September 7

Google Ads Best Practices

If you are a small business owner who wants to have an online presence, Google Ads should play a large role in your strategy. Google Ads is one of the most successful and most profitable platforms you could use, but you can only realize its many benefits if you know how to use it.


Unfortunately, using Google Ads requires more than just simply writing an ad and publishing it. To fully realize the platform’s potential, you must first know the best practices to implement.


In this report, you will learn the strategies, tricks, and tips that can help you make the most of any Google Ad campaign you run. In just a few months, you will start to see the revenue returned and sometime after that, will have a very strong campaign.


Being successful with Google Ads doesn’t happen overnight. But it will happen if you implement the best practices that follow in this report.


Create a Budget

budget 2

Before you even get started with a Google Ads campaign, you must create a budget. Using a budget, you can determine how to structure your campaign in a way so you can test ads and explore different markets while not overspending on your ads.


If you aren’t aware of the amount available to spend, you will have no way to structure your campaign properly and in a way that will be most effective.


The average small to medium-sized business spends anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 on their Google Ads campaign. If that sounds overwhelming and you are just starting out on the platform, start much smaller than this with a budget of anywhere between $10 and $50.


Regardless of the budget you set for yourself, it is important to check your campaigns after setting a new one to determine how they are performing. You can also set a shared amount across multiple campaigns.


Establish Well-Defined Goals


Just as you need to set a budget before you even create a Google Ads campaign, you also need to clearly define your goals for each individual campaign. Ask yourself what you want your ads to accomplish.


Are you trying to increase your sales? Or are you trying to increase your brand awareness, so more people learn about your company?


There are many different objectives you may have for your campaign but whatever those are, you need to know what your goals are. That is the only way to know if you are moving towards your goals in a manner that makes sense and that will be profitable.


Focus on Your Copy

goals

Your ad copy is the only part of the overall campaign that clients and existing customers so it is imperative that it is the best. The amount of space you have to win over prospects is very small and if you don’t have dynamic copy, viewers will skim past your ad looking for something more interesting.


Your ad copy should always be as concise and to the point. Your message also needs to be very clear and the copy needs to be sharp. You likely will not write your best ad on your first attempt, but keep trying. The more ads you have, the more options you have to test and see which one is most effective.


Test, Test, and then Test Again


Truthfully, no one ever really knows which ad campaigns will work and which ones will not. You could have an ad that’s structured perfectly and that has creative and effective copy.


But for some reason, you could run it for months and months and not see the results you were hoping for. You would have wasted all that time and money. For this reason, it’s critical that you test your ads, and then test them again.


Testing your Google Ads is easy. You simply create two, three, or more ads and then run them separately to see which one performs the best.


When testing ads, it is best to keep the parameters the same, such as how long you run the campaign for, so you can compare the results equally. However, you can and should change important elements of your campaign, such as your keywords, the copy, your bid amounts, and more.


You can then see which of these performs the best and continue using the best-performing elements in your current and future campaigns.


Review Your Bids Often


Bidding on Google Ads is a fairly complex process and there are many best practices to use in this topic alone. The most important thing to remember when it comes to your bids is to review them often. This is the only way to ensure that you are not missing out on new opportunities that have opened up.


If you bid too low in your ad campaign, you may find it challenging to reach the leads you are trying to attract because your ads will not appear as often as your competitor’s.


On the other hand, if you bid too high, you may unnecessarily spend more than you have to in your budget. To ensure that you are capitalizing on every opportunity and that you are not spending too much, you should review your bids regularly.


Make Sure Keywords are Relevant


Keywords are of critical importance to your ad. You must ensure that you are using the right ones that match the queries of users.


Like most aspects of Google Ads though, the keywords that are relevant for you are constantly changing. There is a very good chance that over time, certain keywords have entered the mix in your campaigns that you no longer want to use.


To ensure you are always using the keywords that are most relevant to your campaign, it is important to review your keyword list periodically. Eliminate the ones you no longer think are useful and remove them.


Also review any potentially new keywords that may be relevant now but that weren’t when you first created your campaign.


Consider Whether Display Network Ads Are For You

ad networks

The Google network is a vast one. Google owns a number of different websites, which include YouTube, Google Finance, and more. When you run a Google Ads campaign, you have the option to not only run your ads on Google, but in the entire display network. It is natural to assume that running your ads across the entire network is the best way to get your ad seen by the largest amount of people possible.


Unfortunately, this is not always the best strategy to use. Running ads on the Display Network means you are running ads on websites controlled by Google, but not Google itself.


The only time running ads on the Display Network is really useful is when you need a very high level of visibility to succeed. If this is not the case for your ads, you may find the Display Network does not produce the results you want.


It is usually recommended to limit your ads strictly to Google. This is particularly true if you are just starting out on Google Ads and are still trying to figure the whole thing out.


Match An Ad to the Right Landing Page


When someone clicks on your ad, it is because they found the copy interesting and thought it may take them to something they will find useful. If someone clicks on your ad and it takes them to a landing page that is not consistent with the ad, they will become frustrated and leave. Then they will likely hit the “back” button in an effort to find something more in line with what they were searching for.


As such, it’s important to always make sure that your landing page is in line with the ad you are displaying. For example, if you are a heating and air conditioning company and run an ad about furnaces in the winter, you should not direct users to a landing page that is for your air conditioning services.


Target Ads To Users in Your Funnel

users

Most businesses should have a clear sales funnel in place. This shows every stage of the purchasing process, from the time you first capture the attention of a lead until they convert into a customer and make a purchase.


You must not only know the different parts of your sales funnel, but you must also know how to write ads that target customers within a certain part of the funnel.


For example, if you want to create an ad that targets people that are close to the point of sale, you may not want to include in your ad that you offer free consultations.


Being this far in the funnel, those customers may have already had a free consultation and so, the ad is not relevant to them. Instead, you may want to mention the discount they will receive if they use your company a second time for their needs.


Determine How Many Campaigns to Run


Generally speaking, you should run more than one campaign at a time. How many you choose to run will largely depend on the size of your business, the model of your business, your Google Ads budget, and more.


There really is no right or wrong answer about the number of campaigns you should run, or the types of campaigns that are best for you and your business. Regardless of how many you choose to run, you must ensure that it is something you can manage.


For example, if you are a small business owner using Google Ads, but you don’t have the budget to realistically run ten or twenty campaigns at once, start with one or two. Once you know your advertising is effective, you can then start to add on more campaigns one by one.


When running multiple ads, it is also important to remember that you don’t have to run them all at once. You may have seasonal offers, or you may have ads that you only run when you have certain inventory.


The point is not that you are constantly running multiple campaigns. The point is to make sure you have multiple ads ready to run at any given moment so you have options.


Create Ad Groups


When you are creating an ad, you are required to create an ad group. You must do this even if you are only running one ad. Even without this requirement, it is always better to create more than one ad anyway, so you can test out your different ads and determine which ones perform best. In most cases, you will have more than one ad in your Google Ads account anyway.


For example, imagine that you are a home services business and you want to market your company. You want to focus on promoting two different sectors of your business - installations and repairs.


You will create campaigns for each different category. You make more profit through installations than you do repairs, so you want that to be the main focus and allocate more of your budget to installations, as budgets are set at the campaign level, not the ad level on Google Ads.


Even within installations, you may have many different categories you want to create ads for. You may provide services, for example, for gutters and windows. You want to keep the same network, location, and device targeting for each of these areas, but you will need ad copy that is completely unique and different from your other ads.


The last thing you want is for a window installation ad appearing for a query about gutter installation. Plus, with the way Google Ads auction works, certain ads may not win many auctions anyway. Due to this, you’ll need to organize your ads into thematic ad groups based on targeting parameters and keywords.


Know How You Want to Organize Ad Groups

ad groups

Although there are many clear outlines and guidelines about how you should structure many different parts of your Google Ads campaign, how you theme out your ad groups is entirely up to you.


You could group ads according to the services you offer, the different promotions you will run, customer intent, and more. However you decide to structure your ad groups, just make sure that it makes sense to you and that it is easy for you to manage.


Know How Many Ad Groups Per Campaign You Should Have


Although you need ad groups as part of your campaign, it is important that you have an appropriate amount. Per campaign, you shouldn’t have any more than seven to ten ad groups. This will help ensure that your main goals or offerings are centered around your main goal, which will help ensure all of your campaigns are more effective. If you find that you have more than ten ad groups, it is a sign that you need a new campaign.


Know How Many Keywords to Include in an Ad Group


Historically, small business owners needed to include a long list of keywords in their different ad groups. There are so many keyword matching updates today, that you do not need the amount of keywords you once would have.


Focus on the keywords that are most important to your campaign and don’t try to muddy the waters with multiple variations. If you are advertising on the Display Network, you may not even need this many.


Ads in the Display Network only require three to five keywords because this type of advertising relies more heavily on audience targeting.


Think Of Your Ads As The “Face” of Your Business


Remember that many people who see your ad may not be familiar with your business. As such, the ad they see will be the first impression they have of your business. Keep this in mind and always remember that your ad is the face of your business. Don’t sacrifice your copywriting for many aggressive calls to action just to get more customers, as it will not work.


Always make sure any ad copy you publish is the first thing you want people to see and learn about your business. That is the best way to make sure that each and every ad you create is a great one.


Include Great Calls to Action

call to actions

Although you don’t want to stuff your ads with calls to action such as “Call us now” or “Reach out to us today,” you do want to make sure that every ad you create includes one great call to action.


It does you no good to give leads all the information they need to make the decision to purchase from you, only to leave them hanging and wondering what action to take next.


You must direct leads to take certain actions, whether that is visiting your website, filling out a form, or calling or visiting the business. This is the only way to ensure leads know what to do next, so you can convert them into a customer.


Optimize Your Ads for Natural Language Search


Natural language search refers to expressing search terms using everyday language. This has become the backbone of recent Google search improvements, and your Google Aids should try to reflect that style.


Natural language search has grown in popularity largely because voice search now makes up a greater share of overall search traffic. It’s also a result Google’s BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), which allowed Google to better understand user intent when they write search terms in their natural language.


People who use a natural language search style are usually better prepared to convert than those who don’t. Long-tail keywords, which are keywords that include multiple words and key phrases, are usually written in natural language. These keywords have a lower search volume, but they convert up to three times more users than regular keywords.


Today, Google actively looks to prioritize ads that are written in a natural language over a jumble of keywords. Google’s expanded text ads policy is optimized for ads that read naturally and that don’t repeat words. As such, the best practice is to combine keywords with high potential for phrase match with natural language phrasing.


For example, you may sell data analytics solutions. Ad copy that reads “Provide your data team with great data analysis with our data analytics solutions,” is not going to perform well. It is stuffed with keywords, but it is confusing and repetitive.


It is also not focused on any type of solution and so, you likely will not receive many click-throughs. Google would be much more likely to show an ad that read “Bolster your business’ bottom line by up to 20 percent with our cutting-edge data analytics solution.”


Tweak Your Ads For Mobile And Native

mobile ads

Today, 70 percent of all web browsing occurs on mobile devices. Due to this astounding statistic, it is imperative that you tweak your ads so they will display on both mobile and laptop devices.


Not only will your ad appear differently on mobile and desktop devices, but user behavior will also change depending on the type of device they are using.


Both mobile and desktop audiences are very valuable. Desktop conversion value is approximately 55 percent higher than mobile conversions, but over half of total ad clicks come from mobile devices. You can use this perspective when conducting your keyword research, too.


For example, you may realize that mobile users are more likely to use keywords such as “near me” far more than desktop users. You might create a short ad that includes these keywords.


You may also find that desktop users are most likely to use the keyword “best” and so, you use that in longer copy meant for desktop users.


Here you will have about four sentences of space to use. You may start with a snappy lead sentence, articulate the point of your ad in the second sentence, and then use the rest to fill in the detail.


Your mobile ad, on the other hand, should get to the point quickly and provide important information first.


One you have created different ads for different devices, you can then set IF functions. IF functions automatically customize your ad message according to the device a lead is using. IF functions can also change the call to action depending on what device the prospect is using.


For example, a mobile user may see the call to action as “Visit us today!” while a desktop user may see the call to action, “Order Now!”


There is a lot to think about when it comes to tweaking your ads to display properly on desktop and mobile devices. The potential rewards though, are significant. Among all of the best practices for Google Ads, optimizing for native and mobile is one of the most important.


Use Your Ad to Evoke Emotion


As a small business owner, you likely know that the key to selling is evoking emotion. You need to extend that to your Google Ads, too. For example, you may hit an emotional cord by talking about how yours is a family business, and how it got started.


The problem with Google Ads is that you don’t have a lot of space in your copy to let the personality of your business shine through, and that is often the key to evoking emotion.


Still, you can generate a solid impression of your brand and get your lead in the right frame of mind for converting through your word choice and your call to action.


For example, you can use phrasing that matches the branding of your company. If you provide AI solutions that give sales teams better data to work with, you may choose keywords such as “cleaner,” “faster,” and “most effective” in your ad. These are words potential leads might like to see when they use the keyword “AI sales solution.”


When creating your call to action, you should also always keep the ideal outcome of the prospect in mind. For example, if you sell email automation software, you may use copy such as “Your high-quality email automation problems: solved” as copy that will evoke the emotional response you are looking for. Then, you are able to pair this copy with a call to action such as “Sign Up Now!”


Use Negative Keywords in Your Ads


Using natural language, the right bidding approach, and the proper tone are all essential aspects of creating an effective Google Ads campaign. Now you need to curate your limits on who will be most likely to see your ad.


This is where negative keywords enter the picture. When you set keywords to negative match, Google will not show your ad for any of those terms. This can help you refine your audience by also saving money in your budget, too.


For example, you may sell IT solutions. You want to attract potential customers, and not potential employees. As such, you may use the negative key phrase, “IT solutions jobs” because the people who are searching for employment are much less likely to convert if they click on your ad.


There are a few universal negative keywords that all business owners should include in their campaign. These includes keywords such as “samples,” “free,” “about,’ and “meaning of.” People who click on these ads are far less likely to convert than other prospects.


The specific negative keywords you use will largely depend on the nature of your business and the goal you have for your ad campaign.


Use Auto-Apply Recommendations

auto ads

Of all the performance tools you have available, the ability to automatically apply recommendations is one of the most important when trying to improve on your campaigns.


Once you activate Auto-apply recommendations, Google will update your campaigns automatically with relevant new extensions, keywords, features, optimized bidding improvements, and more.


Auto-apply recommendations are particularly useful because they focus on relevancy. Hence you may notice that certain recommendations are applied more frequently than others. Still more even others might never apply.


Applying a specific subset of automatic recommendations benefits not only your global account performance while saving you time, but your budget won’t change because of the applied recommendations, either.


Still, you should never leave any part of your campaign fully automated and never give it a moment’s thought again. You need to check the “Recommendation” page to make sure your budget isn’t limiting the performance of your ad.


Auto-apply recommendations will tap into the historical data of your campaigns to make better recommendations that may improve the performance.


Understand Responsive Search Ads


In June 2022, Google seized complete control of expanded text ads and replaced them with responsive search ads. Responsive search ads allow you to create ads that disclose messages that are more relevant.


After entering a few different headlines with descriptions, Google will then begin testing combinations. It is important to narrowly align your ad’s content with the prospect’s search terms, thus delivering the optimal ad performance within your campaign.


Understand Dynamic Search Ads


If you’re a small business owner with a large inventory website, such as an e-commerce store, dynamic search ads will be particularly effective for your business.


Dynamic search ads use content you currently have published to generate engaging landing pages and headlines, and to fill in any gaps in your keyword-based campaigns. 


Ultimately, the goal is to target leads who are about to convert and who are already searching for the exact product or service you sell.


Dynamic search ads are often said to be the preferred tool among business owners because it addresses many of the concerns that come with conventional text campaigns by leveraging the content on your site.


Without it, you would have to manually recreate an ad based on the content you most recently posted. With dynamic search ads, all you have to do is write a creative description for the ad!


Use Broad Match Keywords


You may have noticed that sometimes when you conduct a search on Google, the results that are returned don’t always necessarily correlate with the exact terms you used in your search.


You may also notice though, that the words returned are essentially synonyms of the keywords you initially searched for. This is because the results that were returned to you were created by businesses that know how to effectively use broad match keywords.

Using broad match keywords and letting Google default to other keywords has many benefits.


It may attract more visitors to your website, while you can spend less time creating keyword lists. You can focus on bidding and spending on keywords that perform better, and close the gap so you know you are covered for all relevant searched.


Lastly, it can also help you identify new keywords you may not have thought of before. For example, you may use the board match keyword of “How to cook turkey” for your butcher business. Ads may show on searches for:


  • Follow this protein-based meal plan
  • Plan your best Thanksgiving dinner yet
  • How to prevent your turkey from getting dry

The results shown when using broad match keyword may not necessarily show up in the same order for one person and for another, a certain result may not show up at all.


Google will look for relevance and will base its matches on the user’s recent history, the content on the landing page, and the other keywords that can help direct the user’s objective.


Use Smart Bidding

bids

Once you have established your campaign and business goals, using automated bidding strategies can help your ads perform better. Smart Bidding relies on machine learning to optimize for conversion or conversion value at every auction. Smart Bidding strategies will help you maximize conversion value, target ROAs, and target CPA.


When utilizing Smart Bidding, there isn’t really any incremental gain in using keywords that are repeated in different match types. You would need to use a very long list of keywords to make sure you have the same reach as a single broad keyword.


Combining broad keywords with Smart Bidding is one of the most effective ways to make sure your ads are returned on the most relevant queries for your business.


Consider Targeting Different Countries


Although certainly not appropriate for all businesses, you may have to consider if you want to target different countries in your Google Ads campaign. If you are targeting different countries, you may also have use different languages.


If so, assign different campaigns to different languages so you can match the selected language with the ad text, keywords, and language based on the landing page. However, you can also group countries into one campaign if they share the same campaign goal, language, and campaign communication.


For example, a business close to the American-Mexican border may do business in both countries. The owner may create an ad group that use Spanish while creating another ad group that essentially contains the same ads, but that use the English language.


Determine the Length of Your Conversion Funnel

funnel

Your conversion funnel is one of the most important aspects of your Google Ads campaign. It is critical that you know how long the funnel is.


To do this, you must understand how many days, weeks, or months it takes prospects to convert. You can find this data in Google Analytics or in your CRM and current ad campaigns.


If you find that your conversion funnel is too long, you may want to consider setting up your ad groups in fewer campaigns. Having more conversion data will help Google better optimize your campaign.


Determine If The Bid For Your Products Or Services Is Too High


It is important to know if your bid is too high so that you are not spending money unnecessarily. To determine if your bid is too high, calculate the clicks and conversions you could potentially reach for your budget, and consider data on CPC, seasonality for your queries, and the competition level.


Making this calculation will give you an idea about how you should split your keywords. It is generally recommended that you create a campaign structure with campaigns that can be expected to reach at least 30 to 50 conversions within 30 days.


Utilize Customer Match


Customer Match allows you to use leverage both online and offline data to initiate retargeting in the following realms within Google: YouTube, Display, Search, Gmail and the Shopping tab.


This holds many benefits for your Google Ads campaign. It is an effective tool that will allow you to increase CR compared to prospecting traffic and you can use it to move prospects down the conversion funnel. While utilizing customer match, you can also plan personalized ads without the need for installing a remarketing tag.


Remove Duplicate Keywords


Have you ever looked through your Google Ads account and found that you used the same keyword with the same match type, but for different ad groups and campaigns? This can happen if you applied Google recommendations with new keywords, or without first double-checking the keywords.


Sometimes duplicated elements were supposed to be modified but they weren’t. If you or someone on your team performed bulk tasks at a fast pace, this could have also resulted in some duplicates.


Regardless of how they were created, duplicate keywords should be removed from your ad campaigns. The fastest and easiest way to do this is by using Google Editor. Use the ‘Tools’ from the top menu to find duplicate keywords and then remove them.


Use These Google Ads Best Practices For Effective Pay-Per-Click Campaigns

success

There really is no online marketing campaign that does not include Google Ads. Not only is it one of the biggest platforms for advertising, but it is also one of the most effective. However, there is a lot to know when creating an ad for Google and you will only realize the revenue you are hoping for if you know how to use them properly.


Using the best practices contained within this report will prove to be very useful, but they can take a great deal of time. There are many consultants and companies that can take on the task of preparing and managing your Google Ads campaigns so you can rest assured you have an effective marketing strategy while still being able to run your business.