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Google Ads

Keywords are the core of your search campaign. The more keywords, the bigger your reach will be. Yet, some advertisers only add a handful of keywords to their campaigns.


Creating a great keyword list is a great starting point to make your campaigns profitable and maximise conversions.


Now, this doesn’t mean you should just blindly expand your keyword list just for the sake of it. The key is relevancy, so you only want to add keywords that are relevant to the products or service you are trying to sell.


However, even with relevant keywords, you can often create a large list. Most businesses are able to build a keyword list with a few thousand keywords.


Here are some tips to get you started building a killing Google Ads keyword list.


  1. Use the Keyword Tool.

  2. Google yourself!

  3. Use plurals and alternate spellings.

  4. Combine the words.

  5. Use (almost) all keyword match types.

  6. Analyse existing data from your account.

  7. Use local keywords.

  8. Split out in relevant ad groups.

  9. Optimise your keyword list.


Tip #1: Use the Keyword Planner Tool


The built-in Google Ads Keyword Planner Tool is the best tool to use when you start building your first keyword list.



Screenshot of Google Ads keyword planner tool.



You can find the tool in your Google Ads account and it’s free! By typing in a keyword, Google will give you keyword suggestions. Also, it will give you the average monthly searches, the average cost-per-click of each of the keywords and the competition of other advertisers.


Alternatively, you can also put in your website address and Google will give you suggestions based on this.


Tip #2: Google yourself!


Ever wondered what your customers type into Google? Why don’t you try and find out yourself!


Google is great with giving suggestions once people start typing something into the search engine. Did you notice the suggestion box that pops up as soon as you start searching?


Most likely, these will contain some keywords that you can use within your campaigns.



Screenshot of Google search suggestions box in search engine.



Tip #3: Use plurals and different spellings


True, Google will automatically show your ad for any plurals, misspelling or closely related keywords.


However, wouldn’t it be great to stay in full control yourself and be able to adjust your bids for any plurals or related keywords? From experience, I know there could be a big difference in performance for a keyword like “locksmith” vs “locksmiths. So it’s worth the extra effort to split these out in your campaigns as well.


Tip #4: Combine the words


People type things into Google in all different orders. As an advertiser, you want to make sure you capture all of these. Therefore, you will have to add all of them to your campaigns.


So, this means you will add the keyword “locksmith sydney” as well as “sydney locksmith” to your campaigns.


There are some great keyword combining tools online that you can use to make this easier for you.


Tip #5: Use (almost) all keyword match types


Keyword match types are great. When used correctly, they will be able to give you full control for which search queries your ad will be shown.


To do this, make sure you use a mix of broad match modifier, phrase, exact and negative keywords.


Noticed that one of the match types is missing? Correct, don’t use broad match keywords. They’re for lazy people. Instead, build out your keyword list with long tail keywords to make sure you capture the most relevant search queries for your business.


Tip #6: Analyse existing data


Ah, you already been running your Google Ads campaigns for a while? Great, there’s probably loads of data within your account. Let’s use this to your advantage.


The Search Terms report in your Google Ads account is one of the most useful reports for you to use. You can find the Search Terms report in the keyword tab of your account.



Screenshot of search terms report in Google Ads.



Previously, this was called the search query report. It shows all the search queries that lead to a click on your ads. A great starting point to expand your keyword lists or negatives.


The Added/Excluded column shows if the search query is currently added as a keyword to your account. If not, it will show “None”. These are potential new keywords that you can add to your account.


But, don’t rely on your match types to be triggered for these keywords. Instead, you can have more control by adding them directly to your account. You will be able to change your bids, create different ad copies and landing pages etc.


Tip #7: Use local keywords


Adding local keywords to your account is a great way to expand your reach with relevant keywords.


For example, you can add “australia”, “sydney”, or even suburb keywords to your list and combine it with your amin keywords.


Are you running a local business? Have a look at our previous article with Google Ads tips for local businesses.


Tip #8: Split out in relevant ad groups


Don’t just add all of your keywords into a single ad group.


Instead, make sure you split them out. There’s no limit in the number of ad groups and campaigns you can add. So, make sure you create (at least) multiple ad groups.


The main reason why you would want to split it out is so that it’s easier to manage for yourself. Also, you will be able to write more relevant ad copies for each of your ad groups. A win-win situation.


Tip #9: Optimise your keyword list


It doesn’t stop when you launch your campaigns. Your keyword list should not be a set-and-forget thing. By analysing the data, you should constantly tweak your campaigns.


Based on the data, you can pause underperforming keywords. Also, you should keep an eye on keywords with a low click-through rate or Quality Score. By using the Search Term report (see tip 6) you can identify new keyword opportunities and add these to your campaigns.


Conclusion


Setting up an extensive and relevant keyword list is the most important thing when setting up your Google Ads campaigns. This decides if your campaigns will be successful in the long run.


Then, after you launched your campaigns you will constantly tweak your keyword list. You should be pausing underperforming keywords and add new once based on the data that is available.


That way you will constantly improve your campaigns and will be able to squeeze more conversions out of the budget.

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Google Ads

True, PPC advertising is getting more competitive with the day. Cost-per-click’s are rising and this will further continue over the next few years.


However, PPC is still one of the most successful ways of advertising. Even today, you can still find ways to make your campaigns profitable.


In this article, we’ll share some PPC tips that you can implement straight away!


PPC tip 1: Make sure you track conversions


The great thing about PPC that you can track all of your results. You can see how many impressions you are getting, how many clicks, what your spend is and… how many leads or sales you got.


Most of this data is being pulled into the dashboard automatically when you launch your campaigns. However, your conversion tracking (leads/sales etc.) is something you will need to set up yourself.


It’s not hard. You can either use the tracking snippet from your PPC accounts (both Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising and Facebook Ads offer this) or import any goals from Google Analytics. You do want to set this up before you launch your first campaign.


PPC tip 2: Pause keywords with high costs and no conversions


Let’s start with saving you some money!


Pull all the keyword data from your account and filter out the keywords that got you conversions. Now, let’s focus on the keywords that didn’t get you conversions. Any keywords that you spend a lot of money on?


Start pausing them from your account. Cutting down irrelevant clicks is the first step to improving your campaigns.


PPC tip 3: Pause keywords with a low Quality Score


When you’re using Google Ads, you pay on a cost per click (CPC) basis. This means you don’t have to pay Google to have your ad shown, but only when someone actually clicks on your ad.


This means that Google is less keen to show un-relevant ads that no one clicks on. For that reason, it uses the Google Quality Score as a factor to decide the ad ranking.


Keywords with a low Quality Score will negatively impact your campaign’s result. So to improve your Quality Score, start with pausing keywords that have more than 200 impressions, a Quality Score below 5 and no conversions.


PPC tip 4: Pause keywords with a low click-through rate


One of the factors Google looks at to calculate the Quality Score is the click-through rate (CTR) of your ads. Not just of that one keyword, but also of your entire account.


Now, this means that the CTR of your account has an effect on your Quality Score and the cost per click that you’re paying. The easiest way to boost your CTR is to pause keywords that are getting you lots of impressions but no clicks.


Start with pausing keywords that have more than 200 impressions, a click-through rate below 0.5% and no conversions.


PPC tip 5: Add more keywords


Keywords are the core of each search campaign. The more keywords, the bigger your reach will be. Yet, some advertisers only add a handful of keywords to their campaigns.


Now, I definitely not saying that you should just blindly expand your keyword list just for the sake of it. The key is relevancy, so you only want to add keywords that are relevant to the products or service you are trying to sell.


However, even with relevant keywords, you can often create a large list. Think about the entire long tail, different word order, plurals and even misspellings. Most businesses are able to build a keyword list with a few thousand keywords.


Long tail of Google Ads keywords.


PPC tip 6: Pause all broad match keywords


When creating new keywords, these are standard added as broad match. I personally don’t recommend using broad match keywords in your account.


No, let me re-phrase that: don’t use broad match in your account. Ever. Unless you’re using a lot of negative keywords, these keywords will trigger too many irrelevant search queries. This will lower your Quality Score and increase your cost-per-click.


Instead, expand your keyword list with broad match modifier, phrase match and exact match keywords.


PPC tip 7: Test your ad creatives


Testing and optimising bits and pieces of your PPC campaign is the backbone for success.


Your ad is often the only thing from your PPC account that’s visible to the customer, and a great starting point to start A/B testing and optimising your campaign.


Ad testing is an ongoing process. Make sure you’re not just testing, but also improving your campaigns. If you keep testing 2 totally different ads you’re just testing.


Ideally, you keep the best performing parts of your ad and start testing smaller components of your ad instead. You can start with testing 2 completely different ads for a while and, once you have your best-performing, move into testing smaller parts of your ads.



PPC tip 8: Use bid strategies


Google Ads offers the opportunity to use different bid strategies within your account.


The big advantage of using bid strategies is that you have to spend significantly less time optimising your keyword bids. Bid strategies allow you to use Google’s algorithm for your keyword bids so that you don’t have to worry about doing this manually.



PPC tip 9: Add ad extensions


Ad extensions are free. They will give your ad more real estate in the search engine. This will increase the likelihood of people clicking your ad.


Maybe not all ad extensions are applicable to your business. However, ad extensions like the sitelinks extensions and callout extensions will be useful for every business.


Ad extensions will also have a positive impact on your campaigns Quality Score, so it’s really a no-brainer to add them to your campaigns.




PPC tip 10: Use negative keywords


Negative keywords will prevent your ad from being triggered. It’s very important that you build a large negative keyword list, especially if you’re using a lot of broad match and negative keywords.


By adding this as a negative keyword list to your campaigns, people who include this in their search query won’t see your ad.


This will help you focus on clicks that will give you actual potential customers.



PPC tip 11: Monitor your search queries


Although you would want to set up a tight keyword list, your ad might pop up for irrelevant search queries.


Especially if you’re working with a small budget, you want to filter these out as much as possible.


Google Ads allows you to pull a search query report. By going through this report you’ll be able to identify irrelevant search queries and add them as negative keywords to your campaigns.



PPC tip 12: Advertise on your brand name


Branded keywords are the most relevant keywords in your account. Therefore, you will have a higher Quality Score for these keywords and the cost per click will be relatively low.


The Quality Score works through to all the keywords of your account. This means that for all the non-branded keywords you will have a higher ranking and decrease their cost per click.


Because of the relatively low cost per click that you’ll have to pay makes it a no-brainer to advertise on your branded term.



PPC tip 13: Use remarketing


Ever thought about what happens with the visitors that come to your site and don’t convert? Most likely, they never come back to your site.


By running a remarketing campaign you can try and get these visitors to come back to your site. From all the targeting methods on display networks, remarketing is the most successful one. You are targeting people that are already familiar with your brand.


Remarketing is a great way to expand your PPC advertising.




PPC tip 14: Build high-converting landing pages


After you get more relevant visitors on your website, the next step is to get them to convert. Your landing page is the most important part of this. By building a PPC specific landing page you can really focus on that one goal: getting the details of your potential customer.


An ideal landing page would have a relevant headline and sub-headline, a short contact form with call-to-action and some basic details about your product or service. This should contain unique selling points (USP’s), testimonials, a short description of how it works etc.


Use the less-is-more principle for these pages. The more information you add, the bigger the change that people don’t fill in the form.



PPC tip 15: Track everything and optimise


The best thing about advertising on Google? You can track everything!


Literally, EVERYTHING.


You can see on a keyword level which keywords are getting you impressions, clicks, leads, and how much you spend on each of them.


Now, all you need to do is analyse this and use it to your advantage.



PPC tip 16: Link your Google My Business listing


True, it’s not necessarily PPC.


However, a Google My Business listing is free so there’s no reason not to sign up. Also, by linking your GMB account with your Google Ads account you can promote your Google Maps listing. It’s a great way to get more relevant search volume.


Screenshot of location extension within Google.


Conclusion


Even though PPC advertising gets more and more competitive, there are still ways to run a profitable PPC campaign.


By following the easy-to-implement PPC tips in this article, you can significantly improve your campaigns today.



About Vazooky Digital


Vazooky Digital is a boutique PPC agency, based in Sydney. If you need any help with improving your local Google Ads campaigns, please get in touch.

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Google Ads

At the end of the day, the only thing that is visible to your potential customers is your text ad.

And your ad extensions are (and should be) an important part of that.

Your potential customer can’t see how well your campaigns are structured or how large your keyword list is. He/she doesn’t care about your location targeting or the bidding strategy that you use.

Your text ads decide if that potential customer will click your ad.


Why you should use ad extensions


Ad extensions expand your ad with relevant information. You can give your potential customers more reasons to click and become an actual customer.

Simply put you will get more real estate in the search results. So, when done correctly the will have a positive impact on your click-through rate (CTR).

Also, Google announced that the ad extensions are one of the factors it uses to calculate the Quality Score.

Now, maybe not all ad extensions will be relevant for your business. However, it is highly recommended to add all the ones that are relevant to your campaigns.


How Google decides to show ad extensions


Even though it is recommended to add the ad extensions, Google won’t always show them.

Only if your ad rank is high enough your ad extensions might show.

We noticed that it mainly depends on the Quality Score of your account and the competitive nature of the keyword.

So when your Google Ads campaigns are well-structured and you are getting high Quality Scores, it is more likely that the ad extensions will show.

Also, on less competitive terms (like branded terms) you will notice that the ad extensions will show more frequently. For more competitive terms the ad extensions will still show however, this is often a stripped down version of them.


The ad extensions you should ALWAYS add


Well, the following ad extensions are the ones that are applicable to almost every business out there. Not adding these would be holding back the performance of your campaigns:

  • Sitelinks

  • Callout extensions

  • Structured snippet extensions


The most important ad extensions.

Sitelinks are the extra links that show up underneath the main ad. For generic keywords, you can use them to link to specific product pages. For more specific keywords, you can promote pages like your testimonials page, about page or contact page.


The sitelinks have the option to add 2 descriptions lines. Although these don’t always show up, you should always add these in case Google decides to show these. It will further expand your ad. It’s recommended to add at least 4 sitelinks to your ad.


Callout extensions are basically your USP’s. The will show up in bullet point style within your ad. You should add at least three of these to your campaigns.


Structured snippets are a list of the types of products, services, locations, models etcetera that you are offering. Only 1 will show up with your ad however, they contain multiple values. You can add up to 10 values however, Google will likely cut them off in the search results. It is recommended to put the most important values in the front of the list so that they are less likely to be cut off.


Extra ad extensions that might be useful for your business


Depending on your business type, you might want to add the following ad extensions:

  • Call extensions

  • App extensions

  • Location extensions

  • Price extensions

  • Promotion extensions


Call extensions allow you to add a phone call to your ad. Also, when running mobile ads you will be able to add a click-to-call button to your ad. Customers will then be able to call your business with one click. Make sure you set up your phone call tracking!


If you are promoting an app, you definitely want to add the app extension. It will add a button to your ad that will send visitors directly to the Apple Store or Google Play Store.


Location extensions will display your business address within your ad. To do this, you will first need to create a Google business listing. Once you linked this to Google Ads, you will be able to show the location extensions.


If you have clear prices that you would like to share with your customers, you can add the price extensions. You are able to add multiple products or services and show their prices within your ad.


When you are running discounts, you can add a promotion extension to your campaigns. They will show the type of discount you offer and when it runs out. You can also select the occasion from a long list available from Google (eg. Valentine’s Day, Christmas etc.).


Extra options for ad extensions


Most ad extensions will have to option to schedule when you would want to be displayed.


For example, if your business is only able to take phone calls from 9 to 5, it makes sense to turn off the call extensions outside these hours.


Also, if you are running a promotion that runs out on a certain date, you can make sure it’s automatically paused after this date.

Conclusion


Adding ad extensions will allow you to get more real estate in the Google search results.


Every Google Ads advertiser should be adding at least a few of them to their campaigns.

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Google Ads
Google launched the Google AdWords platform back in 2000.

Over the years there have been many changes to the platform, and many extra features have been added. Last year, Google re-branded the platform to Google Ads.

Although (most) of the changes have been made to make Google Ads more beneficial to advertisers, it can be overwhelming for some. There are significantly more buttons to press on compared to the early days.

As a PPC agency, I do a fair bit of account audits. During these audits, I notice that a lot of advertisers are making similar mistakes.

Here are the most common Google Ads mistakes.


Mistake #1: not enough keywords


Keywords are the core of each search campaign. The more keywords, the bigger your reach will be.  Yet, some advertisers only add a handful of keywords to their campaigns.


Now, I definitely not saying that you should just blindly expand your keyword list just for the sake of it. The key is relevancy, so you only want to add keywords that are relevant to the products or service you are trying to sell.


However, even with relevant keywords, you can often create a large list. Think about the entire long tail, different word order, plurals and even misspellings. Most businesses are able to build a keyword list with a few thousand keywords.

For some large campaigns I worked on in the past we ran campaigns with roughly a million keywords!

Long tail of Google Ads keywords.


Mistake #2: keywords added in broad match


When creating new keywords, these are standard added as broad match. I personally don’t recommend using broad match keywords in your account.


No, let me re-phrase that: don’t use broad match in your account. Ever. Unless you’re using a lot of negative keywords, these keywords will trigger too many irrelevant search queries. This will lower your Quality Score and increase your cost-per-click.


Instead, expand your keyword list with broad match modifier, phrase match and exact match keywords.


I wrote a different article that explains everything about the keyword match types.

Explanation of different match types in Google Ads.



Mistake 3: only one ad group


Google is all about relevancy. The more relevant your ad is, the higher your Google Quality Score, the higher your rankings and the lower your cost-per-click. Which means you will be able to squeeze more conversions out of your budget. It’s a win-win-win-win (win) situation.


By adding all your keywords to the same ad group you won’t be able to write a relevant ad for your keywords. Instead, you want to split out your ad groups and write unique and relevant ad copy’s for each one of them.


You can split out your ad groups based on product/service, but also on the type of keywords (eg. you might want to a different ad copy if your keywords contain “freelancer” vs keywords that contain “specialist”).


Google recommends to use around 10-20 keywords in each ad group, so if you’re advertising on 1,000 keywords this means you end up having roughly 50 ad groups.


Mistake 4: low click-through rate (CTR)


Remember that Google Quality Score I have been bugging you about? It’s a way for Google to calculate how relevant your ad is for a particular search query.


One of the factors Google looks at to calculate the Quality Score is the click-through rate (CTR) of your ads. Not just of that one keyword, but also of your entire account.


Now, this means that the CTR of your account has an effect on your Quality Score and the cost per click that you’re paying. The easiest way to boost your CTR is to pause keywords that are getting you lots of impressions but no clicks.


Mistake 5: no conversion tracking


The great thing about Google Ads that you can track all of your results. You can see how many impressions you are getting, how many clicks, what your spend is and… how many leads or sales you got.


Most of this data is being pulled into the dashboard automatically when you launch your campaigns. However, your conversion tracking (leads/sales etc.) is something you will need to set up yourself.


It’s not hard. You can either use the tracking snippet from your Google Ads account or import any goals from Google Analytics. You do want to set this up before you launch your first campaign.


Mistake #6: no negative keywords


Back to the keywords. Yes, they’re still the core of your campaigns.

Negative keywords prevent your ad for being showed for irrelevant search queries. Think about search queries you definitely don’t want to be shown for. Like search queries that contain “scam”, “jobs”. You can also include locations that you don’t serve or even competitors.


For an advertiser, it is very unlikely if you don’t need any negative keywords.


Image that shows how negative keywords works within Google Ads.


Mistake #7: no ad extensions


Ad extensions are free. They will give your ad more real estate in the search engine. This will increase the likelihood of people clicking your ad.


Maybe not all ad extensions are applicable to your business. However, ad extensions like the sitelinks extensions and callout extensions will be useful for every business.


These are the most common mistakes we notice when doing PPC audits. Try to avoid these mistakes and you’re on your way to get more results out of your Google Ads campaigns.


Are you making any of these mistakes yourself?

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Google Ads
Google Ads offers the opportunity to use different bid strategies within your account.

The big advantage of using bid strategies is that you have to spend significantly less time optimising your keyword bids.


What are bid strategies?


Bid strategies allow you to use Google’s algorithm for your keyword bids so that you don’t have to worry about doing this manually.

The more data, the better. It’s not recommended to use the bid strategies for any accounts that don’t have a lot of conversion data.


Bidding vs manual


Back in the days, you had to manually change the bids of each of the keywords in your account. You needed to analyse the data and then individually go through each of the keywords and decide a CPC bid. Then, you could tweak these bids based on the device, location, time of day etc. You can then find the combination that works the best.


Google Ads bid strategies manual vs bidding.

Using SEM bid management tools like DoubleClick Search or Marin are expensive and typically not available for the smaller Google Ads accounts. Over the last few years, Google worked on creating algorithms within Google Ads to take away some of the manual work. The bid strategies are part of this.


Bid strategies work based on a goal. Google’s algorithm looks at various indicators (keyword, location, device and many other unknown ones) and decides the best bid to match your goal.

Automatic bid strategies are user-based, so Google re-calculates the bid every time one of your keywords gets triggered.


Google Ads automated bidding strategies


Based on your goals there are a few different bid strategies you could consider for your campaigns.


Target CPA (cost-per-acquisition)

With Target CPA the bids are set to get as many as possible conversions out of your budget while keeping in mind the CPA goal. If you’re focusing on lead generation and have a clear cost per lead goal, this would be the bid strategy to use.


Target ROAS (return-on-ad-spend)

ROAS stands for Return On Ad Spend. This bidding strategy is focussed on getting you as many as possible conversions while matching the ROAS goal. This is mainly for e-commerce websites and webshops.


Maximise Conversions

This bidding strategy works together with your daily budget and will focus on maximising the number of conversions from your campaigns.


Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC)

Enhanced CPC is a variation of manual bidding, where you give the system the opportunity to automatically adjust your bids to increase conversions. The algorithm can increase your bids if it’s more likely a click will turn into a conversion, as well as decrease your bids in the case it’s less likely.


Maximize Clicks

This bidding strategy will get you as much as possible clicks for your daily budget. Keep in mind this might include irrelevant traffic. You should set up conversion tracking for your campaigns and use the maximise conversion bidding strategy instead.


Manual CPC bidding (manual bidding AdWords)

This is the default option, which means you will manually set all of your keyword bids.


Target Search Page Location (position bid strategy)

With this bidding strategy, you will be targeting position (first page or even first ad position) no matter the cost-per-click.


Target Outranking Share

You can add a domain of one of your competitors and tell Google that you want to out-rank them.


Bid strategy best practices


The bid strategies perform better depending on the data that is available. When launching new campaigns, I would recommend starting with manual bidding. Once you collected the initial data you can implement one of the bidding strategies.


Google Ads best practices.

Keep in mind that the bid strategies need some time to learn as well. Google recommends giving each new bid strategy at least two or three weeks to learn. After this period you will be able to see it matching the goals.


You might want to test out different bidding strategies to see which one works the best for you. Based on the type of campaign you are running you might want to consider the following strategies.


Lead generation

If you are running a lead generation campaign you would want to use either the target CPA or maximize conversions bid strategies.


If you have a clear cost per lead that you target, use the target CPA option. This will make sure that you won’t exceed your goal. If you noticed that you reached your daily budget, you can either decide to increase your daily budget or lower your target CPA. The latter will lower your cost per lead and will get you more leads for the same budget.


E-commerce

When running e-commerce campaigns you can use the target ROAS or (again) the maximize conversions options.


Especially if you’re running a large e-commerce website with a lot of products with different revenues I would go for the first option. Smaller webshops can consider the second option as well.


Branding

If you’re running branding campaigns you should still care about conversions. I would recommend tracking at least an important page on your site so that you can track high-quality visitors over low-quality.


Once you set this up you can use the maximize conversions option. I wouldn’t recommend using the maximize clicks option.


If you want to outrank your competitors for certain keywords (eg. your branded keyword) you can consider using one of the position based bid strategies.


Conclusion


When done right, automated bidding can make your campaigns more profitable. It also reduces the time that you would normally spend on manually adjusting your bids.


The time you save you can spend on optimising other aspects of your campaigns, like ad copy testing or Quality Score optimisation. This can further increase the performance of your campaigns.


There’s no doubt that machine-learning will be better for making large-scale calculations like keyword bidding.

As a side-note, you could argue if you would want Google to decide your keyword bids based on factors that are unknown to us. That being said, at Vazooky Digital we have seen a big improvement in the performance of campaigns that have enabled the automatic bidding features.

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Google Ads
Google Ads is an extremely powerful advertising platform. When you’re using Google Ads, you pay on a cost per click (CPC) basis. 

This means you don’t have to pay Google to have your ad shown, but only when someone actually clicks on your ad.

Only pay Google when someone clicks on your ad.

This means that Google is less keen to show un-relevant ads that no one clicks on. For that reason, it uses the Google Quality Score as a factor to decide the ad ranking.

This also means you can’t just blindly add irrelevant keywords to your account.

The Google ad auction works based on a difficult formula, where it takes into account:
  1. The bid that each advertiser puts in for click on a particular keyword.

  2. The relevancy of that advertiser to a particular search query (the Google Quality Score).


What is the Google Quality Score?


The Quality Score is a number from 1 to 10 that shows how relevant your keyword to a particular search query.

A low Quality Score shows that your keyword is totally irrelevant, while a high Quality Score means that it’s spot on and that you’re offering exactly what visitors are looking for.


To decide the Quality Score, Google looks at multiple factors including:

  • Keyword relevancy

  • Expected click-through rate (CTR)

  • Landing page experience

  • Historical account performance

  • Ad relevancy

  • Various relevance factors


 

How the Google ad auction works


Everytime someone types something into the search engine, Google’s algorithm re-calculates the ad ranking.

To do this it looks at many factors, including:

  • The keyword in your account that could get triggered for the search query.

  • How relevant that keyword is to the search query.

  • The relevancy of your ad to the search query.

  • How relevant your landing page is to the search query.

  • Your maximum bid for a click on the keyword.

  • Ad extensions that get trigger by the keyword.

  • The maximum bid of a competitor on the keyword.

  • Relevancy factors of your competitor(s).


And much, much more. In total, Google uses hundreds of factors to decide the ad ranking and this is being re-calculated for each search query.

How Google decides the ad ranking.


In the example above there are 4 advertisers that are eligible to show for a particular search query:

  • Advertiser 1 has a bid of $4.

  • $3 is the bid of advertiser 2.

  • Advertiser 3 bids $2.

  • And advertiser 4 puts in a bid of $1 per click.


Based on the many relevancy factors that Google uses:

  • Advertiser 1 has a relevancy factor (Google Quality Score) of 1.

  • Relevancy factor of 6 for advertiser 2.

  • Advertiser 3 has a relevancy factor of 10.

  • And advertiser 4 has a relevancy factor of 8.


Based on the bid and the relevancy factor Google decides the ad ranking.
This means that:

  • Even though advertiser 3 only put in the third highest bid, it gets ranking in the first position because of their high relevancy score.

  • Then, Advertiser 2 gets the second ad position.

  • Advertiser 4 gets the third ad position.

  • And even though advertiser 1 put in the highest bid, it still gets ranked the lowest due to a low relevancy score.

 

Why is relevancy so important?


This is because Google wants to:

  1. Make users happy by providing the right answers to their questions.

  2. Make advertisers happy by not letting them pay for irrelevant clicks.


And it certainly makes Google happy.
Remember that you only have to pay for actual clicks? So by showing relevant ads higher in the ad ranking, more people will click the ad and Google will earn more as well.


So, even though an advertiser pays less for a click, the higher click-through rate (CTR) will make it more beneficial for Google.


How Google uses the Quality Score to decide the ad ranking


To decide the ad ranking, Google uses the following formula:


So, if you want to increase your ad ranking for a particular keyword there are two things you can do:

  1. Increase your CPC bids, which will increase your costs.

  2. Improve your Quality Score.

So in plain words: a higher Quality Score will give you a better ad ranking against lower costs.


How Quality Score affects CPC


The maximum CPC bid that you put in for a keyword is not necessarily the cost you actually have to pay Google.

You only have to pay Google the cost of what is needed to keep your closest competitor below you. This means you pay whatever is needed to maintain your ad ranking plus $0.01.


In the example we had before, this means:

  • Advertiser 3 ends up paying $1.91. It needs 19 to maintain it’s ad ranking (as advertiser 2 has 18), so the formula to calculate the actual cost per click is: (19/10)+$0.01 = $1.91.

  • Then, Advertiser 2 pays $1.51 (9/6 + $0.01).

  • Advertiser 4 pays $0.63.

  • Lastly, Advertiser 1 pays their maximum CPC, which is $4.


Note: all of these calculations are based on the information that is available. The actual formula that Google uses to determine ad ranking and cost per click is a secret.


How to improve Quality Score


If you can increase the relevance of your campaign, you will get higher Quality Scores.

This will significantly decrease your cost per click so that you can squeeze more clicks and conversions out of your budget.

There are a few ways to do this:

  1. Fine-tuning your keyword list. 
    You can run a search query report to see the search queries that triggered your keywords. Adding new keywords to your campaign will allow writing more specific ad copy’s.

  2. Adding negative keywords.
    You can add negative keywords to ensure your keywords won’t get triggered for irrelevant search queries and improve your click-through rates.

  3. Testing ad copy’s.
    You should write ad copy’s for each ad group individually and start testing them. Then, remove ad copy’s that have a low click-through rate and focus on the ones with a high CTR.

  4. Optimising landing pages.
    Send your visitors to a relevant page on your website based on the search query that they’ve typed in. Also, follow best practices for your landing pages.


Following these steps can improve your Google Quality Score, meaning you can get higher ad rankings and more value for your buck.

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Google Ads
Understanding the different match types is critical to get maximum results out of Google Ads.

The goal is to only show your ad for relevant search queries. The match types will give you control over which search queries will trigger your ads to eliminate irrelevant clicks.


Introduction


There are 5 different match types in Google Ads:


  • Broad match. Triggers all search queries closely related to the keyword.

  • Broad match modifier. Limits broad match to make sure certain words need to be within the search query.

  • Phrase match. Triggers all search queries that have the keyword as a phrase within them.

  • Exact match. Triggers search queries that exactly match the keyword, plus all close variants.

  • Negative match. Prevents your ad from being shown for search queries that contain this keyword.


Explanation of different match types in Google Ads.


Broad match


Standard all of your keywords are added as broad match within your campaigns.


Broad match means that your ad will be triggered for all search queries that are closely related to the keywords. Although this will give you a wide reach, there’s a big chance your ad will be shown for a lot of irrelevant search queries as well.


Example:

Keyword: plumbing service.

Triggers your ad for search queries like: plumbing service, plumber emergency service, plumbing tips, how to become a plumber, plumbing courses, repair my toilet.


As an experienced Google Ads specialist, I would highly recommend to not use broad match keywords in your account.


Using broad match keywords either blow out your budget on irrelevant clicks or has a negative effect on your account’s Quality Score.


Broad match modifier (BMM)


Broad match modifier gives you a bit more control than broad match.


It means that all of words that have a “+” in front of them, need to be exactly like that in the search query for your ad to be triggered. They can be in a different order tho, as well have additional words in-front, in-between, or behind them.


Example:

Keyword: +plumbing +service

Triggers your ad for: plumbing service, plumbing emergency service

Doesn’t trigger your ad for: repair my toilet, plumbing tips.


Broad match modifier is a great way to identify new potential keywords, by expanding your reach but still have control over when your ads are triggered.


Phrase match


Phrase match means that your keyword needs to be within the search query for your ads being triggered.


You will still need to make sure you have a large negative keyword list to limit your irrelevant clicks.


Example:

Keyword: “plumbing service”

Triggers your ad for: plumbing service, plumbing service near me.

Doesn’t trigger your ad for: plumbing emergency service.


Exact match


Exact match keywords will give you the most control over when your ads get triggered.


It’s highly recommended to create a large keyword list with as much as possible exact match keywords.

Example:

Keyword: [plumbing service]

Triggers your ad for: plumbing service.

Doesn’t trigger your ad for: plumbing service near me.


Close variants


It’s good to keep in mind that Google will show your ad for close variants.


These could include plurals, misspellings and function words. This is not a setting (anymore) so there’s no way you could turn this off.


If you don’t want your ad to show for certain plurals or misspellings, you could create a negative keyword list with these and add them to your ad group or campaign.

Explanation of close variants in Google Ads.


Negative keywords


Negative keywords will prevent your ad from being triggered.

It’s very important that you build a large negative keyword list, especially if you’re using a lot of broad match and negative keywords.


For your negative keywords, you can use similar match types as with the normal keywords, so broad, phrase and exact.


Image that shows how negative keywords works within Google Ads.
Broad match modifier doesn’t work for negative keywords, however broad match for negatives works similarly as BMM.

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Google Ads
Are you running a local business?

Or do you offer a service that is specifically targeting certain suburbs?

Here’s some tips to make Google Ads working for you.


Tip #1: Act like a local!


You probably don’t have a marketing like the “big guys”, so you’ll have to be smart. By emphasising the fact that you’re a local business you can beat them on your turf.


Nobody knows your area as well as you. 


See this example of a locksmith on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. They mention in their headlines, description lines, ad extensions and even brand name that they’re locals!


No big company with an office in the CBD will be able to compete with this.


Screenshot of local Sydney business on Google Ads.


Tip #2: Split out your campaigns


Being a local requires you to split out your Google Ads campaigns. 


You want to create 2 separate campaigns:

  1. A location targeting campaign. In this campaign, you can use more generic keywords (eg. “plumbing service”) but only target the area that you service. 

  2. A location keyword campaign. In this campaign, you use suburb specific keywords (eg. “plumbing service sydney”) and target a larger area.


Tips #3 to #5 will dig deeper into these 2 campaign types.


Tip #3: Use geo-targeting


For the location targeting campaign, you only want to target the area that you actually serve.


You can either use radius targeting (where you draw a circle around your business address), put in each of the suburbs individually, or use postcodes for this. It depends on your business which option you want to use.





Tip #4: Expand keyword list with location keywords


Once you split out your campaigns, you can expand your Google Ads keyword list with location related keywords.

Location keywords are related to a certain suburb, council, city or even country.


They can be described as long tail keywords, meaning there’s likely to be less competition than the more generic keywords in your list. Therefore there will be a lower cost-per-click (CPC) on these keywords and you will be able to achieve higher ad rankings.


Although one of these keywords won’t give you that much extra traffic, all together they can significantly increase your reach. Also, as they’re more relevant you’ll be able to write better ads, improve your average click-through rate (CTR) and improve your conversion rate (CVR).


As they’re more relevant you will also be able to achieve a higher Google Quality Score, which could potentially reduce the CPC of all the keywords in your account.


Tip #5: don’t limit yourself


How many keywords can you add you ask? A lot!

For example, for a business servicing North Sydney and Sydney’s Northern Beaches you will already be able to add the following suburb keywords:

  • Manly

  • Palm Beach

  • Curl Curl

  • Dee Why

  • Collaroy

  • Narrabeen

  • Mona Vale

  • Warriewood

  • Newport

  • Avalon

  • Frenchs Forest

  • Forestville

  • Belrose

  • Davidson

  • Terrey Hills

  • Beacon Hill

  • Allambie Heights

  • Balgowlah

  • Seaforth

  • Clontarf

  • Cammeray

  • Cremorne

  • Crows Nest

  • Kirribilli

  • Kurraba Point

  • Lavender Bay

  • McMahons Point

  • Milsons Point

  • Neutral Bay

  • North Sydney

  • St Leonards

  • Waverton

  • Wollstonecraft


Depending on where you’re potential customers are, you would be able to extend this list further. For our clients were able to significantly improve the performance of their Google Ads campaigns using location keywords.


Tip #6: Use negative keywords


To filter out irrelevant traffic, make sure that you create a list of suburbs/areas that you don’t service.


By adding this as a negative keyword list to your campaigns, people who include this in their search query won’t see your ad, even if they’re located within your location targeting. 


This will help you focus on clicks that will give you actual potential customers. 


Tip #7: Track your phone calls


You want to make sure that you track all of your conversions.


If you’re a local business that has a phone number on your site, make sure that you track your phone calls. Google offers free forwarding numbers to local businesses in Australia. All you need to do is add the script to your website.


Tip #8: Monitor your search queries


Although you would want to set up a tight keyword list, your ad might pop up for irrelevant search queries.

Especially if you’re working with a small budget, you want to filter these out as much as possible. 


Google Ads allows you to pull a search query report. By going through this report you’ll be able to identify irrelevant search queries and add them as negative keywords to your campaigns.


You’re able to find this report in Google Ads by going to your Keywords tab and then go to Search Terms.


In the Added/Excluded you’re able to see if a keyword is added already or not:

Screenshot of search terms report in Google Ads.


So if I’m not servicing Adelaide, based on the example above I can add the keyword “adelaide” to my negative keyword list.


Tip #9: Use ad scheduling


If you’re running a local business, it might not make sense for you to get leads when you’re not there to follow up straight away.


Google Ads gives the opportunity to use a time schedule. That way you can turn off your ads during certain hours. For example in the weekends or even during the week outside office hours.


Tip #10: Use location extensions


The big benefit as a local business is that you’re close to your customers. You want your customers to know that as well!


Google Ads gives the opportunity to show your address within your ad. These are called location extensions. As a local business, it’s highly recommended to set this up.

Screenshot of location extension within Google.


To enable this you will need to set up a Google Business Profile and link this with your Google Ads account.


Keep in mind, that to process to verify the location in your Google Business Profile will take a few weeks. Google will send a postcard to your address with a unique code to verify this.


Tip #11: Use local search ads


Local search ads will show up when customers are searching on Google Maps.


It promotes your Google Business Profile, using the location extensions. You will need to include Search Partners in your campaigns to make sure local search ads will show.


This setting is on a campaign level in your Google Ads account. 


Extra tip: Optimise, optimise, optimise


Google Ads has a lot of data available.


There’s no such thing as set and forget. To get maximum results out of your campaigns you will need to constantly optimise based on this data.


This means that you will need to change your keyword bids, pause underperforming keywords, add new keywords, test different ad copy’s, tweak your campaign setting and much, much more.


It’s the only way to improve your ROI.


About Vazooky Digital


Vazooky Digital is a boutique Google Ads agency based on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. If you need any help with improving your local Google Ads campaigns, please get in touch.

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Google Ads, News
Google decided to change the name for Google AdWords. Alongside the changes to the AdWords platform there will be a rebranding for the DoubleClick platform as well.

The changes that will be made:
  • Google AdWords will change to Google Ads,

  • DoubleClick Search, Bid Manager and Campaign Manager will, together, be called Google Marketing Platform,

  • DoubleClick for Publishers and Ad Exchanged will be called Google Ad Manager.


So far this will only be a name and logo change. No big changes to the platforms will be made yet and all the campaigns that you’ve set up will continue to keep running as normal.

The new interface to has been in beta phase for the last few months will be rolled out as part of this, however most advertisers has already been using this. 

Have a look at the announcement on Search Engine Land for more information.

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Google Ads For Industries
AdWords Google Ads allows you to show ads on Google Search, whenever potential patients are searching for dentist related search queries.

It’s the most targeted way of advertising, as you have the ability to only show your ad when someone is actively searching for a dentist.


Google Ads is one of the most popular ways of advertising for dentists because of the following reasons:


1. You only have to pay for clicks 


With Google Ads, it’s free to have your ad showed. You only have to pay when someone actually clicks on your ad (unlike other types of advertising).

For dentists, this is great as it means that if people are not interested in your service (and thus don’t click on your ad) you don’t get charged for it.


A lot of other types of advertising (think about local magazines, flyers etc) often charge a flat fee to have your logo or ad shown, without knowing if there will be a return on investment. Google Ads makes it a lot easier and fairer for dentists.



Image of happy dentist patients thanks to Google Ads.


2. You only have to target people that are close to your practice


If you’re a dentist you’re likely to focus on certain suburbs, so there’s no point in showing your ad Australia wide.


Google Ads allows you to show your ad only to people that are located within a certain suburb. That way you won’t be spending money on people that will definitely not become a client.


3. You can track all of your new patients, even if they call you


Google Ads has the option to use a Google forwarding number on your site. That way you can see exactly which keyword converted into a lead and you can optimise your campaigns based on this data.


Tracking phone calls was a big issue a few years ago however, Google came up with a great solution to 
track your calls from your Google Ads campaigns.


It’s fairly easy to set this up. It can have a critical impact on the way you can optimise your Google Ads campaigns.


4. You can easily calculate your return on investment


Once you’re tracking all of your new patients it will be fairly easy to calculate your return on investment to make sure you make a positive return on your advertising spend.


You’ll be able to see on a keyword level which keywords are converting and which keywords are just spending money without getting results. Based on that data you can optimise your campaigns to make sure you get more leads out of your budget.


Because of the way the platform works, Google Ads is a great tool for dentists that want to get more patients.


If you need any help with setting up your campaigns, please
get in touch.

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