In 2017, we offered up some of our top tips for developing an effective Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign on Google Ads. Since that time, there have been quite a few changes to the PPC landscape. Specifically, ad relevance has become more important than ever when it comes to running paid advertising.
What is ad relevance? If you don’t already know, it’s essential to understand this term before you start diving into the more complicated aspects of paid advertising. Simply put, ad relevance measures how well your ad matches up to the keywords you are targeting. In Google’s eyes, this can be rated as above average, average, or below average. The more relevant your ad is to a particular search keyword, the higher it will rank on the search page for that term. Easy enough, right?
Now that we’ve covered relevance, we can talk about the best ways to make sure your ads are successful. Our team has put together this list discussing four of the most important updates that advertisers should be aware of to ensure their PPC ad campaigns are optimized in 2020. Let’s take a look!
1. Optimization Score
One recent update that can change the way you optimize your ad campaigns is the Optimization Score. To locate your score, log into your Google Ads account and click on “Recommendations” in the page menu on the left. Here, you will see a new section called “Your Optimization Score.” This feature gives your account a rating that essentially estimates how well it will perform. Your optimization score can actually affect your account quality score, which impacts how often your ads are shown as well as your overall cost per click for relevant keywords.
The Google Ads platform also provides advice for improving your optimization score. You can follow the recommendations that are relevant while dismissing those that may not be applicable (or that you may not have the time or money to implement). Keep in mind that not all of the recommendations offered by Google will help your account significantly. Therefore, it’s best to work with a Google Ads expert who can determine which recommendations make the most sense for your company. Businesses should always strive for 100 percent optimization, even if they are unable to follow all of the recommendations from Google.
2. Ad Extensions
Another important update to be aware of is the increased importance that Google places on ad extensions. Specifically, when it comes to ad extensions, more is not necessarily better. Instead, it’s essential to choose the most relevant extensions for each ad group. Then, be sure to monitor your ad extensions to ensure that they have favorable click-through rates and low bounce rates. If either of these metrics is off, your ad extension quality ranks will decrease, impacting your overall account quality score.
3. Expanded Text and Responsive Search Ads
When you’re creating your ad campaigns, you’ll want to make use of both expanded text ads and responsive search ads (RSAs). Expanded text ads give advertisers more room to convey their message to customers by including an option for a third headline and second description.
Meanwhile, responsive search ads allow you to create an ad that adapts to show more text and relevant messaging to users. Over time, Google Ads will test different combinations of headlines and descriptions to see which perform best and adapt your content based on its findings.
Google recommends using at least three expanded text ads and one responsive search ad per ad group. By diversifying your ad types through the use of expanded text ads and RSAs, you can work to achieve higher ad relevancy in your campaigns.
4. Automated Bidding Strategies
Google Ads is now putting more emphasis on automated bidding strategies and smart campaigns than ever before. However, using smart campaign features or an auto bid strategy does not necessarily mean that Google has full reign of your campaigns, ad groups, budgets, or keyword bidding. Using bidding strategies like Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), Target Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), and Target Impression Share can help your business achieve higher key performance indicators (KPIs). Meanwhile, you can easily manage how much you spend on each click or impression. This ensures that you don’t overspend daily or monthly.
Utilizing an auto bid strategy is one way to improve your optimization score and produce better overall KPIs. Google’s machine learning is highly intelligent and will eventually discover what kinds of metrics you are looking for, helping pave a path to ad success.
5. Google Smart Campaigns
Smart Campaigns were created by Google to give business owners who don’t have a lot of free time the ability to run ad campaigns. They are designed to take the hassle out of running a campaign by fully automating everything from the bidding strategy to audience targeting and even keyword targeting.
Smart Campaigns are a good solution for busy local business owners who just want to get some ads up on the SERP. However, they typically don’t perform as well as standard search campaigns. The inability to make ongoing tweaks to targeting and keyword bidding makes these campaigns tough to optimize for peak performance. On top of that, Smart Campaigns aren’t easy to scale if you decide to increase your PPC efforts in the long run.
Although Smart Campaigns can be useful for a local business with a small budget, a well thought out and executed paid marketing strategy should always include a standard search campaign.
Contact Zero Gravity Marketing for All of Your PPC Needs
Ready to improve your ad rank and see real results from your PPC campaigns? Zero Gravity Marketing can help! Our expert PPC team has the knowledge and experience necessary to craft an effective Pay-Per-Click strategy. Contact us today to learn more!