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As a Digital Account Executive, I am constantly implementing and managing Google Ads (previously known as AdWords). It has become the prime platform for advertising on one of the world’s most commonly used search engines. There is a saying in the digital world, “If you are not on the first page of Google, you don’t exist.” There is an ongoing battle between brands to best optimize their web pages and search results to be present on Google’s first page ranking.

Below are a few key details advertisers tend to miss or ignore while running a Google Search Ads campaign:

Not Conducting Keyword Research

It is important to conduct keyword research before launching a campaign. There are various tools available online including Google Keyword Planner and others that can help you get a better understanding of your keywords (as well as your competitor’s keywords!).

Many advertisers also prefer to use a lot of keywords when they start a campaign. It’s crucial to evaluate the performance based on the keywords, and in-turn go to search terms and add more relevant keywords as per users’ search patterns. Using the correct keyword match type is also a factor in using them optimally.

Most advertisers forget to add negative keywords, which are increasingly vital. Remember, Google is a broad platform where users are looking for almost everything online – negative keywords help in filtering out the irrelevant search results based on similar keywords.

Not Using Conversion Tracking

Did you know that Google has a free tool that helps track which ads are deriving maximum responses? (People rarely use it to its full capacity.) Advertisers need to set up different conversion actions based on the end objective for the campaigns and track the results through this tool. This helps in optimizing the campaign based on results and is also effective when changing the bidding strategy or budget if necessary.

Not Testing Bidding Strategies

Google Ads provide a variety of bidding strategies to choose from. The idea is to pick the right one based on your objective. This means possibilities for manual clicks (setting your own bids); maximizing clicks (letting Google set bids for you); Cost-Per-Acquisitions (CPA) to target Return On Assets (ROAs). Ultimately, you should pick the strategy depending on your primary end objective. There is no one-size-fits-all bidding option, so test different bidding strategies to find your sweet spot.

Not Using Ad Extensions

Using ad extensions can provide a big boost to your ad clicks. Google has a plethora of extensions to choose from. From sitelink, structured snippet, call extension and others, extensions are extremely helpful. My go-to extensions are sitelink and call extension (provided the business wants to be contacted via phone). Sitelinks help you link multiple webpages on the same ad, sending users to the most relevant landing pages.

One important thing about sitelink extensions to note: you cannot choose which extensions appear on what ads. Google determines that via user response. Monitoring sitelinks for conversion rates will give you a better idea. Our recommendation? Set up as many ad extensions as possible; the more real-estate your ad takes up, the higher your Click-Through Rate (CTR).

Not Creating Ad Variations

When you create a search ad, Google will recommend creating three instead. Creating only one ad per ad group will not help boost conversions or maximize clicks. It is important to create multiple variations and monitor them over time to see which one is performing best. The ads need to be fine-tuned constantly to maintain impressions and clicks and finally determine the one that matches keywords and users’ response the most.

In conclusion, Google Ads is not rocket science, but it is certainly a powerful tool that has a lot of potential for advertisers. It is constantly updating, so it’s necessary to keep up with the latest and greatest at all times. If used smartly and combined with other tools from Google, Google Ads can prove to be effective and profitable for most businesses.

Interested in optimizing your Google Ads? We’d love to work with you – contact us today at [email protected].

Neekita Singla is a Digital Account Executive at Franco. Send her an email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @neekitasingla.