Optimization Score Google Ads – What Does It Mean? Should You Pay Attention to It?

One of the most salient features within the new Google Ads interface, is the introduction of the Optimization Score.

Google has always been experimenting with ways to influence advertisers’ decisions, and how they manage their account, and the Optimization Score is just the latest addition to their repertoire.

The Optimization Score is clearly linked to the various recommendations for improved account management made by Google, but many advertisers still perplexed as to what the score actually indicates, what it affects, if any anything, and whether or not they should pay attention to it.

How The Optimization Score Affects Your Campaigns?

It’s important to note that your Optimization Score has no direct affect on the performance of your campaigns.

Unlike your keywords’ Quality Score, which can affect things such as average CPC, and Ad Rank, the Optimization Score will have no influence on any of your campaign metrics.

This is important to understand, because some advertisers may mistakenly believe that if their account has a low Optimization Score, this indicates that their campaigns are poorly setup, or are performing badly.

Why Google Makes Suggestions

As mentioned above, the Optimization Score is connected to the recommendations made by Google.

These recommendations are made by Google for several reasons:

  1. To help improve the performance of advertisers campaigns.
  2. To encourage advertisers to implement new features (for example Responsive Search Ads when they were first introduced), so that these features can be tested, and Google can observe the effectiveness of these new features and improve them.
  3. To encourage advertisers to expand their campaigns, increase their budgets, and spend more through Google.

Thus, the Optimization Score is there to encourage you to pay attention to the recommendations.

And the recommendations are there to encourage you to make specific changes within your account.

Should You Pay Attention to The Optimization Score?

Some of the recommendations made by Google can be highly beneficial, depending on yours or your client’s objectives.

It is therefore well worth reviewing all of the recommendations made by Google.

If you are managing the account on behalf of a client, it is also worth maintaining a perfect Optimization Score, to help indicate that you are keeping a close eye on the account.

However, as mentioned above, the Optimization Score has no influence over the performance of your campaigns. A high Optimization score does not necessarily indicate that the campaign is performing well, or vice versa.

How to Get a ~100% Optimization Score

The Optimization Score is there to encourage you to pay attention to the recommendations being made by Google.

The score therefore simply indicates how many of recommendations you have either applied, or dismissed.

To get a 100% Optimization, you therefore just need to either apply OR dismiss, all of the recommendations within the account.

If you do not consent to any of the recommendations, then you can simply dismiss all of the recommendations, and achieve a 100% Optimization Score.

All Changes Within Your Account Are Your Responsibility

When reviewing, and or applying the recommendations from Google within your account, it is of extreme importance to understand that all the changes made within your account are your responsibility.

Google will accept no responsibility for the consequences arising from any of the changes made within your account; even those changes that were recommended by Google.

It is essential therefore, that you scrutinise every new keyword, every increase to your budget, and all other adjustments before you apply them within your account.

Need Help With Your Google Ads Account?

If you feel your campaigns are not working as effectively as they could, and would like an expert to review your account, then feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll have one of our specialists get in contact with you.

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philip February 24, 2020 0 Comments

What You Need to Know About Call Extensions for Google Ads

Call Extensions can allow your campaign to generate a larger number of calls from prospective clients.

This is achieved by displaying your phone number or a click-to-call button directly in your ad.

In this article we’ll be reviewing the most important considerations to keep in mind when setting up call extensions, and how to get the most out of them.

Conversion Tracking

Before you set up your call extension, it can be useful to first set up the conversion action.

This can be done within your Google Ads account, by navigating to Tool and Settings > Conversions.

Setting up the conversion action is very straight-forward, but there are two crucial options which are often overlooked.

Firstly, what is the minimum duration of phone call that should be counted as a conversion? This will depend on yours, or your client’s individual business. What is the minimum amount of time required to convert a caller into a sale, or identify if they are a genuine lead or not?

Secondly, in instances where prospective clients make multiple calls, should you count one or all of the calls made from a prospective client as a conversion? Again, this will depend on the specifics of the business. Do clients often call back to make multiple purchases? If not, then counting one conversion may be more appropriate.

Call Extensions Will Not Always Show

It’s important to realise that once you set up your call extensions, whether or not they show for any particular search will be at Google’s discretion.

The extensions may show for some searches, and not for others, and this can be based on a variety of different factors.

So if your extensions are not showing all of the time, this is completely normal.

Set a Schedule for Your Extensions

By default, your call extensions will show for your campaign’s entire schedule.

This is important to note, as your campaign schedule may be 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However you or your client may only be able to receive calls between 9 AM and 5 PM on weekdays.

In this example, it would be best to set a schedule for your call extensions to show only within the hours you are able to receive calls, to avoid prospective clients calling outside of these hours.

A Google Forwarding Number is Required for Tracking

In order for calls to be tracked as a conversion within your campaign, a Google Forwarding Number will need to be used.

This dynamically generated phone number will be different from your business phone number, but when prospective clients call this number they will be instantly forwarded to your actual business phone number.

This process allows Google to track when a call is made within your campaign, and the conversion data can then be used to optimise the performance going forward.

This is important to note however, as some businesses do not want a dynamically generated number to be shown instead of their business number.

If you or your client fall into this category, and you are happy to give up the benefits of conversion tracking, the Google Forwarding Number can be disabled within the account settings.

Review The Call Details Report

The Call Details Report has a wealth of information that is often overlooked by many advertisers.

This information can be used to learn a lot about customers, and also the effectiveness of a campaign’s call extensions.

This report can be accessed by selecting Reports (in the top right menu) > Predefined reports > Extensions > Call details.

For each of the calls made through the extensions you can view:

  • Start and end time of calls
  • Duration of calls
  • Caller country and area codes
  • Whether the call was received or missed
  • Source of the call
  • Call type, e.g. Mobile click-to-call
  • Campaign the call came from
  • Ad group the call came from

Need Help With Your Google Ads Account?

If you feel your campaigns are not working as effectively as they could, and would like an expert to review your account, then feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll have one of our specialists get in contact with you.

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philip February 18, 2020 0 Comments

Creating Automated Rules in Google Ads

Automated Rules can help you to save time and manage your Google Ads account more reliably and efficiently.

There are a variety of different changes can be made within an account using automated rules, that can save you time on repetitive tasks.

Some of The Things You Can Do With Automated Rules


  • Enable or pause campaigns – at specific date or after specific performance
  • Increase or decrease campaign budgets
  • Receive email alerts


  • Enable or pause keywords
  • Change keyword bids (if using manual or enhanced CPC)
  • Receive email alerts


  • Enable or pause ads
  • Receive email alerts

Limitations of Automated Rules

Automated rules can be extremely useful, but they have limitations. There are certain complex changes that would be very useful, but that you cannot make, such as pausing all campaigns once the aggregated spend across those campaigns meets a certain amount.

This limitation of not being able to aggregate data across separate assets extends to keywords and ads also.

Always Preview The Changes of the Automated Rule

When setting up automated rules you’ll be given the option to ‘Preview’ the changes that the automated rule will make.

You should always take this option to double check that the rule you have set up will have the effect that you intend.

It’s important to note here that the system will simulate the changes that would be made if the rule ran immediately.

So if your rule is set to pause a campaign at a specific date in the future, and that campaign is currently paused, the Preview will indicate that there will be zero changes.

Always Check The Changes of the Automated Rule

Automated rules can make the management of an account easier, but they don’t absolve you of your responsibility as the account manager.

You should always check that the intended change has been made by the automated rule.

There’s even the option to receive ‘Email Results’ which can serve as a useful reminder. I recommend selecting to receive alerts ‘Every time this rule runs’.


Automated rules can be an effective way of improving the speed and reliability of account management.

However it’s important to note that they can be a double edged sword, as if used incorrectly they can result in unintended changes being made to campaigns.

It must be stressed that these changes can prove to be very costly, and so it is therefore essential to always double check the changes made by automated rules.

Need Help With Your Google Ads Account?

If you feel your campaigns are not working as effectively as they could, and would like an expert to review your account, then feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll have one of our specialists get in contact with you.

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philip February 18, 2020 0 Comments

Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) – The Advantages and Disadvantages

What Are SKAGs?

No SKAGs are not some kind of illicit drug.

They are a way of structuring your campaigns so that each individual keyword is matched with a unique text ad which is specific to that keyword.

Each and every keyword has its own ad group, hence the name: Single Keyword Ad Groups.

Even separate match types (i.e.. Exact, Phrase, Broad) are split into separate ad groups.

Advantages of SKAGs

Simple Structure

When using SKAGgs, there’s no decision that needs to be made about which keywords should be grouped together, whether it’s based on relevance or some other factor.

Each and every keyword will have its own ad group by default. This really simplifies the process of structuring your campaign.

Quick to Setup

Because of the simplicity, the SKAG structure can be very quick to setup when using a combination of Excel/Google Sheets and Google Ads Editor.

With a simple formula within Excel, the keyword can be used to define the ad group name, and can be used to write parts of ad headlines and descriptions. The campaign can then be easily imported using Google Ads Editor.

Ad Copy Can Be Specific to Each Keyword

As mentioned above, using the SKAG structure, the ad copy can be unique to each keyword. This can help to significantly improve the overall performance of a campaign by helping to:

  • Engage prospective clients with ad copy that matches their search query
  • Improve click-through-rates
  • Improve ad relevance
  • Improve Quality Scores

Disadvantages of SKAGs

Lack of Volume

An issue with the SKAG structure can arise when there are many keywords that have been included within the targeting of a campaign, which do not have a high search volume.

This can result in a large number of ad groups which are generating little or no impressions and clicks.

Ad groups with a very small amount of data can be difficult to optimise, as it is a challenge to see which ads are working best, and what would be the optimal bid to use, when there is limited data to influence your decision.

Can Be Cumbersome to Manage

The SKAG structure results in the maximum number of ad groups. This means that there are more ad groups to manage, which means more ad sets to review, and more bids to optimise.

Depending on how the campaign is being managed, this can result in more time being required to manage the many different ad groups.


The SKAG structure is one of the simplest, and quickest to setup. SKAGgs can also perform very well because of the ability to easily match keywords with relevant ad copy.

However there are draw-backs to using the SKAG structure, and there may be a more effective structure for meeting the objectives of your campaign.

Need Help With Your Google Ads Account?

If you would like assistance in implementing the SKAG structure for one of your campaigns, or if you feel your campaigns are not working as effectively as they could, then feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll have one of our specialists get in touch with you.

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philip February 12, 2020 0 Comments

How to Do Keyword Research Using a Free Tool – The Google Ads Keyword Planner

To begin building a search engine marketing campaign, the first thing that you need is a list of the search terms, or keywords, that you’re going to be targeting.

Targeting specific keywords will allow you to reach prospective customers who are searching for your product or service.

But in order to find the keywords which are being used by your target market, you need to use a keyword research tool, and that’s where the Google Ads Keyword Planner comes in.

The Google Ads Keyword Planner

The Keyword Planner allows you to see a list of all of the relevant terms that your customers are searching for in Google in order to find products and services like yours.

This tool is free to use. All that is required is a Google Ads account, which is quick and easy to setup.

Keywords for SEO and PPC Campaigns

It’s important to note that the Google Ads Keyword Planner is useful, not just for finding keywords for a Google Ads or PPC (pay per click) campaign, but also for SEO (search engine optimisation) campaigns.

Keyword Intent

Possibly the most important aspect of keyword research and keyword selection, is understanding the intent of keywords.

Everytime a person makes a search through Google using a keyword, they’re looking for something specific, and in order to determine whether that keyword will be good to target will depend on our ability to understand what that person is looking for.

Using a search campaign for a law firm as a hypothetical example, here are three keywords we may encounter during our research:

Keyword 1: “solicitors london”

Intent: Looking to hire a solicitor in the London area.
This would be a good keyword to include within our search campaign, as targeting this keyword will help us to generate clients that are looking for the services of a solicitor.

Keyword 2: “solicitors salaries”

Intent: Interested to find out how much solicitors earn.
This is likely being used by people who are considering becoming a solicitor. So targeting this keyword would not generate the right sort of traffic.

Keyword 3: “top law firms in london”

Intent: May be looking to hire one of the top solicitors in the London area, or, may simply be looking for a list of the top law firms for research purposes.
is more of an ambiguous keyword. Some people using this keyword may be looking to hire the top law firm in London. However some people may simply be carrying out research for an article or project of some kind. Therefore this keyword would be risk to add to the targeting of our campaign.

By ensuring that your campaign only includes keywords that have the intent of someone looking to purchase a product or service like yours, you will have the best chances of success.


The Google Ads Keyword Planner, although being useful for SEO campaigns, is primarily designed to carry out research for Google Ads campaigns.

For this reason the forecasting feature will give an indication of what performance be expected with the selected keyword targeting when used within a Google Ads campaign.

Here are some of the key campaign metrics you can get forecasting data for:

  • Search volume: giving an indication of the number of monthly searches being made
  • Clicks: the estimated number of clicks your ad will receive
  • Competition: indicating the level of competition from advertisers within the paid results
  • Average Cost Per Click: how much on average advertisers pay for a click on their ad


Although the Keyword Planner is mainly designed for carrying out keyword research for Google Ads campaigns, it’s a useful tool for all search campaigns, including SEO.

The forecasting data from the tool comes directly from Google and can therefore be seen to have a high degree of reliability.

The tool is also free and easy to use, making it a good option whether you are a beginner or are highly experienced when it comes to carrying out keyword research.

Whichever tool you choose to use, it’s essential to understand the intent of each and every keyword that you choose to target within your campaign.

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philip February 11, 2020 0 Comments

How to Rank On The First Page of Google – Google Ads Vs SEO

Business owners and companies often look to Google as a source of new customers and sales. Google is used by everyone to find answers to every question, and solutions to every problem, and it’s one of the primary ways prospective clients search for products and services they’re interested in purchasing.

It’s therefore easy to recognise the value of a website ranking on the first page of Google for a product or service related keywords.

Such a ranking can help drive sales, generate new customers, and help propel the growth of a business.

But what does it take to take to get a first page ranking in Google? What’s the best method for achieving this?

How to Rank on the First Page of Google – The Options

Within the SERPs (search engine results pages) there are two main categories of results:

  1. Paid ads
  2. Organic site listings

For the majority of web users, there is little or no distinction between these two types of listings. However these two types of listings are very different.

Although they ultimately achieve the same goal: allowing website owners to place their website on the first page of Google; there is a big contrast in the way this is achieved.

While appearing in the paid ads section of the results page requires setting up a Google Ads, and paying Google directly for clicks; appearing within the organic results is achieved through SEO, or search engine optimization.

Google Ads Vs SEO


Possibly the most salient difference between Google Ads and SEO, is the cost of these two forms of marketing.

With Google Ads, advertisers pay Google directly for each individual click on their ad. Advertisers enter an auction together for each keyword they’d like to target, and the cost per click is therefore determined by the level of competition.

Clicks for the most lucrative and the most competitive keywords have therefore become very expensive, with the average cost per click in some sectors reaching as high as £30 or more.

Conversely, website owners do not need to pay Google to appear within the organic listings. But as implied by the term ‘search engine optimisation’, they do need to optimise their website. And this process of optimisation costs either time or money, or both.

Time Span

To succeed in the organic rankings, websites need to have an excellent user experience, and a high level of promotion.

Although a responsive, fast loading, website, with engaging content can be built relatively quickly; the promotion required to rank a website for competitive keywords can be a lengthy process.

Websites require backlinks (links from other websites) to build their authority, and this process can take weeks, months, and even years.

Ranking a website organically can certainly be a worthwhile endeavor, but it does require persistence and patience.

To have a website placed within paid ads section of the results page, only requires a Google Ads account, and the budget required to pay for clicks.

It doesn’t take years, months, weeks, or even days to achieve a first page ranking, it can take as little as a few hours.

Because of this, a business owner can rank their site on the first page of Google for their chosen keyword, and begin generating new sales and clients, almost instantly.

Position Within Results

These days web users won’t navigate past the first page of the results. This means that if a website is not placed on the first page of the results for a given search term, it likely won’t see much in the way of traffic from that term.

Web users also generally don’t scroll down to see all of the results on the first page. This makes the top of the page prime real-estate.

Google knows this and so has clevely position the paid ads (where Google generates its revenue) at the top of the page.

The organic listings are then placed below the paid ads.

This gives an inherent advantage to Google Ads.


Google Ads and SEO are two very different forms of marketing which ultimately achieve the same goal.

Because of the differences in time span, costs, and position, business owners will need to decide which form of marketing will best enable them to meet their marketing objectives.

However, it is not a question of either Google Ads or SEO, as both forms of marketing complement each other.

Need Help With Your Google Ads Account?

If you feel your campaigns are not working as effectively as they could, and would like an expert to review your account, then feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll have one of our specialists get in contact with you.

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philip January 30, 2020 0 Comments

Enhanced CPC Vs Manual CPC – When to Use Enhanced CPC Bdding

You’ve seen that option when selecting Manual CPC as your chosen bid strategy:

“Help increase conversions with Enhanced CPC”

And you may have wondered if this is something you should be using?

Enhanced CPC is a setting in Google Ads that’s been around for a number of years. However, there is still some confusion amongst some advertisers and account mangers, about what Enhanced CPC actually does, and when it should be used.

What Does Enhanced CPC Do?

When an advertiser opts to use Enhanced CPC, they’re giving over partial control of their keyword bids to Google. Google will increase bids within auctions where there is a perceived increased probability of a conversion occurring.

In this way, Enhanced CPC acts as a middle-ground between Manual CPC bidding, and an automated bidding strategy.

When Google’s calculations, based on its wealth of user behaviour data, indicates that there is an increased chance of a conversion, Google can take control of the bidding. And conversely, in cases where Google’s data is perhaps more limited, the bids that the advertiser has manually set can be used.

When To Use Enhanced CPC

Campaigns Tracking Conversions

Enhanced CPC is designed to help advertisers generate more conversions. Therefore before using this bidding strategy, advertisers should have conversion tracking setup for their campaign.

It should be noted that although Google will try to adjust bids in order to increase the number of conversions generated by a campaign; additional conversions are not guaranteed.

Low Volume of Conversion Data

Enhanced CPC can be very useful in instances where advertises have some conversion data tracked within their campaign, but not a sufficient level of conversion data to use one of the smart bidding strategies.

The smart or automated bidding strategies such as Target CPA, require advertisers to have at least 30 conversions within the last 30 days tracked within their campaign. This is at a bare minimum, and to be truly effective these bidding strategies should ideally have an even larger volume of data than this.

This is because the smart bidding strategies make their calculations based on the accumulated data, and therefore the larger the volume of data, the more accurate and more effective those calculations will be.

Therefore for campaigns which have a low volume of conversion data, Enhanced CPC can act as a temporary gateway, allows advertisers to dabble in the use of a partially automated bidding strategy before they have generated the volume of data sufficient to move onto one of the smart bidding strategies.

Therefore for campaigns which have a low volume of conversion data, Enhanced CPC can act as a temporary gateway, allow advertisers to dabble in the use of a partially automated bidding strategy before they have generated the volume of data sufficient to move onto one of the smart bidding strategies.

When Not To Use Enhanced CPC

High Volume of Conversion Data

As mentioned above, accounts with at least 30 or more conversions within the last 30 days can make use of smart bidding strategies.

The smart bidding strategies such as Target CPA or Target ROAS, will generally be far more effective with regard to achieving an advertisers campaign objectives, than Enhanced CPC.

Therefore if a campaign has a sufficient volume of conversion data, then the advertiser should look to upgrade to one of the more effective bidding strategies, rather than opting for Enhanced CPC.

A Control Over Bids and Costs Is Needed

In cases where advertisers require strict control over their keyword bids and their campaign costs, Enhanced CPC should not be used.

When using Enhanced CPC, advertisers are effectively giving up full control of their keyword bids to Google. Whether their manual bids, or a higher bid is used is at Google’s discretion.

Advertisers may significant increases to their keyword’s CPC, and potentially to the daily spend of their campaign within any given day. There is also no guarantee that increases in cost will translate into increases in the number of conversions.

For this reason, advertisers who wish to retain control over their keyword bids and campaign costs, should avoid using Enhanced CPC.


Enhanced CPC can be very useful for advertisers, especially in situations where campaigns do not yet have sufficient conversion data to use one of the smart bidding strategies such as Target CPA.

Advertisers should be aware that they may see significant increases to their keywords average CPC, and that there are no guarantees of increased conversions.

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philip January 16, 2020 0 Comments

Manual CPC Bidding – The Advantages and Disadvantages

With the improvements that have been seen to the efficacy of the smart bidding strategies on offer by Google, Manual CPC bidding is becoming less and less relevant.

Advertisers are seeing more and more, that campaigns that are using automated bidding strategies such as Target CPA are able to outperform those that are using manually optimised bids.

However, despite this, there are still instances where the use Manual CPC bidding is not only more effective, but essential.

Within this article we’ll review the advantages and disadvantages of using Manual CPC bidding, and the situations where it should, and should not be used.

Disadvantages of Manual CPC Bidding

Potentially Poorer Performance

Google’s smart bidding strategies are able to tap into a wealth of data on the behaviour of users in order to help drive calculations for bids.

With this in mind, it is no surprise that many advertisers are seeing improved performance when transitioning from manual CPC to a smart bidding strategy such as target CPA.

Requires Experience and Expertise

Knowing how to effectively optimise bids based on the individual performance of keywords requires a certain level of experience and expertise.

This can make setting manual bids difficult for those who have not yet developed a high level of proficiency with Google Ads.

It’s Manual…

An obvious downside to using Manual CPC bidding is that… well, it’s manual. Account managers will be required to log in on a regular basis in order to review performance and make adjustments to the bids accordingly.

This doesn’t just include keyword bids, but also bid adjustments for device, schedule, locations, and demographics.

Time Consuming

The time required for continually optimising keyword bids adds up over time. If using an automated bidding strategy, this time could instead be invested in further analysis and development of the campaign’s strategy.

Advantages of Manual CPC Bidding

New Campaigns With Little or No Conversion Data

Newly setup campaigns that do not yet have any performance or conversion data cannot take advantage of smart bidding strategies.

Automated bidding strategies such as Target CPA require campaigns to have at least 30 conversions within the last 30 days in order for them to work effectively.

In this circumstance Manual CPC bidding gives the advertiser the ability to optimise their bids without having to wait for a certain volume of conversions.

When Automated Strategies Can’t Cut It

There are instances where automated/smart bid strategies are just not able to meet the campaign’s targets or objectives.

This is why it is important to test the effectiveness of smart bidding strategies versus manual bids.

When smart bidding strategies are failing to meet targets, the remedy is to optimise bids the old-fashioned way.

Full Control

Manual CPC is the only bidding strategy that gives advertisers full control over their bidding. This is as long as the option for Enhanced CPC is unchecked, of course.

This gives the advantage of not having to rely on the efficacy and reliability of Google’s automated bidding strategies, and gives the ability to fully control costs, and ensure that bids are being optimised in-line with the campaign’s objectives.


Manual CPC is not better, or worse, than any of the other bidding strategies available. Its comparable efficacy will depend on the individual circumstances of the campaign in question.

For this reason, Manual CPC should be tested along with the other bidding strategies which are applicable to the objectives and targets of the campaign.

There will however, at least for the time being, always be circumstances where the Manual CPC bidding strategy will be relied upon.

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philip January 14, 2020 0 Comments

Search Term Report AdWords (Google Ads): Learn to Save Money With Negative Keywords

The success or failure of a Google Ads search campaign hinges on the effectiveness of the search terms being targeted.

Despite this, when reviewing new Google Ads accounts for clients, one of the main contributors we find for low levels of profitability for campaigns, is non-relevant search terms being targeted.

These are terms being used by people who have no interest in the products or services being marketed by the campaign, and are therefore a waste of the campaign’s budget.

Within this article you’ll learn how to quickly identify these terms, and remove them from the targeting of your campaign, in order to save money and increase your campaign’s profitability.

Finding Your Search Term Report

The first step is to navigate to the search term report for your campaign by selecting ‘Keywords’ tab from the left menu, and then selecting ‘Search Terms’ in the top menu.

Ensure that you have set the date range in the top right hand corner to the time frame you would like to review.

Filters to Use Within The Search Term Report

Before starting to review the terms, you can save time by using a number of filters:

  1. Added/Excluded: None – This ensures you’re not reviewing terms you’ve already taken an action for)
  2. Conversions: <1 – This way you’re only reviewing the terms which are potentially wasting ad spend.
  3. Match Type: Select all except ‘Exact match’ – This way you’re not reviewing terms which you are already targeting as keywords.

Identifying Non-Relevant Search Terms

Within the search term report, you should review each of the terms and try to gauge the intent.

The key to identifying non-relevant search terms, is putting yourself in the shoes of the person using the search query.

Ask yourself ‘what would I be looking for if I used this search term’?

Would you be looking to purchase the product or service being marketed by the campaign in question? If the answer is no, then it is very likely that you have found a non-relevant search term.

For example, if the campaign in question is marketing solicitors services, and the search term in question is “solicitors average salary”; it is clear that the person using this term is not looking to hire a solicitor, but rather is doing research on the salaries of solicitors.

Blocking Non-Relevant Search Terms

Once you have identified a non-relevant search term, it is time to add a negative keyword to the campaign in order to block that search term.

This can be done very simply and quickly within the search term report by selecting the checkbox next to the search term in question, and then clicking the ‘Add as negative keyword’ option at the top of the report.

However, there are several ways we can be far more effective with our negative keywords:

  1. Instead of adding the full term as a negative keyword, e.g. “solicitors average salary”, we can isolate the salient non-relevant part of the term “salary” and add this as a negative keyword.
  2. Use the Phrase Match type, which is indicated by the use of quotes. So our negative keyword in the example would be “salary”, rather than [salary]. This ensures that we will be blocking any search term which contains the word ‘salary’, which is a wider spectrum of terms.
  3. We can also add other related terms as negative keywords, to preemptively block these from ever being targeted. Words like “salaries”, “wages”, “hourly rate” etc. These can be added within a negative keyword list.

Using Negative Keyword Lists

The search term report can also give you ideas about other terms which you may want to add as negative keywords, to block them from ever being targeted by your campaign in the first place.

These new negative keywords can be applied directly to the campaign, but they can also be added to a negative keyword list. This can be quicker to do and will mean that these negative keywords can conveniently be applied to any campaign within your account.

You can create negative keyword lists by selecting “Tools & Settings” in the top right hand corner of your account, and then “Negative keyword lists” from the menu.

We’ve created a list of over 13,500 common negative keywords that we would like to share with you.

Using these bulk negative keyword lists can help to avoid ad spend being wasted on non-relevant terms and improve the profitability of your campaigns.

Need Help With Your Google Ads Account?

If you feel your campaigns are not working as effectively as they could, and would like an expert to review your account, then feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll have one of our specialists get in contact with you.

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philip November 27, 2019 0 Comments

Best Bidding Strategy Google Ads (AdWords) – How to Choose The Right Bidding Strategy to Meet Your Business Objectives

Within Google Ads there are a number of different bidding strategies to choose from, and it can sometimes be quite unclear which is the best bidding strategy to choose for your individual campaign.

You may have been wondering the following:

  1. Which is the best bidding strategy for meeting my business objectives?
  2. When should I start using the bidding strategy?
  3. How do I set up the bidding strategy?

This article and accompanying videos will answer each of these questions.

Looking for the Short Answer?

Now if you want the short answer as to what the best bidding strategies in Google Ads are, in this section I’ll quickly explain which bid strategies are the best to use in the majority of cases, and when and how to set them up.

For a more comprehensive answer, continue reading below this section.

The majority of clients we work with are looking to maximise the number of leads, or product sales that are generated within their monthly budget, and continue to grow their campaigns at a profitable rate.

In order to accomplish this we do the following:

  1. At the time the newly set up campaign begins running, we use either the Manual CPC, or Maximise Clicks bidding strategies.
  2. As performance data begins to accumulate we begin to see which forms of targeting are working most effectively, and using Manual CPC, we are able to adjust the bids to focus ad spend on the areas of the campaign which are generating the most value.
  3. Once the account has a sufficient level of conversion data (30 or more conversions within a 30 day period) we then select either the Target CPA bidding strategy, or the Target ROAS bidding strategy (ideal for conversions that have revenue data pertaining to them).

Selecting a Bidding Strategy for Your Objectives

Target CPA

Your Objective

Generate conversions at a specific pricer per conversion.

How it Works

With the Target CPA bidding strategy, you specify the price or CPA (cost-per-acquisition) that you would like to pay on average for a conversion. For example, if a conversion on your website is a prospective client fill out the contact form, and you would like to pay £25 on average for each lead, then this is what you would set as your target CPA.

Google’s system will then automatically manage your bids, using the user behaviour data within your campaign, in order to try to achieve this average price per conversion.

The more conversion data your campaign has, the more accurate the system will be in selecting the optimal bid. It is recommended that your campaign have at least 30 conversions within the last 30 days before opting to use this bid strategy.

Any manual bids you had previously set will be removed.

When To Use It

Target CPA should ideally be used when all of your conversions have the same or a similar value for your business. This is because the system will treat all conversions with equal weighting, including both macro (high value) and micro (low value) conversions.

If you have multiple conversion types, all with very different values, e.g. different product types, then you’re better off using a Target ROAS strategy.

Target ROAS

Your Objective

Generate conversion value, for a specific % return on your ad spend.

How it Works

The target ROAS bidding strategy works in much the same way as the Target CPA strategy, except instead of optimising your bids to achieve a particular CPA price for conversions, the bids are optmised to achieve a particular Return-On-Ad-Spend.

For example, if you’d like your campaign to generate £40,000 in revenue from £10,000 in ad spend, then your target ROAS would be 400%.

The system will then automatically adjust your bids in order to try to achieve this ROAS throughout the course of the month.

When To Use It

Target ROAS is the ideal bidding strategy when you have multiple conversion types with different conversion values. This is typically the case with e-commerce/online stores with multiple product skews.

To make use of the bidding strategy, the value of each conversion must be tracked within Google Ads.

Maximise Conversions

Your Objective

Generate as many conversions as possible within your chosen budget.

How it Works

With the Maximise Conversions bidding strategy, there is no need to set a target. Instead Google’s system will adjust your bids in order to try to generate as many conversions, or as much conversion value, as possible within your daily/monthly budget.

When To Use It

The Maximise Conversions strategy can be useful if you are not sure how much you would like to pay for conversions, or what you would like your return to be (and therefore can’t specify a target CPA or ROAS), but you are sure about how much you would like to spend on clicks each month.

However, if possible we would recommend using the Target CPA/ROAS bidding strategies instead of the Maximise Conversions strategy. This is because we have consistently seen the Target CPA and Target ROAS bidding strategies outperform the Maximise Conversions strategy.

If you are unsure about what target to set, you can periodically tweak your target CPA or ROAS in order to test which target generates you the highest volume of conversions or conversion value within your monthly budget.

Maximise Conversion Value

Your Objective

Generate the highest amount of conversion value as possible, within your chosen budget.

How it Works

With the Maximise Conversion Value bidding strategy, there is no need to set a target ROAS. Instead Google’s system will adjust your bids in order to try to generate the highest conversion value possible within your daily/monthly budget.

When To Use It

This bidding strategy is ideal when you are tracking conversion value within your campaigns, and would like to maximise the amount of revenue generated within your budget.

You’re not sure what Target ROAS you would like to set, but you know how much you would like to spend within Google Ads, and would like to aim for the best possible return.

Maximise Clicks

Your Objective

Generate as much traffic as possible, within your chosen budget.

How it Works

With the Maximise Clicks bidding strategy, Google’s system will adjust your bids in order to help generate as many clicks as possible within your daily/monthly budget.

Clicks from all keywords will be weighted the same, and you therefore may see a greater number of clicks from less competitive keywords with a lower average cost-per-click.

Make sure to place a cap on the max CPC/bid when setting up this strategy, as this will ensure that the system will not exceed a bid amount that you are comfortable with.

When To Use It

The Maximise Clicks bidding strategy is ideal when your main objective is to generate traffic.

The strategy can be useful for generating an optimal volume of traffic within your budget, so that you can then generate conversion data to be used for one of the conversion based bidding strategies.

Manual CPC With Enhanced CPC

Your Objective

Maximise the volume of conversions / conversion value, within your budget.

How it Works

When using the Manual CPC bidding strategy, with Enhanced CPC activated, Google’s system will adjust your chosen keyword bids, either higher or lower, for each auction.

Google makes use of user data to determine which auctions are most likely to result in a conversion, and will then focus your ad spend on these auctions.

For auctions that have a higher probability of resulting in a conversion, Google will raise your bid above the maximum CPC you’ve set.

And for auctions that have a lower probability of resulting in a conversion, Google will decrease your bid to an amount lower than the maximum CPC you’ve set.

When To Use It

This bid strategy is ideal when your campaign has not yet had time to build up a substantial volume of conversion data.

For those auctions where Google’s system lacks enough information to make an effective bidding decision, the Max CPC that you’ve set can stand. But for those auctions where Google has adequate information, the bidding strategy can step in and adjust the bid higher or lower to help increase your campaign’s overall performance.

Important Considerations

Setting Realistic Targets

It’s important to note that in order for your chosen target to be achievable, for either the Target CPA or ROAS bidding strategies, it needs to be a realistic target. If the target CPA or ROAS you set is substantially lower than what your campaign has achieved using manual bids, the system may set your bids too low, and your campaign may not generate any impressions or clicks at all.

Monitor the Performance

Although automated bidding strategies take over the management of your bids, they are not ‘fire and forget’ processes. It is still your responsibility to monitor the performance of your campaigns and ensure that you are on track to meet your targets.

There can be unintended effects from the use of bidding strategies. The Maximise Clicks bidding strategy for example, can have a habit of consistently reaching the daily budget cap of your campaign (currently 2x the daily budget you have set). So it’s important to review the impact of using any bidding strategy, and adjust accordingly.

Test Different Strategies

Every Google Ads campaign is different, and while one bidding strategy may be the most effective for one campaign, another bidding strategy may be more effective for another campaign.

For this reason it is essential that you test the different bidding strategies that are appropriate to your business objectives, to identify the one that garners the best performance.

Setting Up Bid Strategies

Individual Campaign Bidding Strategies

In order to update your campaign’s bidding strategy, navigate to the Settings tab, and Select Bidding. You will then have a selection of all of the available bidding strategies within the drop down menu.

Portfolio Bidding Strategy

Using a Portfolio Bidding Strategy allows you to use a single strategy for multiple campaigns and combine the data for those campaigns.

More data there is available, the effective bidding strategies can be, so using a Portfolio Bidding Strategy is a great option if you have multiple campaigns which share the same business objectives.

To create a Portfolio Bidding Strategy, click on Tools & Settings in the top right hand corner of your Google Ads account, and under Shared Library, select Bid Strategies.

From here you can click the blue plus symbol, selecting the bidding strategy you would like to use, and also apply it to the appropriate campaigns.

Need Help With Your Google Ads Account?

If you feel your campaigns are not working as effectively as they could, and would like an expert to review your account, then feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll have one of our specialists get in contact with you.

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philip November 25, 2019 0 Comments