Google Ads are incredibly powerful. You can place your advert in front of people who are actively searching for your product. Unlike social media ads, which are put in front of people scrolling through a newsfeed, you can target people as they are actively searching for your product or service with search engine ads.
In 2021 however, Google Ads come at a price. They are very effective and therefore relatively expensive. With Google Ads, you can get immediate results. You don’t need to spend years building your brand (although it helps); you don’t need to create lots of blog content. You can drive leads and sales almost immediately. You can also waste a lot of money, immediately too!
This blog post will look at some best practices and general tips for building campaigns that produce the best possible return on investment.
Avoid Rookie Errors
The two most common and most costly errors that rookie users and managers of Google Ads accounts commit are:
- Using Broad Match keywords
- Stuffing half a dozen or more keywords into ad groups
Unless you are using broad match keywords for keyword research, they are usually a bad idea. Let’s say you create an advert for your branded t-shirts and use a broad match keyword such as “t-shirts,” your ad will show for lots of irrelevant search terms such as “shirts,” “women’s shirts,” “shirts for petite women” and a whole range of random and irrelevant searches.
Use exact match keywords whenever possible and always check your search terms report. Phrase match keywords can also be useful, especially to begin with, but always check your search terms report and add negative keywords daily, to begin with.
You will generally want to use 1 or 2 keywords per ad group as well. This will allow you to create very specific ads and a specific landing page. This, in turn, should increase your Quality Score and reduce your cost per click (CPC).
Know Your KPIs
Before you start your campaigns, ensure that you have the correct tracking in place – so that you can measure cost per conversion. Ideally, you will want to integrate your Google Ads account with your sales database or CRM. This way, you can also calculate the cost per customer for specific campaigns and keywords.
It is essential to know what the target is regarding volume and cost per conversion or cost per customer. If your average customer generates $5,000 of profit over his or her lifecycle, then a cost per conversion of $50 is probably excellent. However, if your average customer only generates $50 of profit, then a $50 cost per conversion is not very good and will need to be reduced.
Keep Campaigns & Ad Groups Specific
As mentioned previously, it is important that each ad group only contains a small number of keywords. In addition, the landing page and the ads should be as specific as possible too.
If you promote a service such as kitchen design and fitting, you will want first to carry out some keyword research.
Use Google Keyword Planner and Google itself, to begin with. Enter “kitchens” and “Kitchen design” into the Keyword Planner and see what other keywords are suggested, what the estimated CPC is, and also take note of the search volume.
Make a list of all your keywords and put them into specific groups of 2 or 3 keywords.
You might, for example, have one ad group for “kitchen fittings” keywords, another ad group for “kitchen design,” and another ad group for “cheap kitchens.”
Create ads specific to each ad group and their keywords.
You will also want to consider creating specific landing pages for your ad groups. Another big mistake, for example, is sending people who click on your ads to a generic homepage. If someone clicks on an ad about kitchen design, then the landing page should be all about kitchen design.
In summary, give people a seamless and fluid experience. If someone searches for “kitchen designer,” show them an advert containing the keyword “kitchen designer” in the headline and/or the description. Then when the user clicks on your ad, take them to a landing page that is all about your kitchen designs and why you are a great kitchen designer.
Click to Call Ads & Call Extensions
If you sell high-end products or services, such as cars, real estate, or expensive jewelry, then chances are, a large percentage of your target audience will want to discuss options and details over the phone.
If this is the case, then look to add a clear call to action (CTA) button on your landing page. In addition, consider testing Click to Call Google Ads and Call Extensions.
Rather than clicking on your ad, going to your website, and then clicking the CTA to call your company, a potential customer can click the ad and make a call directly on their mobile phone without going to your website first.
It is often best to try out these Click to Call ads in a separate campaign. Keep a close eye on their performance and, if possible, track how many phone calls result in a sale. Phone calls generally convert much better – if someone is taking the time and effort to call you, they are nearly ready or completely ready to make a purchase.
People sometimes shy away from phone calls, as they don’t have a full-time receptionist or they can’t always answer a call. If this is the case, consider using a phone answering service or app to capture all leads around the clock.
Another vital method of optimizing a Google Ads campaign is using bid adjustments. For example, it is possible to run reports in Data Studio or the “Reports” section of Google Ads to get an account-level overview of the best-performing devices, demographics, and locations.
It is best practice to generate a report at the account level and also at the campaign level. If you have a significant amount of data and one device performs much better than the others, consider increasing bids.
For example, suppose your cost per conversion for one campaign is $50 on a desktop device and $140 on a mobile device, and your target cost per conversion is $75. In that case, you will want to consider reducing bids on mobile devices and increasing bids on desktop devices.
Also, look at the best performing audiences, demographics (e.g., age groups), and locations. Adjust bids accordingly.
Similarly, if particular keywords have a very high cost per conversion, you may want to consider pausing those keywords or reducing bids manually – by clicking on the “Max. CPC” column. If your campaigns are ever limited by budget, this can be an important stage in the optimization process.
Test Bid Strategies
In 2021, Google Ads provides many options when it comes to bidding strategies. While it can be a great idea to start with manual bidding, at some point, it is a good idea to test an automated bidding strategy.
Keep in mind that Google will often go above your daily budget and quite significantly so with automated bidding strategies.
The best bid strategy will depend on your goals and the number of clicks and conversions your ads get. The more clicks and conversions, the more data automated bidding strategies have to optimize your bids.
If you have a relatively low number of clicks and conversions, manual bidding or manual bidding with enhanced CPC is usually the best idea, as this gives you more control over your costs. Using “Maximise Clicks” can also be a good idea for smaller campaigns and accounts.
Use a Google Ads Experiment to test out different bidding strategies once the account has acquired enough data.