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2021 resolutions: 5 tips for your Google Ads campaigns
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 in 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. 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 SEISO. It helps you to get insights on your campaigns while remaining in charge of the final decision.
To succeed in 2021, you must be able to 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: OUT, Intent: IN
Google favors consistency within campaigns. The more similar performance your keywords have, the better the campaign will perform overall. This has been the rationale behind the infamous single keyword ad groups strategy (or SKAGs) that was popular a few years back. Truth be told, 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 key 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 around which you group your keywords.
Internet users who searched for the name of your brand 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. While phrases including “specifications,” “size” or “warranty” are important 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. An easy way to start is to use insight tools such as SEISO Google Ads analyzer report to assist you in the understanding of 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 spend represents the portion of your Google Ads investment that has a low quality score or isn’t converting enough. As time goes on, keeping a handle on things gets more time consuming as you are adding news terms and copies everyday. 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 spend with no impact on performance by trimming the right branches.
3. Double down on your strengths
Often advertisers think that to increase their sales they have to buy new keywords.
While this is true, it is at least as important to make sure 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 make sure 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. You need to focus on the top 10 campaigns and check the market shares of your competitors and monitor closely when you are not shown.
On average, 94% of SEISO users are seeing 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 quality of the creative 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. You can never know for sure which creative will work the best, but you can now easily test your best guesses. The magic number is between 3 and 5. Always test at least 3 and no more than 5 ads in an ad group.
Think about the benchmark: SEISO will also give you recommendations for priority areas to improve: 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. Your spend needs to be allocated not only on keywords or placement levels but you must also take into account the user profiles.
Data is gathered from users’ declarative information, when and where they are online, as well as 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 take user profiles into consideration, make bid adjustments to your most valuable audiences and criteria.
It is key 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 important.
Starting the year with good resolutions is great, but it is only the first step. The key to having a State of the Art Google Ads account all year round is to maintain 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.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.