Tip #1: Take your time to plan and set up a solid account structure
It all starts with a good account structure. A successful, and profitable account must have a solid and well-organised structure.
First and foremost, a messy account will make it very difficult to manage and optimise. Since Google Ads are not a set and forget marketing activity, having campaigns that are logically organised will mean that you can efficiently run reports, analyse the performance and take action to improve and achieve the desired results.
Also make sure that the way you organise the account makes sense to you.
The three main layers within a Google account are: Campaigns, Ad Groups and Keywords.
Put these together in a way that the most relevant ad will always show when a potential customer is looking for your products and services. If someone is looking for ‘white organic t-shirts’ the expectation is that they will see an ad advertising exactly that (and not ‘navy shirts’ for example), that lands/takes them to a page where they can browse and choose from a range of white t-shirts.
Relevance will help you to increase the performance of the account, have a better quality score from Google, and therefore reduce your cost of advertising whilst driving up ROI.
Besides that, and as mentioned above, when campaigns, ad groups and keywords are well organised you will be able to quickly dive-in and spot areas that can be improved to stretch your budget even further.
Tip #2: Carefully choose your keywords
This is another area where good planning can make a big difference. Try to avoid the temptation to advertise on high-volume, generic keywords. Still referring to the example above, having broad terms like ‘t-shirts’ in your account will be likely to drive a high number of impressions (the number of times your ads are shown in Google), but a low number of clicks and therefore there’s a good chance that these terms will drive the performance of your campaigns down by returning very low Click Through Rates (CTR).
Instead start with keywords that might be searched less frequently, in technical terms we call those keywords ‘long-tail’, but that show a clearer user intent which can be matched to more relevant ads and landing pages.
For example, keywords like ‘buy white organic t-shirts’, ‘buy crew neck white t-shirts’, etc. For sure it will take more time to do your research and ‘mine’ these terms, and it will also take more time for the keywords to generate good amounts of traffic and conversions, but remember that the goal here is to set up profitable, high performing campaigns.
Tip #3: Don’t rush the ad copy, take the time to write killer ads
Aside from being relevant, your ads are your chance to stand out against the competition.
- Make sure that you always highlight your USPs. Why would a potential customer choose your business against any of your competitors? What makes you different from them, in a way that adds value to the customer. Do you offer free samples? Do you offer free shipping? Do you offer free returns? Any added value and service that enhance the customer experience should be included in the ads (and the ad extensions).
- Make sure that the ads always include a clear call to action (CTA). Your potential customer is reading your ad about ‘white t-shirt’, but what action do you want them to take? In this example again, it could be as simple as saying choose from a large range of ‘organic white t-shirts. Buy today and get an extra 5% off’!
Tip #4: Analyse, optimise, and repeat
Once you are happy with the setup of the account and campaigns, let the fun begin!
It is time to look at the data (and there is tons of it) and take action optimising the campaigns. My first rule is to use the good old Pareto principle. You know that 80/20 rule? Yes that one. Always start and focus on the 20% of the campaigns, keywords or ads that spend the 80% of the budget, because any action taken there can make a big difference in performance.
For example, if you have a handful of keywords that spend way too much and are generating a low volume of conversions, don’t hesitate and pause them. This will help to allocate some of that budget currently allocated to low performing terms to more profitable keywords that might be limited by budget.
Whilst you can optimise your campaigns just using Google Ads conversion data, my recommendation is that whenever possible you should try to do this also looking at the data from Google Analytics. That’s because I found that the GA interface allows for a quicker analysis, making the optimisation process faster even though you will still need to jump platforms to make the changes within Google Ads.
Finally, whilst there are many more tips and tricks that would help, I want to quickly list below a few additional important ones:
- We often see ad accounts that have only a few ad extensions. Ad extensions are really important to Google to deliver a rich user experience, and as such they can positively influence the performance of your ads, so make sure that you make use of as many ad extensions as possible that are relevant to your ads
- Another common mistake we often see is where campaigns target the wrong location(s), or broadly target the whole country. These can be costly mistake so pay attention to that in the campaign settings
- Always ensure that your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts are linked to each other to have shared data visible in both platforms
- Always ensure that the Google Ads account is linked to your Google My Business account, so that the ads are enriched with the business location/address and phone number
Hopefully these tips can help you get started with the setup and management of a very successful ad account, but please feel free to leave any questions you might have in the comments section below and I will be happy to respond to your queries.
Andrea Atzori is the founder of Ambire, digital marketing agency