Optimization testing strategies in Google Ads
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 best. But 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.
- 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.
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!