21 tips for optimising your Google Search Ads

We all want the best return on our advertising dollar. So what if we said you could get $8 back for every $1 spent?

21 tips for optimising your Google Search Ads

You don't have to take our word for it; that's the average return that Google estimates its customers should achieve when using Google Ads. After several years of helping businesses use Google Ads to boost their bottom lines we can confirm that's possible, but it's not easy. 

To achieve such an awesome return your ads need to be optimised using the very best tricks in the book, from dayparting to A/B testing and remarketing. With that in mind, here are 21 ways to optimise Google Ads.


1. Make your ads appealing

No matter how well you do all the technical stuff, if your ads don't appeal to people it won't perform. So make sure yours is relevant to your search terms and features enticing copy that offers potential customers a compelling benefit or solution. Then once you have their interest make sure your ads feature a clear call to action (CTA) so that they know exactly what they're getting into before they click. 


2. Focus on one or two benefits

When writing your ad copy, keep it simple and focus on one or two benefits or points of difference. Pack too many points into your description and your message may become diluted. 


3. A/B testing

It can be hard to know which ad creative will work best before you've actually tried it - so go ahead and try. Change your CTAs, headlines, landing pages and descriptions across several ads then see what works best.


4. Tailor your CTA to search intentions

When you're writing an ad, always keep in mind what the customers intentions are and what they want to get out of their searching experience. For example, if you're targeting emergency electrician services phrases like fast service and after hours might appeal to prospective customers.


5. Fine tune your landing pages

Even the best Google Ads are useless without landing pages that convert. Make sure your landing pages are relevant to your ads, load quickly, feature a slick user experience and contain compelling copy. For more help optimising your landing pages for Google Ads, check out our blog. 


6. Focus on the most important metric (sales)

Your Google Ads campaign should be built with a clear purpose in mind. For most businesses that's to increase sales and/or enquiries. Keep that goal in mind and use it as your main guiding metric when creating ads and ask yourself - is the effort I'm putting in leading to more sales? Am I focussing on improvements that increase revenue? 


7. Track the other stuff

Return on ad investment may be the most important metric but there are a few others you should keep an eye on and understand too:

  • Impressions: How many times your ad's been seen. 
  • Clicks: How many times your ad's been clicked. 
  • Cost-per-click: The dollar amount you're spending per click
  • Cost-per-acquisition: How much your ads campaign is costing per lead or sale. 
  • Conversions: The total amount of sales or actions. 
  • Click through rate: The rate at which people click your ad after seeing it. A good CTR should be 5-10% depending on your industry. 

Spending more money on your Google Ads and improving your keywords will increase impressions. Optimising copy and improving relevance will improve clicks and the cost-per-click. 

8. Add negative keywords

The more focused and targeted your ad is, the better all of the above metrics will be. To that end, it's worth using negative keywords to improve your ad's relevancy and weed out clicks with the wrong intent. Focus on weeding out irrelevant search terms that are getting lots of clicks and wasting money. 


9. Use the right match type

Keyword match type determines how similar a search needs to be to your keywords to display your ad. If you're targeting prospects who are further away from purchasing (top of funnel) then generally broad match types are better while specific match types are better for prospects who are ready to purchase (bottom of funnel). 


10. Align keywords with products

There should be a clear link between your products and the keywords you use in ads. If you're targeting a phrase that describes a problem, like how to kill weeds for example, your product or service should provide a solution - a weed-killer. Simple right? 


11. Try pinpointing location

Location-based bid modifiers allow you to set higher bids for locations more likely to convert. For example, a company selling insulated jackets may find that their ads perform best in locations that have cold weather and spend more on those locations to achieve better returns. If you want to only show your ads to prospects in certain areas you can do that too using geo-location settings. 


12. Time your ads right

In your campaigns ad scheduling, you can see how ads perform at certain times of the day. By timing your ads, otherwise known as dayparting, you can then target the hours and/or days that consistently get the results. 

For example, if your ad is B2B and you're prompting prospects to pick up the phone, it may be best to target your ads during business hours. 

13. Hone your Google Ads bidding

Unless you're a Google Ads expert it may be best to leave the Google Ads bidding to the algorithms. Google's automated bidding allows you to choose your goal and optimises your campaign to achieve it, whether you want to increase conversions or maximise visibility.  


14. Target mobile

Over 60% of Google Ad clicks come from mobile devices so it's important that your ads and landing page can display and function effectively on phones and tablets. To find out more check out Google's best practice guide for mobile ads


15. Optimise your keywords

It's usually best to use a combination of long-tail and short-tail keywords. To make sure yours are effective, regularly review Google's search reports to see what people are actually searching when they see your ads - then consider updating your keywords to reflect those phrases.


16. Exclude display network

Google Ads defaults to allowing display ads when you're building a search campaign. These are less targeted and generally have lower conversions. That means they're better for reaching top of the funnel prospects who are further away from buying.

While these can be a great way to build brand awareness most businesses will see better results from excluding display ads and using Google Search Ads alone if running a search campaign.


17. Try a remarketing campaign

Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs) allow you to specify that only prospects who've visited your website see your ads. This is a great way to target buyers who are already interested in your business and may be more likely to convert.  To find out more  check out our remarketing guide here


18. Improve your adscore

Improving your ad quality score on Google Ads will improve your pay-per-click results and your position on SERPs. To do this ensure keywords are relevant to your ads, improve your click through rate, improve quality of landing pages and create a positive user experience. 


19. Beat the competition

Using Google's Ad preview and diagnosis tool you can view which ads are showing for your targeted search. You can then write your ads and landing pages to ensure your business stands out by highlighting points of difference, special promotions or lower prices. 


20. Reuse the stuff that works

If you've run a successful campaign on another platform like Facebook, repurposing those ads for Google search can ensure high performance and reduce the time needed to create new copy. 


21. Always, always test and improve

No Google Ads campaign is perfect on the first attempt. You should constantly be testing, reviewing and improving yours to make sure that you're getting the best possible return on your ad spend. 

Need help optimising your Google Ads campaigns and improving your return on investment? Get in touch with the experts at Bright Labs today.

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