If you are running a Google Ads campaign, make this year the time that you stop wasting your budget and start improving the profitability of your campaigns. For some time now, Google has added a ‘Recommendation’ feature to help people manage their own campaigns. A word of warning… these optimisations are not always in your best interest, so it is always best talking them through with an expert.
Let’s have a look at the key things you should focus on to improve the profitability of your Google Ad campaigns.
1. SKAGs – OUT, Intent – IN.
SKAG? What on earth is that, I hear you saying! SKAG stands for Single Keyword Ad Group, which used to be a very popular way of setting out a Google Ad campaign (we are talking a few years ago now though). As with everything in marketing, you need to be keeping up to date with the latest trends… if you are still using SKAGs it is about time you reviewed your campaign!
Now the tricky thing here is that Google does favour consistency within campaigns. So you need to find a balance between SKAGs and user intent. If you decide to include keywords related to your brand in your campaign, these should be grouped together as they will bring the best return on ad spend (ROAS). I tend to structure the rest of the campaign to follow the layout of my client’s website. This will naturally group similar keywords together, and it means you can alter bid adjustments if you are wanting to prioritise one service or product over another.
2. Declutter your campaign
If your account is crowded with lots of different campaigns, hundreds of different ads that haven’t been updated for months, and thousands of under-performing keywords, it can start to look a little overwhelming. Whilst it is a time-consuming exercise in the first instance, you really do need to take the time to remove any keywords which either have a low Quality Score, or aren’t bringing in conversions. Once you have gone through that list, time to attack your ad copy. Firstly look at those which have the lowest Click Through Rates and get rid of them. Then move onto those which have received low impressions and be brutal with those too!
There are a couple of reports within Google Ads to help you with this cleansing process too – the Quality Score report and the Search Query report. The latter will help to analyse the search terms that trigger your ads to be shown in search engine results pages.
3. Add budget to your strengths
Often people think that if you increase your ad spend, you should increase the number of keywords within your campaign. Now that isn’t to say this is a bad strategy, but the best way to approach this is to double down on your strengths. What I mean, is you need to make sure your highest performing keywords have sufficient budget first. You should have the maximum market share on the keywords that are most profitable for your business.
Impression share is a key metric to measure here. If you are losing impressions due to budget, you are missing out on lots of opportunities for your product or service to be shown to potential customers. You may not have enough budget to achieve 100% impression share across all of your campaigns, but try focusing on the top 10 keywords to begin with, before you start adding new ones.
4. Engaging ad copy is essential
Ad copy is often very underrated when it comes to Google Ad campaigns. A user is exposed to so many ads each day, you need to really focus on how yours are going to stand out in the crowd. Like with most aspects of marketing, it is important to regularly test and measure your ad content.
The secret to optimising your ads is the power of statistics. Of course you never know which of your ads are going to perform best, but you can test your best guesses. The magic number is between 3 and 5. Any more ads that that within each ad group and you will not be able to effectively test them. The best thing to do is look at those ads which have the highest Click Through Rate (CTR), and work on improving those. Pause any which have a low CTR and make sure you are always sticking to the 3-5 rule. Oh, and if you are testing ads like this – remember to change your ad rotation settings so they are showing evenly and Google isn’t doing its own testing!
5. Spend smarter, not necessarily more
Google is playing catch-up with Facebook when it comes to the user-centric approach. As well as making sure your budget is allocated to keywords and placement levels, demographics are also important. User data is gathered within Google Analytics, as well as data from previous search queries. The best way to approach user profiles is to make bid adjustments to your most valuable target audience. This can include data such as socio-demographics, time of the day, day of the week, geography and devices used.
So there you have it, the top 5 ways that you can improve the profitability of your Google Ad campaigns. The key to having a highly-performing Google Ads account is regular maintenance, so after you have done all of this hard work don’t neglect your campaigns again for months!