How To Optimise Search Campaigns

Dec 28, 2022

Now that I have taken you through how to set up your Google Ads campaigns, it's time to start showing you how you can optimise your campaigns.

Optimization is the process of refining and improving your campaign to enhance its performance. Without it, your campaign may not reach its full potential, and you could end up wasting your budget on underperforming ads.

To start with, I am going to show the core optimisation actions of reviewing your search terms, your ad copy & audiences.

For best results, I recommend that you use my Google Ads optimisation checklist, and you can get free access just by following the link in the video description below.

The rest of this blog post also details relevant information and techniques you can use.

What is ad optimisation?

Google Ads optimisation is the process of refining and improving a Google Ads campaign to ensure it delivers the best return on investment (ROI) possible. Optimising your campaigns allows you to target more relevant search queries, maximise clicks, minimise costs, and boost conversions. Techniques include researching keywords, audience targeting, ad copy creation, bid management, and ongoing testing and analysis.

Steps to optimise Google search campaigns

Once your new campaigns have been running for a while to gather a meaningful data sample, it's time to dig in and start the optimisation process. Even if you are experienced, and the initial campaign setup is generally good, there will be ways to improve the campaign performance by looking at the data and starting to fine-tune your ads by implementing the steps below.

Research your audience

Start by looking at the current performance of your ads and understanding what has worked and what hasn’t. This can help inform which keywords and phrases to target, as well as how to tailor ad copy and creative assets so that they match the interests of this demographic.

You should also track metrics like website visits and conversions to gauge how successful your targeting has been and make adjustments if needed. Use audience insights from Google Ads to gain a better understanding of the people engaging with your campaigns and further refine your targeting strategy, scaling back from audience segments that don't perform well and reallocating your budget to the groups that convert.

Review your search terms

Start by reviewing your current active keywords and look for the performance metrics of each one. Once you have enough data to see clear trends, start pruning the keywords that underperform and add more versions of the successful ones. Google does a great job of recommending new keywords based on campaign data, add the ones to your campaign that make sense.

Also, look for any non-relevant keywords that may have accidentally triggered your ad to appear. Adding these as negative keywords will help you avoid wasting your budget and protect your Quality Score. For example, if you are selling shoes, adding “free” as a negative keyword will ensure your ads don't show up against queries like “free shoes.”

Utilise ad extensions and filters

Ad extensions allow you to add additional information to your text ads in order to enhance visibility and increase relevance. They can be used to include more detail, such as phone numbers or physical address information, as well as provide further links to products or services.

Filtering your campaigns means breaking down performance data so that you have more meaningful insights into the effectiveness of your advertising efforts. This can be done by focusing on certain geographical areas, devices or even times of the day.

By using Ad Extensions and Filters together, you can ensure that your Google search campaigns are tailored for maximum impact for the greatest return on investment.

Optimise quality score

The quality score comprises three main elements that can be improved - the expected click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. If improved, these can result in more visibility on Google search engine results pages (SERPs) and greater exposure over time.

Take the time to focus on each element in turn and ensure that they meet the necessary quality standards every time. To optimise it, start by analysing your keyword’s relevance - target specific keywords that are closely connected to the product/service you’re promoting.

Ensure a consistent message across ads, landing pages and keywords by referring to the product or service in all. Check the page load speed on your landing pages - if these load too slowly, visitors might click back, sending a signal to Google that lowers your quality score.

A higher quality score guarantees higher rankings in the SERPs and, therefore, better visibility and lower cost per click.

Use advanced conversion tracking

Using advanced conversion tracking on Google search campaigns is an excellent way of fine-tuning ads and ensuring that you get the most from them. This allows you to track the user journey from a keyword search all the way through to the final purchase. 

Advanced conversion tracking uses website event data, such as downloads or installations, to allow for greater control over the ads and lead to more efficient ad spend. It can be used to track customer behaviour after they see the ad, seeing which actions customers take after being exposed to ads, allowing you to adjust campaigns accordingly.

Adjust your bids by location performance

By tracking the different regional performances of your ads, you can effectively adjust your bids in areas that are bringing the best returns so you can allocate more budget to those regions and less to regions that are not performing as well. Additionally, gaining insights into the number of local clicks generated in a specific region will let you adjust your pricing strategies.

For example, targeting higher-cost cities with a greater CPC may allow you to get more visibility for your ads and increase traffic from those locations. An effective approach for adjusting bids is to review what's happening on a local level and tailor prices accordingly because different customer types often make decisions based on varied factors that occur locally.

Monitor and analyse results

Regular monitoring helps identify which keywords are performing well, as well as which ones need developing further or discarding. Similarly, periodically analysing campaign performance data gives insights into areas where there is scope for improvements, such as budget allocations and bidding changes. This means efforts can be concentrated on keywords that already yield good returns while cutting off those failing to generate traffic or conversions due to low-quality scores.

Fine-tuning campaigns in the right ways will often make the difference between success and failure when it comes to search ads. For example, you might start out with a campaign that initially makes back 95% of your ad spend in profit. If this were left running unchecked, you would eventually have to stop, as you would keep losing money. However, by using the steps above, it is entirely possible to turn this campaign into a winning one, where you would make an increasing percentage of return with every detail you optimise.

Ultimately, tracking performance, making regular tweaks and understanding search trends will assist in optimising campaigns for better ROI.