Poor performance in Google Ads can be avoided by implementing five key optimization strategies: prioritizing relevance and landing page optimization, adjusting target ROAS and CPA bids on the keyword level, segmenting performance by geographic region, experimenting with automated bidding methods, and leveraging the Search Terms Report to enhance the relevance of your ads.

Lack of Ad Relevance Frequently Causes Poor Quality Scores

Ad relevance and landing page optimization are pivotal in the success of Google Ads search campaigns but are often overlooked. It is important to review your keywords regularly to ensure they are indeed relevant to the ads in your ad groups. Adding keywords that are automatically suggested by Google, or those identified in the Search Terms report, may not be completely relevant to the intended ad group. Create a new ad group if a keyword is significantly different from those in your current ad group and doesn’t align with the current ads. For new ad groups created, make sure the ad copy is compelling, and it includes your targeted keyword to ensure that the ad copy is consistent with the searcher’s probable intent.

The next step is to optimize your landing page to deliver a seamless and relevant user experience. Landing page content should directly correlate to the keywords and ad copy, providing valuable information that is relevant to the specific keyword and the search term your potential customer enters in Google search.

To ensure that the search term(s) matches as closely as possible to the words used in the ad and the landing page, it’s beneficial to use negative keywords at the ad group level. By excluding similar, but not identical keywords from other ad groups, it will help ensure that the most relevant ad is displayed to searchers. This is more important than ever, due to Google’s recent tendency to more broadly match searches to keywords.

Lastly, leverage the interactive evaluation of Ad Strength in Responsive Search Ads. By incorporating a variety of closely related keyword variations, especially in headlines, the platform will quickly indicate whether your ad is approaching a “good” or “excellent” rating by Google. This instant feedback helps in optimizing your ad content for better performance.

Neglecting to Set Targeted ROAS and CPA Bids At The Keyword Level Causes Poor Campaign Performance

Dynamic bidding has emerged as a powerful tool for advertisers seeking precision in their bidding strategies. However, search strategists often don’t capitalize on the advantages of adjusting target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) or Cost per Acquisition (CPA) bidding at the keyword level. Making these adjustments provides a more granular and precise approach to enhancing campaign performance. Key considerations for making adjustments at the keyword level include:

Assessing Historical Data

Review the historical performance data for each keyword. Identify keywords that consistently perform well or underperform compared to your target ROAS or CPA goals.

Evaluating Conversion Rates

Consider the conversion rates for individual keywords. Keywords with higher conversion rates may justify a more aggressive bidding strategy.

Accounting for Seasonality

Some keywords may perform better during specific seasons or events. Adjust bids to accommodate these fluctuations in demand.

Assessing the Conversion Value

Keywords driving higher revenue may justify a higher bid to maximize returns. If lifetime value data is available to you at the keyword level, adjust bids based on the long-term value these customers bring to your business.

By considering these adjustments to Target ROAS or CPA bidding at the keyword level, advertisers can tailor their strategy to the unique performance characteristics of each keyword. Regular monitoring, analysis, and adaptation are essential for maintaining an effective bidding strategy in the ever-changing landscape of Google Ads.

Neglecting Geographic KPI Segmentation Can Decrease the Effectiveness of Your Campaigns

Another important and frequently overlooked segmentation tactic is using geographic data to optimize Google Ads search campaigns. This is useful for large campaigns that gather a large amount of data relevant to a specific local area. However, if a campaign gets relatively low traffic and the audience is segmented too narrowly, there may not be sufficient actionable data to make an impact.

Examine the performance metrics (clicks, conversions, and cost per conversion) by location, which can be done by postal code, city, DMA or a state. Identify high-performing and low-performing regions and based on the analysis, adjust your target locations.

Increase bids for high-performing locations or break out high-performing regions into individual campaigns to ensure sufficient budget is allocated. Lower bids for consistently underperforming campaigns or exclude them from geographic targeting if improvement seems unlikely. Remember to customize ad copy and landing pages to specific regions can improve performance.

Experiment with Automated Bidding to Avoid Misalignment of Campaign Goals

Experiment with multiple automated bidding methods such as Enhanced CPC (ECPC), Target ROAS, or Max Conversions. Before selecting which bid strategies to test, make sure you have clearly defined your campaign goals. Whether it’s maximizing conversions, achieving a target ROAS, or optimizing for clicks, automated bidding strategies are designed to achieve specific objectives. Ongoing experimentation, monitoring, and adjustment to identify the best bidding strategy that aligns with campaign objectives and performance metrics ensures that campaigns utilize the most effective bidding algorithm. While it is possible to switch from one bidding strategy to another to test performance, a better approach is to set up a structured experimental campaign within Google’s platform. If you have an abundance of click and conversion data, allocating a smaller percentage of traffic to the test will mitigate the risks of experimentation. However, this approach may take longer to conclude which bidding method performs better. Regardless, ensure you allocate enough time for the test, as you cannot restart an experimental campaign once the testing period has ended.

Utilize the Search Terms Report and Update Your Negative Keywords Frequently to Minimize Irrelevant Searches

Google’s shift towards less precise keyword match types means the Search Terms Report serves as a valuable tool in refining ad relevance and minimizing wasted ad spend. Advertisers can leverage the Search Terms Report to identify irrelevant queries for creating negative keywords, preventing ads from appearing in unrelated searches, reducing costs, and improving overall campaign efficiency. Look for patterns, recurring themes, and terms that may not align with your overall goals. You can expand the time frame and look for search terms that have not triggered conversions over a long period of time and use this information to create negative keywords or consider pausing them if they are underperforming.

Conversely, you can use the Search Terms Report to identify and add high-performing keywords to appropriate ad groups or create a new group with text crafted specifically for that keyword to ensure optimal campaign performance.

Avoid Sub-Par Campaign Performance by Keeping Up with Google Ads Updates

Effective Google Ads search campaigns require a strategic and adaptive approach to align with the evolution of the platform. The recommended strategies include enhancing ad relevance and landing page quality, adjusting target ROAS and CPA bids, segmenting KPIs, experimenting with automated bidding methods, and using the Search Terms Report for negative keywords updates. These tactics underscore the importance of staying abreast of industry trends and leveraging the platform’s developing features. As advertisers navigate the dynamic landscape of Google Ads, a combination of these strategies is crucial for achieving campaign success, ensuring relevance, efficiency, and optimal performance.