Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) is one of the most popular tools that online marketers all over the world use.  If you are interested in investing in Ads for your business, you surely will want to know the truth about the software and its functionality.

Common Misconceptions About Google Ads

Google Ads help my organic ranking?

The short answer is no, doesn’t matter if you’re spending $50,000 a month on Google Adwords it doesn’t impact your organic ranking.

Google Ads (paid search) works on a completely different algorithm to Organic Search (Free natural search). Being first on Google Ads comes down to budget, cost you’re willing to pay per click, ad relevancy, landing page & keyword quality score.

Organic Search comes down to an optimized website; optimized for speed, UX, mobile, on-site SEO and off-site SEO and having strong content.

No one clicks on the ads

If this myth were true, PPC would have died a quick death years ago. You must remember that this is a key source of revenue for the search engine Google (and we all know what that means…).

Businesses large and small spend a significant amount on this channel each year and if users simply scrolled past – nobody would be investing in it.

You don’t have to tend to it

It is common practice for people to create their Ads campaign and then forget about it. This is something that can render the entire advertising process completely ineffective.

Ads isn’t a tool that one can set it and forget it. It is something that requires weekly monitoring and optimization.

Moreover, it is always good practice to keep updating your ads based on the response that you get from your target audience and the changing trends in the industry that you are operating in.

It’s expensive to be #1

While 87% of stats you read online are made up, I won’t pretend to know this one, but I would estimate that 65% of the #1 placements within Google Ads are not the accounts paying the most per click.

Well structured means many things, but here are a few important ones. Keeping an eye on negative keywords, having more than 3 extended text ads rotating all the time with relevance to the keywords within the ad group.

Splitting ad groups up to match the theme of the keywords.

No one browses at night

Many businesses opt to turn off their PPC ads at night, under the impression that nobody is online then. Wrong! By switching ads off at certain times, these businesses are limiting themselves to a certain audience.

With the ability to shop and browse 24/7, there are plenty of night owls out there. Why miss out on this traffic?

You’ve set your daily budget and if that means that some is spent at night then what’s the problem? This is especially true if you want to attract international markets on different time zones.

Short conclusion

To sum up, PPC can be an effective way to maximise your brand exposure and see an uplift in enquiries. Yes, there are some areas you must take into consideration such as budget and advert monitoring but they shouldn’t put you off.

If you take the time to ensure the ads are relevant to your audience then it can be a very profitable way to generate new business.

If you use Google search (and who doesn’t), you may have noticed that sponsored results (Google pay-per-click, or PPC, ads) have been taking over more and more of the search engine results page.

Clicks on paid search listings beat out organic clicks by nearly a 2:1 margin for keywords with high commercial intent in the US. In other words, 64.6% of people click on Google Ads when they are looking to buy an item online!

Why Choose Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads in 2019?

  • 49 percent of people said they click on text ads; 31 percent on Shopping ads; and 16 percent on video ads (Search Engine Land, 2019)
  • 63 percent of people said they’d click on a Google ad (Search Engine Land, 2019)
  • Google Ads results receive 65 percent of the clicks that started with buying keywords, while organic results only receive 35 percent (Craig McConnel)
  • Businesses make an average of $2 in income for every $1 they spend in AdWords. (Google)
  • On average, 41 percent of clicks go to the top 3 paid ads on the search results page. (Wordstream)

 Search ad statistics

  • 75 percent of people that click on ads say said search ads make it easier to find the information they’re looking for (Search Engine Land, 2019)
  • There are 160 billion+monthly Google searches.
  • In 2018, consumers who click on an advertiser’s Google search ad prior to visiting a store are 27 percent more likely to buy something in-store. (Google)
  • Consumers who clicked on an advertiser’s Google search ad prior to visiting a store spend over 10 percent more, on average. (Google)
  • 51 percent of searches are longer than 4 words. (Wordstream)

Mobile Advertising Statistics

  • Marketers and advertisers are putting 51 percent of their budget into mobile ads. (Impact, 2017)
  • Both desktop and mobile ads deliver branding effectiveness, but mobile ads perform better. (Com Score, 2016)
  • Google drives 95 percent of all paid search ad clicks on mobile. (Business Insider, 2016)
  • Two-thirds of consumers can recall a specific brand they have seen advertised on mobile in the last week. (Business Wire, 2018)
  • 60 percent of consumers click on mobile ads at least weekly. (Business Wire, 2018)

Google Local Services Ads Statistics

  • Local Services ads by Google receive 13.8% of local SERP clicks (BrightLocal, 2019)
  • The presence of Local Services ads affects the number of clicks for all other SERP types (BrightLocal, 2019)
  • When LSAs are present, 25.3% of all clicks are on paid results. When LSAs are absent, this is 14.6% – a difference of 10.7% (BrightLocal, 2019)
  • Organic results receive the most clicks of all SERP types, though they see a drop off when LSAs are present (BrightLocal, 2019)
  • Organic position 1 receives the highest number of standard SERP clicks  (BrightLocal, 2019)
PPC Display Ad Statistics
  • The average clickthrough rate of display ads across all formats and placements is 0.06 percent Display Benchmarks Tool)
  • Ad blocking grew by 30 percent in 2016. (Business Insider)
  • There were 615 million devices blocking ads worldwide by the end of 2016.
  • A 2013 study revealed that 28 percent of respondents admitted to hiding their activities from advertisers — second only to criminals. (Pew Research Center)
  • A study revealed that only 2.8 percent of participants thought that ads on a website were relevant. (org)
PPC and Local Search Statistics
  • 72 percent of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. (WordStream, 2016)
  • 30 percent of mobile searches are related to a location. (Google, 2016)
  • 28 percent of searches for something nearby result in a purchase. (Google, 2016)
  • Local searches lead 50 percent of mobile visitors to visit stores within one day. (Google, 2014)
  • 78 percent of local mobile searches result in offline purchases. (Search Engine Land, 2014)

PPC optimizations are essential to sustain or improve your paid search advertising campaigns’ performance and reach organizational goals.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming – where should you start?

There are several components of a PPC account that can help move the needle in your desired direction.

How does optimization work in Google Ads?

Before we break down the Ads optimization score, let’s talk about what optimization means and how we make optimizations in Googe Ads.

Optimization is defined as the action of making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource.

Of course, for most online marketing efforts, there is no such thing as bestBut there is better. And within Google Ads, there are always opportunities to make your advertising more cost-effective.

What is the Adwords optimization Score?

Your optimization score is an account performance grade ranging from 0 to 100%. The score is calculated based on the results you’ve earned, your settings, and your status as an advertiser.

The score factors in how well your account matches Google’s recommendations. And it also measures how much of an impact fully adopting Google’s automated suggestions would have on the results Google values.

Optimization testing strategies:

This list provides some ideas to optimize your PPC performance, but certainly isn’t an all-encompassing list.

Search Terms & Negative Keywords

Due to broad matching and close variant matching keywords to the actual query, some unusual searches can trigger your ads. This is a very important optimization in any PPC account.

Find the search terms from the keyword tab in any given campaign or ad group.

Review the search terms triggering ads for the match type and keyword. Look for specific keywords as well as for overarching themes.

Ads per ad group

There are several schools of thought on the number of ads that should be used per ad group.

  • Use two ads– 1 Control ad, 1 Test ad, develop an ad testing strategy.
  • Use two or three ads, and let Google optimize the best performer. Remove and replace poorest performer. Repeat.
  • Google recommends: “Create three to four ads for each ad group, and use different messages for each to see which does the best. AdWords rotates ads automatically to show the best-performing ads more often.”

Ads on mobile apps/games

Ads on the GDN serving on mobile apps and games can be a perpetual budget waster and should be reviewed as a starting point.

If you think about it, in most cases someone playing a game is unlikely to stop game play to click on an ad and convert via mobile (unless the ad is for another mobile game).

There are many cases where ads are accidentally clicked on based on their placement in relationship to game play navigation.

Conversion actions

  • Have you audited your conversion actions lately? Some things to look for:
  • Is the conversion tracking working?
  • Is the primary conversion still your business’s primary KPI?
  • Is the conversion tag on the correct page or is the Google Analytics goal still the correct page/action?


In many cases, PPC budgets should be allocated to the better performing campaigns. While this is a good basic rule of thumb, it isn’t always the case.

This may not apply in cases where branding/awareness or certain display campaigns don’t show many last-click conversions. Also, company brand names may convert higher but don’t need more budget.

Short conclusion

Remember, optimization is an ongoing process. If you think a keyword will bring you new leads, you can test it in your campaigns.

If it doesn’t bring new leads you can write it off; If it does, you can further improve the campaign by modifying the bids by device or by location. The answers are all in the numbers!

If you’ve ever set up a Google Ads campaign and saw high clickthrough rates but no conversions, you’re not alone.

Every business wants a great return on investment, but if your ad campaigns aren’t set up properly or you don’t use specific keywords, you might only see lots of traffic and no sales.

Successfully selling your products and services relies on your ability to get in front of as many people as possible.

Just like traditional brick-and-mortar stores, people find your products as they browse, but with ecommerce your reach goes far beyond your physical location.

How to maximize Adsense revenues on eCommerce sites:

  • Be user friendly

Be straightforward with your users and bring them to the appropriate page with the product information they need. Be aware that users hate latency when purchasing online.

Studies show that one out of four users will leave a site if the page loads in 4 seconds.

  • Go mobile

Millennials check their phone before sleeping and it’s the first thing they grab when they wake up.  Site owners now need mobile-ready site designs.

Below we’ve listed a few more tips to make your eCommerce site both user-friendly and attractive on small screens.

Use conversion tracking: it’s not just a traffic counter

When you build an online store, conversion tracking can take time to understand, but it’s helpful because you’ll have better, more targeted ads.

You can see how much traffic each ad is generating and end ads early that have less traffic while you mirror/create similar ads that are getting more traffic.

Optimize your keywords: more specific the better

You’re selling sneakers so you list keywords “sneakers”, “best sneakers” and “white sneakers”, but your search is too broad. Yes, you’ll likely get lots of traffic, but you will also get high bounce rates. Why?

Generalized keywords like “sneakers” will target every audience and if you are only selling Converse, when people don’t find Nikes or Reebok, they’ll leave your site. You’ve wasted your ad money, there’s no sale and your bounce rate goes up.

Specific keywords might include “Keurig single-serve coffee maker” “best Cuisinart coffee maker” or “Shop for coffee makers under $50”. See the difference?

Your keywords draw people to your ecommerce site. Just make sure when they see the ad or landing page, the item is available so they can make their purchase.

Short conclusion

It takes some time to set up your first campaign, but as you run more campaigns you’ll see how quickly ads come together.

However, take the time to think about the objective of your ad so that you know what to track once the ads are live. Get organized and set up a campaign for each of your product categories.

A lot of marketers and business owners think of advertising as a tool to attract the attention of new customers. But the great thing about paid search is that it’s also a powerful way to improve customer retention.

Once you go through all the trouble of winning over new business, it’s worth your while to put in the effort to keep them coming back.

Customer acquisition vs. customer retention

The most common pitfall for businesses around the world is that they think that if they have a great product or service, then customer retention will follow naturally.

And, while this might be the case in some instances, the harsh truth is that it’s only a short term strategy. An even harsher truth is that, sooner or later, your customers may just … leave!

Because if you stop trying, your customers start feeling that you no longer care about them.

So, what’s the outtake?

You need to keep on trying and earn customers’ loyalty, continuously.

Having an effective retention program gives you the ability to identify, track and sell more to the customers who are most likely to become your long-term sources of revenue.

Using advertising to retain your existing customers

Let’s see how you can use advertising to retain your existing customers so that you can increase ROI as well as lifetime value of customers.

  • Launch strategy- Build brand awareness among existing customers

Launching new products can be a challenging job—each time you launch a product, you need to focus on many things like acquiring new customers, marketing your products, and many more.

If your existing customers haven’t visited your website for a while and they haven’t subscribed to your newsletter, they are not likely to be aware of your new launch.

A great first step is to reach out to your existing customers and tell them about your new product to help bring in more business.

  • Provide seasonal offers

Depending on your business you may find traffic hikes in certain holiday periods. According to, retail e-commerce sales figures are exponentially growing each year in the US during the holiday shopping season.

So, holiday periods are one of the best ways to effectively implement your remarketing strategies.

  • Entice your customers to return to your website with customized offers

Paying customers are bread and butter for your business. However, the reality is that not every user of your product is going to be a paying user.

Even if they became your customer, some of them might cancel their subscriptions or only make a single purchase. In such cases, you can entice customers to return to your website by providing exclusive discounts or coupons.

Such tactics are meant to encourage users to return to website. For example, a web hosting company might provide a 75% discount to a customer who is cancelling their hosting account.

Short conclusion

Once you’ve done the hard work of winning over new business, you don’t want to have to start from square one again! Instead, focusing on customer retention can help you increase the overall lifetime value of each customer, and can help you generate revenue success for years to come.

Using specific paid search tactics can boost customer retention and ensure the long-term health of your business.

How can you tell which Ad Position is best?

A common assumption about paid search is that position #1 is the ultimate goal. Advertisers clamber over each other to ensure their ads make it into the top position, because they think that’s what’s necessary to be successful for their campaigns.

The profitability of a Google Ads campaign has four important factors at play:

  • value of conversion
  • advertising volume
  • advertising cost
  • internal cost

How do Google Ads positions affect profits?

To determine which Google AdWords position is best for profitability, we need to consider the relationships between all four factors mentioned above.

Ad position is reported in Google Ads from 1.0 (being the top of the paid listings section within the search engine results page) down to 7.0 and is reported as a decimal when averaged out. In the simplest example, if an ad shows up in position 1.0 once and then in position 2.0 once, it’ll be reported as “Avg. pos = 1.5”.

Why you shouldn’t sweat CTR too much

Countless studies regularly put out CTR benchmarks and compare metrics across different platforms and ad formats, so it must really matter right?


Honestly, most of those benchmarks aren’t very useful. The main reason is that such studies are rarely conducted rigorously enough to account for major variables like device, brand vs. non-brand, vs. search partners, changing SERP layout and other important considerations.

Directional same-site trends can be instructive for how things should be moving over time, but analyzing such trends well requires accounting for all of the same variables and typically isn’t very actionable.

Why number 1 doesn’t always mean higher Google Ads conversion rates

Arguably the most important element of the profit equation listed at the top of this article is the number of conversions we achieve.

Does conversion rate differ with ad position? A question that many paid advertising professionals wonder, and the answer, unfortunately, isn’t clear-cut.

Position 1 will encourage more irrelevant traffic

Naturally, being in position 1 will incur many costs from users who will click your ad simply because it’s in the top position. Rather than consuming the contents of your advert and making an informed decision as to whether or not the advert is actually relevant to them.

An increase in irrelevant traffic basically translates to a lower conversion rate since that very traffic would likely bounce off your website.

Short conclusion

Ultimately, it comes down to maintaining and hopefully growing your profitability. You don’t want to bid too much, to the point where your ROI is being negatively affected.

Only you know where that line is though. It’s important to play around with positioning. If your ads are in a position that is providing profitability, but you still have some budget to spare, try increasing your bids a bit to land in a higher position.

According to Click Guardian $7.2 billion was lost to click fraud between 2016 and 2018. That’s a staggering amount that millions of advertisers are losing to fraudsters and click errors.

So what is click fraud?

According to Google it is an illegitimate action such as an unintentional click or a click resulting from malicious software.

In fact, Google chooses not to call it click fraud and calls it ‘invalid clicks’ instead. That’s understandable considering the confusion surrounding this topic and the various reasons why some clicks may be legitimate or an error.

Google uses a number of methods to fight click fraud. These include manual reviewers, automated filters, deep research and a global team of scientists and engineers.

Common types of click fraud?

Manual clicks intended to increase your advertising costs

This click fraud is one advertisers’ fear most. And some estimates report that it’s the most prevalent type of click fraud.

This is when other businesses that compete on your keywords deliberately click on your ads to drive up your costs.

Whatever keywords you’re bidding on, it’s almost likely you’re not the only one bidding on it. So that can often turn into a serious battle for clicks, customers and traffic.

Manual clicks intended to increase profits for website owners hosting your ads

This type of click fraud is only applicable to advertisers that use the Google Display Network. So, if you run ads on this network your ads will appear on third party websites owned by webmasters.

For a webmaster to be able to display your ads on their website, they need to first join the GoogleAdSense program. And for every person that clicks your ad on their website, the webmaster earns 68% of the amount paid to Google.

So, if the cost per click is $3, then the webmaster will earn $2.04. Multiply that by a hundred clicks and that could be a healthy sum of $204 for a webmaster.

Clicks by automated clicking tools, robots or other deceptive software

These are automated programs that run on internet servers or hijacked computers that are used for click fraud. They are programmed to create a large number of invalid clicks, impressions and traffic and are made to appear like real users.

Google uses automated filters to capture such activity but its manual reviews are usually more effective. They have a dedicated team of specialists hunt and stop botnets from harming advertisers, publishers and searchers.

Protecting the Consumer

Google has a set of strict policies for what types of ads they allow, and in 2016, they took down 1.7 billion ads that violated those policies.

This includes ads for illegal products or activities (such as pharmaceuticals and gambling), ads that mislead or deceive users, and “self-clicking” ads that can automatically force mobile devices to begin downloading apps.

Google also noted a prevalence of ads for payday loans, which are not allowed in AdWords, and “trick to click” ads that disguise themselves as warnings or error messages in order to trick users into clicking them and downloading malware.

What to do if you suspect click fraud

The first step is to optimize your ads and keywords to ensure you only target relevant searches. Conversion rate is one of the best indicators of success and identifying and correcting a low conversion rate will help identify potential invalid activity.

Setup Google Analytics to monitor any suspicious activity. Analytics provides powerful reporting and helps you to track the performance of your keywords and assess any suspicious clicks from specific locations.

Check your Google Ads account for any invalid interactions that you have been credited for. You can do this by logging into your account and then clicking the Tools link in the top right section.

Short conclusion

Google continues to improve its fraud detection capabilities and with help from advertisers this problem can be minimized.

PPC can be an expensive hobby and you’re determined that your PPC campaign will become a valuable marketing channel rather than a resented, money-burning pastime.

In order to make the most of your PPC investment, you are going to have to make use of both common sense and data to constantly tailor your ads.

You want to hone in on specific buyer personas which, as a byproduct (or whichever way round you want to view it), rid your campaign of wasted clicks.

What are negative keywords?

One of the steps in creating your adverts is to assign the types of search terms that you want your adverts to appear for. Hopefully you have been specific about your keywords, focusing on user intent and relevance.

As you would imagine, negative keywords are almost the complete opposite of your target keywords. They help you give guidelines to Google, dictating the types of search terms for which you do not want to appear.

Adding negative keywords to your Google Adwords campaign

Before we get into researching, there are a couple of ways you can add negative keywords to your Google Adwords account.

Add your campaign or ad group specific negatives at the individual level. For broader, cover-all type, negative keywords add them at the account level with a shared list.

How can you research negative keywords?

Option 1: Search term reports

Reviewing the search term report is probably the most common way of finding new negative keywords. Schedule in a task to run through the search term report and add in any negatives you find.

When adding the negatives, be aware of the match types you’re using. Match types are just as useful with negative keywords as they are for regular keywords.

If you spot a phrase that’s irrelevant adding through the interface will add as an exact match.

Option 2: Google Keyword Planner

The keyword planner is the go-to when it comes to finding the right keywords. However, It can also be a great tool for finding those keywords which you don’t want to show for!

Enter your website or topic within the keyword planner and Google will provide a list of all the linked terms. This can be a great way of finding the hidden gem negative keywords.

Option 3: Google suggested searches

You can learn a lot about what people search for by simply entering some of your main keywords into Google and reviewing the suggested searches.

This tends to show the most commonly entered terms based on the keywords you enter. Combine this with a Google Chrome extension like KeywordsEverywhere and you can even get traffic estimates.

Short conclusion

Negative keywords are a fantastic money-saving tool for AdWords advertisers. However, you don’t have to rely on search term reports to find those keywords.

Do some research on your own, to weed out money-wasters before they cost you.

Calling versus buying online is no longer an either/or proposition. When it comes to complicated purchases like insurance, healthcare, and mortgages, the need for human help is even more pronounced.

Over half of consumers prefer to talk to an agent on the phone in these high-stakes situations.

However, if you’re finding that your business line isn’t ringing quite as often as you’d like it to, here are some surefire ways to optimize your search ads to drive more high-value phone calls.

Ideas to optimize your paid search ads for more phone calls

·         Let your audience know you’re ready to take their call — and that a real person will answer

If you’re waiting for the phone to ring, make sure your audiences know that you’re ready to take their call. In the days of landlines, if customers wanted a service, they simply took out the yellow pages and thumbed through the business listings until they found the service they were looking for.

These days, your audience is much more likely to find you online, either through search engines or social media. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for a human to answer their questions.

·         Cater to the more than half of users that will likely be on mobile

If your customer found your landing page via search, there’s a majority percent chance they’re on a mobile device. That’s great news for businesses looking to boost calls, since mobile users obviously already have their phone in hand.

However, forcing users to dig up a pen in order to write down your business number only to put it back into their phone adds an unnecessary extra step that could make some users think twice about calling.

·         Use location-specific targeting

Mobile search is by nature local, and vice versa. If your customer is searching for businesses hoping to make a call and speak to a representative, chances are, they need some sort of local services.

For example, if your car breaks down, you’ll probably search for local auto shops, click a few ads, and make a couple of calls. It would be incredibly frustrating if each of those calls ended up being to a business in another state.

·         Track calls made from ads and landing pages

Keeping up with where your calls are coming from in the physical world is important, but tracking where they’re coming from on the web is just as critical.

Understanding which of your calls are coming from ads as well as which are coming from landing pages is an important part of optimizing paid search.

Using a call tracking and analytics solution alongside Google Ads can help give a more complete picture of your call data.

Short conclusion

The good old-fashioned phone call for business can now drive conversions and sales even in this age of technology. Provide the best possible experience to your customers when they call you and when they click on your ad, seize retargeting opportunities.

Remember, more calls mean more opportunities for revenue for your business.

If you are knowledgeable on PPC, you are familiar with the Google AdWords Search Terms Report.

If you are new to Adwords or have someone else managing your SEM, you need to become familiar with this report that reveals crucial keyword data.

What is the Google Ads search terms report?

A search term is the exact word or set of words a customer enters when searching on or one of our Search Network sites.

A keyword is the word or set of words that AdWords advertisers create for a given ad group to target your ads to customers.

How do I pull an AdWords search terms report?

To run a search terms report in AdWords, complete the following steps:

  • Sign-in to your AdWords account and choose a desired date range
  • Click on the campaign you are interested in viewing search terms for
  • Click the “Keywords” tab
  • Notice the three sub-tabs displayed directly below the main tabs that say “Keywords,” “Negative keywords,” and “Search terms”
  • Click “Search terms”
  • Download the report by clicking the downward arrow icon

Block unwanted SERPs with negative keywords

As you scroll down your search terms report, you’re going to see a bunch of search terms whose SERPs you obviously do not wish to appear on.

A classic example is people looking for “jobs” or “careers” in your industry.

Match types work just the same for negative keywords as they do for positive keywords, so for example if you see that you have a bunch of search terms like:

  • jobs selling ladies shoes
  • careers in ladies retail
  • ladies shoes sales jobs

You could choose to add 2 phrase match negative keywords:

  • “jobs”
  • “careers”

It’s also worth noting that you’ll sometimes want to use exact match negative keywords. A great example of this is the single word search term for whatever you sell.

Why are you finding unrelated search queries in your report

When you use this report you may find that there is a lot of search queries that are popping up that are completely unrelated to your product or service.

This will be because of the keywords you have in your adgroups and their related match types.

Short conclusion

The way people search and how people search is always changing for example the increased use of mobile phones and Siri or Google Voice Search means that which keywords trigger ads will be more a reflection of speech than of written English.

Therefore, the search term report should form part of your armory and be checked on a monthly basis to identify themes and patterns to your customers search behaviour.