5 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Google Ads

So you've created an ad campaign, but it doesn't seem to be performing. What now? Let's talk about the fundamentals of paid search before we get into the  solutions. 

Paid search is where you pay search engines to show your ads on their results pages. Search engines include Google, Microsoft, social media, and more. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll focus on the behemoth that is Google. Google Ads is Google’s advertising service for businesses that want to display ads on Google search results and its ad network. In other words, it’s Google’s branded service for paid search.

Paid search is one of the most effective types of online advertising and drives the fastest results.

So how does paid search work exactly?

To get those sweet, sweet clicks on your ads, you need to pick the right keywords and target the right people. Keywords are search terms people type into search engines, like “best digital marketing agency” (Google’s answer: Human Code).


Google’s Keyword Planner is a handy tool that helps you conduct keyword research and select search terms for your ads. It lets you see what sort of words or phrases that people are already searching for around your product or service, along with search volume. The lower the search volume, the cheaper it should be to buy a listing at the top of that SERP.


Google’s Quality Score is a diagnostic tool that rates the quality of the keywords you pick and their relevance to the ad and landing page you link them to. It’s an essential measure of your paid search marketing efforts' effectiveness and how well your ad quality compares to competitors.


Keyword match types mandate how closely the keyword needs to match up with the user’s search query so that the ad can be considered for auction. Google Ads offers three match types: broad match, phrase match, and exact match.


Broad match: with a broad match, the user needs to type in one of the words within your keyword (or just be related), and your ad could show up on their results page. Be careful with casting a wide net, as you can quickly burn through your ad budget.

    • Example: keto diet plan as a keyword would show on searches for queries like:
      • Carb-free foods
      • Low cal recipes
      • Ketogenic Diet Books


Phrase match: with phrase match, your ads will show up on searches that include your keyword's meaning or implied meaning. Here you can reach more searches than with an exact match and fewer than with a broad match.
    • Example: Running shoes as a keyword would correlate with searches for things like:
      • Shoes for running
      • Trainers for running
      • Buy running shoes on sale


Exact match: this match type is the most limited in terms of searches but gives you more control over who is viewing your ad. Here, ads may appear on searches with the same meaning or intent as the keyword.
    • Example: Shoes for women would correlate for:
      • Shoes women
      • Women shoes
      • Shoes for a woman


How to Optimize Your Google Ads

1. Build a branded keyword list along with your ‘unbranded’ one.

So you have your unbranded keyword list with 5-10 keywords that Google’s Quality Score has signed off on. But you should also include a branded keyword list with the name of your brand or company. Why?

  • More clicks! The research shows that you'll receive more clicks if you also win the top ad on the SERP, where you’ve already won the top organic ranking.
  • Block your competitors. Don’t let your competitors bid on and win your branded keywords. Believe it or not, it happens all the time.


2. Beef up your copy.

One of the most significant tenets of Google Ads copy is that you need to let Google and their users know that your ad is relevant to their search. And to make your ad relevant to their search, you need compelling copy to boost your Click-through-Rate (CTR).


3. Set up those ad extensions.

Ad extensions include site links, the 4-6 links under most Google ads. They take up valuable real estate, boost your CTR, and you don’t have to pay extra for clicks. Blogging Wizard calculated that having sitelinks could increase CTA for the top result by around 20%!


4. Determine your top-performing keywords.

Once you allow your campaign to run for a while, you should optimize. Use the “Search term report” tab to optimize your campaign in Adwords. You need to filter out your top-performing keywords and break that keyword into its own campaign. Give that keyword its own budget, ads, and possibly even its landing page. And remember to tag that keyword as negative in your current campaign, so you don’t bid it against your other keywords.


5. Set up bid modifiers to optimize your budget.

A bid modifier lets you adjust your bids for specific criteria without changing your targeting or ad group. Maybe you notice that a specific age range isn’t converting, so you could set up a bid modifier to include fewer ad placements for this age group, thereby optimizing your budget. You can also set up bid modifiers for mobile vs. desktop, gender, locations, hours of the day, days of the week, etc.


Does all this optimization talk still sound like gobbledygook to you? Don’t worry; we can help. Set up a free consultation to talk about your goals and objectives. Our experts do this kind of thing every single day.



Steph Fletcher

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