BLOG How to Properly Optimize Your Google Ads

Published: Jul 9, 2024 11 min read
Reading Time: 11 minutes

What’s the first thing you do when curiosity strikes? That’s right — you Google it. And now that you have a business and are offering products or services, you want said products or services to appear on that search. Therefore, you begin your Google Ads journey. But simply using Google Ads isn’t enough — you need to optimize your campaigns to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness. This blog will walk you through the essential steps to properly optimize your Google Ads, helping you achieve better results and higher returns on investment.

Why Google Ads Optimization Matters

google ads

Google Ads is a useful advertising tool, but without proper optimization, your campaigns probably won’t deliver the desired results. Optimization ensures that your ads are reaching the right audience, at the right time, with the right message. For digital marketers, this means not only improving click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates but also maximizing the return on ad spend (ROAS). A well-optimized campaign can significantly enhance your brand’s visibility and lead generation efforts.

Understanding Google Ads Basics

Before diving into optimization techniques, it’s essential to understand the basics of Google Ads and its key features. Google Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) platform where advertisers bid on keywords. The goal is to display their ads on search engine results pages (SERPs) and across the Google Display Network. Key features include:

  • Keyword Targeting: Selecting relevant keywords that potential customers are likely to use. Think broad (e.g. “commercial hvac”) before going granular (e.g. “emergency hvac service nyc”).
    • PRO-TIP: Broad keywords will be more competitive to get top rankings. Granular keywords will be less competitive, but approach with caution; make sure there is a search volume (demand) before moving forward with the keywords.
    • PRO-TIP: Use tools like Ubersuggest or Google Keyword Planner to brainstorm a list of initial keywords. Upon determining a list of keywords, you can use these tools to see monthly search volume, competition status, CPC (depending on which tool you use), and average bid prices for first page rankings.
  • Ad Copy: Writing compelling text to generate search queries and attract clicks.
    • One effective way to do so is to touch upon pain points before offering solutions and concluding with a strong CTA.
      • E.g.: A company selling skincare products can touch upon acne/other skin ailments before pitching how the product helps users, before concluding with a “Buy Now!”
      • E.g.: An HVAC company can discuss the pressures of summer on HVAC systems and how they can help before pitching users to “Call Now.”
  • Bidding Strategy: Determining how much you’re willing to pay for each click. See the “Bidding Strategies” section below for more. You can make informed decisions about keywords using Google Keyword Planner, which provides price ranges for first page bids.
  • Ad Extensions (aka Assets): Adding extra information and links to your ads to increase visibility and engagement. For example, a Google search of “Yankee fitteds” yields the following result, in which you see three additional links added via Ad Extensions.

Bidding Strategies

If you’re confused about the types of bidding strategies, use the following pointers to make your choice:

Conversion-Based Strategies

  • Cost-per-Action (CPA): Best suited for conversions (form fill-outs, sign-ups, sales, calls, downloads, etc.). You will get charged based on achieving said conversions.
  • Target Return on Ad Spend (tROAS): With tROAS, Google uses AI to predict values of potential conversions and the maximum Cost-per-Click (CPC). Ads are then bid based on a specific ROI target.
  • Maximize Conversions: Optimizes for conversions, as opposed to CPA.
  • Maximum Conversion Value: Optimizes for conversion values, as opposed to tROAS.

Click-Based Strategies

  • Maximize Clicks:  Google will try to drive as many clicks for the budget you set.
  • Manual CPC: You decide your maximum CPC. This strategy is best when you have a better understanding of your conversion and how much to spend. If you understand what keywords are better draws for your business, you can manually set a higher CPC for them.

Visibility-Based Strategies

  • Target Impression Share: Google bids with intent to display your ads at the top of search queries, etc.
  • CPM: You pay based on the number of impressions (total views) received.
  • tCPM: You set an average to spend per 1,000 impressions. Google then bids based on your set parameters.
  • vCPM: A manual bidding strategy that optimizes for awareness rather than clicks or traffic.

Analyzing Ad Performance with Google Ads Metrics

Tracking and analyzing your ad performance is crucial for optimization. Key metrics to monitor include:

  • CTR indicates how many people clicked on your ad after seeing it.
  • Conversion Rate shows how many clicks resulted in desired actions.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC) helps you understand spending efficiency.
  • Quality Score impacts your ad rankings and CPC.

Regularly reviewing these metrics allows you to fine-tune your campaigns and improve results.

Conducting Thorough Keyword Research

Effective keyword research is the foundation of not only prime SEO/digital content, but also for any successful Google Ads campaign. Here’s how to do it:

  • Brainstorm a list of relevant keywords related to your product or service.
  • Use Tools like Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, and Ubersuggest to find additional keywords and assess search volume and competition.
  • Analyze Competitors to identify keywords they are targeting using tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, and Moz.
  • Long-Tail Keywords are often less competitive and more targeted, leading to higher conversion rates. As previously stated, however, exercise with caution and assure that those less competitive keywords you’ve searched actually have a substantial search volume before proceeding.

Leveraging Ad Extensions/Assets

Ad extensions (aka Assets) enhance your ads by providing additional information and improving visibility. Key types include:

  • Sitelink Extensions direct users to specific pages on your website.
  • Call Extensions allow users to call your business directly from the ad.
  • Location Extensions show your business address and a map.
  • Price Extensions display your products or services along with their prices.

Utilizing ad extensions can improve your ad’s visibility, CTR, and overall performance.

Crafting Compelling Ad Copy

Your ad copy is the first impression potential customers will have of your brand. Here’s how to make it count:

  • Highlight Unique Selling Points (USPs) to differentiate yourself from competitors.
  • Utilize Ad Extensions to provide additional information and encourage clicks.
    • For example, Sitelink Extensions allows marketers to provide additional landing destinations instead of guiding users to one sole webpage.
    • Call extensions, on the other hand, allow marketers to provide a phone number for users to call; this appears next to ad on the desktop and as a call-to-click button on mobile.
  • Create Multiple Variations to test which messages resonate best with your audience, as discussed below.
  • Include Keywords in your ad copy to improve relevance and Quality Score.
    • Quality Score is calculated based on expected Clickthrough Rate (CTR), ad relevance, and landing page experience. Keep these ad copy practices in mind for landing pages:
      • Consistency Between Ad Copy and Landing Page: Ensure that the message, tone, and keywords used in your ad copy are also reflected on the landing page. This consistency reassures users that they have arrived at the right place.
      • Strong Call-to-Action (CTA): Include a clear and persuasive call-to-action that tells visitors exactly what you want them to do, such as “Sign Up Now,” “Get Your Free Quote,” or “Buy Today.”
      • Clear and Concise Messaging: Focus on delivering your message in a straightforward and succinct manner. Highlight the key benefits and value propositions without overwhelming the visitor with too much information.
      • BONUS TIP – Optimize for Mobile: Most users will probably view your ads on mobile, so ensure your landing page is built (both on the front and backend) for mobile access. Less is more when it comes to ad copy, given the reduction in attention spans

Well-written ad copy can significantly improve your CTR and conversion rate, making your campaigns more successful.

The Power of A/B Testing

A/B testing, or split testing, is crucial for refining your Google Ads strategy. Here’s how to implement it effectively:

  • Test Different Elements such as headlines, descriptions, CTAs, and ad extensions.
  • Run Tests Simultaneously to ensure consistent conditions and accurate comparisons.
  • Analyze Results to determine which variations perform best.
  • Implement Changes based on your findings and continue testing new variations.

Continuous A/B testing allows you to identify what works best for your audience, leading to more effective ad campaigns.

Optimizing Your Google Ads with ONE18MEDIA

Paid ads, especially Google Ads, are not a one-man job. Optimizing your Google Ads is an ongoing process requiring attention to detail, continuous testing, and adapting to new trends. By following the steps outlined above, you can enhance your ad performance, improve ROI, and achieve your conversions you deserve.

At ONE18MEDIA, we take the guesswork and pressure off your plate so you can worry about what really matters: your clients. Don’t get left in the dust by competitors establishing their digital footprint. Get ahead of the curve by enlisting the services here at ONE18MEDIA, so we can get you the leads and revenue you need. From paid ads to social media to web development, ONE18MEDIA is your one-stop-shop for all things digital marketing.

So if you’re tired of watching your competitors get ahead of you; if you’re one-foot-in-one-foot-out on digital marketing; if you’re unsure about biting the budgetary bullet on digital marketing, ONE18MEDIA has your back. With personalized solutions for your business, we deliver you results. To learn how we can do so, please visit our website and request a strategy call today.