Google Ads can be a very expensive and inefficient way of marketing when put into the wrong hands, with plenty of inexperienced business owners and marketing teams having bad experiences with the platform due to not understanding the basics.
In Adwords, you have complete control over your ad copy and spending. Plus, you can decide where your ads will appear and at what time they should show up. Businesses can analyse their past campaigns with the in-depth reporting feature. That way, they can shape future efforts to reach out to their audience in the most effective way.
This blog will explain the main pillars of the platform and outline common mistakes (hiking up the costs of UK Google Ads) that may be dissolving your marketing budget straight into their pockets - and receiving very little in return!
- The importance of Quality Score
- Using the correct match types
- How to effectively use negative keyword lists
- Planning objectives
The importance of Quality Score
As a business, you need to ensure that you have a high Quality Score. This is one of the main metrics in Google Ads and can be used as a gauge to see how healthy your ads and keywords are. So, what exactly is a Quality Score? And how can you improve yours?
Google Ads Quality Score is the overall rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords and targeted ads. The metric is used to calculate your cost per click (CPC) and will help increase your overall competitiveness when bidding in the ad auction process. Your Quality Score is determined by three main factors the following factors:
- Expected CTR
- Landing Page Experience
- Ad Relevance
So, if these components aren’t working well you may want to look into taking actions to improve them!
You can check your Quality Score in the keyword tab in the Google Ads interface under “Quality Score”, as well as an overview of the individual components so you know exactly what factors of your campaign needs work.
Using the correct match types
For your ads to be a success, you need to make sure that you’re using the right match types. There are four main match types in pay-per-click (PPC), these are:
- Broad match.
- Broad match modified.
- Phrase match.
- Exact match.
A common mistake that can cause wasted spend and poor targeting is the misuse of broad match.
Broad match will cause your keyword to be eligible to match against a wide range of possible keyword searches that may only be slightly relevant. These include all variations of your keyword including synonyms, singular and plural misspellings and other variations. For example, Using the keyword red shoes, a broad match would match red running shoes, red trainers etc.
There’s a time and place for broad keywords but they’re generally not recommended in a basic account build where broad match modifier and exact match keywords are a better solution.
How to effectively use negative keyword lists
Sometimes, your ad campaigns can be triggered by search terms that contain your keywords but don’t have much relevance to what you’re advertising. Using broad keywords means that there’s no guarantee that people who’ve stumbled across your ad are actually interested. So, it's pointless to try and entice them with your offer.
So, you should use an extensive negative keyword list. Even if you are using the correct match types in your campaign, you may still find that you are still showing for irrelevant search queries. Extensive negative keyword lists ensure that every last bit of money you’re spending is going towards getting qualified leads for the business.
A negative keyword list basically tells Google to not display your ad when the listed terms are searched for. Therefore, it’s important to build an extensive negative keyword list to streamline your spend for appropriate keywords. You must keep on top of adding irrelevant search terms to negative keyword lists, especially in the early testing phases of your Google Ads account and new campaigns.
As with anything, if you fail to plan your Google Ads campaigns effectively, they’re unlikely to produce the results that you’re looking for. Without a clear objective, your campaign has no end goal, therefore, nothing to work towards. So, how do you measure the success of it? The truth is, without an objective, you can’t gauge how effective your campaign has been and which different tactics work or not.
Be careful to not rush into an account build. We get it, you may have heard about how your peers, competitors and ‘that guy from the youtube ad’ have made bank from their Google Ads account, however, take a step back and have a look at your business and what your budget, audience and KPI’s are before planning your campaign. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach that works for these campaigns, it needs to be ultra-tailored to your business and it’s unique needs.
Depending on the campaign type, Google Ads has the capability to support your e-commerce shop, increase brand awareness and generate leads for your company. So, it’s essential to plan ahead on how you can implement the right campaign types.
You could have a highly efficient account build but if you don’t have the website to back this up you are essentially throwing money at a brick wall. You should ensure that the right landing pages are in place throughout the site and are aligned with their relevant campaigns.
Ensure that your user experience is up to scratch based on your goals. If you are looking to generate leads, ask yourself, “Is there the appropriate content on there? With a clear form or phone number that a user can use to contact us about products or services?” If the answer is anything other than yes, your landing pages need looking at and will be affecting the overall campaign.
Take Full Advantage of Smart Bidding
Originally, there was only manual bidding available in Google Ads, however, with machine learning advancing in the last few years, there are a growing plethora of bidding strategies available to maximise results based on your campaign goals.
And you need to select the right one! Google has a range of automated strategies available and once you have conversion goals set up you’ll be able to take advantage of these. We understand that it can be difficult to hand over control of your precious marketing budget to a machine, however, if you keep a close eye on it you’ll reap the rewards and focus more of your time in areas that the wider company needs.
Be brave and let over a bit of control to the robots!
Comprehensive Conversion Tracking
Once a customer interacts with your paid ad, it’s important to track what actions they take on your webpage. This allows you to see which keywords, ads, ad groups and campaigns are driving valuable activity. If you have this information, it can help you to understand your Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) and make informed decisions on where to put your ad spend.
Without knowing which ads and messaging are converting, you’ll be making blind decisions. Therefore, each campaign will be a shot in the dark. This is definitely not the most effective way to plan your Google Ads campaigns and can lead to the business losing a lot of money - and quickly too!
There are many different signals that you are able to track using Google Ads and other Google products such as Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. These include phone call tracking, buttons clicks and destinations.
Unfortunately, once you have this in place you’re not done, the Google Ad keyword market is an ever-changing space that is affected by many factors, in which you’ll have to monitor to keep yourself in the game. Once you start seeing data coming through you’ll be able to see the campaigns that are performing (or not performing) in which you can make informed decisions on how to streamline spend and performance.
Without optimising your campaigns, you’ll never recognise what the most effective way of drawing in your visitors is. Therefore, if your campaigns aren’t targeting your audience in the way that they best engage with your ads, you could be missing out on potential lead conversion and overall business success. Plus, without optimisation, the costs of your Google Ads will simply soar.
Optimising your campaigns is a method of self-assessment that you should carry out through every department of your business, especially your marketing department and Google Ads campaigns. Without reflection, how are you planning on improving your delivery and performance? Failing to recognise that your efforts may be outdated and poor practice can be costly to your business.
Incorporate paid ads into your wider marketing campaign
Obviously, Google Ads are just one component of a successful marketing campaign. You need to make sure that all your efforts are at the highest standard they can be if you’re going to be as successful as possible. From your content marketing strategy to your social media messaging, you need to ensure that everything aligns and presents the same core messaging.
Otherwise, your efforts will all be pulling in different directions and the campaign will be a flop. So, where do you start? Well, that’s where we can help. At Red-Fern, our expert team are vastly experienced in delivering successful marketing campaigns for our clients - especially, Google Ads campaigns. So, to see how we can help drive your business forwards, why not book in a discovery call? One of our expert team members will be on hand to help you with any questions or queries you may have.