When it comes to digital advertising, there is Google, and there is everyone else. Google has been leading the digital advertising ecosystem for nearly two decades, but many advertisers don’t fully understand the algorithms behind Google’s ads (because they are a secret), so it is that much more critical that advertisers do everything in their power to optimize their campaigns to make sure they are getting the best performance possible.
We have compiled a list of our top three Google AdWords optimizations and strategies to make sure your ads are as effective as possible.
REVIEW YOUR AD COPY
It may seem simple, but we can’t tell you how many times we have seen ads with typos. Reviewing for typos is an easy fix, but you should also make sure your ad copy matches your keywords and is relevant to your audience. Finally, make sure you have a very strong call to action. Your call to action is a great way to get individuals more engaged with your ads, especially with emotional connections such as “Apply Now” or “Get Started Today.” Oh, and don’t forget to double check your site links and ad extensions, too!
When reviewing your copy, make sure your ad copy stands out from the competition. If you just say “our company is the best” or “visit our website” without telling your audience WHY they should click your ad, they are much less likely to click.
Having these elements not only will help you to stand out from the competition but will improve your click-through and conversion rates.
REVIEW AND CONTINUOUSLY UPDATE KEYWORD LISTS
Review your existing keywords and the click-through rate (CTR) for those keywords as often as possible. If your CTR is low on a certain keyword then try replacing that keyword with some new keywords, but make sure your single ad group does not exceed more than 20 keywords. If you end up having more than 20 keywords, then you are better off creating a new ad group. Also, it is very important that your ad copy matches not only your keywords but also your landing page. For example, if your business is selling widgets and you want to advertise widgets, not only should you have “widgets“ as a keyword, but your copy should include the word “widgets” (e.g. “Click to see the worlds best widgets on sale now!”) and your landing page URL should also include the word “widgets” (e.g. www.mycompany.com/widgets). This will help ensure you have a high quality score, which will lead to better CTRs, and CVRs.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF KEYWORD MATCHING TYPE
You will be surprised how each match type (exact match, broad match, phrase match, and broad match modifier) for the same keyword can improve your campaigns and save you money. You can start predicting the cost for your keywords through Google’s “Keyword Planner Tool.”
Keep in mind that broad match and phrase match might include matching words or phrases that are not what you intended. Because broad match and phrase match allow for synonyms and misspelling, using these match types may result in more impressions of your ad, and possibly more clicks. However, because these might not be exactly what you are looking for, you could be wasting money on keywords you did not intend to purchase. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use these match types, but instead try different bids with different match types.
Use higher bids for exact match, slightly lower bids for modified broad match, and even lower bids for broad match or phrase match. This will allow you to pay a premium for words that are very relevant to your ad, and receive a discount for words or phrases that may still be relevant, but perhaps slightly less relevant than your exact keyword.
Finally, you can take advantage of negative match keywords to make sure you are not bidding on keywords that are not relevant to your ad. For example, if you are trying to advertise jobs for nurses using “nursing jobs” you might want to include a negative match for “home” so that you do not show your ad to people searching for “nursing home.”
- Closely monitor your Google AdWords performance and make adjustments as needed.
- Optimize in stages so you can see how the changes affect your campaigns, allowing you to effectively make the next optimization decision.
- Remember that optimizations done in big blocks help, but when you make 15 changes on the same day, it’s hard to tell which of the changes had the biggest impact.
- Finally, prioritize your goals and stay on top of them during your optimization.
Oh, and make sure to test, test, and test some more. Make sure to test multiple versions of copy against one another, test multiple match types against one another, and test multiple keywords and phrases. Have questions? We'd love to help.
Posted by Vita Bauer
This blog was written by Vita Bauer who is no longer with Recruitics, but brought value as a recruitment advertising thought leader.