Adopting a continuous optimisation approach is vital in the ever-evolving world of digital advertising. To ensure the success of your ad campaigns, it is essential to prioritise areas of high impact, followed by those of medium and lesser impact. This principle, commonly known as the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule, serves as the cornerstone of effective ad testing and optimisation.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the key strategies and best practices to maximise the performance of your Google Ads campaigns through ad testing and optimisation. By implementing these techniques, you can unlock the true potential of your advertising efforts, drive better results, and achieve your marketing objectives. Let’s explore how you can take your Google Ads campaigns to new heights with systematic ad testing and optimisation.
The Pareto principle: 80/20 rule
Utilising the 80/20 principle, also known as the Pareto principle, in Google Ads automation can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your campaigns. The principle states that roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of the efforts. In the context of Google Ads, this means that a small portion of your campaign elements contributes to the majority of your desired outcomes, such as conversions or revenue.
To leverage the 80/20 principle for Google Ads automation, it’s crucial to prioritise your optimisation efforts based on impact. Optimising every aspect of your campaigns can be time-consuming and may not yield proportional results. Instead, focus on the most immediate areas of improvement first, followed by areas of medium impact, and then address the lesser impactful elements.
By identifying the 20% of campaign elements that drive the majority of your desired outcomes, you can concentrate your automation efforts on those areas. This could involve automating bid adjustments, ad scheduling, keyword optimisation, or ad rotation based on performance data. By automating these high-impact areas, you can free up time and resources to allocate towards other aspects of your campaigns or strategic initiatives.
However, it’s important to note that automation should not replace regular monitoring and evaluation. Optimisation is an ongoing and never-ending process. Even after implementing automation, it’s crucial to continuously analyse and refine your campaigns based on performance data and insights. By consistently assessing the effectiveness of your automation strategies and making adjustments as needed, you can ensure that your campaigns remain optimised and aligned with your marketing objectives.
In summary, applying the 80/20 principle to Google Ads automation involves identifying and prioritising the key areas that drive the majority of your campaign’s success. By automating these high-impact elements, you can maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of your campaigns. However, it’s essential to remember that optimisation is an ongoing process, and continuous monitoring and refinement are necessary to adapt to changing market dynamics and achieve long-term success.
You Must Track Your Conversions
Tracking conversions plays a pivotal role in improving optimisation for your Google Ads campaigns. By diligently tracking conversions, you gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your advertising efforts and can make data-driven decisions to enhance performance. Here’s why tracking conversions is crucial:
Measure Campaign Effectiveness:
Tracking conversions enables you to measure the success of your campaigns. It provides tangible data on how many users are completing desired actions, such as form submissions, purchases, live chat interactions, or newsletter sign-ups. By analysing conversion data, you can determine which campaigns, ad groups, and keywords are generating the most valuable results, allowing you to focus your resources on the most effective areas.
Identify High-Performing Keywords:
Conversion tracking helps you understand which keywords are driving valuable leads or sales. By analysing conversion data alongside keyword performance metrics, such as click-through rates (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC), you can identify the keywords that deliver the best return on investment (ROI). This insight empowers you to allocate your budget more effectively by bidding higher on high-performing keywords and making informed decisions about keyword expansion or refinement.
Optimise Ad Messaging and Design:
Tracking conversions allows you to assess the impact of your ad messaging and design on user actions. By correlating conversion data with specific ad variations, you can determine which elements of your ads resonate most with your audience. This insight guides you in refining your ad copy, call-to-action, visuals, and overall ad design to improve engagement and conversion rates.
Refine Targeting and Budget Allocation:
Conversion tracking helps you understand the demographics, interests, and behaviors of your converting audience. By analysing conversion data alongside demographic and audience insights, you can fine-tune your targeting parameters and allocate your budget more effectively. This ensures that your ads reach the most relevant audience segments, increasing the likelihood of conversions and improving overall campaign performance.
By tracking conversions over time, you can identify trends, patterns, and seasonality in user behavior. This information enables you to implement ongoing optimisation strategies and adapt your campaigns accordingly. Whether it’s adjusting bids, refining ad messaging, or exploring new targeting options, continuous optimisation based on conversion data allows you to stay agile and responsive to evolving market dynamics.
In summary, tracking conversions is integral to improving optimisation in Google Ads campaigns. It provides valuable insights into campaign effectiveness, helps identify high-performing keywords, guides ad messaging and design, refines targeting and budget allocation, and facilitates continuous optimisation. By leveraging conversion tracking data, you can make informed decisions, maximise the impact of your campaigns, and achieve your desired marketing outcomes.
Example types of conversions
- Becoming a lead via a contact form.
- Making a purchase
- Live chat – asking a question
- Phoning you
- Signing up to a newsletter
Tracking this is a must or you’ll simply have no idea how much money you’re spending! To learn more check out this blog post, Ultimate Guide to Conversion Tracking in Google Ads
Anomalies, or significant deviations from your campaign’s statistical norms, can provide valuable insights into areas that require immediate attention. By leveraging automated alerts or Google Ads scripts, you can promptly identify anomalies such as unusually high spending or increased cost per acquisition (CPA). Addressing these anomalies ensures that your campaign remains on track and optimally aligned with your goals
Ads and ad groups:
Opportunities that can help you edit and refine your ads, show your best ads most often, and organise your ads into better ad groups
- Change your ad to get a longer, more noticeable headline
- Create more ads
- Add ad extensions (call, sitelink, or callout)
- Create new ad groups from existing ones
- Optimise your ad rotation
Keywords, targeting, and reach:
Opportunities that can help you reach more people who are interested in what you offer
- Add keywords and even negative keywords
- Broaden your keyword matches to include “phrase match” or “broad match”
- Target Google Search partners
- Power up for mobile
- Add audiences
Bids and budget:
Opportunities that can help you get more impressions and clicks or improve your Ad Rank
- Raise your budgets to keep your ads running on your busiest days
- Use standard ad delivery to stretch out your limited budget
- Adjust bids in oh so many ways: Raise or lower your bids; use estimated top or first of page bids; change your keyword bids; set location, mobile, ad scheduling, or audience bid adjustments; change product group bids in your Shopping campaign; or even use Target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) bidding
Optimisation Goals - Ideas for Improvement
Optimising your Google Ads campaigns should be tailored to your specific goals. This section discusses optimisation ideas for different objectives, such as maximising conversions, improving click-through rates (CTR), expanding reach, and enhancing brand visibility. Whether it’s adjusting bidding and budgeting, testing different ad variations, or targeting specific audiences, these optimisation strategies empower you to achieve your desired outcomes.
Optimise for conversions - Improvement Ideas
- Consider adjusting bidding and budgeting. You need to decide if you want to maximise conversions or achieve a target CPA.
- Change targeting to make narrower or wider depending on the current CPA.
- Test adverts with different calls-to-action to work out what drives the most conversions.
- Make improvements to ad quality
- Check ad extensions performance data to ensure best converters are getting the most impressions.
Optimise for Clicks / CTR - Improvement Ideas
- Change bidding strategy to maximise clicks. This will get most clicks at lowest cost.
- Change ad rotation to optimise for clicks. This will show ads that have the highest CTR
- Consider revising budget to expand your reach to a broader audience
Optimise for Reach - Improvement Ideas
- Pay by impression instead of by click. This will let you reach a larger audience for a lower cost.
- Use frequency capping to limit ad impressions to 1 or 2. This will allow you to maximise the budget to get ads in front of the most people possible
Optimise for Brand - Improvement Ideas
- Target users across the Display Network with specific interests
- Use affinity audiences to target lifestyle people at the awareness stage of the marketing funnel.
- Use eCPM bidding to pay by impression instead of click.
Using the Opportunities section
Google Ads provides a built-in Recommendations section that offers valuable suggestions based on your account’s performance history and relevant campaign settings. From refining ad copy and adding keywords to adjusting bids and budgets, these suggestions can help you make data-driven optimisations directly within the platform. Knowing which recommendations to apply and which to reject is vital.
Optimise Ad Rotation:
If you are using rotate evenly, and certain ad versions are outperforming others the suggestions recommend a change to optimise for clicks.
Add More Keywords:
There are a host of tools and strategies for finding keywords such as:
- Include keyword suggestions offered on the Opportunities page.
- Use the Google Ads Keyword Planner for discovering new keyword ideas and creating new lists
- Use Keyword insertion — to automatically update your ads with the keywords in your ad group that trigger ads.
To watch: Look for improvements in CTR, but when it comes to adding a new keyword
Device Bid Adjustments:
Impressions and cost per conversion may be lower on mobile, then increasing bid adjustment on mobile is recommended.
- Starting bid: $1
- Mobile adjustment: $1 x (+20% as all bid adjustments are set by percentages) = $1.20
- Resulting bid for searches on mobile devices: $1.20
Understand the research and buying process:
Try to understand what stage of the buying cycle a user might be in. To target serious buyers, you can try keywords that include words like buy or purchase. If you want to filter out research-oriented searches, you can add negative keywords like review, rating, compare or comparison. On the Display Network, you can try focus the most budget on mid-funnel campaigns such as in-market audiences
Use The Power Of Search Query Reports
Search query reports are a goldmine of insights, revealing the actual words or phrases users are searching for to find your business through Google Ads. By analysing these reports, you can uncover user intent, refine your keyword strategy, and ensure that your campaigns align with your target audience’s needs. Moreover, optimising landing pages to align with user expectations can significantly impact conversion rates.
If you do seem to be getting high quality traffic, then your landing page could need improvement You should have great call to actions, and copy that is speaking to the problems of your audience. It must all be tailored to them to work. Talk about their problems and the benefits they will enjoy from working with you. Oftentimes, people are more interested in the benefits they will experience rather than the features of a product.
To learn more check out our article Google Ads Search Terms Report Tips
Improve Your Keyword Quality Score
Improving your keyword quality score is crucial for campaign success. This section outlines the key factors that influence keyword quality score, including expected click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. Additionally, it offers strategies for increasing click-through rates, such as creating relevant ads, maintaining focused ad groups, and implementing effective keyword matching options.
The following three things are said to be the most important:
- Expected click-through rate
- Ad relevance
- Landing page experience
To learn more check out our article Google Ads Quality Score Guide.
Take Advantage Of Location And Time Settings
Taking advantage of location and time settings allows you to optimise your campaign’s targeting and budget allocation. By specifying regions and adjusting bids based on performance, you can maximise your campaign’s effectiveness in specific locations. This section provides insights on how to leverage these settings to reach your target audience more efficiently.
Make Segmentation A Focus
Segmentation plays a vital role in identifying areas of wasted budget and optimising your ad campaigns accordingly. By segmenting your data by device and network, you can gain valuable insights into user behavior and make informed decisions to improve campaign performance.
Pause/Delete Non-converting Keywords
You have to be prepared to get rid of your non converting keywords if you’re going to make a success of your AdWords campaign. There are so many keywords that have good click-through rates, quality scores, and cost per clicks, but you might find that only the top 2 or 3 keywords generate any conversions for you. This means you have to filter out the non converting keywords by pausing them or continuing to reduce bids until they have a CPA comparable to the account average, or get no traffic – so you can begin saving money, or at least putting that money to better use in this campaign.
Monitor Broad Match Keywords Carefully
Cutting out irrelevant searches from broad match keywords can improve cost per conversion, conversion rates, and more. Using broad match keywords isn’t always a bad thing. This is something you should experiment with and keep a close eye on. To learn more check out our article Google Ads keywords match type guide.
Make your ads appeal to potential buyers
To create successful ads, it’s essential to make them relevant and impactful. This section provides tips for crafting effective ad text, including highlighting unique selling points, focusing on customer benefits, and using compelling calls to action. It also emphasises the importance of aligning your ad with a landing page that drives conversions and utilising ad extensions to provide additional information about your business.
A successful ad is relevant and impactful. It delivers the right message at the right moment, motivating your customer to purchase with a strong call-to-action.
Here are some tips for writing effective ad text:
- Set your ad apart from your competition: Use the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool to see which ads are showing for a particular search. Your ad text should quickly convey how your business stands out, so featuring competitive prices and special promotions can be especially effective.
- Highlight the customer benefit: Give customers more incentive to purchase by conveying how they’ll benefit by choosing your business.
- Keep it simple and specific: Focus on 1-2 selling points for stronger impact. If you try to pack too many selling points in your ad text, your message can get lost.
- Use a landing page that drives sales: Your ad should bring people directly to a page where they can buy the specific product that you’re advertising. Think of it this way: The connection between your ad and landing page is the bridge between a potential customer and a purchase. The stronger they’re connected, the more likely you are to generate sales.
- Run seasonal ads: Customise your ads to fit the season and the promotion you’re running. Take advantage of seasons (Summer, Winter, “back to school”) and specific holidays (Valentine’s Day, Halloween, etc.) to promote your products.
- Use title case: Capitalising the first letter of every word can help boost click-through rates.
- Use ad extensions to enhance your ad: Take advantage of ad extensions to show extra information about your business.
IBid simulate lets you see the impact of modifications likeMax. CPC bid and its impact on the costs or numbers of clicks, impressions, or conversion value. Examples include: Campaign bid simulator, Target CPA simulator, Mobile bid adjustment simulator and more. They can be seen from the Ad groups and Keywords tabs.
Campaign Drafts & Experiments
Test adding new keywords, bid changes, new ads or extensions, different placements. A new duplicate campaign is created with a percentage of your auctions to have this experimental change.
To learn more about check our blog article – Google Ads Campaign Experiments
Use Reporting to gain Insight
Google Ads offers a range of reports that provide valuable insights into your campaign performance. This section highlights three key reports: the Search Terms Report, the Auction Insights Report, and the Placements Report. These reports enable you to refine your keyword list, make bidding and budgeting adjustments, and optimise your ad placements for maximum effectiveness.
Search Terms Report: Just what search terms triggered your ads and which ones didn’t? Use this report to find out and to identify new search terms to add to your keyword list. And for those that aren’t performing — be sure to put them on the negative keyword list!
- Auction Insights Report: This compares your performance with other advertisers participating in the same auctions as you! Use it to make bidding and budgeting adjustments by showing you where you’re succeeding and where you may be missing opportunities. You can even see if there are any concepts or themes that you aren’t currently taking advantage of and add those to your keyword list.
- Placements Report: This shows where your ads are shown on the Display Network. As with the search terms report, you can block irrelevant instances – such websites or apps that do not match your business or company profile.
Types of Optimisation Updates
This section covers various optimisation updates, including account build-out, client onboarding, daily optimisation tasks, budget trending analysis, bid management, keyword list building, placements management, conversion optimisation, weekly optimisation tasks, and reporting. Each type of update plays a crucial role in continuously improving your campaign performance and ensuring long-term success.
Plan how you to expand the account. Do some campaigns need to be expanded into more campaigns. Which targeting options are not yet used, how many new campaigns are needed. Do ad groups need to be split up or consolidated.
Create a list of tasks prioritised for the 1st week and month, with a medium term plan for ongoing optimisation and management.
Make sure their is no major ROI anomalies. For example if a campaign is spending more than usual and it is not performing well, check it in more detail to identify the exact cause and make any necessary adjustments..
Make sure the spend month to date is on target to meet the spend objective by not over or under spending.
Make sure their is no major ROI anomalies. For example if a keyword is spending more than usual and it is not performing well, reduce the bids, or check the bidding strategy. To learn more check out our article Google ads bidding strategies guide.
Keyword list building
Use the search terms report and keyword expansion tool within the ad group area of the online Google Ads manager.
Check if non-converting placements needed to be added as excluded placements. Do any well performing placements need to added as dedicated managed placements with their own bids.
Weekly optimisation tasks are for the most part, the same as daily tasks. It is just a longer period so their is also more statistical certainty.
Check out the Google Ads reports area. Setup automatic reports within Google Looker Studio.
Check the traffic is still relevant for each campaign ad ad group. For example run the search terms report and placements report.
Refine audience targeting using demographics by monitoring conversion metrics based on relative performance.
Make sure all campaigns have the optimum settings. For example if a campaign is getting more traffic before, it may be eligible for automatic bidding.
Check month one month performance of the account, campaigns, ad group, adverts, kewords and other targeting options.
Often it is best for another account manager to review as a second pair of eyes. This is a re-audit process
In conclusion, adopting a comprehensive ad testing and optimisation strategy is paramount for driving the success of your Google Ads campaigns. By leveraging the strategies and best practices outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your campaigns are cost-effective, targeted, and tailored to meet your marketing objectives.
Consistently tracking conversions is a fundamental step in understanding the effectiveness of your campaigns. By accurately monitoring conversions such as lead generation, e-commerce sales, live chat interactions, phone calls, and newsletter sign-ups, you gain valuable insights into the impact of your advertising efforts. This information allows you to refine your strategies and allocate your budget more efficiently, eliminating wasteful spending and maximising the return on your investment.
Remember, optimising your Google Ads campaigns is an ongoing process. Regularly monitor the performance of your ads, keywords, targeting options, and ad extensions. Test different variations and continuously refine your campaigns based on data-driven insights. By staying proactive and adaptive, you can outperform your competition and drive exceptional results.
If you neglect to optimise your AdWords campaign effectively, you risk wasting significant resources on keywords that yield little to no results. Even if you already have a well-structured campaign in place, there are usually areas where unnecessary ad spend can be reduced. Conduct a thorough assessment of your campaign to identify opportunities for improvement and make small tweaks that will enhance its performance.
In the dynamic landscape of digital advertising, ad testing and optimisation are essential for achieving sustainable success. By leveraging the power of Google Ads and implementing the strategies discussed in this guide, you can unlock the full potential of your campaigns and propel your business towards greater visibility, engagement, and profitability. So, take the reins of your Google Ads campaigns, embrace optimisation, and reap the rewards of a well-optimised advertising strategy.