Google ad campaigns are quite effective at attracting leads and nurturing them into loyal, repeat customers. You can even customize your Google Ads to target a specific audience, drive more traffic to your website, and get better returns on your ad spend.
However, it’s very common for companies to waste a lot of money when using Google Ads.
When a user clicks on your ad, they trust the ad to solve a problem or address an underlying need. But if you haven’t set up the post effectively with the right content, targeted keywords, titles, images, and description, more clicks will not translate into sales for your business.
Here are the four things to fix in your Google ads account right now.
1. Keyword strategies
Are you using the correct keyword strategy? Our approach is to segment keywords into two categories:
- informational keywords vs. buying intent keywords.
When conducting an audit we often find companies spending the bulk of their budget on informational keywords. For example, a landscaping company wouldn’t want to use informational keywords such as “landscaping DIY” or “landscaping ideas”. They are much less likely to convert into a paying customer than someone that is searching using a buying intent keyword such as “landscaper near me”.
Prioritize keywords that imply buying intent for your Google ads. Target informational keywords in your blog content.
The match type of keywords matters immensely. Broad matching, for instance, makes your ad display regardless of the order of the keywords. This might have potential, but it also brings in irrelevant traffic to your website that may not convert as well as exact match keywords. Exact-match keywords display your ads when users search for the exact term you’re targeting.
2. A/B test your ads
A/B testing is very easy to do with Google Ads. It is an important method to improve click-through rates and improve your ad quality score. Improving these areas allows you to get more value out of your ad spend.
For each ad group you should have at least 3 ad variations running at a time. This way, you’re essentially A/B testing your ad by using different headlines and descriptions that approach the user differently.
A/B testing your Google Ads is crucial if you want to see the sweet spot between ad spend and ROI. It takes a lot of testing and tweaking the ads to find the right combo. It’s uncommon for even seasoned marketers to create a top performing ad on their first try.
Keep experimenting to find out which one performs better. Track click-though rates and conversions to help measure the effectiveness of your ads.
3. Linking your ads to your home page
The only times you should link your ads to your home page is if:
- you offer a single type of product or service, or
- for very generic searches.
For the vast majority of your ad groups, it will be much more effective to link to a specific product or service page.
Example #1. If you are a car dealer that is bidding on the keyword “car dealership near me” it makes sense to send the visitor to the home page because we don’t have any additional context about what they are looking for.
Example #2. A car dealership that is targeting the key word “used Honda Accord for sale”, should link to a page that shows their current inventory of used Honda Accords. We know what the person is searching for, so we should make it as easy as possible to help them find the information that they want.
4. Not targeting ads locally
Google Ads offers a number of options for geographic targeting such as by city, zip code, and by radius. Targeting should be prioritized according to where you customers come from.
Example: Customers of self-storage businesses typically come from a 6 mile radius. The closer they are to the storage facility, the more likely they are to convert. In this example we would target a 6 mile radius and a 3 mile radius, increasing the bid amount for the 3 mile radius target.
Choosing the right targeting option requires in depth analysis of your customers and target markets.
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