how to increase ROI on Google Ads

Simple Ways To Increase ROI on Google Ads

Running Google Ad campaigns is getting more and more complicated. Gone are the days when a savvy business owner can run their own ads and also their business. Google has introduced so much complexity and automation to the Google Ads platform that you risk spending a lot of money without a favorable ROI if you do not know what you are doing.

Having managed Google Ad Campaigns for over 15 years I have experienced this advertising platform add more and more functionality.  Some of the features are extremely valuable and others you should probably shy away from unless you are an experienced PPC analyst.

Here are five ways to analyze and optimize your Google Ad campaigns to increase conversions and help deliver a favorable ROI.

Search Partners

This is a small but very important checkbox when you are setting up your search campaigns.  Google is not upfront about who their search partners are, therefore you may not want to advertise on these sites unless you are a savvy PPC analyst.  It’s that simple.  There is no way to control how much of your ad budget goes to these obscure sites.  Click fraud is a billion dollar industry.  It’s best to keep your ads on Google and not Froogle, Nifty or Mamma, to name a few search partners.

Ad Suggestions

In 2019 Google rolled out Automated Ad Suggestions, except they are not suggestions at all.  The default setting is “Automatically Apply Suggestions After 14 Days”.  This means if you do not see their suggestions, they will automatically apply ad copy changes to your ads.  You may want to turn this off and place your ads on a rotation to see which are performing best. Review the click data after a couple months and make changes.  Like any complex equation, the more constants you have the easier it is to analyze.  Ad copy that is automatically changing introduces a level of complexity you may not need.

User Location Report

You should periodically look at your User Location Report. This report tells you how your ads are performing in each city, state or zip code depending on how you choose to view it.  Your products or services might be doing extremely well in one location but has zero conversions in another.  Many factors can influence your conversion rate based on location. For instance if you are selling scooters and one zip code is that of a retirement area, you are probably not going to have many conversions.  Other locations are often loyal to their neighborhood and even though it’s only a short drive, you may not appeal to that part of town.  You should constantly monitor this report and remove locations not performing well.

Enhanced CPC Bidding

Enhanced Bidding allows Google to exceed your maximum bid for a keyword and daily budget if they think it may convert.  This is a tough one, but if you are not a savvy PPC analyst, its best to run your campaigns with Manual Bidding so you have more control over your campaigns and budget.  We have seen Enhanced Bidding double a daily budget and run up ad spend without conversions.  Google does allow you to request a refund when this happens but again, best to turn off the automation.   Google wants to exhaust your budget every month.

Device Report

Similar to your User Location Report, you should pull the Device report that shows you how your campaigns are doing for each type of device – desktop, mobile phone & tablet.  You can also add bid adjustment here and perhaps increase your bid 20% for mobile phones. I typically lower my bid for tablets by 90%.   Same principles apply here.  Check your Google Analytics and see where the bulk of your traffic is coming from, mobile or desktop.  The device report will show you how your campaigns are converting on each device.  If you haven’t had a conversion on a desktop in months, perhaps you want to lower those bids or turn them off completely.

In Conclusion

As I mentioned there are a lot of levers and switches in the Google Ad platform.  Not all of them apply to you and many will not benefit your campaigns.  It’s important to simplify your analysis by reducing the amount of moving parts.  Select the data points you easily understand and use those to optimize your campaigns then slowly branch out to evaluate other optimization techniques.   Just like new automobiles, which often have way too much engineering, the same can be said for Google Ads.   If you are not an experienced PPC analyst, you might want to drive your campaigns like an old Chevy instead of a Tesla.

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