If buying search terms is part of your marketing strategy, you must use the Google Ads platform. Google has 90% market share in the search engine market. Whether management of your search engine marketing is in-house or outsourced, it is important to understand the options available to continuously optimize your Google Ads. Below are ten tips for monitoring and improving your ad performance.
Set Up and Monitor Conversion Actions
In order to understand if the traffic that Google Ads sends to your website takes the action you would like visitors to take, you must set up conversion actions. Conversion actions allow you to track and monitor specific behavior on your website. If you want customers to make an online purchase, you can define the action as a conversion and set up the tracking code on your website. This will allow you to review and monitor conversion activity of the traffic that Google sends your way.
Create Keyword-Rich Landing Pages
Getting a high quality score on a Google Ads campaign can lead to lower prices and a better ad position. One way to improve your quality score is by creating landing pages that use the same keywords that are used in your Google Ads ad groups. Be sure to use sound landing page practices, like limiting the distractions on the page and driving visitors toward the action you want them to take.
Make Your Ad Copy Geographically Relevant
This tip works particularly well for retailers and other businesses that provide local services. Let’s say you own an Italian restaurant in San Diego. First, you will want to set your geographic targets to be consistent with your location. This can be done in the settings of your campaign. Next, set up a unique ad group where you can track activity for specific geographic search terms. For that same ad group, create ad copy such as “Italian Restaurant in San Diego” or “Best Italian in San Diego”. This copy will help to improve your interaction rate. Be sure to create a landing page that supports the ad copy.
Test and Tweak Your Google Ads Copy
Google ads contain up to three headlines, up to two description lines, a URL and an optional display path for your URL. You may also add extensions (discussed below) to your ad copy. You will want to test multiple ads for each Google ad campaign. Review performance to determine which ads perform best. If you have been advertising awhile, understand that ad fatigue may diminish performance over time. Changes to your offering may create a need for new ad copy. For these reasons, you will want to continually test and tweak your ads for optimal performance.
Use Structured Snippet Extensions
Structured snippet extensions allow you to add custom copy to your ad that provides more detail about your product. With snippets, you can add a host of available headlines, including brands, destinations, models and neighborhoods. For example, if you are a travel specialist who would like to highlight specific vacation destinations, you can choose the “Destination” headline and specify destinations based on the target audience for your business. Structured snippets essentially expand your ad copy options.
Turn Off Underperforming Sitelink Extensions
Be sure to periodically review the sitelinks for your Google Ads. Sitelinks are the links in your copy that take visitors to a specific page on your website. It is quite possible that the optimal sitelinks for paid ads may be different than those used for organic search.
Review Auction Insights to Understand Your Competition
You can see which competitors are competing for the keywords you use through Google Ads under the “Auction Insights” tab. This will allow you to see impression share, average position, how often the competitor is above you on the search results page and vice versa and other key statistics. The insights can be reviewed by campaign or by ad group. Once you have identified key competitors, consider changing your bid strategy to outrank the identified key competitors.
Set Device Bid Adjustments
Review the cost per conversion by device type—computer, mobile phone or tablet—for each of your Google Ads campaigns. Be sure to use a time frame over which you have a credible amount of data. You can increase or decrease bid amounts by device type to bring your cost per conversion in line across all device types. Note that this functionality cannot be used for certain bidding strategies (like the outranking bid strategy noted above).
Add Negative Keywords to Your Ad Groups
Navigate to any ad group in your Google Ads campaigns. Then, look through the Search Terms to review the exact search words that potential customers type into the search bar. If you find any irrelevant terms, you can add them as negative keywords so that your ads are not displayed when a potential customer types those keywords.
Do NOT Set It and Forget It
Above all, understand that Google Ads is an auction platform. That means performance will change over time so it is important to regularly review how your ads are doing. Keep a pulse on how your advertising budget is spent to keep your acquisition costs in check.
Want more insights into Google Ads? Check out these tips from 25 Google Ads Advertisers, including our founder.