Spend Less, Gain More By Maximising Your Google Ads ROI
Guest Post: Contributed by Karen Dauncey.
Google Ads can be a minefield when you first start out. However, these tips will help you work out whether this platform is right for your business and help you to optimise your campaign to boost website traffic, attract the right customers and maximise your returns.
If you haven’t started with Google Ads using Google Ads, then you need to know how they work. Google Ads put your ad at the top of the Google search page or Google Maps at the exact moment that someone looks online for products or services like yours using highly targeted, specific keywords.
A searcher searches. Your ad pops up. Click, convert, cha-ching!
OK, so it may not be as easy as that every time, but the stats do show that if a Google Ads campaign is managed optimally, the ROI can be significant.
So, let’s start optimising your account.
1. Keyword Research
First up, it’s important to do thorough keyword research to ascertain whether the keywords you have chosen are actually used by searchers. You’ll be surprised at how far off the mark some people are. Choosing the right keywords are fundamental to the success of you Google Ads campaign so choose carefully and look for keywords that really do describe the products or services you offer.
- Choose two or three-phrase keywords that accurately describe your niche business
- What is the keyword intent behind searches? Think about what someone is really searching when they use these keywords. Type them into Google and see if similar businesses to yours come up.
- Are people actually searching for your chosen keyword phrases? Make sure you do some keyword research, I recommend the low-cost Keywords Everywhere or a free trial of SEMRush to get you started.
2. Keyword match types
I would highly recommend not using broad match keywords, the challenge is that Google will often serve your ads for keywords that aren’t closely related to your business when you use broad match keywords. I would focus on phrase match and exact match keywords in your ads to ensure that Google generally serve your ads for the most relevant keywords that really describe your business.
3. Choose your network carefully
Another important consideration is your network choice. Choose Search Network if you only want people to find your business when they’re using a search engine and typing in keywords, but if you want a broader reach and show your ads to customers as they browse sites, videos and apps, then consider the Display Network. If you go down this road, remember to run your ad in a new campaign.
4. Check your search terms report to find new keywords
If you’re running Google Ads but aren’t using Google’s Search Terms Report, now is the time to start. This report is one of the most valuable and versatile tools for keyword research and it is really easy to use. It tells you what keywords people are using to find your ad plus it tells you which terms generate the most traffic. You can also customise the data by date range and use the information to focus on those keywords which matter to your customers.
5. Check you search terms report to add negative keywords
You can also use the search terms report to identify the keywords you don’t want your business to show up for. The search terms report will show a list of all the keywords being used in your campaign and you will see keywords in this list that aren’t relevant to your business, you can then add keywords that aren’t relevant to your negative keyword list. The negative keyword list tells Google not to show your ad when they’re used by a searcher (ie when the audience isn’t interested in your business) which means they can save you money on clicks that you don’t want.
6. Structure your Google Ads account properly
Remember to group very similar keywords into the same adgroup, create different adgroups for different keywords so that you can personalise the messaging in the ad so that it’s appropriate to the keywords in that particular adgroup. Where possible use the keywords your are targeting in the ad text wherever possible. Your number one priority is the user, however, always be mindful of what they want rather than what you want when creating your ads.
7. Use ad extensions
Another of my tips for optimising your Google Ads campaign is to make use of ad extensions. These extensions add more information to your Google Ads, making the ad larger and increasing the chances of someone clicking on your ad, which also helps improve your quality score which helps to lower your cost per click. Sitelink Extensions, Callout Extensions, Call Extensions, Location Extensions and Structured Snippet Extensions are among the most popular sitelinks, but it’s worthwhile exploring all available opportunities.
8. Measure your results
Lastly, I always urge anyone running Google Ads to measure their results. If you don’t know how your campaign is going, it’s likely you’re missing out on conversions and wasting money.
Your starting point is setting up Google Analytics, linking it to your Google Ads account and then importing your goals into Google Ads. Once your campaign is up and running, you should evaluate its performance against the following important metrics:
- Click-through rate
- Bounce rate
- Average pages per visit
- Variations between ad groups (check the CTR between adgroups so you can see which keywords ae generating the most interest).
A click-through rate of less than 1% usually indicates that your keywords are too broad or your average position is too low and a bounce rate above 60% should alert you to make sure you keywords are sufficiently targeted and to check your search terms report. As mentioned earlier, Google’s Search Terms Report is an excellent source of information – and you should use it regularly to make sure you’re on the right track with your keyword match types.
When it comes to identifying the best quality traffic, the average pages per visit and the variations between the ad groups will give you a good idea of how your keywords are performing.
Karen Dauncey has over 17 years of experience as an SEO & Google Ads Specialist. She is the director and founder of Blue Cherry Online Marketing and specialises in helping businesses get found online using Google using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Google Ads.