Methods of advertising have changed dramatically over the years, as technology has progressed the way we interact with our target audiences has changed too. Advertising has adapted massively, and we no longer rely on a printing press or newspaper ads to get our message to the public. Instead, there are more modern marketing methods available now, such as radio, TV – and what is often considered the most effective – the world wide web.
As more and more companies have taken their businesses online over the years, the need to advertise effectively to users who are browsing online has become more and more prominent. In this digital age where UK residents make 80% of their purchases online, it is fundamental that businesses have a prolific online presence. One of the most important tools in an online retailer’s arsenal is a fully optimised, high-performing, and profitable PPC account.
With platforms such as Google Ads at your disposal, you can begin to take your online business to the next level. But wait… what can you do to make your paid ads work best for you? Read on to find out more!!
As with many aspects of a business, organisation is key, and your PPC accounts are no exception. Having a strong and clear structure for your account is the foundation for success, as without one your account can end up with a jumbled mess that isn’t performing to the best of its ability. To use an example, if you are building a house, it is vitally important to get the foundations right. Without a strong and stable foundation, you’re going to end up with problems in the future. And the same goes for your Google Ads account.
To make a start on building your foundations, you first need to decide what you are looking to achieve from Google Ads. Once you have decided what your main goals are, you can then look to make a start on building your first campaign. Within the campaign settings you will be able to make informed decisions on how your campaign is going to run. Are you wanting to target users nationally, internationally, or just locally? Are you wanting to target users who speak a specific language? Do you want to set your keyword bids manually or do you want Google to adjust these automatically? And most importantly, how much budget are you willing to spend on your campaign per day?
Your ad groups are what creates the structure within your campaign. They are usually organised by theme or by search term and they are used to control the association between keywords and ads. Your ad groups are going to contain your keywords, so it is important to make sure you have done your research. Your instincts will only get you so far with this, so it is recommended that you use the tools on offer that are going to help you with this. For example, the keyword planner that can be found in your Google Ads account can provide you with keyword suggestions and search volumes to ensure you’re going to be using keywords that are going to work for you.
Your bid is going to tell Google how much you are willing to pay every time a user clicks on your ads, this will then determine your ad position and the cost you per pay click. There are two types of bidding methods, one of which is manual bidding and allows you to have full control over your bids. If you are wondering where to start with this, some good metrics to look at would be how much the cost per click is to be in position one and what the cost per click is to be top of page. With these two metrics you can decide what you would be comfortable with and then adjust accordingly when needed.
Automatic bidding can prove to be beneficial when setting up a new campaign as it allows Google to determine your max CPC bids, enabling you to keep an eye on the data whilst getting an idea of how much your clicks are costing. Using the Maximise clicks bidding strategy means that Google will try and achieve as many clicks as possible with your budget. Always make sure you add a max CPC bid limit so that Google doesn’t exceed what you are willing to pay for a click.
So, you have the initial background work all sorted, but now it is time to set up the part that your users are actually going to see, the all-important ad text. Ad text needs to contain a clear and concise message that is going to entice users to click on your ad. If your ad is misleading, users are likely to jump off your site, so it is important that you get your ad text right. What’s more, creating keyword-relevant ad text with a clear message and call to action is more likely to lead to a conversion.
Carrying out A/B testing on your ads is a fundamental part of ad text creation as it allows you to see which type of ad text and what messages are driving users to click on your ad. This then gives you the information you need to improve your ad copies further. There are plenty of things you could test out when writing ad copies. If you offer free delivery, mention that in one of your ads to see if this improves click through rate. Also, try to mention price points within your ads as this can help to encourage clicks on your ads and allows you to weed out users who are unlikely to purchase at that price.
The last part of creating successful ad copy is your final destination URL as it is essential to make sure that you’re sending users to the most relevant page on your site. For example, if a user has searched for a ‘red backpack’ and you have the option of sending them to your main category page or product page, choose the latter. This would mean you’re sending people to exactly what they’ve searched for and the landing page relevancy of the ad is going to be higher.
Now your campaign is set up, you’re ready to go and the sales should start flooding in, right? Wrong… getting your campaign structure right is only the beginning. There’s much more you can do to make sure your account is performing well.
Ad extensions are an excellent way of making your ad stand out from the crowd whilst increasing click through rate. An ad extension is an extra snippet of information that is relevant to your business and can include your location, phone number (including a click to call function on mobile devices), and ratings. It also allows you to showcase your USP’s such as free delivery, free returns, or a money-back guarantee.
Monitoring your search term reports and adding negative keywords is an ongoing process. By keeping on top of this you will see a reduction in costs and an improvement in results, especially if you are using the less restrictive keyword match types. It doesn’t take long for an AdWords account to spend a lot of money on searches that have no relevance to your business, especially when these aren’t being monitored regularly. You can be as granular with negative keyword implementation as you want, with the option to add negative keywords at ad group, campaign, and account level.
Before you decide whether a keyword has poor performance, you need to make sure that it has been in the account long enough to gather the relevant data needed to make this decision. If it has only been running for a couple of days, give it some more time to accrue some data before you consider pausing this. Before you pause a keyword, make sure you carry out some investigation as to why it may not be performing very well; could it be that the bid is not high enough? To check this, take a look at what the CPC is to rank in position one. If your bid is noticeably lower than this try and increase the bid to see if you can achieve a higher ranking position.
Another regular problem that can occur with keywords is that they can often be flagged as being low search volume. This can be due to the keyword being long tailed or users just aren’t searching for this specific term. Alternatively, a keyword can be too broad, which means it is appearing for searches but isn’t actually relevant for them. This means your ad accrues impressions but not clicks, which will have a negative effect on your click through rate and quality score.
As well as the optimisation that we have highlighted above, there are many other things you can be doing to improve your account performance.
The device section within AdWords gives us some great insight as to how our ads are performing across different devices and also allows us to optimise for this. For example, if your mobile users are converting well and providing a low cost per conversion, then we could look to increase bids on mobile as we are confident that these users are receiving a good user experience. However, if we were to see that desktop users were clicking on to our ads yet aren’t converting, we could not only look to decrease bids on computers, but it also could mean that there is an issue with the desktop site. Page speed could be an issue, or maybe the user journey isn’t as smooth on computers as it is on mobile meaning that users are dropping off before taking the time to purchase.
Do you find that conversions cost more in particular locations? Or do you find that a particular city or town converts higher than the others? If so, location bid adjustments could be a great way to make the most of this information. With the option to increase or decrease bids in certain areas, you can make sure that you are spending money in places that are going to be more profitable to you.
Ad scheduling allows you to show your ads when your account is performing the best. Not only can you put bid decreases and increases on particular times of the day or days of the week, you can also stop your ads showing completely. For example, if you are wanting to get as many calls as possible through to your business but you are only available to take those calls 9-5 Monday to Friday, then you can make sure that your ads only appear during these times. This means you aren’t spending money on days of the week or times of the day that aren’t profitable to you.
Once you have data coming through your campaigns, it is important that you adjust and optimise your account data accordingly. An important metric to consider within your Google Ads campaigns is impression share. This is the number of impressions your ads have received divided by the amount of impressions you could be eligible to receive. If you have a keyword that isn’t performing well but it only has a 20% impression share, this means that there is a lot more traffic out there that your ads could be relevant for. A lot of Google Ads users can be too quick to pause what they class as an underperforming keyword before taking the time to investigate why it isn’t working. Always make sure you take the time to analyse your impression share data properly before making any quick-fire decisions.
With this guide you should be able to go forward and start making the most from your Google Ads account. However, if you want to take your account to the next level and take advantage of our excellent industry expertise make sure you get in touch with our team of qualified Google Ads experts and see what we can do to help you!