If you have an online business then I am sure that, how to be first on Google & how to get more traffic, are probably the two foremost questions on your mind.
While Google AdWords can help you achieve both, traffic as well as improved rankings on Google, running an Adwords account is not an easy task.
With constant updates & changes, understanding how Adwords work, and how to manage your campaigns effectively, can be tricky.
Thus, to make things simpler for you, we’ve collected some truly useful ways of improving your Adwords CTR & conversion rate. The below checklist consists of 41 useful techniques, that if applied thoughtfully, can help you to get the highest returns on your investment in just 7 days.
- #1. Analyze Competitors Ad Campaigns
- #2. Organize Ads Into Campaigns & Ad Groups
- #3. Use Mirrored Adwords Campaign
- #4. Use Capital Letters In Ad Text
- #5. Optimize Your Ad’s Text
- #6. Use Dynamic Search Ads
- #7. Invest In Brand Terms
- #8. Add Trademark Symbol In Ad Text
- #9.Align Keywords, Copy With Landing Pages
- #10. GSN v/s GDN
- #11. Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion
- #12. Test The Optimal Ad Position
- #13. Invest In Mobile PPC Ads
- #14. Optimize Your Landing Page
- #15. Install Adwords Conversion Tracking
- #16. Use Adwords Keyword Match Types
- #17. Use A/B Split Test On Ads
- #18. Use Descriptive Display URL
- #19. Use Actionable Long Tail Keywords
- #20. Pause Keywords With Low CTRs
- #21. Use Remarketing Strategy
- #22. Raise Bid On Target Keywords
- #23. Use Geo-Targeting To Boost Local PPC
- #24. Use Conversion Optimizer
- #25. Use Negative Keywords
- #26. Link Google My Business To Adwords
- #27. Use Auction Insights
- #28. Use Of Adwords Labels
- #29. Integrate Adwords & Google Analytics
- #30. Integrate Adwords & Google Plus To Improve Brand Visibility
- #31. Use Adwords Opportunities Tab
- #32. Analyze Search Terms Report
- #33. Combine SEO & PPC Strategy
- #34. Use Advanced Ad Scheduling
- #35. Analyze Search Funnel Reports
- #36. Improve Your Quality Score
- #37. Link Adwords To Google Search Console
- #38. Use Adwords Performance Grader Tool
- #39. Use Adwords Ad Extensions
- #40. Submit Rich Snippets Information
- #41. Use A Strong Call-To-Action
By analyzing your competitors Ad campaign you get insight on;
- Keywords they are bidding on
- Ranking information of those keywords
- Number of searches for important keywords.
In short, you get all the information of your competitors advertising history, which can immensely help you to plan your own ad campaign.
Why is this important?
Besides making your task of managing, tracking & monitoring an Ad easy, categorizing your ads into Campaigns & Ad groups helps you to create target specific ads and have better control on how you spend your Ad budget.
What is a Mirrored Campaign?
Splitting an existing campaign into two individual campaigns, wherein one campaign consists of exact match keyword, while the other contains broad match keyword, is known as a Mirrored campaign.
Why should you use it?
Mirrored campaign helps you to improve your ads Quality Score which leads to decrease in CPA (Cost-per-acquisition)
Capitalizing the first letter of your ads title & description is the quickest way of grabbing a potential customer’s attention.
Since first impression is important, formatting your ad copy correctly, will not only make your ad look more attractive, but it will also increase the possibility of a customer clicking on it.
Just make sure, that you don’t use capitals excessively, as it could lead to your ad being blocked by Google.
An optimized Ad text consists of a descriptive title with keywords, a strong call-to-action, proper capitalization, plus it has additional information such as site-link, which makes the ad more compelling and click-worthy.
Dynamic Search Ads (DSA), are ads generated by Adwords based on the keywords of your landing page.
If a user searches for “Lakefront homes under 500k” and if “Lakefront Homes” is a part of your landing page keywords, then Adwords will automatically create and show an ad for that query.
How is it useful?
DSA increases the relevancy of your ads, which results in more traffic to your site.
Not only is it a cost-effective method, but it also helps you to avoid losing clicks to your competitors.
As you can see in the above-mentioned example, users sometimes use brand name while searching for a product.Thus, by biding on its own brand name, “Teabox” was able to rank higher in the SERPs and score a click.
A registered Trademark symbol such as ®, ™ and ©, accompanying your PPC ads, serves two purposes:
- It signifies to a consumer that you are a professional business and can be trusted.
- It helps you to stand out from other ads on search engine result pages.
In PPC campaign, Ads’ alignment matters.
If a user clicks on a link which has a keyword “Halloween Candy Sale” and it doesn’t land him on the page that he is looking for, he will leave immediately.
Also aligning your ad copy with landing pages, helps you to enhance the user experience, which boosts your ranking on search engine.
Google Search Network (GSN) ad, is a simple text ad, that shows up only on search engines when a customer’s query matches your keywords.
Whereas Google Display Network (GDN) ad, is a text, image or video based ad, that appears on a variety of sites across the internet.
What are their benefits?
In PPC advertising, GSN is the most common ad format used, as it targets active searchers and as such, is ideal for advertisers working on a limited ad budget.
On the other hand, GDN ad format is ideal for advertisers who want to improve their brand visibility.
No matter what ad format you choose, make sure that you target only one ad network per campaign, for a better & successful PPC result.
Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) is an Adwords feature, that allows you to create ads, that dynamically update based on the users search query & the keywords in your ad group.
If the keyword “Car” is a part of your ad group and if it matches the search term used by a customer, Adwords will dynamically update your ad to insert the searched keyword or phrase (under 3 lakh) into a search ad.
DKI helps you to stand out against other ads, as it automatically highlights your ad in bold if the user’s search query matches your keyword.
It is important that you frequently test your Ad to find its optimal position.
Because even though it is a fact that the higher your ads appear on SERPs, the better they perform, let’s not forget, that the cost of appearing on top of the page is too expensive.
So how do you test your Ads optimal position?
The simplest way to do it is by raising or lowering your CPC bids
If Google suggests a $2 to $5 bid on an Ad, begin with $2 and see what happens. If it works, you pay less for each click.
You can use Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool, to see where your ad appears on Google search so that you can better manage your PPC campaign.
The simple reason is because web searches made through Mobile devices have increased tremendously in recent years. Investing in Mobile PPC Ads helps you to boost your local PPC since local searches & mobile devices are closely tied.
Also, Mobile Ads are cost-effective, as the average CPC of Mobile ads is lower than that of desktop paid searches.
An optimized landing page fulfills three main criteria: relevancy, easy navigation and trustworthiness.
Thus, if a person clicks on your PPC ad & lands on a page that meets these 3 criteria, then Google will reward you by improving your Quality Score, which will improve your site’s ranking on SERPs.
Also, it is important that you check the Page Speed of your Landing Page.
Adwords conversion tracking is a free tool that helps you to understand what happens after a user clicks on your ad.
- It shows you which medium – desktop ads or mobile ads, is converting better.
- It helps you see which keywords, ads, ad groups, & campaigns are best at driving valuable traffic
- It helps you to make an informed decision on how you spend your PPC budget
In short, it provides you with useful data, that can help you to optimize your PPC Ad campaigns according to your business goals.
Keyword Match types which include broad match, modified broad match, phrase match, & exact match, are crucial for Adwords success, as they allow you to enhance your text ads.
If you use Exact Match Keywords, then your ad will be shown only for that search query (Samsonite 4 wheeled bags), whereas if you use any of the other match types, your ad will be shown as and when your keyword matches a users search query.
Also, since you are able to test your keywords by using different Match types, you will get a complete picture as to which match types (keywords) work best for your campaign.
A/B testing helps you to determine which version of your ad is performing better, by testing them against each other.
If you want to test which ad platform – desktop or mobile, works better for your paid searches, you can use A/B testing to measure performance and based on the result, work on a strategy that will help you to enhance your PPC campaign.
Display URL has a significant impact on your Ad’s effectiveness & its click-through-ratio.
In the below-mentioned example which Ad would you click?
Not only is the top ad more descriptive, but it also has additional information such as site-links, review, rating, etc, which makes it more compelling and clickable.
A great optimization strategy, using long tail keywords helps you be more specific in your Ad text, which helps you to rank high on SERPs.
How do you find Long Tail Keywords?
Because under-performing keywords affect your Quality Score, which can hurt the performance of your entire PPC Ad campaign.
By pausing keywords that are not converting, you’re able to save a lot of money. Plus, you get a chance to improve your CTRs by substituting them with better keywords.
What is Remarketing?
Simply put, Remarketing is a technique wherein you show the same ad, that a customer viewed on your website, on a different site the customer is currently viewing, with the hope that he will click on the ad and make a purchase.
- Remarketing helps in Brand building
- It turns bounced website visitors into leads
- It increases repeat visitors leading to a high conversion rate.
Moreover, it is a cost-effective method, as the CPC bids of Remarketing clicks are cheap.
By bidding high on your target keywords, which are performing well, you’re able to generate high-quality traffic, thereby improving your CTRs, resulting in more sales & revenue.
Geo-targeting is an Adwords feature, that helps you show your ads to customers in a selected geographical location.
If you are a local business, then targeting your ad to right people at right places (location), will ensure that you won’t spend your PPC ad budget on unnecessary clicks.
Plus, it will help you to rank better for local search queries & improve the visibility of your Brand
Conversion Optimizer is a free Adwords tool, that analyzes your PPC campaigns historical performance data & then automatically adjusts your bids based on that analysis.
Since constant monitoring of a campaign several times per day and adjusting keyword bids is not an easy task, using Conversion Optimizer can help you to
- Reduce the risk of over-bidding for specific search queries that are not likely to convert, thereby lowering your CPA bids.
- On the other hand, you are able to avoid under-bidding for potentially valuable search queries, thereby increasing conversion.
It is important that you first test and see how Conversion Optimizer works on one or more of your campaigns before you totally switch to automatic bidding.
Negative keywords stop your ad from showing up for irrelevant search queries.
If you are selling brand new "LG smartphones", you don't want your ad to appear when someone searches for 'refurbished LG smartphones', so 'refurbished' should be a negative keyword for your campaign.
With the help of Negative keywords, you are able to significantly reduce irrelevant clicks leading to lower CPC & CPA bids.
To ensure that your business location information (i.e. address, phone number, map marker) is displayed in all your Adwords campaign, it is important to link your Google My Business account to Adwords.
Apart from upgrading your location extensions automatically in all ad campaigns, it helps you to optimize your bid adjustment and boost your Local PPC ad campaign.
What is Auction Insights?
Auction Insights is a statistical report, that gives you information on how your ad is performing compared to other advertisers.
By searching for a specific keyword (i.e digital agency) on Auction Insights, you are able to view how successful your keyword (ad) is, in terms of average position, impression share, top of page rate, etc, compared to your competitors.
Besides helping you to track & analyze your competitors ad performance, Auction Insights report gives you
- Valuable insight on which keyword is performing better, and which needs to be paused.
- It helps you to make an informed choice while bidding for a keyword.
- It helps you to make bid adjustments for existing keywords, by providing data for each keyword.
What are Adwords Labels?
Adwords Labels are color-coded tags, that help you to remember the changes that you have made for a particular account (i.e. Campaign, Ad Group, Keyword)
In the above example, the Account manager has used Labels such as "Increase Bids from April 1", "Reduced Bid April 18", to keep a track of specific changes made in a particular Ad group account.
- They help you to organize your Adwords account, making it more efficient
- They make tracking of changes easier, thereby making the process of reporting smoother.
- You can use them as a reference point to track your PPC ad result.
- Lastly, they work as a great reminder tool.
Because, while your Adwords account tells you how much money your ads cost & how many conversions you are getting, do you know what happens between the click & the conversion?
Or how much of your website traffic comes from Adwords?
Well then, the simplest way to track this information, is to link your Google Analytics account with your Adwords account.
By doing so, you’ll be able to see:
- Percentage of New Visits
- Pages viewed per Visit
- Bounce Rate
- Average Visit Duration
It provides you with valuable data, that helps you to improve your Adwords performance.
If your business has a verified Google Plus page, then linking it to Adwords helps you to enable Social Extensions, which can be used to display votes & ratings your business has received, thereby making your ad more compelling.
Adding social extension to your ad, makes your ad stand apart from competitors, which results in improved brand visibility and better Ad positioning on search engine
What is Opportunities Tab?
Opportunities Tab is an Adword tool, that analyzes your PPC account’s performance history, campaign settings etc. and comes up with ideas (opportunities), which if implemented, can help you to improve your ads performance.
By making use of Opportunities Tab, you’ll be able to save money by spending your Ad budget wisely and be able to create ads that are more relevant, by making use of the suggested ideas.
Search Terms Report provides you with valuable insights on which search query (keyword) triggered your ad.
If a customer searches for "HP Laptops" on Google, "HP Laptops” is the search term. But, even if you have included the word “laptops” as a keyword in your Adwords campaign, your ad may be eligible to show up for this search query.
Thus, by assessing your Search Term report, you’ll be able to find new keywords, which will help you to create better and relevant ads, resulting in a better position on SERPs.
Plus, this report can also reveal if your ad was shown for a less relevant search query. If so, you can add those phrases to negative keywords.
Combining PPC & SEO will help you to dominate the top of Google search results for organic as well as paid ads.
In the below-mentioned example, on a search performed for "British Airways", you will notice that the brand has a paid ad on top, followed by the organic top listing, alongside the right sidebar information.
In short, they completely dominate the search result for their brand.
By clubbing the two - PPC & SEO together, you’re able to, increase the total search traffic of your website organically and improve your brand's online visibility.
Advanced ad scheduling in Adwords allows you to set the specific hours of the day you want your ad to appear, alongside incremental bids for those hours.
As you can see in the below example, you can set the number of hours you want your ad to run for each day and place your bids for those hours.
How is this beneficial?
By excluding hours that may generate a lot of clicks, but not result in conversion, you are able to:
- Reduce your CPA bids
- Determine what days of the week & at what hours, you get a higher traffic.
- Adjust your bids depending on the time frame.
Another Adwords Tool, Search Funnels now called Attribution, provides you with detailed information on how a conversion was made.
It gives you an overview of how many days it took for a conversion, clicks-per-conversion, ad impression, etc.
By getting a detailed overview of how a conversion was made, you’re able to:
- Understand how a customer searches for a product i.e. which search terms are used, which helps you to create better ad copies.
- Modify bids based on how a keyword is performing
What is Quality Score?
Quality Score is a rating system used by Google, to judge the quality and relevance of your ad and landing page.
When you optimize your ad to align with your landing page, you are making your ad more relevant and useful to a user, which helps you to achieve a high Quality Score.
Having a high Quality Score helps you to maximize your ad’s click-through-rates and it lowers your CPC & CPA bids
By linking the two accounts, you’ll get a combined report on both paid ads and organic listing, which will allow you to see & compare their performance at keyword and search query level.
How is this helpful?
For instance, if your paid search term (running shoes) is performing well organically, you may want to lower your paid keyword bid or pause it altogether.
Thus, by having a complete picture of how the two - organic listing & paid ads, are performing, you are able to optimize your PPC campaign to get more return on your investment.
A free tool to audit your PPC campaigns, the AdWords Performance Grader Tool, helps you to evaluate how your PPC campaigns are performing on several key criteria.
It gives you an insight on activities such as Quality Score, click-through rate, impression share of your ads, long-tail keyword use, etc, along with advice on how to make improvements, so that you can increase your ROI.
What are they?
In a nutshell, Adwords Ad extensions are additional pieces of relevant information within a text ad.
Ad extensions are the easiest way, through which you can get more search engine visibility & clicks, that too at no additional cost. Plus it helps you to:
- Improve your ad presence i.e. it sets you apart from competitors
- Improve your ads positioning on SERPs.
- Make your ad copy more compelling
What are Rich Snippets?
Rich snippets are additional information, that is displayed along with your site's listing on the search engine. This extra information can include ratings, review, photos and more.
Why should you use Rich Snippets?
Rich Snippets help you to offer more relevant & quality search results to consumers by making your ad text more interesting, resulting in reduced bounce rate.
Your PPC Ad text needs to have a strong Call-to-Action!
As you can see in the above example, a powerful ad title includes a strong call-to-action “Get Rid of Pests at Lowest Prices”, to entice potential customers to click on the ad.
Like I have mentioned before, Adwords can be a very complicated platform, but it is still a fantastic way to drive in more traffic to your site.By making use of the above-mentioned Adwords tips & techniques, you will be able to build an optimal structure that will make it easier for you to manage your PPC campaigns and get you more returns on your investment. As always, if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!