Google Ads Optimisation – 10 Basics You Need to Know

[fusion_text]So, you set up an Google Ads campaign, your ads are live, traffic is coming to your website and you have a whole lot of data to show for it. But now what?

The data can be overwhelming and confusing at first, but once you’ve familiarised yourself with the terms, and learnt to interpret that data, a whole new world of opportunity opens up.

Optimise Your Account

The path of Google Ads optimisation is an endless one, and while you can go into great detail with your data analysis, there are some basic things you can implement that can give you an almost immediate improvement in your campaign performance if you do them right.

1 – Tracking, Tracking, Tracking

Tracking has to be your number one priority in any Google Ads campaign. If you aren’t tracking, you simply can’t optimise effectively.

You can set up Google Ads Conversions, or import your goals from Google Analytics into your Google Ads account. This will enable you to see which keywords are resulting in leads or sales on your site, and enable you to optimise around these specific keywords.

You should also link your Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts, so data can be shared between the two for extra insights.

2 – Optimise Your Ad Group Structure

Make sure your Ad Groups are tightly-themed, so that you can create ad copy that matches a person’s search query as accurately as possible. Even synonyms for your products or services should be split out into separate Ad Groups.

For example, if you sell office furniture, you should have an Ad Group for “office furniture” with office furniture related keywords, and another Ad Group for “business furniture” with business furniture related keywords.

3 – Optimise Your Ad Copy

Make sure your ads really speak to the person searching for your products or services. What makes you unique? Why should they choose you?

We know the character limits are annoying, but get as much relevant info across as you possibly can, and match the ad copy closely to the theme of your Ad Group as much as possible.

4 – Use Ad Extensions

Sitelinks are a great way to enhance your ads. They dominate more space on the search results page, and communicate more valuable info to your target audience.

When they show is up to Google, but make sure that they are all set up to ensure that they display whenever possible.

5 – Check Your Search Terms

What are the actual search queries that are triggering your ad to show? Understanding the search queries helps you build up your negative keyword list, which will prevent your ad from showing for irrelevant searches and wasting your budget on the wrong audience.

For example, let’s say you sell window shutters, and have the keyword “shutter” in your campaign. If you check your search term report and see that your ad has been triggered by the search query “camera shutter” or “shutter speed,” you’ll realise that you need to add photography related terms as negative keywords.[/fusion_text][fusion_code]PGltZyBzcmM9Ii93cC1jb250ZW50L3VwbG9hZHMvQWNjb3VudC1PcHRpbWlzYXRpb24uanBnIiBhbHQ9IkFjY291bnQgT3B0aW1pc2F0aW9uIiAvPg==[/fusion_code][fusion_text]

6 – Look For Negative Keywords

Following on from the point about search terms above, negative keywords are a vital part of optimisation.

Before you even go live, you should be adding in generic negative keywords as part of your setup process.

You can use the Keyword Planner for insights here too, as well as common sense about similar but unrelated terms for your keywords.

7 – Work On Your Quality Scores

Insofar as possible, you should aim to have the Quality Scores for all your keywords at 6 or above.

To improve your quality scores, you first need to identify the possible cause of low quality scores. Hover over the speech bubble in the status column, and you’ll find more information regarding what you can work on to improve your Quality Score.

The higher your Quality Scores, the lower your Cost per Click, which will ultimately result in more clicks for your budget.

8 – Plan Your Ad Schedules.

Depending on factors such as your industry, business hours, etc., it may make sense to only run your ads during specific times of the day or week.

It’s also a good idea to use dimension reports to analyse your data, and identify times at which more visitors covert.

You can increase your bids during those times, and bring extra traffic to the site when they’re more likely to convert.

9 – Know Your Locations

Make sure that you are only targeting people in areas that make sense for your business.

As with the Ad Schedules, use dimension reports to find the areas that convert the best for your business, and increase your bids on them.

10 – Know Your Devices

Mobile is the future. We’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true. And not only is it true, but the future is now.

More and more people are using their mobile devices to convert than ever before.

Make sure your website is mobile responsive, and assess your mobile data to either bid more or less on mobile users, depending on how they convert.

Build Up The Data

A last thing that you should be keeping in mind when working on your optimisation is that you need data in order to be able to make effective decisions.

Depending on your budget and traffic levels, you should usually have at least 2 weeks of data before making any decisions.  Once you make a change, the same thing applies…see how it pans out before you change it again.

Google Ads optimisation is an exciting, experimental process. Assess, test and re-evaluate every decision you make. Don’t be afraid to test out different strategies, because you won’t know if they work unless you try them.