While it seems like the cost of well…everything always seems to go up every year, from rent to avocados to gasoline, there’s one thing that the cost is actually going down and it’s really good news for your business. The rate of clicks on Google Ads (formerly AdWords) has gone up while the CPC (cost per click) is declining. That means it’s becoming easier to increase ROI (return on investment)!
Between 2018 and 2019, Google experienced a 28% uptick in paid clicks and an 11% decrease in CPC. As the number one search engine in the world, this change means big things for all companies that advertise online. While it doesn’t guarantee that your costs will go down, it’s certainly a positive sign that they could!
It also doesn’t mean that every paid ad on Google will be a slam dunk. Google Ads can be competitive and costly. The platform can be intimidating to use and complex to fine-tune.
However, if you’re willing to listen to a professional (that’s me ??♀️) then you can learn some hacks that will help your campaigns be successful, profitable, and powerful. Let’s get started!
1. Make Sure Your Google Ads Account is Set Up Correctly
I know, I know. This sounds like a real “Duh” hint. However, it’s a foundational step to ensuring that your campaigns are profitable and you have the information you need to adjust. You have to make sure your account is set up correctly — specifically the tracking — otherwise you might as well use your money for kindling.
Tracking conversions allows you to see what’s working and what isn’t, so it’s pivotal for the success of active and future campaigns. This gives you so much data to inform your marketing strategy that it might actually change your campaign completely. Not setting it up and missing out on that data is simply wasting an opportunity to do better! Just by setting up tracking correctly, you can increase ROI on your Google Ads.
Don’t get nervous about setting up conversion tracking. It’s a vital tool, but actually pretty straightforward to set up. Google has the full instructions on how to set up conversion tracking here.
Set Up a Google Tracking Code Even if You Don’t Close Online
Perhaps you haven’t installed the Google tracking code on your website on purpose. Some businesses, such as very large purchases or particular types of B2B, it’s unlikely that the Google tracking code can tell you everything about the entire sales cycle. Maybe your typical acquisition is three months and usually happens over the phone or in person. In this case, the complete conversion wouldn’t show.
But just because you don’t make it through the entire sales funnel online doesn’t mean you can’t track a conversion somewhere in the funnel. You can assign a value for when people click on your Facebook Ad or click through your email newsletter. These are early conversions that might not turn into a customer, so don’t weigh them the same as a completed acquisition. It’s harder to track these early acquisitions and assigning them value requires complex analysis. ? But it’s still a helpful task that can improve your online campaigns!
2. Use Negative Keywords
Google Ads works by bidding on certain keywords for your advertisements to appear. But you can also add negative keywords to the campaign so your ads do not appear in those searches. These can make a big impact on who sees your ad and ultimately what users are driven to your website.
To add a negative keyword to an entire campaign or to a certain ad group level, all you have to do is add them (just like a regular keywords), but put a negative symbol right in front of the keyword. So if the negative keyword is California, you would write “-California.”
You may think that negative keywords don’t matter, and anyone who sees your ad may be convinced to click. While that’s true, anyone may click your ad, the point of targeting your Google paid search campaign is to find the people that are specifically interested in your business’s goods or services at that moment. The whole point is to narrow the audience!
You should use negative keywords judiciously because you don’t want to exclude potential customers, but you do want to cut out folks that are looking for something completely different. Just by adding negative keywords you can dramatically increase ROI for your company’s Google Ads. ?
For example, if you are a party supply store in San Jose, Puerto Rico, it would make sense to use “-California” as a negative keyword. There is a city named San Jose in California, but it’s thousands of miles away from San Jose, Puerto Rico. You might want to add related
Once you introduce negative keywords like the example above, you’ll be able to target a more defined audience and increase your engagement with the ad.
3. Use Landing Pages to Increase ROI
You’ve probably heard about how important it is to use landing pages for your Google Ads. It’s an essential part of a paid search marketing strategy and commonly talked about.
But….are you actually setting up new landing pages for campaigns?
Because it turns out that many marketers do not make the effort to create new landing pages for each new campaign. Unfortunately, that means their old landing pages or website pages don’t always align with the keywords they are bidding on. When a user gets to a page that doesn’t match their original intent, they leave almost immediately, increasing your bounce rate and causing you to lose a potential customer. ?
You need specific landing pages for specific campaigns.
The relationship between how well your landing page aligns with the keywords you’re bidding on in Google Ads, the ad copy, and the searcher’s intent directly affects your Quality Score from Google. The Quality Score is a determining factor in how much you pay per click.
So if you have better ads and better landing pages, you’ll actually pay less per click and people will be more likely to click through and convert. If this sounds exactly like what you should be doing…you’re right!
Establishing targeted and optimized landing pages with relevant content can increase ROI dramatically. Paired with the savings in ad prices from improving your Quality Scores, and you could double or triple your ROI with this hack. Get cracking on creating a landing page for every 3-4 ad groups in your account!
4. Use Google’s Retargeting Feature
An extremely effective tool for Google Ads profitability is the remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA). You have probably heard this referred to as retargeting or remarketing. This tool shows your paid ads to people who have already visited your website. This way, you are showing ads to users that have already expressed some kind of interest in your site and have been introduced to your brand.
You can even narrow the audience further to show as only to people who have visited certain pages on your website. Or you can use RLSA to target people who have been to your website and who search for a particular list of keywords.
As you can imagine, this tool can increase ROI quite impressively. For online goods and services, people often bounce off the site before purchasing. The abandoned cart phenomenon is real! ?
But if you can get those people back on your website and build brand awareness, you could easily increase your conversion rates.
5. Invest Your Money in Ad Locations and Times that Convert
One of the easiest ways to reduce your budget while maximizing efficiency is to cut out unnecessary ad locations and times. Stick to what works and save the ?!
You don’t have to do any complex calculations yourself because Google Ads makes the information easily accessible. Head to the “reports” icon in the upper right hand corner of the Google Ads dashboard, then click “Predefined Reports” and choose either “Geographic” or “Time.” For “Time,” you can select either “Day of the Week” or “Hour of the Day.”
I suggest running both Time reports so that you can determine whether to turn off the ads for a whole day (or even more than one day), or whether it’s better to turn ads off during specific time blocks during the day.
For example, B2B marketers often get the bulk of their conversions during the weekdays, when people are at work. Even though weekends are usually quiet, sometimes agencies are still spending money over Saturday and Sunday.
To avoid spending money in a time slot that doesn’t produce results, it makes sense to cut out the weekends for B2B companies. Google Ads may tell you that you don’t have enough budget for a campaign, but I suggest running the Geographic and Time reports and eliminating unprofitable time slots and locales. It’s possible to cut your ad spending significantly without a large loss of conversions.
There are five hacks to increase ROI on your Google Ads. Go out there and kick some PPC ?! If you have any questions, let’s chat!