15 incredibly useful Google AdWords optimisation tips that could save you a fortune

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15 adwords optimisation tips

Setting up a PPC (Pay per click) campaign on Google AdWords is just the first step in the advertising journey. To ensure your campaign derives the maximum return on investment or Adspend, you’ll have to constantly test and optimise the campaign. For beginners, AdWords can be a bit overwhelming but implementing these 15 tips could save your account from unnecessary wastage.

Google AdWords optimisation tips:

1) Advanced Location settings: I am a bit passionate about location advanced settings. A business that provides services or sells product within a given country or location should tick the target option of ‘People in my targeted location.’ Failing to do this will lead to your ads being displayed in several countries which will lead to a lower click through rate, lower quality score and higher cost per click.

adwords ppc optimisation tips

2) With or Without Search Partners: The segmentation report on AdWords is very important as it helps you to discover the performance of your ads on Google vs. search partners. Some of the search partners used by Google are aol.com, about.com, ask.com and much more.

Google AdWord optimization tips


It’s important to analyse the campaign performance of Google Search partners as compared to Google search. Metrics such as the Click through rate, conversion rate and cost per conversion will determine if you’ll need to exclude Google search partners from your campaign settings.

3) Search term report: It is important to regularly analyse the search term report to identify new keyword opportunities and additional negative keywords for your existing campaign. The search term report contains the actual queries that triggered your ads.

4) Negative Keywords and match type: Negative keywords prevent your Ads from showing up to irrelevant or unrelated searches. It is quite important to ensure the negative keyword list at Ad group and campaign levels are regularly updated. Ensuring you use the appropriate match type (broad, phrase or exact) is important. Adding a negative keyword such as ‘Free’ in a broad format might prevent your Ad from showing up if someone types:red wedding shoe with free It is important to have the negative keyword in an exact format like [free advice] or phrase format “Free advice.”

5) Maximise your Ad extensions: Ad extensions help your ads stand out a bit more and increase your click through rate. It is essential to ensure all possible extensions such as site links, call, call-outs, structured snippets and location extensions are utilised. Review and app extensions are also possible extensions that can be used.

6) Ensure Search and Display Ads are split: Combining search and display ads is not the best in PPC as it muddles your bidding and targeting strategy a bit muddled up. It is important to deselect the ‘search and display select’ and have it as search only. If necessary, you can decide to set up a separate display campaign and used the appropriate targeting option.

Google AdWords optimisation tips

7) Selecting all features: From the settings you’ll need to select ‘All features.’ Choosing this option enables you to utilise all the relevant Ad extensions. As such, your ads are more likely to perform better with ‘All features’ than Standard.’

8) Account and Campaign structure: The first sign of an unhealthy AdWords account is its campaign structure. Your campaign structure could be set up according to location, services provided by the business or audience. For example a retailer can have campaigns divided according to these criteria shoes, bags, clothes e.t.c. You can set up your account structure according to location as well.

9) Ad group and keyword structure: My pet peeve is taking over an account and realising there is a keyword stuffed Ad group. In PPC, I believe having a lean and mean campaign structure is important with just a few important keywords using the appropriate match types. I am a big fan of the SKAG (Single Keyword Ad Group) campaign structure. This involves using a broad modified, phrase and exact match of a single keyword per ad group. e.g = [red shoes], “red shoes” and +red + shoes. Secondly, utilising a tiered bidding approach can also be useful and by this, I mean bidding slightly higher for exact match and lower for a phrase and broad modified keywords respectively, e.g exact match keyword (£1. 20), Phrase match keyword (1.15) and broad match modified (£1.10). There are other great approaches to keyword structure that could be structured along match types.

10) Ad creative: In PPC, nothing beats a compelling ad creative. Best practices will be to ensure you only use DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion) if you have to as Frederick Vallaey’s reveals how your Ad headline can look out of place if your quality score for a given keyword is low and you’re using DKI. In a nutshell, DKI replaces a section of your Ad headline with the keyword that is triggered in a given ad. When the keyword quality score is low, Google may replace the given section of the headline with the users search query. It is also a good practice to add a full stop at the end of the first description line. This enables you to have extended headline and helps your ad to take up more search real estate. Ad customisers for location, price, brand, service or product can also help your ads be dynamically served per user’s query.

11) Bidding Strategy: Identifying a relevant bidding strategy could help you achieve your campaign objective. These strategies could be outranking share, where your goal is to bid to appear higher than your competitors in the paid search results. For a lead generation business, a CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) might be more relevant. Example, if you set a CPA goal of £100, it means you’re more comfortable paying £100 per enquiry. An ecommerce company could go with a ROAS (Return on AdSpend) or ROI (return on investment) bidding strategy. Let’s keep this simple for non-maths lovers. You determine ROAS by dividing your revenue by the cost of advertising. E.g you sold £200 worth of shoes after spending £20 on AdWords. Your ROAS will be 200/20 x 100% = 1000%. You’ll, therefore, input your target ROAS as 1000%. For ROI, you’ll subtract the cost price of the goods and Ad spends from the actual sale and divide by the cost. A bit of Maths, I guess. From the previous example, let’s assume the cost price for the goods were £30 + £20 ad spend = £50 in total cost. So to determine the ROI bid target = £200 – £50/£50 x 100 = 300%. This means for every £1 that is spent you get £4 back.

15 Google AdWords PPC optimization tips

12) AdWords Scripts: AdWords scripts allow you to programmatically control your account like getting an alert when you hit your budget, finding empty ad groups, ensuring you have a clutter free account and so on. These are written in JavaScript and you don’t need to write these scripts yourself as there are many of these scripts on Search Engine Land.

13) Removing poorly converting and low QS keywords: Keywords with a low quality score and low conversion rate are like a virus to your PPC account. Without a doubt, these should be removed as they will affect the overall health of your account. Keywords below the 5 mark have a very low-quality score. You might have to delete them and add them to a new Adgroup with a more relevant Ad creative.

14) Conversion tracking: This is very important to ascertain your PPC success. You can either import the goals from Google analytics or set up the goals in AdWords by adding the conversion tracking code to the relevant thank you or order confirmation page. It is important to check that the conversion tracking status is “recording conversions.”

15) Remarketing: This involves marketing to previous website visitors. AdWords presents a variety of remarketing options such as Remarketing List for Search Ads (RLSA), dynamic remarketing and standard display remarketing. It is important you check the audience tab on your Ad Words shared library to verify your audience size. The remarketing list size for Google display is 100 and that of Google search is 1000. Launching a remarketing campaign can help you achieve more conversions with users that have shown interest in your brand.

These 15 PPC optimisation tips could save you a headache and gain more income for your business if implemented properly. Google AdWords and other PPC platforms require constant optimisation efforts to achieve the desired results. Are you ready to get the best from your Google AdWords campaign?

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