Your Google Ads account and your car have one major thing in common – they both need regular maintenance. It’s fairly common knowledge that neglecting your oil changes will quickly ruin your car. Similarly, if you don’t regularly optimize your Google Ads account, you’ll see your performance quickly worsen.
Optimizing your Google Ads account goes beyond making the necessary updates to landing pages.While ensuring your landing page is firing on all cylinders is vital to your PPC, you should never neglect the medium that’s bringing you that traffic.
Thankfully, you don’t have to spend hours of time each week optimizing your account. Here are four items you can check each week that go a long way towards keeping your account running.
1: Search Term Report
A common mistake is overlooking the search term report in optimization work, but it is so essential to account performance. While you may think that the keywords you choose are the needle movers for your account, you’d be wrong.
Sure, you choose the keywords. You tell Google how much you’d like to pay for a click on the keyword. And you trust Google to match relevant searches to your keyword. But all Google knows is that the search term must include your keyword.
Because that’s the only criteria Google must follow, it can’t perform search term quality control for you. That’s your job, and not all search terms are created equal. If you’re looking to get more paying customers, search terms that include words such as “free”, “jobs”, and “school” probably aren’t relevant. Google doesn’t know that those aren’t relevant to you, so it’s up to you to add those as negative keywords.
While your bids are on the keywords, you’re ultimately paying for clicks from search terms. Keeping that in mind, you’ll want to spend time each week reviewing your search term report. A simple review can make sure you’re not spending money on poor quality search terms. And you can gain new keyword ideas from your search term report as well.
2: A/B Ad Testing
After you perform traffic quality control by monitoring your search terms, you’ll want to make sure your ads are getting the most traffic possible. Google encourages its advertisers to run more than one ad at a time in your ad groups.
This is also encouraged so you can always test your ads to find what resonates best with your customers. The best way to find out what prompts your audience to click and convert is to simply test it out. Present them with a variety of ads and see which gets the most conversions and/or clicks.
Now, in order to properly A/B test your ads, you’ll need a constant and a variable. This doesn’t mean that your ads will be two entirely separate ads with dozens of differences. You’ll create one ad. Then you’ll duplicate it, and make one change to it. Whether that’s a headline, a description, or the display URL, stick with one change. That way you’ll know what’s causing which ad to perform better.
Each week, check in on how the ads are performing and make changes as needed. These changes are designed to improve your PPC Ad Copy and overall results. There are tools for knowing which ad performs better. You can find A/B significance calculators, scripts, and more online.
3: Check Where The Money is Going
Perhaps the most important thing to check every week is your ad spend. Of course, you want to make sure your budget is on track. More importantly, you want to see where you’re spending your money. You’ll want to check that your money is being spent to bring you traffic.
You’ll start by looking at your campaigns. Sort high to low on cost, and see what’s spending the most money. From there, you can check into your ad groups, and keywords to see if anything is sucking all your budget away.
Sometimes what’s spending the most money is great. Sometimes it’ll be a strong keyword that’s brought you tons of conversions. However, you’ll need to set up UTM parameters and tracking to ensure those conversations are turning into sales.
On the flip side, sometimes your money is being funneled into a poor quality keyword. Google can easily spend your money on a single keyword that didn’t get a single conversion. There’s several reasons this could be happening – poor quality search terms, landing page problems, low page position, etc. This brings us to the final item you need to check each week.
4: Make That One Difference
With each week’s maintenance routine, you want to be focusing on how you can improve the account. Even if your account is performing great, and even if you’re in the green each week, you can always find a better path to take.
You can always find something to improve. Each week, examine your account and ask yourself, “What can be better?” Sometimes problems are glaringly obvious. As mentioned, you might see a lot of budget being spent on a keyword that’s not converting. You’ll want to look into the why and determine what you can fix.
There are times when it doesn’t feel like there’s anything for you to work on in an account. You’re hitting your conversion goal, and your cost per conversion is way below target – in all of your campaigns. That’s great, but remember there are always things you can improve.
If you’re on track for your goals, take a look into your bid adjustments. Check to see if changing bids for devices, times, or locations could improve your performance. Always be testing, and you’ll continue to improve your Google Ads.