Successful Google Ads campaigns require regular optimization. Often, PPC managers don’t have the processes in place to optimize their Ads campaigns and don’t yield the results of their competitors. 

If you want to make the most of Google Ads and the online personalized recommendations they present searchers with, then this optimization checklist will come in handy. 

1. Create a list of negative keywords

Negative keywords refer to search terms that you want to exclude from showing up in your ads. 

Think of words and search terms that you don’t want to trigger your ads. Create a list of these keywords and organize them by theme, based on the different products or services you offer. You can add up to 5,000 negative keywords per list. You can apply the same list to multiple campaigns at the same time.

For instance, let’s say you’re a vendor of VoIP conferencing software for businesses. You might want to use the target keyword “business VoIP conferencing”, but don’t want your ad campaigns to show up for the term “free business VoIP conferencing”. Just add this to your negative keyword list. 

2. Monitor search ad performance

Next, it’s time to optimize your responsive search ads. Be sure your ads have been running for at least 30 days to ensure there’s enough data to analyze.

Sure, creating campaigns is simple. Optimizing your Google Ads requires a lot of A/B testing, trial, and error. It’s about seeing what works for your business and what people respond to. 

To see how your ads are performing, follow these steps:

  1. Select the campaign you want to analyze
  2. Click “Ads” on the left menu
  3. Click “View asset details” below each ad

This will reveal asset values based on the performance of your ads. This scales from low to high and includes a “learning” value when the system is still gathering data. Understanding these values will help you understand how your ads are performing, and which ones need optimizing. 

3. Location target bid adjustment

Target bid adjustments can help you run more profitable campaigns. This allows you to adjust bids based on the user’s location, including country, state, city, or postcode. 

  • Specify where you want your ads to be shown 
  • Allow the campaign to run for at least a few weeks
  • Access the locations report to assess how each bid is performing
  • Adjust bids based on results

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This helps you identify key locations that are searching for your products or services, allowing you to place higher bids on ads in certain places. For instance, VoIP companies offering virtual business phone number services will find more of their search traffic comes from bigger countries or cities where the tech industry is booming like the USA, as opposed to a small country like Portugal. 

4. Leverage demographic targeting 

Demographic targeting allows you to adjust or exclude bids for different audiences based on specific demographics such as age, gender, occupation, and so on. This allows you to target and exclude specific groups of people. To do this, simply:

  1. Click “Demographics” and then “Age” to show the performance of your ad groups based on age.
  2. If you want to exclude a demographic, click the green circle next to the age group and click, “Exclude from ad group.”

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5. Audience targeting

Audience targeting is another feature that allows you to add audience segment targeting to ad groups to reach specific audiences of people based on their interests, hobbies, needs, and past behaviors with your business. Doing this can boost your campaign performance by enabling you to reach people while they’re watching a video, browsing a website, or scrolling through an app. 

Audiences can be created using the data Google has stored for each user, website behavior, and customer data (uploaded by you). There are various ways you can use audience targeting in your Google Ads campaigns, including in remarketing campaigns that retarget users who visited your website but didn’t convert. You can find more examples on the Google Ads support page

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6. Bid optimization

Bidding is how you choose to pay for clicks on your Google Ads campaigns. Google Ads offers several options based on your campaign goals. It’s a good idea to always optimize your Ads campaigns with your business goals in mind, and ensure you outline key performance indicators that’ll help you track your progress. You can look at how Google segments campaign goals with appropriate bid strategies

For example, if the goal of your campaign is to increase customer engagement, you should optimize your ads campaigns for visibility. 

Or, if your business goal is to make more sales, optimize your ads campaigns for conversions.

7. Budget optimization

Another important factor to consider is budget optimization. This means ensuring you allocate your budget to campaigns based on their effectiveness and efficiency. You should allocate the majority of your budget to the campaigns that perform the best to get maximum conversions at the lowest cost. 

You’ll want to keep a close eye on how campaigns are performing and what results they’re yielding in comparison to the budget being spent on them. You don’t want to waste your budget on campaigns that aren’t giving you results. Some tips for budget optimization include:

  • Ensure Google Ads conversion tracking is enabled
  • Structure your campaign groups 
  • Start small, and increase your budget once you start seeing what’s working and what’s not

8. Remarketing campaigns

Finally, our last tip for Google Ads optimization is to use remarketing campaigns. These are effective ways to generate low-cost conversions and can reduce cost-per-action and your overall customer acquisition costs. It allows you to find the people who’ve visited your website before, shown interest in your product or service, and are more likely to convert than those who haven’t yet visited your website.

Optimize, then optimize again

PPC managers need to continuously monitor and optimize Google Ads campaigns to achieve positive results and conversions. It’s not something you can do once a year and forget about, in today’s fast-paced digital world you’ll need to keep up with shifts in algorithm and user behaviors if you want to succeed. 

Of course, PPC marketing isn’t the only way to draw people to your website and increase conversions. Be sure to create a comprehensive growth strategy that combines content marketing, social proof marketing, performance marketing, and more to grow your brand.