Gone are the days when achieving a high volume of impressions and clicks on your Google ad campaigns was the main objective. Why? Put simply: you can’t take clicks to the bank. If you want to see return on your ad spend and turn your clicks into customers you need to be optimising your Google ads for better conversions.
Google analytics has the ability to track how many online sales, app downloads, phone calls and even website actions occur after a user has interacted with your ad. All of these actions indicate a user is interested in your goods and services and will likely lead to a sale. Unless your campaign objective is simply brand awareness, it is crucial to utilise the below strategies for better ad conversions in 2020.
1. Optimise For Voice Search
“Hey Google, where is the closest Chinese restaurant?”
Introduced in 2011, Google Voice Search initially appeared to be more of a novelty than a useful feature for users. Technology has come a long way since 2011 and recent statistics prove just how much of an impact this has had on the popularity of voice searches. A recent study showed that 41% of adults used voice search at least once per day in 2019. This trend has been accelerated through the use of Smart Speakers such as Google Home and Apple HomePod. These numbers are expected to increase further with studies indicating that 2020 will see half of all online searches being voice-based.
What does this mean for Google Ad Optimisation?
Research has shown that the majority of voice search queries are very specific, long-tail inquiries. Users know exactly what information they are after and they want a specific answer. Voice searches also tend to be more conversational, including more question terms such as: what, when, where and how. If your ads do not optimise for voice search you may be missing thousands of potential customers due to the fact that your targeted keywords simply don’t align with natural speech patterns.
Think about what your customer would ask Alexa or Siri and how they would ask it.
Use this information to identify your users search intent and design your ad copy and targeted keywords to address this. Take care when setting exact and phrase match keywords, be sure to include different variations that sound natural when speaking. Ask yourself: how would you ask your colleague or friend the same question? Consider the below scenario:
A user is wanting to find a Chinese restaurant in close proximity to them. This user might type: “Chinese restaurant near me” into a search engine, but when using voice search they may say: “Where is the closest Chinese restaurant?”
If your ads are only set to trigger when a user searches: “Chinese restaurant near me” or “nearby Chinese restaurants”, your ad will not be shown to any users searching by speech who use more colloquial and conversational terms such as: “Where is the closest Chinese restaurant?”.
It is also important to note that most voice searches are local. If your business targets a specific geographical area, you need to be optimising for voice searches to improve your ad conversions.
2. Add Negative Keywords
Do your campaigns have a high volume of impressions but a low click through rate? Not utilizing negative keywords can drive the wrong traffic to your ads and can drastically lower your click through rate.
Negative keywords tell Google not to trigger and show your ad if a user searches using a certain word or phrase.
For example: A business sells women’s hats and has created a Google search campaign targeting the phrase: ‘womens hats’. A user is looking to start their own hat company and searches ‘womens hats manufacturing’. If the business has not incorporated negative keywords and the right match types to their campaign, the ads will be shown to this user with the wrong search intent.
Not using negative keywords can see your impressions increase as more searches are triggering your ads. This combined with a low click through rate can indicate that the users have not had their search intent met by your ad.
Spending time to identify your negative keywords should be an essential part of setting up your campaigns. This can also maximise the value of your cost per click as your clicks are more likely coming from users directly interested in your products and services.
Common types of negative keywords include the below categories:
- Reference Keywords: eg. about, definition, example
- Avoiding DIY: eg. craft, handmade, how to
- Manufacturing and Industrial: eg. export, repairs, used
- Employment: eg. hire, job, occupation
- Education: eg. training, schools, courses
It is crucial to identify exactly what users you are trying to reach, and what users you are avoiding. An easy way to get started with negative keywords can be to type your main search terms into Google and see what suggested searches come up. Identify any keywords in these suggested searches that don’t align with your products or services and add them as negative keywords in your ad groups.
Implementing negative keywords into your Google campaigns is a great way to optimise for conversions as you are ensuring your ads are only shown to a precise audience who is most likely to take action after seeing your ad.
3. Change Your Match Types
Keyword match types that are not specific enough, or are too specific can negatively impact the results of your ad campaigns. Selecting the correct match types for your target keywords is essential when optimising your campaigns for better conversions.
There are 4 keyword match types:
- Broad Match
- +Broad +Match +Modifier
- “Phrase Match”
- [Exact Match]
Each match type has different requirements to allow it to trigger your ad for searchers. Determining which match type to use when advertising on Google can take time to understand. As mentioned above, may close attention to how your users may search for your products or services using voice command. Be sure to include variations of phrases that sound natural when speaking.
When first starting out a campaign it can be beneficial to keep your keyword match types broad. Once your campaign has been running for a few days, check on the performance of each keyword. Which is providing your ad with the most impressions, most clicks and most conversions? Tweak and modify your campaign by creating more and more specific ad groups with more targeted keywords. The smaller and more targeted the keywords and match types in your ad groups are, the more easily you are able to optimise your ad copy for better conversions.
4. Use Campaign Specific Landing Pages
Your landing page can make or break the success of your campaign. Everyone knows, first impressions matter and your landing page is often the first impression your brand will make on potential customers. If your ads have a high click through rate but low conversion rate this may be an indication that your landing page is not specific enough to the ad you have created or may have poor user experience.
High click through rate can indicate that your potential customers have resonated with your ad and think that it will contain the information they are after. If you find your conversion rate is low compared to your click through rate, this may indicate that the information on your landing page is not consistent with the wording on your ads. Consider making improvements to your landing page to optimise your ad conversions.
Ensuring your landing page contains information specific to the ad directing traffic to it is essential. If your campaign objective is leads or sales it is vital to ensure your landing page directs users to complete the objective eg. contains a lead submission form or ‘add to cart’ button.
Creating custom landing pages is the most effective way to ensure a high conversion rate. Custom landing pages are direct, to the point and encourage users to complete your specific campaign objective.
If your advertising budget won’t allow for creating a custom landing page, you can still optimise your ads by directing traffic to existing, campaign specific pages from your website. If a user lands on your website and can’t easily find the information they were searching for they will click off your page faster than you can say “high bounce rate”.
5. Split Up Your Ad Groups
Ad groups that are overpacked with unrelated keywords is the recipe for an unsuccessful Google search campaign. Your ad groups should be as specific as possible, with consistency in the ad copy and landing page it directs traffic to. Think about what is wrong with the below example:
A business sells both dog beds and cat toys. They create a single ad group with keywords related to both products and create separate ads for each, despite the same keywords triggering both ads. A user searches for cat toys and is shown an ad for dog beds.
Avoid the above example happening by splitting up your ad groups to specific and related keywords. The more specific your ad groups and keywords in them, the more relevant you are able to make your ads.
It is important to regularly review your keyword performance and utilize conversion tracking to determine the success of your chosen keywords. Once you have determined your most successful keywords and match types, consider creating dedicated, single ad groups for them.
Most campaigns contain around 20 keywords and match types within a single ad group. While this can increase your ad impressions, it can actually make it harder to create ad copy that accurately reflects the users search query.
Single keyword ad groups enable your ads to target a more specific audience and allows your ad copy to directly address their query. This strategy is often utilised by digital marketers when optimising Google ad campaigns as it can improve conversion rates and reduce cost per click.
Use the above strategies as your ‘cheat sheet’ when creating your next Google search campaign and watch as your clicks turn into customers!
Contact Australian Internet Advertising now if you need an extra hand in creating effective Google search campaigns that bring in leads and conversions!