It’s a given that you’ll always want your Google Ads campaigns to achieve positive results. You want to see the lowest possible cost-per-clicks, highest CTRs, most conversions, and the best-quality website traffic. While there’s no one right way to achieve these goals, there are known levers you can pull to lead you in the right direction and enhance the results you’ve already been seeing.
Here are six quick ways to optimize your Google Ads campaigns that you can implement today to find success for your company and/or your clients.
1. Keep an Eye on Your Budget, But Don’t Change It Too Much
If you’re running a TrueView campaign on the Google Ads platform, then set your budget for the campaign total, or total amount you want to spend over the course of the flight. This is a newer feature but isn’t yet available for straight Google SEM ads. This means that there will be variances in spending regardless of the daily budget you enter.
Google will have you believe that it won’t spend more than a certain percentage during a given period, but the results we’ve seen suggest otherwise. In fact, we’ve seen budgets spend as much as 200 percent the daily budget multiple days in a row. While the Google algorithm may have determined that audience served was high quality, our company and our clients want to see their funds spent evenly over the course of their scheduled campaigns.
While it’s important to identify if Google is regularly spending under or over your daily budget, if it’s a small amount, it’s best to wait and look for trends. You may find that it regularly spends $10 more than your $50 daily budget, so lower it down to $40 and reevaluate.
But don’t change your budget too often, as each time you make a campaign adjustment, it goes through a “learning period” when Google reassesses how the changes you’ve just made should alter when and to whom your ads are served.
2. Know Your Campaign Goals
There are countless metrics to look at in the Google Ads platform. Top items include cost, impressions, clicks, cost-per-click, click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, impression share, among others. With so many numbers to look at and analyze, how do you know where to place your focus?
What if you’re running a campaign and the goal is to see increased traffic to your website? Then you should keep your attention on the levers that drive high CTR.
What if the goal is phone calls? In this case, you may want to try a call-only campaign and drive calls directly from the ad itself.
What if the goal is form fills? Then make sure your landing page, keywords, and ad text are all driving this action and a pixel is properly placed to ensure each conversion is counted so you know what’s actually working.
3. Add in Granular Location Targeting
While it’s best to do this from the moment you set up a campaign, there’s no bad time to narrow in on where your audience is coming from. For example, if a client wants to target the state of Oregon, rather than adding in Oregon as your location, include each individual county and even some major cities. That way you’ll understand where in the state your audience is coming from and which counties are leading to the most conversions.
Similarly, if you’re adding radius targeting around a business, include the requested 5 miles, for example, and then add smaller radiuses of 3 miles, 1 mile, and 0.5 mile.
While this might seem unnecessary, and to Google it is, the data will help you tell a story and allow you to add in relevant bid adjustments down the road.
4. Include Bid Adjustments to Drive Results
Once your campaign has been running for a month or so, look at the data and see what you can infer. Do you notice certain ads, keywords, locations, and/or devices are driving your company goals? That’s great! Now, how can you attract a similar audience?
One way is by using bid adjustments. A bid adjustment is a percent increase above the normal cost-per-click that you’re willing to pay when a certain type of person searches one of your keywords.
If you have an open target of the United States but discover that all your leads are coming from seven states and those people were searching most often on their mobile devices, then add a bid adjustment to those states and/or on mobile device searches.
Bid adjustments are just another way to tell Google, please show my ad to more people like this.
5. Make Sure Your Keyword Is in the Ad Text and Landing Page
The focus of Google isn’t you, the advertiser. It’s the individual who’s searching on Google. And just as you want relevant ads to show up when you look up something on a search engine, so does everyone else.
To ensure this happens you need to be particular about which keywords you decide to bid on. Ideally, the keywords and keyword phrases you select are ones that are already on your website. If not, it’s in your best interest to make sure these are in alignment. Similarly, you want to use those same keywords in your ad text.
When the keyword you’re bidding on shows up prominently on your website and in your ads, it’ll appear very relevant to the user, and you’ll be rewarded with lower cost-per-clicks, as well as encounter other favorable results.
6. Add in Negative Keywords
While you don’t need to immediately include negative keywords in your Google Ads campaign, they are a very important component. They tell Google, please don’t waste my money when someone searches “x.”
For example, if you run an e-commerce website and sell men’s and women’s tops, that doesn’t mean you sell every variety. You might have graphic tees, tank tops, and long-sleeve shirts, but not sell sweaters, button-down shirts, dress shirts, or polo shirts. Those items you don’t carry are terms you should add into your negative keywords list.
In addition to the obvious, keep an eye on the actual “search terms” and continue to add to your negative keywords list when you come upon a search that wasn’t relevant to the type of audience you want to attract. To add to the example above, this may include something like “crop top shirts” or “shirt printing.”
There are no magic tricks or exact formulas when it comes to running a successful Google Ads campaign, but implement these six tricks, and you’ll be on your way to yielding positive results.