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Google Ads Tips – 2021

Fine Tuning your Google Ads

It is imperative to tune your Google Ads often. Competition is so high, and your ads must resonate to get top results. We have compiled these articles to assist you in optimizing the performance of your Google Ads Campaign.

[1]In 2020, with continued lockdowns, restrictions on services, and a significant reduction in the number of face-to-face interactions between businesses and their customers, companies were required to be highly agile to adapt to ongoing changes within the market. From this, two things became evident.

Businesses were becoming much more diligent in how they spent their marketing budgets.

Most businesses that previously hadn’t considered digital marketing a core function were immediately thrust into the reality that it was no longer a choice. It was essential.

This blog will hopefully help some of you who are new to the world of PPC marketing and even relieve some more experienced users with some of the tips and tricks we’ve picked up on over the years.

Do you suffer from forgetfulness during your busy days of grinding Google Ads?

If so, leave a note on your Google Ads account whenever you make a significant change, such as adding new keywords, incorporating new bidding strategies, or adjusting your campaign targeting.

Adding a note will allow you to identify the performance of the account better before and after changes have been made. This makes it much easier to work out what is happening to your Google Ads account and why.

Look at the date of the label, and select “Change History” in your second column. We can then identify which change to the account was most likely to cause the change in performance.

Want to see the exact steps users take before successfully converting on your site?

We can use the “Top Conversion Paths” report on Google Analytics to analyze the user behaviour flow.

To find this, click on “Conversions” on Google Analytics in your left sidebar, then “Multi-Channel Funnels,” and select “Top Conversion Paths.” Then, use the advanced settings to show only paths from users who have visited from the MCF Channel Grouping Path, including “Paid.”

Once this is done, we can show a secondary dimension for “Search Query Path.” Again, ensure only valuable conversions are shown on this report and set the lookback window to 90 days to see the maximum data.

We can now look at the different visits a user makes before successfully converting, including viewing the search terms they used to match your ads on Google.

Do you own one of those Google Ads accounts with tons of disorganized negative keywords?

Here’s a tip – Don’t add negative keywords to the Campaign or Ad Group level unless necessary.

Instead, create Negative Keyword Lists (found in the Account Library) and apply these at the campaign level where applicable. Keep these lists closely themed, such as having a negative keyword list for; competitors, cheap/DIY type searches, and to prevent ads appearing for users searching for irrelevant searches.

A business may offer Industrial Tank Cleaning as a service and bid on the keyword “Tank Cleaning.”

The problem is, there are 3,600 searches for “Fish Tank Cleaning” each month, and only 390 searches for “Tank Cleaning,” as such, without having the negative keyword, “Fish,” you would run the risk of wasting your budget each day without any users having the chance to find you for the services you offer!

[2]What if your 2021 resolution was to stop wasting your Google Ads budget and start improving the profitability of your campaigns?

What if your 2021 resolution was to stop wasting your budget on Google Ads and start improving the profitability of your campaigns?

Google tends to add more automation and complexity to their ad products. While it can help day-to-day campaign management, it comes at the price of readability and control over your campaigns.

As a marketer, you need to maintain control over your campaigns and strategies. Unfortunately, Google’s optimizations are not always in your best interest, nor do they know the context of your brand. One solution could be to use a campaign optimization tool like SEO. It helps you to get insights into your campaigns while remaining in charge of the final decision.

To succeed in 2021, you must do new things: integrate more data, retain control over automatic Google optimizations, fight against increased competition, yet you will not have more time for this. Let’s look at the 5 New Year’s resolutions you should focus on in 2021:

1. SKAGs

Google favours consistency within campaigns. The more similar performance your keywords have, the better the drive will perform overall. This has been the rationale behind the infamous single keyword ad groups strategy (or SKAGs) popular a few years back. It was an unmanageable mess. Luckily, lately, Google introduced a few updates that made SKAGs irrelevant: match type update, close variants, etc.

So if consistency is crucial, but SKAGs are overkill, what are we to do? As is often the case in marketing, we need to work with common sense. In this situation, the user’s intent should be the North Star to group your keywords.

Internet users who searched for your brand’s name are more likely to convert and buy once on your site. First, all keywords relating to your brand should be grouped and bring the best CPA and ROAS. Second, those mentioning keywords such as “price” or “discount” are strong signals of buy intent. Third, while phrases including “specifications,” “size,” or “warranty” are essential for you to bid on, your CTR and CR will be lower. Thus you should have a reduced bid for those. If you want to improve results, you must visualize and quantify the areas in which you can improve things and find new business. The trick is to structure your account appropriately.

This can be a time-consuming and confusing process. However, an easy way to start is to use insight tools such as the SEISO Google Ads analyzer report to assist you in understanding your current campaigns.

2. Declutter your campaign, no more wasted ad spend

With dozens of campaigns, hundreds of words of ad copy and tens of thousands of keywords, keeping a close eye on each of them can be overwhelming. Yet, it is key to your success. Underperforming spending represents the portion of your Google Ads investment with a low-quality score or isn’t converting enough. As time goes on, keeping a handle on things gets more time-consuming as you add news terms and copies every day. After a few years, it can become unmanageable.

To reduce the wasted spend, you’ll have to drill down into two reports: the Quality Score and the Search Query Report to analyze the search terms that trigger your ads.

You can also save time and quantify your potential savings with the free SEISO cleaning tool. Our observation with over 6000 accounts audited monthly is that marketers, on average, can save up to 32% on their spending with no impact on performance by trimming the right branches.

3. Double down on your strengths

Often advertisers think that to increase their sales. So they have to buy new keywords.

While this is true, it is necessary to ensure you have the maximum market share on the keywords for which you are the most profitable (beyond branded traffic, of course)!

The best way to ensure you don’t lose any opportunity is to monitor the Impression Share you have on Google Ads SERPs.

Lost impressions represent missed opportunities on searches related to the keywords you choose to bid on. Therefore, you need to focus on the top 10 campaigns, check your competitors’ market shares, and monitor closely when you are not shown.

On average, 94% of SEISO users see that they are not always present on their top search terms SERP when they run their first audit.

4. Make it shine

Copy and visuals are playing an increasingly important role in campaigns. As a user is exposed to more than 6000 ads daily, you need to stand out to get a chance to attract their attention.

The creative quality weighs up to 80% in the performance of Facebook Ads campaigns, and we observe a similar trend on Google Ads.

And the importance of the visual is also increasing on the Google Ads network!

The secret to optimizing your ads and creatives is to give in to the power of statistics. Of course, you can never know which creative will work the best, but you can now quickly test your best guesses. The magic number is between 3 and 5. So always try at least three and no more than five ads in an ad group.

Think about the benchmark: SEISO will also give you recommendations for improving priorities: optimization of ads, use of ad extensions, etc.

5. Spend smarter, not more

More and more, Google is catching up with Facebook on the user-centric approach. As a result, your spending needs to be allocated not only on keywords or placement levels but also on user profiles.

Data is gathered from users’ declarative information, when and where they are online, and Google Analytics shared data and inferred data from previous search queries (i.e. if a user searches for baseball game score, he is a sports enthusiast). To consider user profiles, make bid adjustments to your most valuable audiences and criteria.

It is vital to integrate dimensions for audiences for your campaigns: socio-demographics, time of the day/day of the week, geography, devices, etc.

Bonus Tips: Remember to look at it especially at the global level, then on the top campaigns where the differences are essential.

Starting the year with good resolutions is excellent, but it is only the first step. The key to having a State of the Art Google Ads account all year round is maintaining a steady pace of work.

There is much more to discover in the SEISO analysis report, including expert tips and Google Ads best practices, account activity analysis, budget management recommendations, and more than 75 criteria sifted.

[3]Evoking Emotion in Your Ads

Next in our Google Ads tips is reviewing the emotional register of your ads. In digital advertising and beyond, it’s well-established that evoking an emotional response in your audience is effective.

A Google Ad doesn’t give you much room to let your company’s personality shine through. You can still generate a solid impression of your brand and put them in the right frame of mind for conversion, though, through word choice and with your CTA.

For example, use phrasing that matches your branding. For example, an AI solution that gives sales teams better data to work with might go with the keyword “AI sales solution.” They can then use phrases and adjectives like “faster,” “cleaner,” “most effective,” and “sales advantage” in an ad. All of these are words a prospect might want to see paired with the keyword “AI sales solution.”

When you’re planning your CTA, keep your prospect’s ideal outcome in mind. For example, a high-end product analytics service might use the CTA “Subscribe now to take your business to new heights” to produce that ideal emotional response.

Let’s say you’re placing a Google Ad for an email automation service. The prospects looking for this kind of service want an easy-to-implement solution. To that end, the company might roll with a copy to the effect of “Your high-quality email automation problems: solved.” You could pair this copy with a CTA like “Sign Up Today.”

Using Negative Keywords for Your Ads

We have most of what we need for a great Google Ad for natural language, bidding approach, tone, and device specialization. Now we need to curate our limits on who’s likely to see our ad.

That’s where negative keywords come in. Google won’t show your ad for any search terms that you’ve set to negative match. So making use of negative keywords will help you refine your audience and save money.

For example, if you base your ad on the keyword “data management,” you don’t want your ad to surface for people searching for a “data management job.” The people who searched for this second term are much less likely to convert.

There are a handful of universal negative keywords that any campaign should use. Keywords like “free,” “samples,” “meaning of,” and “about,” when used in conjunction with your product keyword in a search, are unlikely to result in conversions. Negative keywords also vary depending on the nature and aims of your ad.

Let’s say you’re creating an ad for an online business management course for professionals. You may wish to add terms like “university business management course” and “on-campus” to your negative keywords list, as they’ll probably appeal more to undergrads than to professionals. As a result, they’re unlikely to attract searches that end up in conversions.

Trying a Tighter Campaign Structure

Our in-house PPC manager at SpyFu, Tree Fine, swears by an exact match campaign structure. But, of course, this is a change you work toward, as it takes a bit of patience and detailed organization to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

Tree explained his approach when he saw Google’s evolution toward automation creep into their updates. They started adjusting fuzzy matches and playing with what phrase match meant. Most of these changes hint at Google wanting campaigns to run with less rigour; they claim to target efficiency on your campaign’s behalf.

Another wrinkle is that Google accommodates privacy concerns, taking potentially revealing searches out of your keyword reports. While that affects the tail-end of your campaign, it’s also part of your performance feedback cycle. You can’t always tell which searches triggered your ads. An exact match campaign–that continues to grow with new descriptive investigations–would give you a better grasp of what is bringing people to your site.

The key to an exact match campaign structure is to create tight ad groups with specific ad copy for each one. The payoff comes in better conversions and more substantial-quality scores.

[4]Instant Customer Match Rates

Customer Match is a feature that allows you to use your online and offline data to target those customers across Google’s channels and other customers that look like them.

Up until now, when you uploaded your customer list, you’d have to wait to see what your match rate would be (i.e., the number of users Google can match in their user base).

Since April 2021, Google has shown instant Customer Match rates from your current and past uploads.

For better Customer Match rates, Google recommends adding as much customer information as possible. They have found that advertisers who upload two types of customer information see an average list size increase of 28%, and with three classes, they saw a rise of 35%.

Final Thoughts on Google Ads Trends

All of the Google Ads trends we showed you today are some of the many trends that will continue to pop up in 2021 and beyond. It’s your responsibility as a marketer to stay prepared for the constant stream of changes. Now that you have finished reading this article, you can safely say you are.

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