Easy Steps to Get Your Google Ads Ready for 2020
Originally posted to The Wordstream Blog, by Allison Day.
Even the most sophisticated Google Ads accounts need a good clean-up every once in a while. And what better time to do so than the new year!?
A quick quality reminder
Before we get into the steps, I just want to remind you that one thing to ALWAYS aim for is a high Quality Score. If you’re not already aware, a high Quality Score improves your ads’ chances of being shown and decreases the amount you’ll need to bid on them.
1. Come up with a list of KPIs
Your Google Ads key performance indicators, or KPIs, are the metrics that you use to determine how successful you consider your Google Ads to be. Every business has different KPIs depending on what they’re looking to gain from Google Ads. For example, if your main goal is to get traffic to your website, some of your KPIs would likely include clicks and click-through-rate (CTR). Or, if your priority is content downloads, some KPIs would include conversions, conversion rate, and cost per conversion (AKA cost per action, or CPA).
So, as long as you know what your goals are from Google Ads, you’ll be able to come up with a list of KPIs.
2. Identify KPIs that are low performing
In order to have a number to aim for (and know when something’s not right), you’ll need to think about the value a given action is worth to your business. For example, if someone downloads your content, what value does that bring to your business? And how much are you willing to pay for it? The number that comes to mind is your target CPA.
Other than CPA, other common KPIs include quality score, CTR, conversion rate, and impression share. You may just strive to continuously improve some of these metrics based on historical data, rather than have a specific number to constantly aim for. Nevertheless, it’s important to check up on them.
If you’re struggling to come up with benchmarks to aim for, it can be helpful to take a look at averages for competitors in your industry.
3. Revisit your bidding strategy
As you may know, there are two main categories of bid strategies on Google Ads: manual bidding and automated bidding. There are pros and cons to both automated and manual bidding.
An automated bidding strategy is less time-consuming. With this bidding strategy, you’ll need to let Google know what you want to focus on: conversions, conversion value, clicks, or impression share. Once you select an options, you’ll be prompted to fill out some information on your target or maximum spend based on, whichever goal you’re focusing on. From there, you’re trusting the Google algorithm to adjust bids for you based on their performance predictions.
On the other hand, with manual bidding, you have the ability to decide yourself which ad groups and keywords you’d like to adjust bids on based on your own analysis of their performance. Therefore, this option gives you increased control over your bids. So, your decision on which bid strategy to use ultimately comes down to how much time and effort you’re willing to spend on bidding, and how much control you wish to have over your bids.
4. Add some negative keywords
Adding negative keywords is one of the easiest ways to eliminate wasted spend within your Google Ads account. Because the search terms that result in your ad being shown are constantly changing, it’s important to look through them, pick out the super irrelevant ones, and add those as negative keywords. You may want to consider having negative keyword lists for each campaign, as well as a keyword list for your entire account.
5. Add a retargeting audience
As long as your site is tagged with Google’s tracking pixel, and your website gets enough traffic to meet Google’s requirements, you should be able to refresh your Google Ads account by adding retargeting audience.
A retargeting audience shows your ads to users that have previously visited your website. These audiences are configured at a campaign level.
It’s always a good idea to come up with creative ways to retarget your website visitors—this is an easy way to reach users who have already shown interest in your brand, product, or services. As in, you’re working with a warmer audience who is more likely to convert. Remarketing campaigns often work well with display ads, but it’s also great to use this tactic for search campaigns—try it out.
6. Make bid adjustments on devices
A great way to control your bidding is by making bid adjustments on devices based on their performance. This is controlled on the campaign or ad group level. Device settings can be adjusted by navigating to a campaign and clicking on “Devices.”
Remember to take notes!
By following these six steps, you’re sure to kick off the new year with a high-performing Google Ads account that helps you reach your business goals! When making lots of changes in your account, it’s important to make sure you’re keeping close tabs on the areas where the changes have been implemented. If you have a fairly large Google Ads account, it is a good idea to pick three or four campaigns to check on at once to avoid getting overwhelmed.
By taking notes and starting with a few campaigns, you can evaluate whether the new strategy is working or not and make adjustments accordingly. Happy 2020!