How to Optimize Google Ads for Conversions

Here’s something you should know about the power of Google Ads:

Google Ads pay per click ads receive 65 percent of clicks that begin with buying keywords, compared to only 35 percent of organic search results. 

Google holds a 19.9 percent profit share of digital ad spend—and with good reason: Businesses make an average of $2 for every $1 they spend on Google Ads advertising.

Digital advertising from Google Ads can be an incredibly effective tool to reach your target audience and convert them into clients and customers. 

So what can you do if you’re paying for these ads but they just aren’t converting? 

There are steps you can take to raise conversions and get your ad dollars working for you. Here are a few tools to optimize your Google Ads to get the conversions you’re after.

Check Your Keywords—Both Positive and Negative

Positive Keywords

When optimizing your advertising, keywords are important. You want yours to be as specific as possible. Why is this? 

According to Google, more specific keywords have a better conversion rate than general ones. This is because users have already researched what they are looking for or they have a particular goal in mind. 

Something to keep in mind is that specific keywords can lead to fewer impressions—you want to find a middle ground. It’s a delicate balance because if your keywords are too narrowed down, fewer people may end up searching for those terms and you could end up with fewer impressions. You want to find that balancing point where your ad is general enough to match what people are searching for and targeted enough to inspire conversions.

Negative Keywords

Just like there are crucial positive keywords that impact the potency of your ads, there are also negative keywords that can be instrumental in how your ads are received and how well your ads convert.

When you use negative keywords, your ad won’t show up for people who are browsing those words. Including these negative keywords is beneficial when you are trying to limit your ad so that it doesn’t pop up for people who are just browsing, those who aren’t ready to purchase yet, or those who need services or products different from what you offer. 

Many advertisers choose to use “free” as a negative keyword so they don’t attract people who are looking for free goods or services. After all, they are less likely to make purchases and less likely to convert. 

Other keywords to potentially include in your negative keywords list?

  • Cheap
  • YouTube
  • eBay
  • Torrent
  • Craigslist

Negative keywords are a smart way to put your ads on the screens of the people most likely to need what you are offering. They can help in the following ways:

  • An increased click-through rate 
  • Reduced cost per click 
  • A higher return on investment

Take Advantage of Remarketing

Remarketing is a great strategy to remind people who’ve interacted with your website or app about all the great things you do. You are strategically positioning your ads so that these consumers see them as they conduct a Google search or visit its partner websites. You’re amplifying your brand awareness.

Remarketing can help you reach and convert site visitors who have already expressed some kind of interest in your brand. They visited your website or downloaded your app, right? Remarketing can put those items left in your leads’ shopping carts back on their screen so they return to your website. Remarketing is a focused, well-timed approach to reconnect with these potential customers.

There are a few ways to remarket:

  • Standard Remarketing: Show your ads to people who have visited your website
  • Dynamic Remarketing: Include products or services in your ad that individual visitors viewed 
  • Remarketing Lists for Search Ads: Show ads to past visitors as they continue their Google search
  • Video Remarketing: Show ads to people who have viewed your videos on YouTube or interacted with your YouTube channel
  • Customer List Remarketing: Upload lists of contact information that customers have shared with you and show them ads across varying Google pages and partner sites

Unify Your Ads With Your Landing Pages

If you want your ad to generate conversions, it needs to line up with the content your leads see when they visit your website through your ad. When your ad copy aligns with your landing pages, it can make a huge difference in your Google quality score. What does this mean?

Google assigns a quality score, which measures how effective and efficient your pay-per-click ads are. This is a great way to determine the performance of your campaigns. A high quality score means you’ve created ad copy that is compelling and effective. Google is evaluating your landing page to see how it measures up in the following ways:

  • Is it relevant, useful and original content?
  • Your page is transparent and trustworthy?
  • Is your landing page easy to navigate?
  • Is your page designed to encourage visitors to spend time on your site?

Your quality score is numbered on a 1-10 scale and includes things like your CTR, ad relevance and overall landing page experience. Thus, the more relevant your ads are for your leads, the more likely it is that you’ll receive a higher quality score.

How can your quality score impact your campaign?

  • Lower your advertising costs
  • Boost your ad exposure rates
  • Give you better positioning in both Google’s search and display networks

You can always check your quality score to know where you stand and make adjustments as needed. 

Use Click-Through-Rate Best Practices

Your ad can’t convert new leads until they click, right? There are all kinds of little tips and tricks to improve your CTR so you get more conversions. There’s a chance you may be doing many things right with your Google Ads, but a few tweaks here are there will help get your ad the attention it deserves. 

What are some ways to edit or rework your ads, especially on a search results page, to get more click-throughs?

  • Use Title Capitalization: Instead of using lowercase letters, title the ad the same way you would the title of a book or an article. This is a tiny, microscopic adjustment that can make a huge difference; with title capitalization, your text stands out, and it will get noticed. 
  • Think About the Marketing Search Funnel: Where are your clients in their buying journey? If they already know about your brand, you don’t need to waste space in a Google Ad introducing what it is you do best; you can use that space to include target keywords and phrases that will generate income. 
  • Consider Ad Placement: Consumers will click on Google Ads anywhere, but they get noticed in some places more than others. When your ad is placed in a premier position, you’ll get a higher CTR.

Make Your Marketing More Customer Focused

We get so focused on what we can do for our customers that we sometimes forget the most important thing—the customers. In today’s tech-heavy world, there is plenty of data to tell you what is effective and what keywords get the most traction. But if you set the data down and take a step back, the customer is the one receiving the information in your Google Ad. Are you truly tailoring your ad to them?

What we need to remember is to always start with the customer decision journey. You can use data to target and inform your strategy, but you want to create and select content that tells a brand story. After all, you want humans reading your ad on their screens to be affected by it!

There are many incredibly inventive ways to tell a story about your brand through your Google Ads—and the way you tell those stories is up to you—but when you create ads that are customer-centric, you’ll have a better chance of sharing ads that will foster a real connection. 

Setting Up Conversion Tracking for Google Ads 

Before you can implement any of these practices, you need to ensure that you have conversion tracking set up to watch your conversions roll in.

Before you begin, you’ll need to be sure you have a website you can edit. You’ll need a tracking code or “tag,” and permission from your webmaster to add this tag.

Creating a Conversion Action

In your Google Ads account, under “Measurements,” click on “Conversions.” Then, select the kind of conversion you’re interested in tracking. You’ll be able to choose things like, “Sales,” “Leads,” or other activities. 

Google will then ask you to enter a conversion name—the name you’d like to give the conversion you are tracking, whether that’s a newsletter signup, a purchase, or anything else. Next to “Category,” you can choose a description for your Conversion action, which will enable you to segment conversions in your reports later.

Under “Value,” select how you’ll be tracking the value of each Conversion, and the amount it’s worth to your business. Then, next to “Count” select how Google should count these conversions. “One” is best for new leads, and “Every” is usually best for sales, when Conversion adds value to your business.

Click on the “Conversion Window,” then select how long you want to track Conversions, anywhere from 1-90 days. Next, click “View through” to select how long to track view-through conversions. You can choose anywhere between 1 and 30 days.

The last step in this portion of the process is to click Include in “Conversions,” which lets you decide whether or not to include data for this Conversion action in your Conversions reporting column. Click “Create,” and continue.

The last thing to do is set up your Conversion tracking tag. Google Tag Manager makes this easy for you. 

  • Copy the Conversion ID and Conversion label, then follow the instructions to set up Google Ads Conversion Tracking in Google Tag Manager.
  • Make sure you add a Conversion linker tag
  • Click “Next,” then “Done.”

And that’s it! You’re well on your way to tracking conversions and optimizing your ads.

Are you seeking strategies to reach your target audience on a digital platform? Demand Machine can help. We combine our world-class digital strategies, content marketing and paid media management with an in-depth look at how your brand operates, what sets you apart and how to best help you grow. 

We’re here to help you convert new customers, develop lifelong client relationships and make the most of your ad dollars. 

Want to see what we can do for you? We’re ready and waiting. Contact us today!

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