Google AdWords is an incredibly powerful tool. It lets you put your ads in front of people who are actively looking for what you offer, so it’s the best possible way to generate new customers or clients.
Of course, just because Google provides all this power doesn’t mean that it’s easy to use. There are plenty of great tips out there on how to optimize your AdWords account, but they’re not always easy to find and they don’t all agree with each other.
So, I’ve compiled a list of my top tips that have been helpful for me when optimizing the performance of my own paid ad campaigns over the years. Some of these tips will be very familiar – others might surprise you!
1) Google tells you everything you need to know
The number one tip that I can give you for improving your relevance is this: Google AdWords provides more data than any human could ever analyze. If it’s not obvious from the get-go what type of results a particular keyword brings in, let the software do the talking and see which ads are getting clicked on.
You might expect a broad match “fitness equipment” search to bring back a list of adverts related to treadmills, but the reality might be very different. A simple broad match search gives me 155k ads, with some strange results like “Beds for Sale”, “Wii U Games”, and even an advertisement for another article about SEO tips!
By looking at the number of clicks each ad is getting, you can tell which are performing well.
2) The searcher may not always be right
The search term that a user enters is called an “expanded keyword” in AdWords, but it’s important to remember that Google may not always match this with what they think the searcher is really looking for. For example, if I searched on “fitness equipment”, Google might assume I am more likely looking for bicycle parts than running shoes! Likewise, if I search for something like “cheap hotels” I might find all of my ads appearing next to results for expensive hotels. When you see this happening, bid higher on your ads so that they get displayed when someone searches for your “close variant” terms.
3) Try out phrase and broad match types
Broad match is the default option for keyword targeting in Google AdWords, but it’s not the only game in town. If your ads are frequently appearing on irrelevant searches, consider using phrases instead (although this might limit you to 5,000 characters or less per ad group). If that still isn’t working, try out negative keywords, which look for specific words that aren’t related to what you’re advertising against. My ad won’t appear if somebody searches for “fitness equipment cheap”, for example.
4) Use exact match modifiers
This is an easy way to make your ads relevant to very specific things. You can use them with any type of match type, but they are particularly useful for broad matches.
5) Use negative keywords to remove unwanted search queries
One of the best ways to improve the relevance of your ads is to tell Google not to show them if a specific word or phrase appears in the search query. You can add these by hand, or use an ad customizer instead – but it’s always worth blocking irrelevant words just in case. Sometimes, Google will pick up on this itself and suggest what you could block.
If Google AdWords isn’t working out for you, then you should look for a Google Ads Ecommerce Agency to look after your Ads account.
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