By making your Google Ads campaigns more efficient, you can get much more bang for your buck and bring in more business.
The Google Ads Dilemma
Most business owners have something of a love/hate relationship with Google Ads. They can’t live without Google...but it can be pretty tough living with Google, too!
On the one hand, it’s great to know you can launch an ad campaign and start getting calls within the hour. And if you want more business, you can scale up any time you want. What other marketing opportunity delivers customers so reliably, week after week?
In fact, let’s be honest - there isn’t really an alternative marketing strategy. Nobody uses Yellow Pages anymore. When potential customers needs help, they typically turn to Google for answers.
And now Google is showing four ads above the organic search results, plus another ad in the local pack. So that means there are usually no less than five ads at the top of the results.
Even if you are #1 in the organic search results (and that’s tough), you are still #6 on the page. And on mobile devices, that probably means you are on page two! Ads now totally dominate Google, and they get the lion’s share of the clicks.
So if you want to generate new business from people who are actively searching, you don’t have a lot of choice. You have to be running Google Ads. And as you are no doubt aware, that can be an expensive proposition.
And there's more. For many searches, local service ads (Google Guaranteed) are taking up even more real estate at the top of the page:
Around the world, millions of business owners wince every month when Google dings their credit cards for thousands - or tens of thousands - of dollars. It’s now perfectly normal for even small businesses to spend over $100,000 a year on Google Ads campaigns.
If you are feeling that kind of pain, don’t panic...there are solutions. Let’s look at ways you can get your budget under control and get more bang for your buck...
Halve Your Spend, Double Your Leads
Having studied the Google Ads campaigns of hundreds of businesses in depth, I can tell you one thing for sure:
99% of all Google Ads campaigns are poorly-optimized.
If your business falls into the 99%, then here is the bad news. You are:
So that’s the bad news. But here is the good news - with a bit of work, you can turn all this around and:
The Importance of Quality Score
Whenever you run Google Ads, you need to pay particular attention to the quality score of your campaigns. Google assigns these at a keyword level, they make a huge difference to the cost of your campaign.
Quality scores can be anywhere from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest. A high quality score means that Google finds your sales funnel (ad and landing page) to be a good match for the keyword in question. That is, people who click on your ad are highly likely to be satisfied with the webpage they are taking to.
Google rewards high quality scores by discounting the cost of clicks according. But it also punishes low quality scores by increasing the cost. By increasing your quality score from a mediocre 5 to an excellent 10, you will have the cost you pay for each click.
That’s right - Google gives you a 50% discount for being a good advertiser.
Let’s imagine a more extreme case, where you take your quality score from 1 to 10 (we have actually done this for clients). In that case, you will now be getting clicks no less than eight times cheaper.
So if you were previously paying $8 per click, your cost will now plummet to just $1 per click. That means you can generate eight times as many business leads for the same money!
Saving money is not the only benefit of a high quality score. Your ads also get shown a lot more often, and in a higher position on the page. On mobile devices, an increase of just 1 in your quality leads to you getting 12% more exposure to potential customers.
Because of this, it is critically important that you work on improving your quality score across all your keywords. You should also work on other making your campaigns more efficient in other ways.
Here are 10 ways you can take action to halve your click costs and double your leads...fast:
1. Improve Click-Through Rate
We’ll start with click-through rate (CTR) because this is the factor that has the most impact. Remember that Google doesn’t make any money until someone clicks on an ad. So there is a strong incentive to reward you for ads that get clicked a lot.
Your CTR can account for up to 60% of your quality score, so it is the factor that deserves the most attention. You need to create ads with compelling headlines, informative body copy and a strong call to action.
Improving your CTR across all your ads should be an ongoing process. There is always room for improvement! The effects can be a dramatic. Simply changing one word in your headline can result in a big increase in CTR, and therefore a significant reduction in your cost per click.
2. Enhance Ad Relevance
Ad relevance is the second major factor affecting quality score. This is good news, because it’s something that can easily be improved.
Your ads should be as relevant as possible to the searchers’ queries, and provide all the information they need to make the decision to click. Your keyword should certainly be included in your copy, and it may be a good idea to use dynamic keyword insertion.
Stay focused on what is important to the searcher. Consider what the intent of the searcher is. Are they ready to buy, or still at the research and consideration stage? Your ad copy and call to action should reflect where they are in the buying cycle.
Make the most of the opportunities offered by the expanded text format. Many of your competitors will be running old ads that do not make the most of the possibilities. You can beat them by writing copy that uses the available space to full advantage, as well as leveraging extensions to the fullest extent.
3. Improve Landing Page Experience
Landing page experience is the third major factor in assessing quality score. This is one area where most advertisers fail badly, which means you have a real opportunity to do better.
When searchers click on an ad about ‘blue widgets,’ they expect to land on a page that is all about blue widgets. They will be disappointed if the page turns out be about red widgets, blue articles, or widgets in general. You should have a landing page that is focused on that keyword, offering highly-relevant information, products and services.
The biggest mistake advertisers make in this respect is funneling all clicks to their home page. You should have a dedicated landing page for every ad group, with copy that reflects exactly what the searcher is looking for.
4. Optimize for Mobile
With around 80% of clicks now coming from mobile devices, you have to focus on getting the best results with mobile. This is even more important now that Google has made mobile optimization a quality score factor.
You can check how quickly your landing pages load using tools such as Pingdom and GTMetrix. You should also check that your pages are mobile-friendly in design.
A load time of under 3 seconds is acceptable, but you should aim to do better. The most successful advertisers have pages that load in under one second.
5. Set up Conversion tracking
Research shows that over half of businesses advertising with Google have yet to set up conversion tracking. This is a major omission that is costing them a lot of money, both in unnecessarily high ad spend, and in missed opportunities.
With conversion tracking set up, you have a wealth of information and opportunities at your disposal. You can calculate how much it costs you to acquire a lead or a customer, and identify your most profitable keywords.
You also gain access to advanced strategies such as smart bidding. These are designed to help you get more bang for your buck by bidding in the most cost-efficient way possible.
Set up conversion tracking today, and you will have an immediate head start over your competitors.
6. Deploy Single Keyword Ad Groups
Another huge mistake made by most advertisers is lumping too many keywords into one ad group. Managing keywords is a lot of work, and it’s tempting to just dump them all into a few ad groups.
But you can gain a huge advantage by getting more granular with your keywords. Your ultimate goal should be to have Single Keyword Ad Groups. That way, each keyword has its own ads and landing pages, precisely tailored to the searcher’s requirements.
For sure, setting up all those ad groups is hard work. But the investment of time will be repaid through a significant improvement in the quality scores for each keyword.
7. Steal from Your Competitors
Why reinvent the wheel when your competitors have done all the hard work for you? If your rivals have been running the same ads for months - or even years - that suggests these ads are working well for them.
Similar ads are likely to work for you, too. So don’t be afraid to get good at analyzing your competitors ads and seeing what they are up to. After all, they are probably studying yours!
There are many great tools you can use to get insights into ads run by rivals. Some of these tools are expensive, but they often have a free trial period for new subscribers. That may be enough to glean some valuable information.
SEMRush provides great ad data, allowing you to pull hundreds of ads from your competitors campaigns, plus info on cost per click, search volume and much more. You can also get detailed ads information from sites like Spyfu.
8. Split Test Your Ads
Here’s another way to get a step ahead of your competitors. Split testing is something that all advertisers should be doing, but few actually are. So if you take testing seriously, you will give yourself an unfair advantage.
You should always have tests running to see if you can improve on your existing ads. Don’t assume you know what your potential customers want. The only way to find out for sure is to test, test and test again.
Test every element in your ads, from the headlines to the call to action. Test your landing pages, too, and try different extensions. You may be surprised at how a small change makes a big difference.
9. Set up Remarketing Campaigns
Remarketing allows you to reach out to people who visited your website, but didn’t take the required action. It gives you a second chance to target them as they browse websites where your remarketing ads appear.
As well as bringing lost prospects back into the fold, remarketing can also bring you cheap leads. on remarketing campaigns, and conversion rates can be much higher.
If you are not running remarketing campaigns, make it a priority to set things up asap. Letting prospects slip away is a criminal waste of your investment in their initial click.
10. Hire a Google Ads Pro
If you have the time and expertise to implement all the above strategies, then by all means go for it. Get started right now, if possible. After all, every day you delay means more money wasted on inefficient campaigns.
But let’s be honest, running Google Ad campaigns is probably not your area of specialism. You would have to invest a lot of time and energy into optimizing every ad, ad group and landing page - pus your overall site performance.
This is time that you could more profitably invest directly into your professional area of expertise. That is, in running your day-to-day business. And even if you spent all your evenings and weekends working on your Google campaigns, you would struggle to get optimal results.
Because of this, we recommend that any business spending a significant amount of money on Google Ads should hire a professional. The cost of hiring a consultant will be repaid many times over through:
Stop Wasting Money Today!
If you are like most business owners, Google has been sucking far too much money out of your wallet for far too long. We understand what it’s like to see your credit cards maxed out by Google every month...we’ve been there, too!
So...are you ready to halve your Google ads spend and double your leads? If so, book a free, 30-minute strategy call right now to get the ball rolling. We can discuss your options, and start working on a strategy that will transform your business.
Every day you delay, Google will punish you by dinging your credit card for more and more money. So don’t put the decision off. Book your free strategy call right now to start turning Google Ads into a real money-maker for your business.