In truth, many of these new product enhancements do indeed allow us to manage Ads accounts way more effectively, but the perfect tool is close to useless without a knack for strategy and a keen analytical eye.
Our PPC team works tirelessly to increase the efficiency of our clients’ paid search campaigns—what we call “CPA Optimization.” Quite often we inherit accounts that have either been entirely mismanaged or not tended to as carefully as perhaps we would prefer.
And in all fairness, ad campaign performance can be easy to overlook.
As PPC Specialists, quite often we’re provided budgets from clients who are all too comfortable spending that money without much real confidence in what exactly that spend is doing for them. Hey, it’s the cost of doing business, right?
We send them branded reports, sometimes automatically each month, and we hop on the phone every once in a while to check in and make sure the client isn’t unhappy or rethinking their budget.
No, as marketing professionals we have an obligation to be active stewards of account performance, reviewing and regularly evaluating a channel as dynamic (and costly) as paid search in an effort to drive down and stabilize the amount of money we’re spending for every lead.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with some of the more common account optimization tactics—reviewing Search Terms reports and adding/excluding keywords, reviewing our CPC bids and ad schedules—but sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start, or know exactly how much we can do to truly impact our clients’ accounts and reduce CPA. The following checklist is process we use when attempting to trim down or optimize Google Ads accounts in an effort to ensure campaigns are humming along at maximum efficiency before further evaluating or making larger strategic adjustments.
You’d be surprised at just how many holes can be poked here. Be sure conversions are configured correctly, and ensure “soft,” behavioral-based conversions (visits to a page, how much time they’re spending on site) aren’t tracking against your CPA. That’s not to say don’t include “micro-conversions,” do so, absolutely—they can help Google’s AI optimize ad placement and bidding amounts.
It seems like every few months Google unveils a new ad type, in (beta) or otherwise. Recently, Google began recommend the addition of Responsive Search Ads to your paid marketing mix. This, with some other important tips, will ensure you’re not losing any budget to inefficiencies or shortcomings with your ads.
This is where the magic happens—these little guys are the things either costing you money or driving account performance. But where to start? Well, here are a few things you can do right out of the gate:
Google Ads makes it really easy to optimize your account based on a variety of criteria, including geolocation, day & time, device, and more. This is achieved with dynamic Bid Adjustments. Unfortunately, these don’t always play nice together—in fact, they stack. Are you paying too much?
This is where many of us get into trouble. The landing page experience is arguably the most impactful way to improve account performance across the board.
Why? Well, Quality Score is one of the metrics that can directly influence how much you’re paying, how ads are displayed, and how visible your ads are against top competitors. And what has a significant impact on Quality Score? You guessed it, the landing page experience.
Following these handy, straight-forward guidelines will all but ensure you’re on the right path toward optimizing your clients’ ad spend and CPA.
Mastering Google Ads isn’t a perfect science, and with data flying at you from all sides driven by shifting consumer behaviors, it requires you to be on your toes at all times. But with the right foundation in place, you’ll be in a much better position to make important strategic decisions (and avoid excess expenditures).