Google Ads, a form of pay-per-click marketing, is a great way to target your ideal audience and see measurable results. However, if you are not closely monitoring your account, it can be easy to lose money. From inefficient terms to local ads, there are places in the Google Ads interface that you may not be checking on a regular basis. Check out five key aspects below to make sure you aren’t blowing your budget and missing any important pieces of data in your campaign.
1. Search Terms and Negative Keywords
In order to have an efficient campaign, and to make sure that you aren’t wasting your money, it is important that you have a negative keyword list in place and are continuously checking your search terms across your campaigns. It’s good practice to make sure you are using broad matches for various terms you don’t want clicks from. This can be other brand names or competitors, terms such as “training” or “free,” or anything else that you deem unworthy: You can make a keyword list to be account-wide, or to a specific campaign or ad group. Having this list of negatives can help filter out low-quality clicks and reduce your costs.
2. Unique Call Data
Did you know that you can see specific details about the calls you’ve gotten from your ads in Google Ads? If you navigate to Reports > View All > Extensions > Call Details, you can see data from calls you received from the specific date range you choose. You are able to see specific details on:
- Start and end time
- Duration (seconds)
- Caller country and area code
- Status (received or missed)
- Call source (website or ad)
- Call type (mobile click-to-call or manually dialed)
- Campaign and ad group
If you are getting a lot of calls, seeing call data is important because it can help you determine if you should bid down on calls based on metrics that entail call quality like how long the phone call lasts, the caller location, and more.
3. Estimated Top of Page, First Position, and First Page Bids
As you manage your campaign, determining your campaign budget is an important factor, but something else worthwhile to consider that is slightly more technical is taking a look at the estimated top of page, first position, and first page bids alongside their max costs per click (CPC). If you go to Campaigns > Your Ad Group > Keywords, you will see the normal grid of metrics for your keywords for that specific ad group. Keep in mind that Google recently phased out its average position metric and introduced these new ways to see where your ads sit on search results pages, so you might not have the columns enabled in your account. So if you do not see a columns named “Est. Top of Page Bid,” “Est. First Page Bid,” and “Est. First Position Bid,” you can add them by clicking “Columns” and modifying your columns to include it under the attribute’s drop-down. It’s important to note that these bids change consistently, so you will need to keep a close eye on their fluctuations and change your bids according. But overall, seeing this data can help you adjust your bid strategy to either increase or lower your max CPC for all of your terms to ensure you aren’t overspending, but still having your ads display in top positions.
4. Google Local Ads
Did you know that you can run ads in Google maps, including in the local 3-pack on search results pages? If you are running location extensions, something to pay attention to is how many people are clicking to your Google My Business profile from your ads. You can see this data if you navigate to Ads & Extensions > Extensions, then sort by extension type, and there you should see a location extension area. If you click on the arrow, it will expand a section that shows you the specific data from your local extension. Depending on what columns you have enabled, some things you will be able to see include:
- Click through rate (CTR)
- Average CPC (cost per click)
- Conversion rate
- Cost per conversion
Based on this data, you can assess the performance of your location extensions and make adjustments as you see fit.
5. Quality Score for Keywords
One part of Google Ads that many seem to forget plays a role in the performance of your ads is the quality score, which is a rating out of 10 that Google gives you for each of your keywords in your ad groups. As Google states, “Quality Score is an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing pages are to a person who sees your ad. Higher quality scores typically lead to lower costs and better ad positions.” As you can see, with having a higher quality score, there is a possibility that you can lower costs per click and the chance of having higher positioned ads. This could lead to saving a bit of cash or being able to start a campaign targeting a different region, one of your services, or something else. We recommend that you try your best to get your quality score above a 4, so here are some high-level things you can do to increase your score:
- Keep your keyword list specific, and parse out certain keywords into their own ad group. (Ex: one ad group targeting “T-shirts” and another targeting “T-shirt company”)
- Make sure you use the same keywords in your ads and landing pages, and have unique landing pages for each ad group
- Check the speed of your landing page using Google’s Page Speed Insights test and see if any adjustments can be made
- Continuously monitor your keywords and filter out unwanted terms to a negative keyword list
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