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Your Ultimate Guide to Optimize Google Ads

Are your Google Ads campaigns not delivering the results you expected? Or perhaps you’re just starting out and want to make sure you get the most out of your advertising budget from the get-go. In either case, you’re in the right place. Welcome to my guide on optimizing Google Ads.

I am Jane from Influence Agency, the best marketing agency in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In this blog, I’ll walk you through the ins and outs of Google Ads optimization, providing you with actionable tips and strategies to boost your ad performance.

What does Google Ads optimization involve?

Google Ads optimization involves thoroughly analyzing your Google Ads data and making gradual adjustments to your campaign components to maximize their performance. It’s a crucial task for any marketer because, if left unattended, your campaign can quickly deplete your ad budget by becoming stale and unproductive.

In other words, Google Ads optimization is necessary for running Google Ads. Even if you have exceptionally well-crafted ad copy, an outstanding landing page, and a highly targeted audience, you may still experience not very good results without proper campaign optimization. 

Achieving continued and scalable success with Google Ads can be challenging, especially if you neglect to assess and fine-tune your campaigns. Furthermore, without the right metrics to demonstrate your campaigns’ effectiveness, your ad budget may go to waste.

Remember that optimization is an ongoing process. Trying to fix everything in one go is not advisable because making too many simultaneous changes can obscure which adjustments positively or negatively impacted your campaign. 

The ultimate goal of optimization is to ensure that your campaign runs smoothly and aligns with all of your business objectives. While it can be time-consuming, it’s essential to guarantee that your Google Ads campaigns generate the maximum possible revenue.

How often should you optimize? 

In general, it typically takes around 4 to 8 weeks to accumulate sufficient data within Google Ads campaigns that warrants optimization. However, this timeframe can be either expedited or extended based on the following factors:

– The budget size.

– The amount of historical data at your disposal.

– The competitiveness of the market.

– The specific objectives.

For instance, if you have a substantial advertising budget and access to ample historical data, you might start seeing results within just a couple of weeks. Conversely, if your budget is limited and historical data is scarce, it may take 8 weeks or even longer to gather enough data for meaningful optimization.

It’s advisable to conduct a comprehensive account optimization at least once per month, with minor adjustments and optimizations made on a daily or weekly basis. This approach ensures that your account consistently operates at its peak performance and that your ad spend isn’t wasted. This also helps you unveil opportunities for growth.

Google Ads optimization tips 

Google Ads optimization tips

 

When it comes to optimizing your Google Ads, you may feel overwhelmed. From managing bids and analyzing metrics to refining keywords, determining which tasks will yield the most significant improvements in your campaigns can be challenging.

A clear understanding of what to examine, how to interpret your metrics, and which strategies to employ when encountering issues with your ad campaigns is indispensable for ensuring your success.

I’ve distilled some of the most crucial optimization tips for you to concentrate on. I hope these tips will maximize the efficiency of the time you invest in managing your account and drive your account toward achieving more valuable results.

Optimize your Google Ads account

One of the most crucial things in optimizing Google Ads is how you set up your account. If your account is messy, it can cause problems like lower Quality Scores, which means you’ll end up paying more, as well as getting fewer clicks that aren’t relevant to your business. 

To make your Google Ads account work best, you need to organize it well. Spend some time arranging the different parts of your account properly, and you’ll be ready to show your ads to potential customers. Here’s an example of a well-organized account:

google ads account structure

 

Google Ads has three layers: your account, campaigns, and ad groups.

  • Your account is linked to an email and password, and it holds your payment details.
  • Campaigns have their own budget and settings that decide where your ads show up.
  • Ad groups hold a bunch of similar ads and keywords.

In a single Google Ads account, you can run several campaigns at the same time. In this example, there are two campaigns. One campaign might be for text ads that show up when people search on Google, while the other could be for visual banner ads on a wide range of websites all over the internet.

If you look further down the structure, each campaign has its own ad groups. Ad groups are like groups of ads that are put together based on their semantic relevance. For instance, if you have a store selling clothing, in a campaign, one ad group might have keywords for earmuffs and scarves, while another ad group could focus on jackets and coats. Each ad group has its own keywords and ads that match those keywords.

This way of organizing your Google Ads account has many benefits. It makes managing your account easier, and it ensures that your ads and ad groups are as relevant as possible. This, in turn, helps your ads show up in front of the right people, at the right time, and in the right places. There are other things to consider for ad visibility, but structuring your account should be the first step in optimizing your Google ads.

If you find it difficult to optimize your Google Ads account, you can contact Influence Agency for help.

Optimize your text ads

As I can see, the best text ads on Google Ads all have a few things in common:

– They use a relevant keyword, especially in the headline.

– They explain why someone should choose their business over others (this is called the Unique Selling Proposition or USP).

– They include a clear call-to-action that tells the person what to do next and what to expect when they click the ad.

Including the elements mentioned is a good start to making better and more effective ads. But that’s not enough. You also need to think about how you present your ads.

There are two main ways to present your ads: by focusing on the features or on the benefits. While feature-focused ads can work in some cases, benefit-focused ads usually perform better. This is because benefit-focused ads tap into what consumers really want – to solve a specific problem. These ads often use words like “us” and “we” to build a connection with the potential customer and use descriptive language to help people imagine how much better their lives could be with your products or services.

No matter if your ads focus more on features or benefits, the words you use can really affect how well your ads and campaigns do. Using powerful, active verbs can make your ads much more convincing.

In the picture below, you’ll see two ads in an A/B testing. The original ad is on the left, and the variant is on the right.

a/b testing

 

The two ads have some small differences in the words they use, but what really stands out is the powerful, action word “Increase” in the variant. This one word made the ad get 150% more clicks.

If your ads aren’t getting the results you’re aiming for, it could be a good idea to rework some of your older ads and see how they perform in a test.

Always test your Google Ads

 

a/b testing

Keep testing all the time. There are lots of chances to try things out with Google Ads. You should always have one important test in progress. But don’t test too many things at once, or you might not see clear results. Testing can be as easy as trying new ads or landing pages, or as complicated as figuring out if reducing ad costs or excluding certain places will make more money. 

Refine and expand your keyword list and add more long-tail keywords

 

keyword list

The way people search for your products or services is always changing, demanding that you remain aware of keyword trends. 

Regardless of how confident you feel about the keywords you’ve chosen, it’s the data that holds the true significance. Even if you’ve been advertising with those keywords for a long time, it’s essential to be ready to refine them.

Review all your keywords and identify where your budget is being inefficiently used. You may discover that a group of keywords is performing exceptionally well, while another group of keywords is draining your budget without delivering substantial results. This is why you should consistently explore fresh keywords to increase volume or enhance cost-effectiveness.

The Google Ads search term report has the potential to uncover a wealth of fresh keywords. You can uncover additional paid keywords that are generating traffic and conversions by utilizing the Google Ads Search Queries report within Google Analytics data.

Google’s Keyword Planner also offers a range of keyword options to target. It’s important to pay attention to conducting searches using your top-performing keywords to explore the suggestions provided by Google in the search bar or search results. These suggestions can serve as an excellent source for generating new keyword ideas.

Instead of concentrating solely on short keywords, you should consider the value of long-tail keywords, which typically consist of 2 to 5 words. Use long-tail keywords with intent, such as those keywords including “buy,” “purchase,” “quote,” etc.

Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) experience improvements when you refine your Google Ads campaigns with long-tail keywords because:

  • Long-tail keywords tend to be more specific, making them valuable for targeting a more precise audience with specific intent.
  • Long-tail keywords are often searched by fewer people, so they are less targeted by businesses. This reduces competition, allowing you to bid lower and giving you a higher opportunity to achieve a higher ranking.
  • Long-tail keywords enable you to write more effective and precise advertisements.

In most cases, aiming for keywords comprising 2 to 5 words is ideal. Single-word keywords tend to be costly and often yield low conversion rates, while keywords with more than five words typically have low search volumes and may attract minimal or no traffic.

As an illustration, consider you’re running a Google Ad campaign for cowboy hats.

Starting with the keyword [hat] would result in overly broad targeting and higher costs.

Shifting to the keyword [cowboy hat] ensures a closer relevance between your cowboy hat ad and the landing page. Additionally, it reduces competition with advertisers who use broader terms like “hat.” For even more precise targeting, you can opt for longer keywords like [cowboy hat online], [leather cowboy hat online], and [online sale on cowboy hats].

Now, that’s an even better approach. Consider creating an ad group named “cowboy hat online” that incorporates these longer keywords, enabling you to display highly relevant ads aligned with a perfectly matching landing page. Such ad groups empower you to create more accurate and finely targeted advertisements.

If you’re not sure about your keyword list, you can use Influence Agency’s SEO services.

Conduct competitor keyword research

Conducting competitor keyword research is a crucial part of Google Ads optimization.

When you know the keywords your competitors are targeting, it becomes straightforward to determine which ones you should focus on, as well as which ones to avoid. This also allows you to create ads that will outdo your competitors.

Here’s a set of steps to conduct competitor keyword research:

Step 1: Identify your main competitors

If this data isn’t readily available, you can turn to search engine results pages to identify your main competitors. This includes both organic search results and those competitors who are actively bidding on your branded terms. It’s advisable to examine any “Top 10” lists associated with your product or service.

Step 2: Evaluate their keyword strategies

After identifying your main competitors, evaluate their keyword strategies. Tools like SEMrush or SpyFu can be highly effective for discovering the specific keywords your competitors are concentrating on.

Step 3: Compare your list of keywords to theirs

Compare your list of keywords to your competitors and find out if there are any keywords they are actively targeting that you have not included in your strategy, then target those keywords yourself.

Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) and Single Theme Ad Groups (STAGs)

 

SKAGs

Single Keyword Ad Groups, as the name suggests, involve establishing a distinct ad group for each keyword. While this approach enables precise targeting of Google ads and the monitoring of keyword performance, it can be misused.

It is advisable to employ SKAGs only when the search and conversion volumes require additional time and effort. Also, prevent the creation of conflicting SKAGs that may be perceived as close variants, as such actions can lead to confusion within the Google algorithm.

Without proper care, SKAGs can become quite challenging to manage. You must consistently monitor your search terms report to prevent unnecessary spending on irrelevant keywords, which can lead to extensive time spent managing negative keywords.

You may also segment your PPC campaigns to the point that it’s nearly impossible to draw meaningful insights or make effective adjustments for campaign tests or optimizations due to the low volume in each ad group.

SKAGs can be a valuable strategy when used for high-performing keywords that consume a significant portion of the ad budget and need to be isolated.

However, STAGs (Single Theme Ad Groups) is a more effective approach. STAGs allow the combination of related keywords, creating what Google would likely consider as close variants. This approach ensures a more comprehensive coverage of relevant terms while maintaining campaign efficiency.

Use Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs)

 

RLSAs

Enhance the effectiveness of your Search Network ads by incorporating Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs). RLSAs are a Google feature that enables you to integrate audiences of remarketing lists into your campaigns.

RLSAs focus on delivering tailored Google ads to individuals who have previously visited your website when they perform a search. This proves to be a highly efficient approach for reaching your desired audience and enhancing the performance of your PPC campaign. These users already possess a direct connection with your brand and are actively in search of solutions to their immediate issues.

When your broad match keywords are combined with a retargeting list, your reach is limited to people searching for that keyword who have previously visited your site. This increases your chances of connecting with a relevant audience.

Here are some key best practices to keep in mind:

  • The size of your remarketing list:  Your audience lists should contain a minimum of 1,000 users for targeting in search campaigns. However, using a larger list containing approximately 5,000 to 10,000+ users will likely yield better outcomes.
  • Duplicate your existing campaigns for RLSA testing: RLSAs should run alongside your existing campaigns, not replace them. Make a copy of your top-performing campaigns and run them as RLSAs alongside the originals.
  • Customize your ad copy and landing pages: To boost your conversion rate and ROI, customize your ad copy and landing pages that align with the interests and needs of the returning users on your remarketing list.
  • Bid adjustments: Bid adjustments offer a method to leverage the potential of RLSAs. You should be prepared to allocate a higher budget to re-engage existing customers or prospects compared to attracting a new, cold audience. A recommended starting point is to implement a bid increase of 20% to 30% for users on your remarketing list.
  • Track your results: It’s crucial to track your results and make necessary adjustments. This will maximize the benefits of RLSAs and help you achieve your intended objectives.
  • Prevent your remarketing list from being part of any non-RLSA campaigns that have RLSA versions: The purpose of creating RLSAs was to channel your remarketing traffic toward them. Avoid the scenario where remarketing list traffic infiltrates your non-RLSA campaigns, as this could lead to self-competition.

Match intent to your calls to action

call to action

 

To grasp the concept of keyword search intent, let’s begin by examining what a user aims to achieve when they enter specific queries. This is often referred to as “user intent” or “search intent.”

Search intent is why someone inputs a particular query into the Google search bar and their expectations regarding the response they’ll receive.

There are four types of search intent:

  • Navigational: Users seek a particular website, brand, or page.
  • Informational: Users seek general information about a specific topic.
  • Transactional: Users want to make a purchase in the very near future.
  • Commercial: Users are evaluating and deciding what best suits their personal or business needs.

As mentioned earlier, there’s the issue of a mismatch in search intent. This arises when a person conducting keyword research finds a keyword that appears relevant, but upon closer examination, it turns out that the person using that keyword is seeking something entirely different.

Understanding what a potential customer seeks when they use a specific keyword empowers you to create more effective content that caters to their requirements and aids them in achieving their goals. 

If someone is seeking information on a specific topic, your content should be informative and address their questions. If you aim to target these informational keywords in Google Ads, consider using resources such as blog posts, webinars, or downloadable materials.

If someone is going to make a purchase, your content should be persuasive and incorporate clear calls to action.

You can also consult Influence Agency for better ad content.

Focus on the right metrics

 

vanity metrics

Everyone likes good vanity metrics. They give us a sense of accomplishment and offer positive figures to showcase. However, it’s important to recognize that vanity metrics do not actually yield tangible results, and in the long run, they can be harmful to the performance of your advertisements.

They can make people seem unaware at times. For instance, they might show a high click-through rate (CTR) in your Google Ads, but what really matters is how many people take action and buy something.

To use your ad budget wisely, pay attention to meaningful metrics. Instead of counting clicks and views, focus on what really counts. The important metrics include how many people buy (conversions), how much it costs per purchase (CPA), the rate of people who buy after clicking (conversion rate), and the profit you make compared to what you spend (ROAS).

Target your best-performing locations

With geographic targeting, you can focus your Google ads on specific places or change your bids based on how well different locations respond to your message. You can cast a wide net by selecting entire countries or continents, or narrow it down to regions, cities, or even postal codes.

This can significantly enhance the performance of your PPC campaign. For instance, if your Google ads perform better with visitors in Phnom Penh compared to those in Siem Reap, you can make adjustments in your bids and targeting to suit that. Alternatively, if you don’t deliver products to Svay Rieng, you can choose to exclude that location.

Always double-check the advanced settings in your location campaign to make sure you’re targeting people who are actually in the chosen area, not just those interested in the area. There is an exception, though, for businesses like hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. If you want to reach people planning to visit a specific location, it’s okay.

Also, customize your Google ads for the areas that matter most to your business. Include local details, such as a nearby branch, contact number, or local sales representative, to help searchers connect with your local office quickly.

Use the In-Market Segments feature of Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a really useful tool that should be linked to your Google Ads account. It provides a lot of insights, more than just the usual numbers like bounce rate.

Now, after connecting both accounts, let’s see how you can use Google Analytics for more than just the basics. Start by logging into Analytics, click on the “Audience” tab, and head to “In-Market Segments.” This is where you’ll discover valuable data to help you make your campaigns better. Google divides your website visitors based on what they’re interested in buying. By looking at these groups, you can figure out how to reach the people you want.

Just set a goal for the result you want from your Google Ads campaigns and add it to this report. Look for the groups that have the highest success rates. Then, go to your Google Ads account, add these groups to your campaigns in the “Audience” tab, and increase your bid for them. This is how the In-Market Segments feature helps you increase your bids for audiences that have a higher chance of making a conversion. 

For instance, you might notice that those looking for “wool coat” are converting much better compared to the average conversion rate. In this case, include this audience in your campaigns and boost your bid by, let’s say, 15%. This means Google will increase your bids by 15% when it identifies a user from this audience.

Optimize Geolocation and Dayparting settings

Google Ads offers a strong ability to help advertisers reach specific potential customers. Yet, while Google’s targeting options are potent, it’s crucial to use them carefully and attentively to ensure your ads reach the right audience at the right moment and in the right location. 

While keywords are the main way to target in Google Ads, there are various other parameters that advertisers can utilize in their campaigns.

How to optimize your Geolocation Settings 

In Google Ads, advertisers have the ability to narrow down the locations where their ads appear. This doesn’t pertain to the ads’ position on search engine results pages but rather to the physical locations of potential customers when they perform their searches.

For instance, let’s consider a flower shop based in Phnom Penh. The shop primarily serves the Phnom Penh area. Given the shop’s local focus, it’s essential to configure geolocation targeting parameters to ensure that the ads are displayed to individuals who are currently located in or near Phnom Penh when they conduct their searches.

To adjust these settings, go to Google Ads and access your Campaign settings. You can do this by going to Settings > Location & Languages > Locations tab.

In this section, you can define the locations where you want your ads to appear. Begin by typing the name of the desired location in the appropriate field and then select it from the provided list. It’s important to note that you have the flexibility to target entire states or provinces, specific cities, individual zip or postal codes, and even particular airports.

For more precise targeting, you can also employ radius targeting. This enables you to specify that your ads should be displayed to users within a defined distance from a particular point, such as within a 20-mile radius of a specific city.

Businesses catering to specific regional markets should ensure their geolocation settings are accurately configured to maximize the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.

How to optimize your Dayparting Settings

In addition to configuring location preferences in Google Ads, you can also optimize the days and times for displaying your ads to potential customers. This is done by adjusting your dayparting settings, which can be accessed at the Campaign level through the Dimensions tab.

To access this information, go to View > Time > Day of the Week (you can also set specific time parameters by selecting Hour of the day). Here, you can view data regarding the most active days of the week in terms of Clicks, Impressions, Click-through rate, Average cost-per-click, and Cost.

To perform this, you’ll need to access your ad scheduling options, which are available through the Settings tab in your Campaign view. Then, select “Ad schedule” and click on the red “Ad Schedule” button. From there, you can designate the days of the week and times of day when you want your ads to appear.

When you combine dayparting settings with geolocation targeting parameters, you have a powerful method for precisely determining where and when your ads are presented to potential customers.

Use bid adjustments

 

bid-adjustments

Google’s bidding choices are highly detailed and complex, giving you a lot of control over how and when you place bids on your most valuable keywords. Because your bidding strategy directly influences how your ad budget is used, it’s crucial to adjust your bidding settings carefully.

You can manually handle bidding in Google Ads, or you can automate it using Google Ads scripts. For example, you can increase bids on keywords targeting mobile users or particular types of mobile devices, or decrease bids during specific time periods, among many other options.

Bid management is a crucial part of optimizing your Google Ads, and it’s worth noting that choosing the right bidding strategy isn’t just about using your budget wisely; it also significantly impacts your ad performance.

Remember that bid adjustments stack up, so their combined impact can become quite significant. I’ve come across accounts with bid adjustments exceeding 150% for each segment, and you can imagine how rapidly this can inflate the average CPC (Cost Per Click).

Negative bid adjustments can also accumulate, making it challenging to stay competitive in keyword auctions when multiple indicators overlap.

Bid adjustments are so complicated, right? Reach out to Influence Agency for the best advice so that you can manage bids better.

Add negative keywords and perform regular negative keyword audits

Negative keywords are like a shield for your ads. They help you avoid showing your ads when people search for certain terms that are not related or you don’t want. They act like a filter to make sure your ads are only seen by the right people and prevent you from wasting your budget on clicks that won’t convert. So, if someone searches for a phrase that includes a term you’ve marked as a negative keyword, your ads won’t appear.

Let’s say you’re running a PPC campaign for a fancy hotel meant for high-end customers. You might think about bidding on the keyword “hotel.” However, your goal isn’t to attract everyone searching for a hotel; you specifically want to reach people seeking luxury.

In this situation, you’d want to avoid showing your ads for searches related to budget or inexpensive stays. You can add words like “cheap” or “budget” to your list of negative keywords. By doing this, if someone looks for a “cheap hotel” or “budget hotel,” your ads won’t appear. This approach ensures that your ads are only displayed to users who are more likely to be interested in your luxury hotel offerings.

Running negative keyword audits in Google Ads is incredibly important for several key reasons:

  • Boost Ad Relevance: By saying “no” to keywords that aren’t related to your ads, you make sure your ads are seen by the right people. This means more clicks and better chances of turning those clicks into actual business.
  • Save Ad Money: Negative keywords stop your ads from appearing where they shouldn’t. This saves you money on clicks that won’t convert.
  • Get More Clicks: When your ads only show up for super-relevant searches, you’re more likely to get clicks. This can boost your Click-Through Rate (CTR), which Google cares about when figuring out how good your ads are.
  • Improve Quality Score: Google’s Quality Score is a metric that affects where your ad appears and cost per click (CPC). It considers how well your keywords match your ads and the landing page. When you use negative keywords to make this match better, you might raise your Quality Score.
  • Take Charge of Your Ads: Negative keywords give you control over who sees your ads. This helps you reach the right audience and stick to your marketing goals.

Normally, it’s a good idea to review your negative keywords about once a week. If you have a lot of traffic or you’ve just started a campaign, you might want to do it more often. And whenever you notice a big jump in traffic but no increase in revenue, it’s a sign that you should check your negative keywords too.

Consider using Google Search Partners

 

Google Search Partners

Google Search Partners are websites that partner with Google to display ads from the Google Search network. This means Google can show ads not only on its search result pages but also on other websites thanks to this partnership.

Deciding whether to use Google Search Partners isn’t easy. On the one hand, they can bring in a lot of cheaper traffic, but on the other hand, this traffic is often not as good.

The choice depends on what you’re aiming for and how your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign is doing. For instance, if you have a super successful campaign and you want more exposure, using Google Search Partners could be a good idea. However, if you care more about having high-quality traffic and your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is not good enough, then you might think about not using the search partner network.

Use relevant ad extensions

 

ad extensions

Ad extensions (assets) are like secret weapons that many PPC experts use to boost their campaigns. If you haven’t tried them or were unsure about using them, it’s a good moment to give them a try.

Ad extensions are like building blocks for your ad. They’re the bits of information that tell people why they should pick your business. These building blocks can be things like the headlines, descriptions, links to parts of your website, call buttons, where you’re located, and more. All these pieces fit together to create the ad that people see.

Many Google Ads have just a title and description, but you can gain an advantage over your competitors by taking full advantage of all the possible extensions. Including extra info like links to your website or phone number can make your Google Ads work better.

Here are a few ad extensions you should think about using:

  • Call extensions
  • Location extensions
  • Sitelink extensions
  • Price extensions

Ad extensions offer several advantages:

  • More clicks: Including extra info and links in your ad makes it more likely that customers will click on it.
  • Gain customer insights: When you add extra links to your Google ads, you can learn more about your customers and what interests them based on which links they click. This helps you refine your marketing strategies.
  • Better ad position: Ad extensions allow your ad to occupy more space on the search results page, which can boost your ad’s position and visibility while moving your competitors further down the page.

Keep an eye on Lost Impression Shares

Lost Impression Shares is a metric in digital marketing that tells you how many times your ads could have been shown but weren’t because your budget wasn’t sufficient.

There are two main reasons you might not reach as many people with your ads: it’s either because you didn’t bid enough or you ran out of budget.

  • Lost impression share due to budget means your money for ads ran out before the day ended.
  • Lost impression share due to bid means your ads were outbid by competitors in the Google auction, so their ads showed up instead of yours.
  • Lost impression share due to rank suggests that there’s room for improvement without spending more. Small changes like improving your ad’s wording to make it more relevant can help.

However, it’s not about just adding more money to your PPC campaign. You should assess how it’s doing compared to the rest of your account.

If it’s doing really well, it might make sense to give it more budget or increase your bid.

If it’s performing not so well, this could be a chance to make the campaign better by cutting out wasteful spending and concentrating your limited budget on the best-performing parts of the campaign.

If it’s not giving you good returns on investment (ROI), it might be best to close it down and use that budget in areas that have a better chance of making your investment pay off.

No matter which way you choose to handle it, it’s vital to keep an eye on what’s happening. You wouldn’t want your highest return on investment campaigns, like the brand campaign, to stop running every day at noon because of budget limits.

Monitoring Lost Impression Shares is not an easy job. You can choose to leave it to Influence Agency – the best marketing agency in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Review conversion settings

Set up conversion measurement as you create a new campaign - Google Ads Help

When you’re using Google Ads to track different actions, be careful to set up the right settings for each kind of action.

For instance, if you count the download of a PDF as a success, you probably only want to count one download per person. If the same person downloads it again later, you don’t want it to be counted as two conversions and make your campaign look better than it really is.

Here are the three main conversion settings you should check:

  1. Conversion count

When setting up conversion tracking, decide how many times a specific action should be counted. A general guideline is to count lead conversions just once, while purchase conversions should be counted every time they happen. 

  1. Conversion timeframe

You can choose a timeframe for tracking conversions, ranging from one week to 90 days. Adjust this timeframe based on how long it usually takes for a click to turn into a conversion. This helps you collect accurate data without letting unrelated actions falsely increase your numbers. 

For instance, a quick sign-up on a landing page might convert within a week, but a complex purchase might take up to 90 days. You don’t want the timeframe to be too short (missing data) or too long (where other sources influenced the conversion).

  1. Attribution model

Attribution models let you decide which clicks in a user’s journey get credit for driving the conversion you’re tracking. You can choose to credit the first click that introduced the customer to the brand or the one that sealed the deal.

If you have lots of data about conversions in your account, you can use Google’s Data-driven attribution model. This special model looks at how people interact with different ads before they become customers. It uses your account’s history to figure out which ads, keywords, and campaigns are most effective for your account.

If you want to compare these conversion models and see which one works best for you, just log into your account and check out the Model Comparison Report. It will show you the differences between the various attribution models.

  1. Conversion action sets

You can make use of conversion action sets to bundle several transactions together according to the campaign’s purpose. For instance, you want to track different types of conversions, like sales in different product categories. You can create a group of Lead Generation Conversions for top-of-funnel campaigns or a Purchase Conversion Set that combines various conversion actions.

Google Ads optimization checklist

I’ve gathered the optimization tips I discussed above and more into a convenient checklist. Use this checklist whenever you’re seeking ways to improve your campaigns.

Google campaign optimization priorities

Some campaigns need more attention than others. It’s a good idea to give different campaigns different importance levels. The higher the importance, the more you should dive deep into the details of the campaign, like dividing it into parts and deciding how to bid.

  • Priority 1: The most number of clicks or orders each month.
  • Priority 2: A moderate number of clicks and orders each month.
  • Priority 3: Campaigns with low volumes or campaigns that are not in their peak season.

Campaign level optimizations

Check how well the campaign is doing now

Examine how much money is spent, how many times people take action (like making a purchase), and other important numbers to see if they match what you hoped for. The numbers you should look at include cost, conversion, cost-per-conversion,  and conversion rates. It’s also good to know if there’s a limit to how much money can be spent each day. Divide the data by the kind of conversion action and look at different time periods (like since the campaign began, this year so far, the last 30 days, the last two weeks, or during the busy season) to understand how things change over time.

Check how well ads work on different devices

Look at how well ads do on computers, phones, and tablets. If it costs less to get results on phones than on computers, you might want to increase how much you’re willing to pay to show ads on phones and get more people using phones to see your ads.

Review audience demographics bid adjustments

Look at how well ads work for different groups of people and lower the amount of money you’re willing to spend on groups that don’t respond well, especially if those groups are not the ones you want to reach. Pay attention to age groups where there are enough views, clicks, or actions to really matter.

Review dayparting

Look at how well ads perform on different days and at different times, and change how much you’re willing to pay based on what the data shows. This is really helpful when you don’t want to spend more money but still want better results. You can cut back on showing ads during times that don’t work well and focus on times when they do. Once again, be sure there is enough spending, views, clicks, or actions to make a good decision. To figure out the right times, check the Day and Hour reports to see patterns.

Check your audiences

Check that you’re showing your ads to the right groups of people in the right campaigns. For instance, don’t show your ads to people who have already seen your ads before in another campaign. Also, avoid showing your ads to people who have already done what you want them to do, like booking a demo or signing up for a free trial. If your campaign is all about getting them to do those things, put them in a different campaign.

Adjust Network Settings

Take a look at the Network Settings. Usually, you should stick with the Google Search Network. But, for very focused campaigns like Brand campaigns and Search Remarketing, you can try adding Search Partners as a test. Keep in mind that you should review the results within a week to see if it’s worth keeping Search Partners in your campaign based on how well it’s doing.

Location settings

Look at how well your ads do in different places and adjust the bids accordingly. If you’ve made really big bid adjustments for almost every location, it’s usually better to lower those adjustments and change the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a click. Figure out where you sell more products or services to decide on bid adjustments for specific locations where people are more interested in your offerings.

Language settings

Choose the right language that matches the country, ads, and landing pages. For instance, if you have campaigns in Phnom Penh, you can use Khmer, and in China, you can use Chinese based on the audience you want to reach.

Bidding settings

Double-check that you’ve chosen the correct way to bid for your campaigns. It’s surprising how easy it is to overlook a simple setting like this, where a campaign meant to aim for a specific cost per action might end up targeting a certain impression share by mistake. Using the right bidding strategy can have a big impact on your results.

Start and End Date settings

Unless you’re running a short and quick promotional campaign, it’s usually best to have no end date set for your campaign. This way, the campaign won’t unexpectedly stop running when you’re not paying attention.

Conversions settings

Choose the right actions to track in your campaign. It could be something very specific like downloading a whitepaper, a group of custom actions like purchases and qualified leads, or general actions like all the conversions at the account level. Also, think about how long you want to track these actions and if you want to count each action every time a user does it, or just once. For valuable actions like purchases, it’s usually better to count every time. But for early-stage actions like gathering leads, you might want to count just one to avoid counting the same action multiple times if a user downloads multiple whitepapers or signs up for several webinars.

Ad Rotation settings

If you rely on Google’s data to improve your ads, choose the option to show the better-performing Google ads more often. But be cautious because this might lead to challenges in comparing two different ads in an A/B test. It could make one ad get most of the views before you have enough data to decide which one is truly better.

Optimization score

Check the suggestions provided to boost the optimization score of your campaign. Apply the ones that make sense and skip the ones that don’t. Keep in mind that Google’s advice is based on the data it has and what might benefit Google, not necessarily what’s best for you. So, it may suggest things that broaden your reach but may not necessarily improve your return on investment (ROI).

Budget

Check your current spending and make sure it’s not holding back campaigns that are doing well or meeting their desired return on ad spend (ROAS). Don’t rely only on the “Limited by Budget” label because it’s not always right.

Keyword level optimizations

Understand search intent

For popular keywords, especially if they’re not doing well, try searching for them on Google. See the results that Google shows to get an idea of what Google thinks people are looking for when they search that word. Check if it aligns with what you want those searchers to do.

Find new keywords

Check the words people are using to search and add the ones that make sense to your ad group, especially if they’re getting a fair amount of views and clicks (more than 10 clicks). Avoid using extremely long keyword phrases because they might not match again. Also, look at data from a longer time period, like 2 weeks or 30 days, to make good choices. If your campaign doesn’t get many views and clicks, you’ll need to look at data over an even longer time.

Review negative keywords

Look at the keywords that don’t fit and have spent money on clicks. You might want to check the last 60-90 days for this. Get rid of keywords that clearly have nothing to do with your campaign.

Also, remember to add the right unwanted keywords at the campaign level. If you don’t, they might just appear in another keyword group in that campaign.

Don’t worry too much about single clicks on very specific, low-cost keywords, or you’ll end up wasting time chasing them. Instead, find the common things and add the main keyword (like “how to”) that will get rid of a bunch of low-interest keywords.

Bid Management

If the return on ad spend (ROAS) is better than expected, increase the bids. If it’s not as good, lower the bids. Always check the performance over the last 21 days and adjust the bids.

Check Quality Score

Include the Quality Score column and pay attention to keywords with a lower score (anything less than 7 out of 10 needs attention). Quality score is influenced by the keyword, ad content, where the link leads, and how often people click. A higher score often means a lower cost for that keyword. But sometimes, this score might not change no matter what you do. So if you’ve tried everything and it’s still not improving, move on to the next task.

Ad level optimizations

  • Ongoing Ad Tests: Do you stop running Google ads that aren’t doing well and try new ones instead?
  • Create New Ad Tests: Should you begin testing new ads? Is there sufficient traffic, no ongoing tests, or have our competitors changed their tactics?
  • Test Promotional Ads: When you have promotions active, do you test with Google ads that match those promotions?
  • Check Ad extensions: Examine all ad extensions to ensure they are live and relevant. Sitelinks, Callouts, Structured Snippets, Locations, and Seller Ratings are some of the ad extensions you should make good use of.
  • Test Responsive Search Ads: With responsive search ads, you can craft an ad that adjusts to display additional text and tailor messages for your audience. When you create a responsive search ad, input multiple headlines and descriptions. As time passes, Google Ads will autonomously evaluate various combinations and identify the most effective ones.
  • Check Landing Pages: Click on the Google ads to ensure they lead to the anticipated destination. It’s surprising how frequently Google ads may have incorrect links, which can result in underwhelming performance.

Summary

Ready to improve your Google search campaigns? Let’s put what you’ve learned into action, make Google Ads better, get more visitors from keywords, boost sales, and see great outcomes. 

Begin by going into your Google Ads account and using our optimization tips for your ongoing campaigns. And don’t forget, Influence Agency is here to support you every step of the way when you need assistance with your Google Ads optimization. You can consider using Influence Agency’s Google ads services for the best results.

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Daneth RATANA
Daneth RATANA