Google Ads accounts can be temperamental beasts at the best of times and right now, where online businesses are seeing an excellent opportunity for growth, optimisation of your accounts becomes more crucial than ever before. Is your ad account still getting the attention it deserves or is furlough putting your marketing potential on the back burner?
Marketing during the current climate is more important than ever before. People cannot get out to bricks and mortar stores to make purchases and more people than ever before are turning to the internet and eCommerce solutions to make their purchases – DON’T GET LEFT BEHIND!!
We have seen very significant increases in conversions for our eCommerce clients over the past four weeks, and this has been down to how involved we continue to be in ensuring all the accounts we manage continue to be optimised. We also see gains in performance due to competitor accounts no longer being optimised, potentially due to the furloughing of internal or agency staff who manage these Google Ads accounts.
We are also starting to see an influx of new advertisers on Google Ads who have previously focused primarily on bricks and mortar store sales. New digital advertisers currently have a slight advantage over seasoned advertisers who are not currently optimising their accounts. For new advertisers, it is also vital to ensure you optimise your ad accounts regularly.
The Google Ads platform, or any other digital marketing platform, should never be seen as a “set and leave” project. Each platform is an engine that requires fine-tuning and servicing at regular intervals.
Having a remote agency managing your Google Ads accounts can be the ideal solution for your business. With remote staff who are already setup to manage and optimise accounts from home, your marketing efforts can be used to the full advantage of your business and boost sales and leads during these challenging times.
If your staff or your partner agency staff are currently furloughed, do you know what is happening with your Google Ads account right now? Is your performance starting to drop? Would you like to maximise your online potential when unable to drive sales through your store(s)? Are new features needed, but you have no way of doing it? Speak to our team today, we’re not going anywhere and will be able to help.
Maybe you’re new to digital marketing and are worried about keeping up with the pace, then speak to our expert team who can manage and optimise your account to ensure you get the most return for your budget. In these challenging times, it is imperative to utilise your capital in the best manner for the business’s future. We specialise in minimising wasted ad spend and maximising conversions.
Some of the critical areas to watch for with your Google Ads account and to regularly optimise are:
1. Ad Account Structure
An ad account’s structure can make or break your performance and account manageability.
Firstly, consider if your ad account structure makes sense? A best practice here is to ensure the structure of your ad account matches the structure of your website. Your campaigns are the foundation level of your ad account. You then become more granular as you move down through the building and managing your ad groups, keywords and ads.
Consider which campaigns are most important to your business and which generate the highest profit when deciding on each campaign’s budget.
You should also put thought into the reach available for each campaign – is this a widespread interest or more niche and limited? A negative we see on many ad accounts is when campaigns are not given enough budget to reach an intended audience. On the flip side, some campaigns are assigned too much budget for the potential targeted reach available, and this also can hinder your budget usage.
Ensure you choose the right tools for your business by selecting the more relevant marketing goal for your investment. Various goals require different campaign types and settings.
Ultimately, a poorly structured Google Ads account can lead to a poor Quality Score. A poor quality score has a knock-on effect on many other aspects of your account performance, from paying higher CPCs through to not gaining the volume of impressions or clicks that you deserve.
2. Keyword Search Terms Report
This is a powerful tool for advertisers and shows all search terms that have been entered into Google to trigger one of your ads to serve. From here, you can see which relevant terms you can add to the appropriate ad group and which are irrelevant terms you can add to your negative keyword lists.
The Keyword Search Terms Report is where you can see if your targeting is working – a high volume of relevant search terms means you are on the right tracks. However, a high amount of irrelevant search terms would point to a poorly set up ad account. Search Terms Reports should be viewed and analysed regularly to keep up to date with what wording people are using to find you.
3. Negative Keywords
Never underestimate the power of this feature. Negative keywords will provide you with the opportunity to filter some of the wasted spend from your Google Ads campaigns. They are a tool to be used to ensure your ads don’t appear in the results for searches that are not highly relevant for your business.
One example could be that you are selling fashion trainers and not sports trainers. You would want to ensure that you only show for fashion trainer search terms and not terms including words such as “tennis” or “running” etc… You would, therefore, include these terms as negative keywords to ensure that your ads do not show for searches with these and any other irrelevant terms. As advertisers are charged per click, you need to ensure that you maximise the number of relevant clicks and minimise the potential of spending budget on irrelevant clicks.
4. Geolocation Targeting
This is an often overlooked area within Google Ads. You may well have set up your account and selected the United Kingdom as your target location, but if you did nothing else, it is worth looking more in-depth to ensure this is working for you.
Within the Google Ads platform, you can see the user location of each impression and click your ads have achieved. This report needs to be checked to ensure you are only gaining impressions and clicks from your target location(s). If you see other locations included in the report, then this needs to be fixed as you could be damaging your quality score and will most certainly be losing money.
Another aspect to focus on with location targeting is whether or not you are targeting a country as a whole or if you have a more granular approach. A granular approach to this can provide you with more capability to focus on areas where you know your products or services are likely to do well and to exclude locations you do not serve. The Google Ads platform has powerful targeting tools to benefit your business. However, they all require significant care and attention to be taken at every step to minimise wasting your marketing budget.
5. Ad Scheduling
This feature is ideal for businesses who have a peak in sales or leads at a specific time of the day or on particular days. You can set specific time and day groupings to focus your ad spend in the right areas. By segregating times of the day (of which you can segment different times for different days, for example, using different times on a Saturday and Sunday compared to Monday or Tuesday), you can enhance your targeting further.
Once you have your ad scheduling setup, you will then need to maintain the performance and relevance of your targeting to make your ad budget work. By segmenting the campaign and ad group data by time, you can see where patterns will be emerging. From here, you can then place bid adjustments to increase or decrease your CPC bids depending on the anticipated gains to prioritise particular days and times.
By combining your location targeting with ad scheduling, you have a powerful method to refine where and when your ads show and budget is used.
6. Keyword Bids
So, now you have your ad account in a great position and have only keywords that are highly relevant and likely to convert, does that mean you leave it to run? The answer here is no. Like each Google Ads element, you now need to focus your time and attention on yet another spinning plate.
The keywords that perform best for your campaigns should be seen as your most valuable ones. You should aim to have bids on these that keep you at or near the top of the search results. As you will be updating your account, so will your competitors, so you need to keep a close eye on keyword bids to be sure that they continue to be competitive.
Google Ads generates a considerable amount of data. The reasons for this are so that marketing experts can analyse and optimise. Device bid adjustments play a significant part in the success and failure of a Google Ads account.
By segmenting the data by device, you are able to see where your money is being spent and where your sales are coming from. It might be that you are spending more on desktop traffic but gaining more sales through your mobile traffic. Device bid adjustments can be put in place so you can decrease your bids on desktop and increase bids on mobile so you can gain more benefit from your budget and reduce the spend you were previously wasting on poorly performing devices.
Please still keep in mind that while the data in itself may look like a particular device is not performing well, you should also be looking at your cross-device conversion data. Cross-device conversions occur when somebody has used one device to initially find your products or services and then becomes a customer on another device. By switching off the bidding power on a particular device, you need to be sure it will not have a knock-on effect on your overall performance.
8. Ad Copy Optimising
This is one of the most indispensable aspects of your Google Ads account, so should be given the time and effort that it requires. Your ads are the first impression that many people will have of your business and brand, so you must have ads that are relevant to what you are selling and drive interest from your potential customers. People want to know that a website can fulfil their requirements before they click on it (this is the same for paid and organic results).
Put yourself in a potential customer’s shoes. Think about the imagery or text of your ad; does it explain what is available and who your business is? Ad copy is not always the place for fancy marketing terminology; quite often, simple works best.
Website users want to find what they are looking for both quickly and easily. If you provide them with this through your marketing and website, then there is a good chance you will have a new customer very soon.
Never leave your ads as they are, regularly look at your worst performing ads against your best ads, think about the differences and create new ads to replace the worst performing ones.
Ad refreshing should be a regular activity that is carried out on any Google Ads account and is relevant across every area of the platform, search, display, shopping, video – these should all be updated regularly to keep things fresh.
I’m sure you get bored with seeing the same advert over and over again, well it’s the same for digital ads too. People can see these more often than traditional marketing adverts, so it is even more important to freshen up your approach as often as possible.
While mentioning the ads themselves, it is also wise to view your ad extensions. Are they all relevant? Do you have enough of them? Do they add anything to your ad? Ensure you have the ad extensions that are likely to improve performance. Slight changes can have a huge impact on the click through rate.
There are still so many questions that I haven’t answered here and so much time & effort needed to maintain a Google Ads account, but please don’t let your digital marketing campaigns fall by the wayside during these challenging times.
In the current situation, where there is a risk that your ad account might not be getting the attention it deserves due to staff being furloughed, your ad account performance can easily slip away. With people being limited in their movements and ways to buy, eCommerce provides a prime opportunity to provide the population with the goods they desire.
Now is the time to increase your marketing efforts and indeed not the time to stop marketing.
Consider if you know how your account is being managed. If managed by a marketing agency, do you understand enough about the platform to recognise which areas you should be looking at to know if things are being done to optimise your performance?
If you are unsure, especially during the current times where staff are on furlough, please reach out to our expert team for a FREE Google Ads audit that will be carried out by an ex-Googler. Get under the hood of your ad account and understand if your budget is being maximised and unlock the potential your business has with the right Google Ads management.