In this article, we’ll go over some of Google Ads’ best practices, capabilities and tools you should definitely know about. They’ll lead you to making the most out of Google Ads and generating more high-quality traffic to your campaigns.
Google Ads General Best Practices
Let’s start with a few general best practices, that will ensure that you maximize returns.
•Before creating any campaign, think of what results you want from it (e.g. more conversions, leads, etc)
•A top campaign solves a need a customer might have or answers one of their questions
•Use Google Ads’ Advanced Location Option to reach and target people who are in a specific area, or have shown interest in that area
•With Frequency Capping, you can limit the number of times someone sees one of your ads. It can be a wise strategy to deploy, in cases when you want to limit overexposure. For details, go here
•Make use of Google Ads’ extensive capabilities to display your ads alongside things customers are actually looking for (based on keywords, placement and topic targeting)
•Google Ads offers a vast array of campaign types you can choose from, such as search campaigns, display campaigns, video campaigns, app campaigns and more. Choosing the right type can lead you closer to your goals
•Keep testing until you nail your offers and all the components that make them
Image by Google
The Customer’s Journey in Google Ads
Understanding the customer’s journey can lead you to discovering plenty of opportunities you can take advantage of. For example, according to a Google report, there has been a 500% increase in the number of “near me” mobile searches that also contain “can I buy”, “to buy” or a similar variant in them; revealing a potentially great space where marketers can advertise. Other takeaways from the customer’s journey to think about are:
•Consumers actively search for location info when they want to purchase a product or service (e.g. can I pick up product A on my way to B)
•Modern consumers do a lot of research before deciding on a purchase, hence it is crucial to highlight your key and stand-out features when promoting an offer
•One purchase or one search, could easily lead to a couple or a hundred more. Say you’re buying a new laptop, then you might look to purchase a new mouse as well, or a sleeve/bag for your laptop. Think of how you can connect different products together (that have something that connects them) and increase your sales
•On the last note, you can even promote products that aren’t super related to each other, on the same ecosystem, but still fit inside a theme (e.g. household items for different rooms)
•Reviews and ratings play a massive part in the customer’s journey; they are one the most important things potential buyers check before deciding on a purchase. Building positive feedback and maintaining it, should be a top priority
•Since most searches nowadays come from mobile, last but not least, remember to offer an excellent mobile experience
Best Practices for Display Ads in Google Ads
Among Google Ads’ different types of ads you can create, we’ve chosen to pay a bit more attention to display ads, and how you can perfect them. Other ad types have their own specifics, but many of the points below can be applied to them as well.
•Three aspect ratios to choose from: Landscape image (1.91:1), Square (1:1) and Portrait (9:16)
•High-performing ads have high-quality images, that aren’t mispositioned, aren’t blurry and are clear to see and understand
•Images should be in full color (no inverted colors), not washed out, shouldn’t have round edges and borders, and you shouldn’t use too many filters on them
•Avoid overlaying a logo on top of an image, or text (although images where text is naturally embedded are ok)
•Do not add buttons that aren’t clickable in your images
•A good rule to follow: Blank space shouldn’t take up more than 80% of the image
•Avoid using digital composite backgrounds (all-white ones as well), instead use backgrounds that have natural shadows and lighting
•When it comes to headlines, as always, keep the text clear, simple and descriptive (try to keep it below 80 characters). Also, use Sentence Case and avoid using “ALL CAPS”
•Elements such as offers, coupons, discounts, promo codes, etc, generate a high positive reaction
•Use a clear CTA (call-to-action) that directs people to your landing page
Image by Google
Experiments Page in Google Ads
We often discuss how important it is to constantly test the different components of your campaigns and ads to find their best possible version. Inside the Experiment page in Google Ads, you can do just that, and based on the results modify accordingly.
Setting up an experiment is pretty straightforward. Select a campaign and then duplicate it. The experiment you create will receive half of the traffic and half of the budget of the original campaign (both are modifiable). You pretty much can test all that defines your campaign, and experiment with different texts, CTAs, keywords, targeting options, bids, campaign goals, etc. Once the experiment is over, you can compare results and in the case of the experiment performing better, you can apply those changes to the original campaign as well, or vice versa, and experiment again until you have a winning formula.
For more on experiments in Google Ads, go here.
Keywords and Negative Keywords in Google Ads
Keywords in Google Ads are ultra important as they decide when your ads will appear to potential customers.
There are three types of keyword matches you can play with:
Broad Match – Ads will show for searches that are related to your keywords (even those that don’t contain the direct meaning). Of all three types, it has the broadest reach.
Broad Keywords: low-carb diet plan
Ads will show for searches on: carb-free foods, low-carb diets, low-calorie recipes
Phrase Match – Ads will show only on searches that include the meaning of your keywords (even more specific user searches). Its reach is lower than the broad match type, but larger than the exact match type.
Phrase Match Keywords: football shoes
Ads will show for searches on: blue football shoes, comfortable football shoes
Exact Match – Ads will only show on searches that have the same meaning or the same intent as the keywords. Of the three types, exact match gives you the most control over who sees your ads.
Exact Match Keywords: gaming laptop
Ads will show for searches on: laptop gaming, laptop for games, laptop for a gamer
When it comes to negative keywords, they can be highly important as well. Negative keywords tell google what your product is not; preventing it from being displayed to the wrong audiences and wasting a part of your budget
Image by Google
Google Ads Policies
Like all major traffic sources, Google too has certain policies that if breached can lead to your campaigns being blocked, or even your account.
We can divide them into 4 categories:
•Prohibited Content – Promotion of counterfeit goods, Dangerous products or services (e.g. drugs, weapons, tobacco), Dishonest behavior (e.g. hacking software), Inappropriate content (e.g. graphic crime scene, cruelty to animals)
•Prohibited practices – Abusing the ad network (e.g. promoting content that contains malware), Misuse of data collection and use (e.g. obtaining credit card information over a non-secure server), Misrepresentation (e.g. omitting or obscuring charges associated with financial services),
•Restricted content and features – Default Ads Treatment (e.g. limit serving certain types of ad categories for users under 18), Sexual content, Alcohol, Copyrights, Gambling and games, Healthcare and medicines, Political content, Financial services, Trademarks, Legal requirements
•Editorial & technical requirements – Editorial (e.g. gimmicky use of words, numbers, letters, punctuation, or symbols such as FREE, f-r-e-e, and F₹€€), Destination requirements (e.g. a display URL that does not accurately reflect the URL of the landing page, such as “google.com” taking users to “gmail.com”), Technical requirements, Ad format requirements (e.g. character limits for the ad headline or body, image size requirements, file size limits)
For all details on Google Ads’ policies, go here.
Google Ads and TheOptimizer
To get the most out of Google Ads, connect it with TheOptimizer and run all your campaigns on autopilot. With TheOptimizer you will be able to scale your Google Ads campaigns profitably and save a lot of your time thanks to the platform’s automations based on preset conditions. If you are not familiar with TheOptimizer yet, it is the #1 automation tool for native platforms. It will allow you to replace your media buying manual (and boring) tasks such as changing budgets, pausing ads, etc, with condition-based rules. If you want to learn more about how TheOptimizer can help with your Google Ads campaigns click here.