Left to its own devices, Google Ads will chew through your budget faster than most people give up their New Year’s resolutions.
You could have the best copy, a stellar landing page, and a piping hot audience list, but STILL, be stuck on the struggle bus. Sustaining success with Google Ads can be frustratingly difficult and without being able to prove results, you can wave goodbye to your ad budget (or even your job).
Before you give up hope, know that your Google Ads can ALWAYS improve. Whether you’re hitting the highest ROAS you’ve hit in months or you’re stuck in a plateau—there’s 👏 always 👏 a 👏 way 👏 to 👏 do👏 better 👏
Better yet, improvements don’t mean giant, heroic efforts.
You can get better results AND do less.
We’re giving away the essential Google Ads optimization strategies our own PPC experts use to manage multiple clients and still increase conversion volumes by over 600% (we’re not exaggerating). AKA we work smarter, not harder. We’ll also clue you in on when these optimizations should be happening with a handy Google Ads optimization checklist so you know exactly how to optimize Google Ads campaigns and how often.
Your account is about to be the healthiest and strongest it’s ever been. Take that, New Year’s resolutions.
Jump to the good stuff:
14 low-effort, high-value Google Ads optimization tips
Google Ads optimization checklist
→ ONE-TIME Google Ads optimizations for a healthier account
→ DAILY Google Ads optimization: Is anything broken?
→ WEEKLY to biweekly Google Ads optimization: Nip and tuck
→ MONTHLY Google Ads optimization: Moving bigger mountains
→ QUARTERLY Google Ads optimization: How did you do, now what?
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What is Google Ads optimization?
To put it simply, Google Ads optimization is the process of looking at your account data and making changes to ensure optimal performance.
Because of how quickly the digital marketing environment changes, the settings, builds, and tests that upheld optimal performance last month (or even last week) might actually be working against optimal performance now.
For example, one of your initial keywords may have performed really well for the first month, but when you look at your data from the second month, you see that it’s now driving up your cost-per-conversion (CPA). As part of your optimization regimen, you decide to pause that keyword so your account will focus more on other keywords with lower CPAs.
Your optimization time is also when you become more informed about secondary effects that your current settings, keywords, etc. are having on your account.
For example, say you have a keyword that’s doing exceptionally well in conversion volume and CPA, but when you do some digging on the actual search terms that your keyword is pulling in, you realize that they’re not at all relevant to your business. Suddenly all those unqualified leads that came in last week start to make more sense.
Being the know-it-all on your Google Ads account through routine optimization is really the best way to ensure you’re pushing your performance in the right direction.
14 ways to better optimize your Google Ads campaigns
On to the real deal–what tasks can you do to optimize your campaigns? What should you look at?
Knowing what to look at, when to look at it, and how to interpret and form solutions around what you’re seeing can be one of the most challenging things to learn for new Google Ads users. I’ll be honest, it can even be challenging for experienced users at times.
There are so many elements to look at in Google Ads. Metrics, bids, bid adjustments, settings, search terms…the list goes on.
Let’s narrow down that list a bit, and focus on optimizations that maximize your time spent on the account. You don’t want to be wasting hours and hours looking for optimizations to make on just anything, so invest your time optimizing things that will make more of a difference in the account.
Ultimately the most useful optimizations tend to be those that push the account for more results that are valuable to you, like leads or purchases. We’ve got a handful of those that can help.
1. Increase expansion opportunities using research and PPC spy tools
Yes, conducting keyword research can be a tedious process. But doing your due diligence can be worthwhile, and with the tools available to us today, it’s not as painful as you’d think. If your account feels stagnant, it’s time to do some digging to see how you can expand.
If you’re looking for a free tool to help you along, Google Ads Keyword Planner (opens in a new tab) is an excellent place to research new terms to try. Keyword Planner allows you to input keywords (either ones you’re targeting now or ones that you think might be relevant to you) and will give you data on those keywords, as well as recommendations for similar keywords. You can also input your website, and have it recommend keywords based on that.
Bear in mind that the data collected on keywords in this tool is based on averages, and it can’t tell you if new keywords are likely to convert or not. But it will tell you average search volume and give you a low to high-end range for estimated cost per click, which can be a great place to start.
Now, if you’re looking for research that’s a little more in-depth, there are a handful of PPC spy tools (opens in a new tab) you can check out. Take SpyFu, for example, which is one of our favorite paid platforms when it comes to getting insights on what competitors are doing.
SpyFu can show you keywords your competitors are targeting that you might not be targeting yet, and it can even show you what your competitors are doing with their ads for their most successful keywords.
Granted, SpyFu’s data is also based on averages, and it won’t show you which of those keywords is actually converting for your competitors. But it’s one step up from Keyword Planner to know that your competitor is targeting them, which might help point you in the direction of more valuable keywords to test.
2. Gain more control using SKAGs
What’s the best way to gain the most control over your Google Ads campaigns?
Using Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) (opens in a new tab).
If you don’t believe us, then check out the facts from our client, Mold Inspection Sciences, who halved their cost per lead and increased their conversion volume by 300% by implementing and optimizing SKAGs. Sounds pretty darn good, doesn’t it?
SKAGs allows you to set up your PPC campaigns so you have the most granular handle over every aspect of your campaign.
You basically set up one keyword per ad group of your campaign, and then make a set of ads for it whose headlines feature that keyword at least once.
Here’s why SKAGs give you utmost flexibility and nimbleness:
When you use Google’s suggested 10-20 keywords per ad group, your campaign can end up looking something like this:
In addition to 10-20 keywords triggering one set of ads, this opens you up to a much higher variety of search terms triggering your keywords. This is known as the Iceberg Effect (opens in a new tab).
When you use SKAGs and have a 1:1 ratio of keywords to ads, you can make a set of ads with that exact keyword featured in the headlines at least once, which gives you much higher relevance to the keyword when users search for it or terms that are similar.
It might be no secret by now, but do you know what Google likes to see in its ad auctions? The most relevant ads.
3. Target specific audiences using RLSAs
Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs) (opens in a new tab) is a Google feature that lets you layer remarketing list audience targeting on top of your search campaigns.
Many digital marketers might not realize that remarketing (also known as retargeting) lists are useful for more than just display campaigns. When remarketing audiences are layered on top of your search campaigns, they open up new opportunities to narrow your keyword traffic down to searchers who have already been to your site.
This gives you a bit more flexibility with the broadness of your keywords, too. Do completely broad keywords give you the heebie-jeebies? Have you ever tried broad match keywords and been burned by the sheer amount of irrelevant searches they waste money on?
Well, we have too. But when you’re using RLSAs, you’re telling Google that you only want to show ads to people searching your keywords who have also already been to your site, which better qualifies them as potential customers.
So, opening your keywords up to the broad match type in RLSAs can actually help you out. You might even discover new searches that your remarketing list users are looking up that you hadn’t thought to target before.
Here are some best practices when deciding to test out RLSAs:
- Make sure you have a remarketing list on the larger side. Audiences need at least 1,000 users just to be targetable in search campaigns, but at least 5,000-10,000+ members is a much better size. Try making remarketing lists with larger lookback windows if 30 days isn’t enough to build a decent sized audience.
- Make copies of existing campaigns to test as RLSAs. RLSAs should run alongside current campaigns, not in place of them. Make duplicates of some of your best performing campaigns, and run those duplicates as RLSAs.
- Exclude your remarketing list from any non-RLSA campaigns that have RLSA versions. You want to direct your remarketing traffic to your RLSAs, that’s why you made them. So don’t let remarketing list traffic slip through into your non-RLSA campaigns, or you’ll end up competing with yourself.
4. Use prospecting display ads to feed your funnel
Yes, we’re telling you it’s a good idea to invest in display ads (opens in a new tab), a top-of-funnel medium that’s not likely to get as many conversions as it is awareness and exposure. We’re not even telling you to remarket site visitors with display. We’re talking about in-market list targeting, custom audience targeting, similar-to targeting, or maybe even affinity targeting, which you can learn more about here.
That’s because thinking of your sales funnel as a whole, rather than thinking only about the bottom of it, is how you’ll create a healthier account.
At the bottom of the funnel you have people who are really close to closing the deal. Of course, those are your highest-value prospects. Google search ads tend to capture this vein of intent.
At the top of the funnel you have people who are just coming around to your brand or product and show much less intent. The Google display network tends to capture this level of intent.
To put it in fewer terms, you need more people at the top of the funnel to get more people to the bottom of the funnel. This is where display, the lower intent pay-per-click (PPC) advertising medium, comes in handy. It acts as a supplement to search, which tends to be the lower funnel medium, and helps feed your bottom funnel audience.
More high intent people = a big win for you.
So, should you just run display for impressions and clicks only, and forget about trying to drive conversions through it? Not exactly. That’s where matching your CTA and offer to your traffic comes in.
5. Match intent to your CTA
There are different temperatures for each stage of the conversion cycle. Display visitors, for example, tend to match up colder intents with colder CTAs.
We call this concept the PPC thermometer (opens in a new tab).
The whole purpose of gauging different PPC temperatures is to find out which types of CTAs will work best with your various visitors.
Takeaway: The warmer your visitor is in the action cycle (those coming from search), the warmer their conversion intent will be, which means the warmer your CTA threat level can be.
If someone comes in from a display ad with a colder intent, don’t greet them with an intrusive high-threat request, like asking for their personal contact info for a free consultation.
The visitors that come in at the ice cubes level are likely to be at the top of the funnel, so cater your CTA threat level and offer to that stage of the conversion cycle, and you’ll likely improve your click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate for that audience.
We were able to match our CTA to the appropriate search temperature successfully for our client, Reliable Garage Door, and guess what happened? A decrease in CPA by over 72%, and an increase in conversion volume of 958%, that’s what.
Here are some Google Ads performance ideas for CTAs that match up to action cycle temperatures:
So, if you’re running display, try doing so with a less threatening CTA and offer (in other words, a micro-conversion) (opens in a new tab), like a free downloadable asset. Ask for as little personal information as possible to acquire the asset, like a name and email address.
You may not be driving traffic to your most valuable offer, but you are giving them something to remember your brand and product by, which makes you a more likely candidate when they do become a lower-funnel prospect.
6. Focus on metrics and KPIs for your big business goal
So many of us get obsessed with micro metrics and forget about the big picture.
Don’t fall into this trap and get stuck on micro details like quality score, impression share, CTR, CPC…the list goes on.
Sure, those metrics are important, but if they aren’t helping your overall macro metric (a sale), which is your main business goal… then those micro metrics don’t matter much in telling you about the real progress of your PPC campaigns.
Rather than focus on the nitty-gritty details, simply ask yourself, is your PPC campaign generating you more revenue and making you more money? Or ask yourself, are you making more money relative to how much you’re spending on ads (return on ad spend, or ROAS)?
Is the effort you’re putting into the account working toward more conversions, which are becoming more sales? Or are you working on lowering your CPC, which isn’t doing anything for your bottom line?
Make sure your efforts are worth it in the end and focus on your biggest goal when optimizing.
And if you’re in the lead generation side of Google Ads and your profit isn’t immediately apparent, how sure are you that your conversions are leading to more sales down the line?
When looking at sales relative to conversions during your optimizations, having Offline Conversion Tracking (opens in a new tab) set up brings deals that close down the line into Google Ads and attribute them to the clicks they came from, which will help you make even better performance-based decisions.
7. Spend money where people are converting using Geolocation
If you’re targeting the US, or a large group of countries or cities, you simply can’t expect them to perform the same across all your campaigns.
Leaving your locations as they are because that’s where you want your ads to show, or because you want to increase the size of the net you’re casting, isn’t necessarily the best course of action.
If you’ve increased the size of your “net” to target 10 countries you think are higher value, but only one of them is converting and bringing you sales, then why are you wasting money on the other 9?
Our motto is: Follow the data.
Increase the competitiveness of your advertising in areas where you’re seeing results, and you’ll save yourself money in exchange for better return on investment.
You can get a quick idea of how each location targeted by your campaign is working by visiting the “Locations” tab.
You can adjust how you’re spending location by location in three ways:
- Place a bid adjustment on locations. In the “Locations” tab, you can place a bid adjustment percentage on each location. Place positive adjustments on best performing locations and negative bid adjustments on poor performers.
- Remove poor performing locations. The easiest way to optimize your locations is to get rid of the ones that have been wasting your money, and keep the locations that are doing well. (Recommended.)
- Separate out locations by campaign. Pull out your best performing locations into their own focus campaigns and allocate more money there. Pull back budget on campaigns containing poor performing locations.
8. Spend money when people are converting using Dayparting
Similar to the last, if you’re showing ads 24/7, but people are only converting on them between 9 am and 5 pm, why are you showing ads to sleep-deprived folks prowling the internet on their phones at 2 am?
Take a look at time reports, which can show you a data breakdown based on the time of day, day of week, and more.
Google does try to allocate more of your budget to the times when conversions happen most if you’re using smart bidding (opens in a new tab). But that doesn’t mean it won’t still drop a couple hundred dollars on after-hours users with no intent. That couple hundred dollars (or more) you’d save by excluding non-converting times of day could make a big difference.
And if you’re trying to drive calls, but no one’s at your company’s office on Saturday and Sunday, please tell me you’re not wasting money on days when no one’s there to answer the phone. If you are, that’s an optimization task that’ll take you a couple minutes for much-improved account health and performance.
If you don’t want to completely exclude a time of day yet, you can add a negative bid adjustment to it (or a positive adjustment to any good performers.)
To define when you want your ads to show, select a campaign, and head to the “Ad Schedule” tab. Click the edit pencil, and then enter the schedule you want your ads to show during.
9. Deep dive into your demographics
Not surprisingly, your performance can differ a lot between different household income levels, gender, or age.
Have a higher-end product? Then how’s conversion data (and sales data) looking for people in the lower-income ranges?
To check out your demographics data, select a campaign and go to the “Audiences” tab. By clicking the tabs at the top of the demographics box, you can flip between age, gender, and household income data.
If you click “Show Table” at the bottom, you can view data from each demographic range, and if you select “Edit Demographics” you can exclude certain demographic ranges from your targeting.
The same theory applies here–avoid wasting money on demographics that historically haven’t converted or resulted in any sales. Whether you like it or not, Google is still allocating a certain amount of your advertising dollars to those people, even though their intent is low.
An alternative to excluding a demographic entirely is to place a negative bid adjustment on it (or positive, if the demographic’s doing well.)
Granted, with the eventual decline of cookie tracking, assessing performance by demographic can be difficult. You can see in the screenshot above how many more users are classified as “Unknown” than are classified under an age range. It’s also likely that many of your conversions will be coming from the unknown category.
But if you do see an opportunity to exclude a known demographic that’s spending too much and giving you back too little…well, you know what to do.
10. Keep or toss Search Partners
I always recommend starting with search partners on Google; however, they don’t always perform as we’d hoped.
One example of this that we’ve found is in some industries, even if you have a landing page that does an excellent job of filtering out bogus leads, you might still be getting them, typically from bots. We tested removing Search Partners in this case to see if traffic from partner sites was causing the issue, and the number of bot leads received after that did improve.
So if you’ve gone multiple routes to fix a performance issue and are at a bit of a loss, it’s worth testing to see if removing Search Partners helps you hone in on a better audience.
11. Bolster your efforts with bid adjustments
We’ve mentioned a couple of different places you can implement bid adjustments (opens in a new tab) by now: Locations, ad schedules, and demographics. But did you know you can also add bid adjustments to devices and audiences?
These are where I tend to implement bid adjustments the most.
If you see that desktop performs best for your business and mobile searches are going nowhere, bump up your bid adjustments on desktop, and lower (or make negative) bid adjustments on mobile. This helps ensure you’re spending more where the conversions are coming from.
Just look what this simple, two-second optimization did for performance in one of our clients’ campaigns:
Placing bid adjustments on audiences can be equally helpful. You can even do so while your audiences are on Observation Mode (meaning they’re not narrowing down your targeting). For example, if you see that the “business professionals” audience is really stacking up those conversions, increase your bid adjustment there.
12. Eliminate the bad with negative keywords
Scanning your search terms lists to weed out any terms you don’t want to show for is something you should be doing regularly. After all, keywords can pick up a wide range of searches that might not be in line with the keyword you’re targeting. Broad keyword match types are especially guilty of this, but even phrase match and exact match have their off moments.
Adding negative keywords (opens in a new tab) helps improve your relevancy, and ensures that you’re not paying for clicks with the wrong intent.
Just make sure you’re not getting too deep into the rabbit hole with this optimization task. It can easily take multiple hours to comb through even just two weeks of search terms.
Focus your attention on the search terms that are getting clicks or very high impressions and see if there are any irrelevant ones among those. You can make those search terms easier to see by implementing a Google Ads filter (opens in a new tab) to show you only search terms with clicks greater than or equal to 1, or impressions greater than 100.
13. Refine and expand your keyword list
Let’s face it, the keyword list that was once your “golden child” might not always be. No matter how good you feel about the keywords you started with, the data is key. And when you’ve been advertising on those keywords a while, you need to look into refining them.
Take a look at all your keywords, and see where there’s wasted spend. Maybe you’ve got three keywords that are really killing it, with low CPAs and high conversion volume. And then you’ve got that pile of 7 other keywords that don’t seem to be doing anything except costing you money.
Don’t get emotionally attached to your keywords.
That sounds silly to say, I know. But plenty of marketers stick with a keyword list and never pause their underperformers, either because their competitors are advertising on them and they want to have a presence for those terms too, or because they’re sure that those keywords are the most relevant and will do the best…eventually.
Your data will tell you which keywords are worth keeping. And think of it this way, just because your competitors are appearing for a keyword doesn’t mean they’re doing well with them performance-wise, either. Refinement is the key to positive ROI.
You won’t only be refining, either. How are you going to find new opportunities for success without a little expansion?
We’ve already mentioned how PPC Spy Tools and research can expand your keyword opportunities, but how about a method that shows you actual conversion data on terms you’re missing?
That’s what we all prefer, anyway–concrete data. In that case, the search terms report is, once again, your best friend.
The search terms report will show you any conversion data that was brought in from the search terms that triggered your ad. Say you’re an eCommerce retailer, and one of your actual keywords is “brown boot.” You notice that one of the search terms that triggered that keyword is “brown cowboy boot.” That search term has already brought in 6 sales, and you do sell cowboy boots, but you’re not targeting that term as a keyword yet.
Well, why not?
Going through your search terms looking for conversion opportunities can give you very targeted expansion ideas with a higher chance of success. Maybe based on your search terms data you decided to open a new campaign focusing only on cowboy boots. Now, that campaign is your highest converter to date. Would you want to miss out on that opportunity?
Nope. Me either.
14. Don’t stop optimizing, always test your ads
Ad testing (opens in a new tab) is one of the best ways to ensure you’re always stepping up your game.
When you run the same ads for a while, you’ll end up with stale copy over time. It’s possible those ads have done well for you, so you see no need to change them.
Here’s the thing–you do.
Your ads may be doing well now, but how do you know they couldn’t do better?
Now, we’re not even asking you spend time coming up with a whole new garrison of ad copy (opens in a new tab) that’s completely different from your originals. Although, we’re certainly not opposed to a test like that.
Doing something as simple as changing your headline 1 and keeping the rest of the new ad the same as the original can sometimes make a world of difference. Evaluating your testing is a lot easier when you make small changes to your ads at a time, too. Then, you’ll be able to know exactly what resulted in the change you saw.
Take our client Leasecake for example, who increased their conversion rate by 67% and decreased their CPA by 34% thanks to some prudent ad copy A/B testing.
You might love your ads–and in truth, they may already be great. But you can always, always make them even better.
Google Ads optimization checklist
Knowing what to optimize is only half the battle, as you probably already know.
There’s a lot of confusion surrounding when it’s the right time to make changes and how often you should be looking at these things. Google Ads does need time to learn from your changes in order to present you with the most confident data on how those changes have affected your account.
You don’t want to be making big changes every week, and you certainly don’t want to be doing it every day.
Many beginner marketers get caught up in a cycle of daily tweaks. Then, looking back the next day, if that tweak didn’t make a difference yet, tweaking again.
This hurts your account more than it helps. You won’t see significant changes in Google Ads in a day–you might not even see them in a week depending on how much traffic flows through your campaigns.
If you keep changing things daily, Google will never be able to properly learn from the changes and you’ll likely never see a benefit to them. If you’re trying to maximize your time (return on effort) optimizing your account, you’re certainly not accomplishing that by tweaking your account every day.
So, the best way to put it is: Slow down.
Marketing strategy takes time, and your investment in giving your tests time to pan out is what will help you better evaluate what’s working and what you should do next.
That being said, we’ll help you get a handle on a timeline for when and how often the optimizations we mentioned in this article are best done.
ONE-TIME Google Ads optimizations for a healthier account
Many of the optimization ideas on our list are one-time changes that can make a huge difference in the state of your account. Imagine that–you really only need to set these up once (unless you expand with more campaigns of course) to reap the benefits, and that’s a high return on effort if I’ve ever seen one.
Our recommended one-time optimizations for your account are:
☑️ Implement SKAGs. Break out your keywords to one per adgroup for more control.
☑️ Use RLSAs to your advantage. Make RLSA versions of your best-performing campaigns.
☑️ Set up display ads and start prospecting. Get in front of your top of funnel audience to build your bottom of funnel audience.
☑️ Align your CTA intent with your funnels. Match your CTA and offer to the traffic temperature.
☑️ Keep or toss Search Partners. If needed, see if turning Search Partners off helps performance.
DAILY Google Ads optimization: Is anything broken?
Yes, we mentioned you shouldn’t necessarily be messing with the account significantly every day. Nevertheless, you’re still there for the account every day. So, many of the daily optimizations you might make will involve a lot of checking and necessary changes.
☑️ Check for fluctuations. If an element’s performance changes by 10-15% every day, don’t be concerned. But if a keyword jumps from spending $10 a day to $1,000 a day, that’s cause for alarm. The same is true of the reverse. Check for these alarm bells and make changes as needed (to your settings, your bidding, etc.) to fix any red flags.
☑️ Analyze budget trends. Most of us have strict budgets we need to stick to for ourselves or our clients. It’s a good idea to check in on your pacing to make sure that your account isn’t planning to spend more than you are. To get an idea of what your account is pacing toward spending, you can do the following calculation:
Get your last 3 days’ spend and divide it by 3.
Take the above number and multiply it by the number of days left in the month (including today)
Take the above number and add it to your spend month-to-date.
Your final result should be what your account is currently pacing to spend by the end of the month. If you’re pacing too fast or slow, reduce or increase the daily budgets allocated to your campaigns. Pacing too slow can also be an indicator that something’s up with your bids, so check those out too.
☑️ Look for and fix disapproval alerts. One of the worst feelings is to know that you’ve had 30% of your ads or ad extensions disapproved for the last week. Look for alerts sent to your email about disapprovals, or use a “disapproved ads” filter to quickly see any issues in the account. Remember to check your extensions, like your sitelinks, because you won’t receive alerts about those when they’re disapproved.
☑️ Check on your bids and bid strategies. If you’re using a manual bidding strategy or eCPC, checking your bids to be sure you’re not falling too far below the estimated first page bid will be key. But rather than checking this manually, you can alternatively set up an automated rule to increase your keywords to the first page bid daily.
Alternatively, if you’re using a smart bidding strategy, you’ll want to keep an eye out that your strategy isn’t overloading your pacing, or struggling to deliver due to lack of data. You can’t tell if your smart bidding strategy is “working” as a whole in a day, but you can make sure it’s not hurting your account too much while it learns.
WEEKLY to biweekly Google Ads optimization: Nip and tuck
Optimizations that should happen weekly or biweekly involve more changes that are intended to make more of a difference. In essence, you’re nipping and tucking where you see areas of performance that need improvement.
Whether you decide to make these changes weekly or biweekly often depends on how complicated the changes were, and how quickly your account acquires data on your changes. If you look back and see that your changes may be starting to make a difference after a week, but it would need more time to be conclusive, then biweekly is the way to go.
☑️ Analyze search term reports and add negative keywords. Comb through your search terms report in search of money-wasters and exclude them by making them negative keywords.
☑️ Implement bid adjustments. Look into your locations, devices, or audiences to see what areas stand to gain more from bid adjustments. Add negative adjustments to money wasters. We recommend that you add different bid adjustments in different areas at separate times, so you know what actually aided in a performance change.
☑️ Revise and expand your keyword list. Cut out keywords that aren’t doing you any favors, and look through your search terms report for opportunities to add new keywords based on which search terms are converting. When deciding what keywords to remove, look at data from a lookback of 30 days.
Typically adding new keywords is more of a biweekly change–you don’t want to be adding new keywords to the pile every week, and you can’t get much of a feel for their performance in a week necessarily, either.
MONTHLY Google Ads optimization: Moving bigger mountains
Any optimizations you make monthly likely will require more effort, or may result in larger potential performance changes that could take longer to evaluate.
These are things you likely can’t (or shouldn’t) spend time on every day or every week, especially if you’re an agency marketer.
☑️ Test in new ads and make decisions on past tests. I like to give new ads at least a month to show me what they can do. It can take a while to get them into the rotation, and I’ve found that Google Ads will usually prefer the original ads for a bit until it gets the chance to serve the new messaging more. It’s recommended that you turn on the “Optimize for the best performing ads” setting for your campaign, to give the platform the power to show the best ads for the job.
☑️ Evaluate your geolocation strategy and budget accordingly. Break out and give more budget to locations that do the best, and remove or reduce budget to those that poorly perform. Or, start by changing your bid adjustments on locations in more significant amounts.
☑️ Evaluate your conversion data and daypart as needed. Check on the times when conversions are happening and decide if there are certain hours or days of the week that you shouldn’t be showing ads.
☑️ Bid adjustment evaluation and modification. You’ve already been working on bid adjustments, maybe on a weekly or biweekly basis. When the end of the month rolls around, it’s a good time to evaluate again and see if you can add or reduce anything anywhere else.
☑️ Review demographic data and make changes as needed. Removing an entire demographic from your targeting can be a shocking change. So, look at demographics that really haven’t done anything for you, but have been spending your hard-earned cash.
☑️ Retire campaigns that you don’t need. Shocker, not all your campaigns will be winners. When it’s been a month and a campaign has really been struggling, that’s your sign to either scrap the idea and move on, or look into restructuring that campaign to get it to do what you need.
QUARTERLY Google Ads optimization: How did you do, and now what?
When it comes to the end of the quarter, bigger questions start coming to the surface.
How did all your tests do within the last 3 months?
Where are your campaigns at now? Where do you want them to be?
Quarterly reflection is mainly a time for looking back and looking forward. The actual optimizations you make now are likely to be thought-optimizations–in other words, you’re deciding based on where you’ve been what you’re going to do next.
Of course, there’s always the potential that your campaigns did terribly throughout the quarter, even though you really put your back into optimizations and strategies.
And if that’s the case, your quarterly optimization might be looking into something huge, like an account restructure, or complete budget reallocation to a different platform. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.
Take your quarter-end to collect your thoughts and your data, and come up with your next big game plan.
Without Google Ads optimizations, you really can’t expect your account to grow. And if you can’t expect your account to grow, well…you’ll end up watching your competition pass you by. Staying ahead of your account and its many fluctuations will make you a better marketer, and your stellar account performance will prove it.
Remember, though, your optimizations won’t stop within the Google Ads platform. You might have an excellent optimization regimen within the platform, but if you’re not optimizing your landing page (opens in a new tab) alongside, your performance can still crash. Our blog, 31 Landing Page Best Practices Experts Never Ignore (opens in a new tab), has everything you need to get started.
Think you’ve got what it takes to optimize like a pro? We know you do, now that you’ve gotten up to speed on a handful of great optimization ideas to try, and when to try them.
But if optimizing sounds too time-consuming, or it’s just not your cup of tea, our Google Ads pros (opens in a new tab) at Klientboost can take all the hard work off your hands. Or if you need more information on how to audit to put it in tip-top shape, check out Google Ads Audit: The Ultimate 91-Point Guide For Success (opens in a new tab).
Now dig into that Google Ads account and get started.