4 Ways to Improve Your Google Ads Performance

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Do you want to get more orders, calls, or form fills from your Google Ads campaigns without increasing your budget? Have you ever wished there was a Google Ads performance shortcut that could rapidly improve your results?

Most Google Ads managers want two things at the end of the day:

  • Improve the cost to get results
  • To get more orders, calls, and form fills.

That’s what this article is about. Getting into the SEM tactics that you can use to get more orders, calls, or form fills from your Google Ads campaigns without increasing your budget. These 4 practical techniques will help you either improve cost efficiencies or get you more orders, calls, and form fills.

Adjust Your Bid Strategy & Bids

If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably heard a little about bids. But if you haven’t the point is very simple. Your bid strategy allows you to spend your money as efficiently as possible to get the results you want. Below are useful details on 7 bid strategies that you can use to improve your Google Ads performance.

  • Manual CPC Bidding: This allows you to manage the cost to acquire traffic. This is great when you are starting a new campaign. But it can limit your campaign’s performance if you don’t have conversion data. Other problems include not knowing how to optimize different target settings. Also you may not have the time to optimize different target settings. 
  • Enhanced Cost Per Click (eCPC): It is similar to manual bidding except you allow the algorithm to bid up or down slightly (~30%) for conversions. This is great to get the benefits of automation with the control you get from manual bidding.
  • Maximize Clicks: This is a great strategy to implement if your goal is to get as much traffic as possible at a lower cost. It is also useful for branding campaigns. You’re able to control costs like a manual bid strategy, but the automation handles most target settings for you.
  • Maximize Conversions: This strategy is great if you have a good number of conversions being generated by your campaign (ideally at least 30-50 in a 30 day period). You can use this strategy to get more conversions and also put in a bid cap if you want those conversions at a certain CPA based upon your ROAS goals. This is great if you want more revenue for example and if you don’t have enough conversions then you can use a softer conversion metric like Add to Carts or Checkouts.
  • Target ROAS: This strategy is great if your campaign generates a decent amount of conversion volume but you’re not hitting your ROAS or ROI goal. This bid strategy allows you to target a specific ROAS goal. The thing to consider is that your campaign will be limited by the data you generate. For example, if you have a 2x ROAS with a product worth $30 at a $15 CPA, then getting a 4x ROAS might not be in the cards right away or you may get substantially less conversion volume.
  • Target CPA: This is a great bid strategy for both lead generation and ecommerce. You can target a specific cost per acquisition (CPA) based upon the data in your account and your marketing goals for purchases, add to carts, checkouts, and so forth. This can allow you to get better cost efficiencies while maintaining revenue if it’s implemented correctly.
  • Target Impression Share: Target impression share enables you to target a specific amount of the market that you want to reach. Say if there are 1000 monthly searches for motor scooters, if you target an 80% impression share, that means you can aim to reach 800 of those searchers. Like all of the prior strategies, this bid strategy has its limits based upon the data in your account and budget. The equivalent strategy in paid social is impression/reach bidding which allows you to target a specific number of impressions/reach within your budget. This can help you reach a certain percentage of your target market indirectly. 

One of the biggest opportunities & challenges for Google Ads performance over the past few years has been the adoption of automated bidding strategies. In the past, we normally would use manual bidding based upon how much you should pay to show your ads to get a desired result. Now we have the opportunity to get more out of our campaign performance by automating bids based upon our goals.

How to get the most out of your bid strategy

 Start with manual bidding

Work on optimizing your campaign to get traffic at an optimal cost. If you’re starting with a new campaign or have fewer than 30 conversions for your current campaign, then it would be a good idea to adjust bids manually to start. There are two reasons for this:

Automated bidding is only as good as the data you use. Without a lot of data, Google will have to do a lot of guesswork to get the results you want. That means your results can vary a lot more than you might like.

You have more control over your cost efficiencies with manual bidding or eCPC bidding. This allows you to pick how much you pay for specific keywords so you can pay more for keywords that get you a better ROI and less for keywords that don’t get a desirable return. 

Pick a Bid Strategy that Makes Sense for Your Marketing Goals

– this is pretty easy, though it can be hard to choose between cost efficiency and getting a higher volume of results at times. How we like to choose is based upon the businesses need and what metrics need to be improved more (CPA or Conversion volume for example). We also would recommend testing between different strategies over time and giving bid strategies at least 2-4 weeks to learn so you can see the impact of these strategies. The graph below shows the number of conversions Google recommends having in a 30 day period to use Maximize Conversions for example, which is good for increasing purchases at an optimal CPA.

Refine Your Targeting

Some people are MUCH more likely to become a customer than others. I think most of us can agree on that. The reason why this is so important is because that also applies to your campaign performance. Some keywords, demographics, audiences, devices, times of day, geographics, and so forth are better than others.

Here’s an account example to help show this point:

This account is getting most of its conversions from females that are 55-64 and males that are 45-54. Though what’s interesting is that we’re not spending nearly as much on the 45-54 male audience as we are on the 55-64 female audience. Increasing our bids for the male audience with the female audience could help us get more conversions.

On top of that, we could also decrease our spend more for +65 year olds and a few different age/gender audiences as well. That’s the point of improving your targeting. Spend more on people that are more likely to convert. Spend less on people that aren’t converting or are converting at a much higher cost.

Test Different Offers, Benefits, & Callouts in Your Ad Creative

Once you have refined your audience to go after your top performers, then test different ad creative for this audience. Below are some different ad creative test ideas that you could implement to improve your CTR, Conversion Rate, Quality Score, and CPCs.

  • Test short vs long headlines & descriptions
  • Use a percent discount vs an amount
  • Test different verbs to describe your products or promotions 
  • Callout the materials used in your product (silk, cotton, wool, etc)
  • Show people why you’re different from the rest. Let them know what your product/service can do for them that others can’t
  • Give your company guarantee (for satisfaction, price, shipping, etc)
  • Test seasonal verbiage vs evergreen verbiage
  • Give callouts for specific audiences (moms/dads, rafters, hikers, bikers, foodies, data geeks, etc)

There are countless things that you can test in your ads or on your landing page. The point is to pick the tests that are most impactful based upon your audience data and based upon what has worked best to convert people in the past.

Use Your Budget Wisely. Reallocate Spend To Your Top Campaigns

Let’s say you have the following campaigns in your account that have generated the following results in a given month:

You’ve got a $10k budget currently and have spent $9,080. You want to get closer to a 2x ROAS next month. Besides implemented the techniques outlined above, you could consider the following:

  • Spend more where you’re making more. It sounds simple but sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the weeds when you’re managing your campaigns. A good example of this would be to cut back on bids & budgets for the Hats campaign to put towards the Flannel campaign. By spending less on the campaign that has below a 1x ROAS to spend more on the 2x ROAS campaign, you have managed to not increase budget while increasing your revenue!
  • Use your full budget – if you’re not spending your full budget, spend some of that budget to test different products. Test the techniques we outlined. This budget could be set aside from your total budget (ex. $1k out of the $10k budget) to find your next top performer.
  • Finally, you could also spend less in general if you’re not hitting your goal. That way you could save more of your budget while getting a better return on your ad spend.

Need Help Improving Your Google Ads Performance?

Improving your Google Ads performance can be very time consuming. It can be a lot easier to partner with an expert to help you improve your results. Contact us if you want to learn more about working with the right Google Ads consultant. Schedule a time with me today to find out more.

Centaur Consulting Group

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