For me, it’s about finding the balance between driving a highly qualified audience, who are likely to convert, and not spending too much money in the process. Here are 4 tips that will ensure you target the right audience, deliver qualified traffic, and demonstrate commercial value back to your business.
1. Apply geo-location settings to your ad campaigns
When creating an Adwords campaign for your local business, it’s important to tailor your ads to customers who are located or show an interest in your geographical area. Building a strategy that ensures you spend your valuable marketing dollars on people who will actually be interested in purchasing your product is important. Location settings can be valuable in two ways:
- If you offer a service that is only available locally, it’s important to showcase your ads to customers who are frequently in your area. An example of this could be a custom kitchen business like Workshop Designs, which only wants to show its ads to customers in the regions they service.
- If your company sells a SaaS product or ships internationally you may think location settings aren’t relevant to you. This is where the balance of traffic vs cost comes in. It’s important to look at the data your business already has. This should tell you where the majority of your customers are based, or where the potential search volume for keywords that relate to your business exists. If you have this information, you can use location targeting to ensure you focus your budget on the locations most likely to convert.
2. Optimise your Google Ads activity to conversions by utilizing conversion-based bid strategies
Most businesses will ultimately want to see a return on investment for their Google Ads spend. When building out your campaigns it’s important to target your campaigns to a “maximize conversions” “target CPA” or “target ROAS’’ bid strategy. Your company probably doesn’t want you to waste money on clicks if they aren’t going to translate into conversions on your website. That’s why it’s important you tell Google who has converted after clicking your ad.
Google’s machine learning algorithm will use the conversion information to spend your budget on users who exhibit the same behavior as your converters, and in the process won’t waste your money on non-converters.
What if I don’t have conversions set up in my Google Ads account?
A conversion action is a specific event that is valuable to your business. This could be a purchase, a signup, a call, and so on. Most small to medium-sized companies don’t have conversion tracking linked to Google Ads because it involves website development and Google Ads experience.
Setting up conversion tracking starts with you creating a conversion action or linking your Google Analytics goals to your Google Ads account. Once you’ve set up your conversion actions you’ll need to wait 24–48 hours for them to appear in Google Ads.
3. Remove the Display and Search Network from your campaigns
By default, Google will automatically select the Search and Display Network in your campaign setup. These networks promote your Ads near Google Search results and other Google sites when people search for terms that are relevant to your keywords.
Think of those pesky ads that you see when you are scrolling on websites or playing online games. Often people click these by mistake or try to remove them from their feeds. Those clicks all cost your company money and often the bounce rate and time on site are significantly lower for these activities.
I recommend deselecting this for all ad campaigns if you are running a small budget and focusing on your brand, text, and shopping ads. From a commercial perspective Google always wants to spend your budget, so expect calls from a Google rep strongly advising you to add these to your campaigns. My opinion? Stay strong and say “no thanks”.
4. Always review and improve your AdWords campaigns.
Although Google Ads can be set up and automated, this should never be a set-and-forget marketing channel. In fact, it’s the one that you should review and alter regularly. Companies will often see good growth after setting up their Google Ads activity but then wonder why their efforts are no longer working. Often it’s because they haven’t changed anything in their account for weeks or months. Ultimately a Google Ads account that doesn’t get regular attention will waste your company’s money.
You should always monitor what’s working and apply these learnings across your campaigns, ad groups, and ad units. While this can take time, reviewing and adjusting your campaigns will help you achieve success. Depending on your budget you should check your account daily or weekly at a minimum.
My recommendation is to focus on what’s working well, adjust campaigns that are overspending and try to improve your ad rank by using responsive and dynamic search ads. A few metrics to look out for are “Cost”, “Clicks”, “Avg. CPC”, “Avg. CPA” and “Impression Share Lost to Budget”.