The Return on Investment (ROI) is crucial to any business. You want to be making as much profit as possible and you certainly don’t want to be making a loss on your advertising nor wasting any of your paid media budget either.
Google’s own published documents used to say that Search Ads campaigns converted at less than 3% on average, whilst Display Ads converted below 0.5%. They have since been taken offline, but given that it’s getting more expensive to run Google Ads campaigns year-on-year it’s crucial that you make the most of your budget.
This means that you need to optimise your account, refine your targeting and improve your ad creatives to get the best Return on Investment for your Google Ads spend. Here are my tips to help you do just that:
Landing Page Optimisation
The real ROI is in your landing page. It’s all well and good having great click-through rates on your ads, but if users aren’t converting then you are wasting your money.
If you are paying £2 per click in Google Ads and are converting one in every 100 visitors, then you’re paying £200 per conversion. If you optimise your landing pages so that you are getting a 5% conversion rate, you have brought the Cost per Conversion down to £40. This is not uncommon in the first month of me bringing on a new client and creating dedicated landing pages for their search campaigns.
Continually run A/B tests on your landing pages so you can increase your Conversion Rate further. Tests can be on the positioning of your product or contact form, your call to actions, the content on your page in relation to your Ad Copy, among other factors.
Page load speed and mobile optimisation are also crucial and often overlooked. At the time of writing this blog, my website has a score of 90 on Mobile and 100 on Desktop using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, to give you an idea how serious I take it.
Your page loading time is particularly important for mobile users as statistics show that users will instantly leave your site if it is slow. In that case you’ve essentially paid for a user to be on your website for a handful of seconds.
Organise Your Keywords into Tightly-Themed Ad Groups
One reason I’ve seen Google Ads accounts fail is because various keywords have been stuffed into a single ad group. By doing this, your ads aren’t going to be relevant to all of your keywords. This will result in missing out on potential traffic that could turn into customers, irrelevant traffic coming to your website, and low Quality Scores that result in paying higher CPCs than you need to.
I make sure my clients’ accounts have tightly-themed ad groups, which does include Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs). This allows me to make the ads as relevant as possible to the keywords, meaning the users are more likely to clickthrough to the website. And with the landing page optimisation implemented as per the previous bullet point, it usually results in a high conversion rate too.
Tightly-themed ad groups result in a significantly higher CTR, higher Quality Scores, lower CPCs and a higher Conversion Rate.
Increase Quality Score
The Google Ads Quality Score is on a scale of 1-10. The higher your score the cheaper you pay per click, thus effecting your overall Return on Investment.
Google determines your keywords’ Quality Score on three factors:
- Ad Relevance
- Click-Through Rate
- Landing Page Experience
You can customise your columns at keyword level to see how well your keywords perform in each of these rankings, as well as your Quality Score for each.
The absolutel minimum score you should be looking for is a 7, but there’s no reason why the majority of your keywords shouldn’t be a 10/10 if you’ve optimised your account and landing pages.
Ad Relevance is related to the bullet point above and running tightly-themed ad groups so that you can include your keywords in the Headlines and Descriptions of your ads. Ad assets such as Sitelinks, Callouts and Structured Snippets also have an impact on your ad relevance.
Your Click-Through Rate counts towards your Quality Score. Again, having relevant ad copy to what the user is searching for is crucial here, as well as making your ad copy jump out and attract the users’ attention. Remember, there are up to 4 ads that display at any one time. Adding negative keywords can help increase your CTR greatly too – more on that shortly.
And the Landing Page Experience score is a measure of how relevant and useful the page is that you send your users’ too for the search term they typed into Google. Keep your messaging consistent from the ad to the landing page. Make sure that your page follows through on the ads’ offer. Page loading speed and ease of navigation are also factors, as well as making your website mobile-friendly.
Add Negative Keywords
With Exact and Phrase Match keywords getting more broader by the year, it’s never been so essential to keep on top of the search terms that your ads are appearing for.
This is easy to do for Search and Shopping campaigns, but not something you can do for either Display nor Performance Max unfortunately. Which is why I recommend that eCommerce sites run a Shopping campaign even if they were only planning on going with Pmax.
By adding negative keywords you will reducing the number of irrelevant users that have clicked through on your ad. I recommend checking your Search Terms reports on at least a weekly basis, but more frequently for larger and newer campaigns.
Monitor Keyword Performance & React
Keep a close eye on your keyword-level performance data. From impressions, clicks, CTR, conversions, and cost per conversion.
Single out underperforming keywords and either adjust bids, adjust the ad copy, check the Search Terms’ report, optimise the landing page, or ultimately, pause, them.
100+ clicks and 0 conversions doesn’t always require pausing immediately. Ensure that you check the users’ search journey. Does the ad copy match their intent? Does the landing page match the messaging in the ad? Does your page follow through on the ads’ offer? What is the checkout process like?
Adjust Bids Based on Performance
Monitor your campaign performance at ad group and keyword level and adjust your bids accordingly. This can be done whether you’re using manual or automated bid strategies.
Manuel bidding goes without saying that you can adjust all of your keyword bids on an individual basis. For automated strategies, you can set a maximum CPC, Target CPA or Target ROAS to keep on top of what you are paying for on average for each of your clicks.
Keywords that are converting at a higher Cost per Acquisition (CPA) than your target need to be optimised, whilst focusing on those keywords that are converting well should be your priority. This means making sure you are getting as higher Impression Share as possible for your best performing keywords.
Run Ad Scheduling
Ad Scheduling, also known as dayparting, is a feature in Google Ads that allows you to control when your ads are displayed throughout the day and/or week. This means that you can show your ads during the most effective times, potentially leading to better results and a higher return on investment (ROI).
To determine when those best times are you may need to run your ads 24/7 to begin with and then look at the reports to work it out. When your goal is phone calls then you only want your ads to appear during hours that you can answer the calls.
Ad Scheduling can be set up at campaign level. Your business may convert best during 9-5 for example. In this case, you should be looking to increasing your budget and/or bids during these hours. You can also use this feature to reduce your bids or even pause them entirely during times and/or days when you have poor CPAs.
Refine Audience Targeting
The Audiences tab allows you to reach specific groups of people based on their demographics, interests, behaviours, or previous interactions with your website or app. This means you can serve your ads to more relevant potential customers, which can lead to higher engagement, conversions, and return on investment.
Demographics are based on age brackets, gender, parental status and household income. This allows you to reach users who fall within specific demographic segments that align with your target market.
Affinity audiences are those who have demonstrated a long-term interest in particular topics or hobbies. They are based on users’ browsing behaviour and can help you target people who Google believe are likely to be interested in your product or service.
In-market audiences target users who are actively researching or planning to purchase products or services similar to yours. They are determined based on users’ recent browsing history, indicating that they are further along the buying funnel and potentially more likely to convert.
Custom intent audiences can be created based on a combination of keywords, URLs, and apps related to your products or services. These audiences help you target users who are actively researching or planning to purchase specific products or services that you offer.
Remarketing audiences reach users who have previously interacted with your website or app, such as by visiting your site or adding items to their shopping cart. These visits can be via Google Ads itself or what you have collected in Google Analytics – ie Organic, Social Media etc. Remarketing campaigns allow you to re-engage with these users and potentially convert them into customers.
Customer match allows you to upload an email list of your customers to Google Ads and target these users across Google Search, YouTube, and Gmail. This allows you to serve personalised ads to existing customers or exclude them from your campaigns if you’re looking to acquire new customers.
Need help increasing your ROI from Google Ads? Get in touch today and I will be glad to help.