very different products, and paying money to show your diesel pump ads to mothers looking for milk pumps is clearly a waste of time and money.
In Google’s words, a negative keyword is “A type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. Your ads aren’t shown to anyone who is searching for that phrase. This is also known as a negative match.”
Negative keywords are something you will hear a lot and are common in the ad world, but it’s very important to know that you should not need lots of them, and you shouldn’t have to be adding more with time. Requiring lots of negative keywords suggests your ads are poorly optimized.
And if you are still adding negative keywords based on the search term reports of when your ads were shown months into a campaign, it is a good sign of a poorly managed account. Something needs to change here to save your money and time.
Create conversion optimized landing pages
It’s important to remember that creating a well performing ad group is just one piece of the puzzle. Google ads bring you the traffic to your domain, it’s up to you to convert that new lead.
It’s easy to get tied up in the Google ads platform, adjust bidding, testing ad copy, and putting all your time and effort into the platform itself. But when someone clicks your ad, where do they go? Your website, right.
So now the ad has done the work of bringing the people to your site, you need to make sure you convert them into a lead or sale. We do this by optimizing our landing pages.
Your ads should point to a relevant landing page, and the message of the landing page should align with the ad itself. If your ad talks about one thing and directs traffic to a page that’s talking about something totally different, it is not going to convert.
Keeping your keywords, ad copy and landing pages consistent should improve your click through and conversion rates, as well as help lowering your cost per click (CPC)
The page should load quickly, and be easy to use. If you are collecting emails, the email opt-in should be in a prominent location. If you are promoting a product your copy should be of high quality so that your traffic gets the information they need and are driven to take action.
Don’t neglect your organic SEO
Another kind of uncommon suggestion from ads specialists is equally balancing your paid and organic strategies, when working to get to the top of google. There’s a few reasons why your organic SEO efforts should be equally as important to your paid marketing.
Firstly, opting for paid ads only can be a costly decision as you may end up paying for clicks that your competitors are not even bidding on. It makes more sense to leverage organic search results for those keywords and phrases that don’t require ad spend. It’s essentially free traffic, and what’s better than that?
Secondly, not everyone clicks on ads. Some searchers prefer organic search results and are likely to ignore paid ads altogether. By focusing on both paid and organic search strategies, you stand a chance of capturing these potential customers who may not click on ads.
Thirdly, Google may not allow you to advertise on all searches. For example, long-tail keywords with low search volume may not be eligible for ads. However, if your website ranks well organically for those keywords, it can still generate significant traffic without paying for ads.
Finally, the more times a potential customer sees your business, the higher the chances of them considering your products or services. Ranking high in both paid and organic search results means your business is visible in two places on the same page, leading to increased brand awareness and consideration.
Ultimately focusing on both allows you to dominate both the ad section, and organic searches on google, which significantly increases your online exposure. If you’re a local business this will also significantly improve your map pack rankings, which can bring more customers to your door.
Collaborating with a professional who has expertise in both Google Ads and SEO can give your business an edge over competitors.
Use the Right Keyword Match-Types
When someone goes to Google and inputs their search query, ads are shown depending on how relevant the Google ads auction system considers them to the search query and will show ads accordingly.
Obviously your keywords play an important role here, but you should also understand the different types of keyword matches available. These include, broad match, phrase match, and exact match. These essentially tell google how to handle the keywords you are bidding on.
So what does this mean?
Google says “The keyword match types dictate how closely the keyword needs to match with the user’s search query so that the ad can be considered for the auction.”
Broad match allows your ads to show up for searches that include variations of your keywords, synonyms, and related terms. This option provides the widest possible reach but may also result in your ads being shown to irrelevant audiences as it is less focused on a specific audience.
Phrase match allows your ads to show up for searches that include the exact phrase or a close variation of your targeted keywords, surrounded by other words. This option provides a more targeted approach than broad match, while still allowing for some flexibility in search terms.
Exact match allows your ads to show up only for searches that include the exact keyword or close variations of it. This option provides the most precise targeting, but may limit the reach of your ads.
Ultimately, the keyword matching options you choose will impact where your ads show up, as well as the relevancy of your ads to the audiences that see them.
If you are after impressions, then a broad match will typically be your best bet with a lower CPC. But it’s important to remember that this may cost you bringing in the wrong kind of traffic.
If you are after less impressions but higher relevancy and higher click through rate, exact match will do this, but will typically be more expensive as your leads may be more qualified.
Hire an expert
Managing Google Ads campaigns can be complex, and it can be difficult to determine which strategies work best for your business. This article hardly scratches the surface of what goes into running a successful ad campaign. There are many advanced tips and tricks that can only be learned through experience. That’s why working with a Google Ads specialist like Fern Colab can save you a lot of headaches, time, and wasted money.
Our team has managed tens of thousands of dollars over the years in Google Ads, and have the knowledge and expertise to improve the performance of your campaigns. We know how to hack research tools to discover new ideas and what it takes to get more people to click on your ads.
In the long run, hiring a Google Ads expert will likely save you money in wasted ad spend and help you increase the effectiveness of your campaigns to get a higher return on your investment. Our team will create customized strategies that align with your business goals and budget.
Get in touch and talk to us about your business goals and we will see if Google Ads are the way for you to go!