Get your campaigns in shape for the new year!
5 Ways To Optimize Your PPC Campaigns
Start the new year right by making sure your ads are optimized and built for success. Pay-per-click (PPC) allows an advertiser a lot of control, from targeting to budgeting and scheduling. Here are five things you can do to make sure your Google Ads are optimized.
1. Audience Targeting
Google offers audiences using different segments, including: affinity, in-market, detailed demographic and custom segments. You should be using these! I won’t get into the details here (maybe another post), but I always use “Observational” targeting, and will use a 25-35% bid increase for relevant in-market segments.
For example, a car dealership, say a Ford dealer, would use an observational audience for in-market users for “Ford”, ``New vehicles”, and “new pickup trucks”. I might also use a bid decrease for the age segment 18-24. Audience targeting gives Google further insight to who you’re trying to target beyond keywords.Targeting using Google's audience segments can boost your campaigns performance by putting your ads in front of the right people at the right time.
2. Optimizing for Conversions
Google Ads is built on three principles: Relevance, Control and Results. A lot of accounts I have the chance to audit complain about the last principle. Results are arguably the most important of the three, after all, if there is no ROI you're likely wasting money. Setting up proper conversion tracking is a must BEFORE you launch a campaign. Again this could be its own post, but from a high level I would create goals for certain actions on your website in Google Analytics, and then import those goals into your Google Ads account (settings -> linked accounts). Phone calls, form submissions, newsletter sign-ups, purchases, etc, are all actions you should have goals for. Google ads also offers code to help you set goals up, on the Conversions tab (under Performance). You’ll need to have access to the back-end of your website for this, which is why I prefer setting things up in Google Analytics.
A, B, C…. Always Be Testing! Here is a quick list of ideas you should be testing inside an existing Google Ad campaign: Adding new keywords, breaking off popular keywords into their own Ad Group, trying new headlines, creating new ad schedules, and testing new bid strategies. Unless your Quality Scores are 10/10, you have an above average CTR and your average CPA is half what you can afford I would always be split testing from the list above!
4. Negative Keywords
Here’s a test for anyone currently running a Google Ad campaign - Do you know what people are actually typing when they discover your ad? I’m always surprised by how many people answer “no” on a discovery call. It’s really easy, under the Keyword tab (should be on the left-hand-side) click “Search Terms”. This is literally what people typed in the Google search bar, misspellings and all. This list is invaluable! Not only can you find new keyword ideas but you’ll bolster your negative keyword list by adding irrelevant searches you find. Using my Ford dealer example from above, I might be bidding on “2022 Ford F-150” and find the search phrase “2022 ford F-150 aftermarket bumper” on this list. I would add “bumper” to my negative keyword list since my client sells the truck, not the part. Your Negative Keyword list will save you a lot of money in wasted ad spend. I recommend launching a campaign with a healthy list and then visiting your Search Term Report weekly until you have things refined.
5. Quality Scores
Google scores each keyword from 1-10, giving a discount to keywords ranking 6-10, and charging a premium on 1-5. If you think your cost-per-clicks are a little high, you might check your quality scores first! I like to group my keywords in Ad Groups that focus on one product/service. Using those keywords in my headlines and making sure my landing page is relevant can all help increase your Quality Scores. Ad relevance and click-through-rate also affect your keyword Quality Scores. Bidding on several different keywords, with headlines that don’t match, and a poor landing page experience will result in a low ad rank and CTR. Focus on small groups of keywords in each ad group and make sure your ads headlines and landing page are all related.
Google Ads is seeing a surge of new interest as advertisers struggle with recent changes to Facebook and Apple's Ios14 update. It’s becoming an even more competitive landscape and focusing on these five things will help you beat out the competition.
That PPC Guy offers pay-per-click services to businesses needing help boost their website traffic. Through effective PPC advertising campaigns, our goal is to assist companies to gain their potential customers in a short period to secure leads, conversions, and sales. Book an appointment with us today to learn more.