Google Ads campaigns have helped millions of businesses attract new consumers and expand their companies as the world's largest and most widely used online advertisement network.
What is the reason for this? Often the answer is simply that their Google Ads account hasn't been properly optimized.
It's easy to be intimidated by Google Ads campaigns optimization at first, but it doesn't have to be. Optimizing a Google account is really a lot simpler than you would expect.
It just requires a little planning and training, as well as following some well-known PPC best practises.
Account Structure Optimization for Google Ads
The actual layout of your account is arguably the most critical of all the different elements you can optimise inside Google Ads.
Poorly organized accounts may cause a slew of issues, ranging from lower Quality Scores - and the associated higher costs - to fewer quality clicks or an increase in insignificant clicks and a slew of other issues. The secret to a well-organized Google account is planning, and taking the time to properly arrange the elements that make up your Google paid search account.
By doing so, you'll be well on your way to reaching out to more potential customers with your ads.
Here's an example of a well-structured account:
As you can see, there are four key components to this example account:
At any given time, a single Google Ads account may have several promotions active. This account, for example, has two active campaigns: Campaign 1 and Campaign 2. The first campaign would be a search campaign (which usually means text-based advertising served to Google users who are looking for stuff on Google), while the second would be a display campaign (which prefers more visual ads like banners through a large network of sites that spans almost the entire web).
Moving down our Google Ads account structure diagram, you'll find that each campaign has two ad groups: Ad Group 1a and Ad Group 1b for Campaign 1, and Ad Group 2a and Ad Group 2b for Campaign 2.
Ad groups, as their name suggests, are collections of advertisements that have been grouped and classified according to their themetic relevance. This means that the keywords in your ad groups should be grouped by context.
If you run a clothing and accessories shop, Ad Group 1a might be made up of keywords related to hats and scarves, while Ad Group 1b might be all about jackets and coats. Finally, each Ad Group has its own set of keywords, as well as two separate advertisements that feature the ad group's semantically linked keywords.
This method of setting up a Google Ads account has a number of advantages. This method not only simplifies account management, but it also ensures that your advertising and associated ad groups are as important as possible.
When it comes to optimizing to ensure maximum reach of your ads, there are other factors to consider besides account structure, such as bid strategy, keyword match style, and other targeting parameters, but logical and properly structuring your account should be the first step for optimizing your Google ads account at the campaign level.
Getting the Most Out of Your Ad Settings to Save Money
By optimizing different settings and targeting choices in your Google Ads account, you can manage your Google Ads costs in a variety of ways.
Keywords with negative connotations
Negative keywords, despite their name, are not negative keywords; rather, they are keywords that an advertiser does not want their advertisements to appear for in user searches.
Let's presume you're the owner of a gardening supplies shop. You're getting ready to launch your first campaign, and it's time to decide which keywords you'll bid on. Isn't it true that any keyword that contains the word "garden" is relevant?
No, not at all. What about doing a trivia quest about the 2004 romantic comedy film Garden State? Or maybe you're looking for Savage Garden's music from the 1990s? Or a navigational quest for Better Homes and Gardens magazine's customer service department? For our imaginary garden supplies shop, none of these searches will ever convert, so negative keywords like these should be omitted from your campaigns.
Since marketers are paid a set amount each time someone clicks on an ad (hence the name "pay-per-click advertising"), it's important for them to remove irrelevant search words from their campaigns. Otherwise, they'll end up paying for clicks that never convert. Despite the importance of excluding negative keywords, a surprising number of advertisers – especially newcomers to paid search – fail to do so.
Parameters for Targeting
The granularity in which marketers can approach prospective customers is one of Google Ads' greatest strengths. However, as effective as Google's targeting options are, they take attention and care if you want your advertising to be seen by the right people, at the right time, and in the right place.
While keywords are Google Ads primary targeting tools, advertisers may use a variety of other parameters in their campaigns.
How to Make Your Geolocation Settings More Effective
Our geolocation settings will be the first Google Ads campaign level targeting parameter we will improve. Advertisers can refine the places in which their advertisements appear using Google Ads. This does not refer to the placement of advertisements on search engine results pages, but rather to the location of potential customers in the real world at the time they perform their searches.
Let's pretend you own a locksmith company in Boston. The greater metropolitan Boston area, which includes several other towns and cities outside of Boston's city limits, is your company's primary operating area. We need to set our geolocation targeting criteria to ensure that only prospective customers in or around Boston see our ads alongside appropriate search results, given your locksmith business's local emphasis.
We can do so by looking at our Google Ads campaign level geolocation settings. These can be found in the Campaign settings, which are found under Settings > Location & Languages > Locations.
From here, we can specify the geographic areas in which we want our advertisements to appear. To begin, simply begin typing the desired location's name in the appropriate field and then choose it from the list. You can select entire states or provinces, certain cities, certain zip and postal codes, and even certain airports.
Additionally, you can use radius targeting to target certain regions. This feature enables you to define that your advertising are only displayed to viewers within a certain radius of a particular point, for example, within a 20-mile radius of a specific city. As an example, we may configure our geolocation radius to encompass a 20-mile radius around the city of Boston.
Businesses operating in certain regional markets or cities must ensure that their geolocation parameters are configured correctly to enhance the impact of their marketing. To learn more about optimising Google Ads' location settings, go here.
How to Make the Best Use of Your Dayparting Settings
Along with specifying desirable location characteristics within Google Advertising, we can also optimise the days and hours when our ads should be displayed to prospective clients. This is accomplished by altering our dayparting parameters, which are accessible via the Dimensions tab on the Campaign level.
As illustrated in the figure below, this campaign experienced a spike in activity on Tuesday and Wednesday (as indicated by the Clicks and Impressions), but click-through rates were over double that on Sundays. If we wanted to take advantage of this trend, we could use Google Ads' dayparting settings to prioritise Sunday ad serving.
Simply click the red "Ad Schedule" button on the right, then select the days of the week and times of day when you want your ads to appear.
Combining dayparting and geolocation targeting factors can be an incredibly effective approach to fine-tune where and when your adverts are displayed to prospective customers. For additional information on optimising Google Ads' dayparting settings, see this guide to geolocation targeting and local PPC.