PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is used by a growing number of businesses that want to appear at the top of Google search rankings. While effective SEO is essential for traffic and lead generation, more and more businesses are supplementing their SEO efforts with PPC campaigns to improve their online visibility.
This type of advertising is big business, with Google taking in $32.6 billion in advertising revenue in 2019 alone. It’s also extremely competitive, and marketers have to ensure that their ad campaigns are optimized if they want their ads to appear at the top for a given search term.
How do I optimize my Google Adwords?
What does “optimization” mean? In terms of Google Adwords, it essentially refers to how well your ads are set up to perform. You can’t just throw up an ad, set your bids, and hope for the best; you need to understand not only how your customer thinks when they see your ad – you also have to know what metrics Google uses to determine if it wants to show your ad at all.
Read on to see five Google Adwords optimization steps you need to take for your ads to capture visitors and boost conversions.
Google Adwords optimization checklist
Before you start a Google Ad campaign, make sure you follow this checklist to ensure your ads are optimized for maximum performance.
- Google Ads keyword optimization strategy
- Pay attention to your Google Adwords Optimization Score
- Google Adwords Quality Score optimization
- Personalize language settings
- Use remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA)
5 Essential Google Ads optimization techniques
1. Google Ads keyword optimization strategy
The first thing you want to do before you even start with your Google Ads campaign is to find the top keywords you want to use in your ads. For example, if you are an online retailer, you will probably want to choose the top ten keywords that will describe your business to people who are searching for something similar to what you offer. Once you have this information, you will want to research the top keywords related to the area of the market you are targeting.
There are a few ways of ways to do this; the first is to go to Google and type in the keyword and see what comes up. The second way is to do a search for your keywords using Google and see which websites come up with the same information as yours.
But most importantly, you’ll want to make use of Google Keyword Planner to ensure your choices have sufficient search interest without too much competition.
Keyword research is essential for Google Adwords targeting optimization
Ideally, you should already have a comprehensive keyword list as part of an overall content strategy. Your keyword research doesn’t end there. When creating a keywords list for Google Ads, you need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Choose keywords that will appeal to your specific target audience, while adding in generalized keyword clusters to reach those who may not directly be the focus but who may be tangentially interested in your product.
Once you have your list of keywords, be sure to take advantage of negative keywords to filter out those terms for which you don’t want your ad to show.
As well, ensure you stay on top of your ad campaign’s data to see which ones work and which ones invite clicks that aren’t relevant to your search terms. Look at your campaign data to track your performance, and ensure you use a healthy mix of long-term keywords with your shorter terms to capture that additional traffic.
Don’t forget to create keyword lists, sorting your keywords into different groupings to test various scenarios and see which groups have greater engagement and show better performance.
2. Pay attention to your Google Adwords Optimization Score
In an effort to determine whether or not a particular ad is worthwhile for searchers, Google’s Ad platform rates your ad with an Optimization Score. The algorithm estimates how well your ad is expected to perform, and gives you a score between 0 to 100%, with a higher score indicating a greater chance of ad success.
The great thing about the score is that it tells you how to optimize your ads to perform better.
Why does my Google Ads Optimization Score keep lowering?
Google’s algorithm takes into consideration your ad’s title, keywords, image, and description. Google’s tool offers suggestions on each, and lets you fix them to boost your score.
If you do nothing else when crafting your ad, make sure it’s relevant. If you’re promoting an ebook on home renovations and a customer clicks on your ad, then your ad will be shown as relevant and appropriate to the information you provided. If not, your ad will be deemed less relevant and you won’t see any clicks from customers. So, again, make sure that whatever you choose to promote is relevant to your ad.
And as a final word of warning: if any of these elements are deemed to be “over-optimized” then Google will deem your ad as spam, meaning that you won’t see any clicks from prospective clients.
How to view your Optimization Score in Google Ads
In Google Ads, click on “My Campaign.” You will find that there are two separate campaigns – your original one and the one you created for your campaign. Clicking on your score (top left) takes you to the page where you can view your optimization score.
On the right-hand side of your screen, you’ll find your keywords. If any keywords are missing from your ad, or if they are too competitive, you may not be able to get them ranked. If you aren’t sure which ones to include in your ad, you can use the drop-down menu in the upper-right corner of the screen to choose one or more keywords. These can then be clicked to see if you can rank it for your keywords, and/or see your competitors’ optimization scores.
How to increase your Optimization Score for your Google Ads
Google provides recommendations to improve your overall Optimization Score. They are based on:
- Your ad’s performance history
- Your campaign settings
- Google’s own search volume and search trends.
As you make the recommended changes, Google will update your score with a modifier. As you go about implementing the recommendations, some positive modifiers will cancel out negative ones, which you can play around with until you get a decent score.
3. Google Adwords Quality Score optimization
Google Ads also provides a Quality Score to let you know how it views the overall quality of your ads. It gives you a rating between 1 – 10 for each keyword and is a major determinant of how Google will decide to rank it. In essence, a higher score means that you’ll have to bid lower to place your ad, while a lower score means higher bids. So it’s definitely worth the effort to optimize your score.
Which factors affect your score? There are three main elements that determine a Quality Score for an ad.
- Keyword relevance
- CTR performance
- Landing page quality
Keyword relevance to search terms
The ad has to be relevant to the search terms used by people searching for the product advertised. In other words, it has to provide information about the product or service searched for that will align with what users are looking for.
Make sure your keywords match buyer intent for your ads; otherwise, if Google determines that they are of low relevance, it will definitely cost you in the long run.
CTR Conversion optimization in Google Ads starts with ad quality
Google looks at your click-through-rate (CTR) and compares it with historical averages of similar campaigns. If your CTR is low, then Google will determine it’s because your ad isn’t meeting user expectations.
Writing a high-quality ad is one way to boost your CTR rate. If you make it as appealing and relevant as possible, chances are it will give you a significant boost to your overall Quality Score.
Google Adwords landing page optimization
Google looks at your landing page – that is, the page where clicking on the ad will take you to. It’s a critically important part of the overall score calculation because Google wants to ensure that the user will have a positive experience.
Factors that influence the score include page quality, load time, mobile optimization, bounce rate, time on page, and how relevant the content is to the keywords. In other words, spammy or poorly-designed landing pages won’t do. Not only will a very low score make your ads less effective, but it could also actually put your Google Ads account in jeopardy.
4. Personalize language settings
If your site is multilingual, placing ads for non-English keywords can be an effective strategy. But even if your website is in English only, you can still take advantage of language settings to reach those who may be bilingual.
For example, it’s estimated that 56% of residents of Germany speak English. Therefore, placing German-language ads and targeting that population in the Google Ads language settings to target them means that you can still get a significant amount of visitors who also speak English but at a significantly lower cost.
5. Use remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA)
Google Ads gives you tools to adjust your campaign to reach these users with a series of remarketing settings under your Display Network tab. Included in these is a feature called Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA), which allows you to create a list of these users per keyword, giving you control over whether or not you want to reach them, and which keywords should be included or excluded.
With RLSA, you can:
- Optimize your bids to spend more when users who have visited your site within the past 30 days are searching for your keywords, which can help boost sales significantly
- Bid on tangentially-related keywords (which you didn’t necessarily specify in your campaign) when people who have previously converted on your site conduct a search.
Taking advantage of retargeting tools can have an enormous impact on your ad conversion rates. Fortunately, Google makes it easy to do.
Optimizing your Google Adwords is part of an effective lead generation strategy
Optimizing your Google ads to perform well is critically important to remain competitive in popular search niches. But your PPC strategy is only half the battle. To ensure your business website is successful, you’ll need to work with a proven SEO agency that can expand your reach while reducing your marketing spend.
For over 12 years, Miromind’s team of SEO experts has worked with businesses around the world to meet their business goals. Contact us today to learn how you can enjoy sustainable and cost-effective traffic for your website.