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105 Tips and Tricks To Crush A Google Ads Campaign

Apr 17, 2020

Pay-Per-Click marketing is one of the most popular and effective forms of online advertising available today.

In a nutshell, advertisers bid on keywords that are relevant to their business and they only pay when a searcher clicks on their ads.

The problem with running a Google Ads campaign is staying up-to-date. With Google and Microsoft constantly updating their platforms, it is very easy to fall behind by running outdated strategies and it’s your results that suffer.

Thankfully, Conduit has you covered! We took a deep dive through the Google Ads and Microsoft Ads platform, asked experts and reviewed all of our historical data to compile a comprehensive list of tips and tricks for building a highly-effective Google and Microsoft Ads campaign.

In any given month, we manage 1,400 campaigns over 90+ Nielsen markets so we know what it means to run a successful PPC campaign.

Want to crush results for your clients and drive even more ROI for their marketing dollars? Keep reading to learn our google ad tips and tricks to better optimize your campaigns.

Google Ads Tips & Tricks

1. Select Your Campaign Goals To Match Your Marketing Goals

You can’t create the perfect local search campaign without choosing the right goals. Are you looking to increase sales? Drive more leads? Obtain more website visitors? Knowing your goal is half the battle. Remember to choose the right goal that fits your business needs!

2. Start With a Search Campaign To Garner The Best Results

In order to boost your business to the top of the search results page when someone searches locally for one or more of your services, start off with a basic search campaign.

These campaigns are the bread and butter of the Google Ads platform. According to Blue Corona, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and 47% of people click on one of the first three listings.

3. Implement Search Remarketing Into Your Campaign

In order to effectively retarget people who previously visited your website, choose an RLSA (Remarketing List For Search Ads) campaign. If someone leaves your site without buying anything, this campaign type will help you reach these potential customers when they continue looking for what they need. Using an RLSA campaign has been proven to increase KPIs.

Conduit Insight:

A plumber in Kentucky saw a 38% conversion rate increase leading to an increase in sales after the addition of an RLSA campaign!

38% conversation rate increase insight

4. Try Out Dynamic Search Campaigns

Quickly direct potential customers to what they want by using a dynamic search campaign. If you have a well-developed website or a website that hosts a large inventory base, you should use a Dynamic Search Campaign to fill in any gaps that may exist in your keyword-based campaigns.

If someone searches for a product or service that you offer on your website, Google will use this content to select a relevant landing page while creating a clear, relevant headline for your ads.

Conduit Insight:

An automotive dealer in Louisiana was looking to move used vehicle inventory off of their lot. A dynamic search campaign was implemented into their strategy which focused on the used vehicle inventory on their website. This local dealership saw a 200% increase in conversions!

5. Generate More Phone Calls Using a Call-Only Campaign

If your main business goal is to keep the phone ringing, make sure you’re utilizing a call-only campaign. These campaigns are built to only show on mobile devices and will guide your searchers to call your business after they tap on your ad. Remember, you can set your call-only campaign to show during your business hours so you don’t miss any opportunity to connect.

Conduit Insight:

A local plumbing company in Virginia added a call-only campaign to their strategy and saw a 53% increase in phone calls driven to their business in over just one month’s time! In addition to this, there was a 54% drop in cost per lead making the call-only campaign a success!

6. Don't Be Afraid To Bid On Branded Keywords To Claim Your Name

There are many advantages to baking a brand campaign into your strategy. Most local clients who are running a tight SEO strategy question whether or not they are wasting money by bidding on their brand name since they are already appearing at the top of the search results page anyway. This topic has been debated for years.

In short, the answer is no!

The more real estate you claim on the search results page, the better. Not only is bidding on your brand name cheap, if you don’t, your competitors will (if they aren’t already).

By running a brand campaign, you can craft ad copy that promotes all of your latest deals and grab the attention of your searcher which is something that you won’t be able to do organically.

Because of the relevancy between your branded keywords, ad copy, and landing pages you’ll also watch your account KPIs increase!

Not only will you grow your brand equity, but you can also evaluate just how people are searching for your brand online and quantify those searches.

Just sit back and watch your CTR (click-through-rate) and Quality Scores skyrocket!

Conduit Insight:

After analyzing the data of a local cleaning company in Idaho, the incorporation of a brand campaign increased their conversion rate by 32% and decreased their cost per lead by 41%! Not only did their brand awareness increase significantly within their targeted area, but they also saw their phone ring off the hook!

cost per lead decrease by 41%

7. Fulfill Your Customers Needs By Showing Up When They're Looking For Your Products Or Services

The main purpose of your local search campaign is to fulfill your customer’s needs. Whatever services or products you’re offering, you want to make sure that everyone knows it!

Building out a search campaign that is tailored to your customers’ needs is your top priority. If there is one service or product that you’re looking to focus on, separate it from your services campaign and build it out on its own.

By doing this, you can control how much budget you put toward that particular campaign.

If you already have a Google Ads campaign running and you’re looking to optimize, you can break out high converting keywords into their own campaign for this same reason. It’s all about budget control.

8. Place A Bulls-Eye On Your Competition By Bidding On Competitor Names

Overthrowing your competition by running a conquest campaign is a no-brainer! Bidding on your competitor’s brand name is an effective way to steal their potential traffic, leads, and hard-earned sales.

There is one caveat, though. Your competitor’s brand name must not be trademarked. In order to avoid any massive penalties or legal issues, don’t mention your competitor’s name in your ad text.

Also, keep any mention of your competitor’s name out of your display URL.

For example, if you’re a local burger joint you don’t want the display URL attached to your ads to say “”

Ad Group Tips

9. Create The Perfect Ad Group Structure

Although ad groups are nothing more than containers that hold your keywords, structure matters! Get the perfect organizational structure by creating a tight-knit system that combines your keyword groupings, ad copy, and landing pages and ties them all together.

It’s also important to be consistent. The message in your ad copy and the landing pages you’re driving searchers to need to be relevant.

Doing these things will lead to more conversions and lower your cost. The reason you’ll generate more leads is simple.

For example, if someone is searching for “duct cleaning near me” and you’re an HVAC company that offers these services, you should have an ad group for duct cleaning.

Your ad copy boasts about your latest duct cleaning specials which entices the searcher. You then land the searcher on a landing page offering your latest duct cleaning special.

The odds that this potential customer will call you is much greater due to the relevancy between all of these things. You’re giving the client exactly what they’re searching for.

Creating ad groups that are well aligned will also lead to a higher quality score which in turn will lower your keywords cost per click. Paying less is something we all strive to do!

Conduit Insight:

A pest control service in Indiana had a rather good average quality score of 6.5 out of 10. After making improvements to this client’s keywords and ads, their average quality score increased by 37% to 8.9. Year-over-year, their overall cost per click dropped by 45%!

average quality score

10. Group Your Ad Groups By Similar Themes

A good rule of thumb when creating ad groups is to group them based on a common theme.

For example, let’s say you are a general contractor that offers home remodeling services. You offer flooring, home repairs, painting, room additions, and complete remodels.

While it may be easier to create one ad group and dump keywords for all of your service offerings in there, it’s not a good idea.

Someone searching for hardwood flooring wouldn’t benefit from seeing ads mentioning painting and vice versa.

In order to create an effective organizational hierarchy of ad groups, you should create at least one ad group for each service.

That way you can write your ad copy to be more relevant to the searcher who is looking for a specific service you offer.

11. Show The Right Ads To The Right People

By structuring your ad groups properly, you will maximize the effectiveness and profitability of your ads.

Google looks closely at your ad groups when deciding who should see your ads and when.

The more specific and focused you build out your ad groups, the more effective they will be.

By doing so, you aren’t only pleasing Google but you’re also creating a more user-friendly experience for your potential customer by giving them exactly what they’re looking for.

The key is to keep your messaging so highly targeted that the searcher has no choice but to convert!

12. Try Out Multi-Keyword Ad Groups (MKAGS)

In the PPC world, it’s all about customer intent. Although this is a controversial topic, most agencies will agree that SKAGs (Single Keyword Ad Groups) are a thing of the past.

It’s been thought that using one keyword in each ad group will allow for a more targeted approach and a more organized structure would be created.

The thinking is that if you build your ad groups to only focus on the exact keyword that someone is searching, chances are that your money would be well spent and lead to a conversion.

This is more than likely not going to be the case. Nearly a year ago, Google announced a change that was made to close variants of exact match keywords.

This change means that when someone is searching for a keyword or phrase, it no longer has to exactly match the keyword in your ad group.

Variations of your keyword, including implied words and paraphrases, are now taken into consideration.

Function words such as “the” and “for” can also be included. Ever since then, Google has gotten better at breaking down more complex long-tailed keywords.

If searches are now more based on intent, it only makes sense to build out your ad groups with that same mind frame.

If not, you could end up bidding against yourself due to the new rules of close variants.

For example, ‘auto dealership’ and ‘auto dealer’ are now considered the same and many SKAG ad groups are just variants of other keywords already in the account.

By using multi-keyword ad groups, you will not only save time and money but also reach your intended audience based on their intent.

Conduit Insight:

A restaurant owner in Florida had an existing Google Ads account which was transferred over to Conduit. This account was structured using an extreme amount of SKAGs (single keyword ad groups). After restructuring the account into more manageable MKAGs (multi-keyword ad groups), we were able to eliminate excessive waste by 33% over the course of two months. In addition to this, the conversion rate increased by 54%!

multi0grouped keyword ad success

13. Implement Three ETA's And One RSA Per Ad Group

According to Google’s best practices, all of your ad groups should contain at least three ETA’s (expanded text ads) and one RSA (responsive search ad). Doing so will allow you to test ad copy to see which ones are more relevant to your users’ search queries.

Ads & Copywriting Tips

14. Utilize The Character Limits Within Your Headlines and Descriptions

Effectively reaching your target audience with relatable and actionable ad text is crucial, but ensuring you aren’t a blip on the radar is also important. Make sure you are maxing out those character limits and taking up SERP real estate!

15. Always Include A Second Description

Increased screen-real estate means increased visibility, especially on mobile devices. Based on data collected by Wordstream, just by adding ad extensions, CTR has been seen to jump by 12% meaning that expanding your exposure further down the SERP will only help to increase awareness and engagement.

16. Include Numbers In The Ad Text, While Being Specific

Using exact numbers when referring to price points or customers served is more believable when not using a generic-rounded number that blends in. For example, “Over 1,000 Satisfied Customers” doesn’t quite tell the story that “1,546 Satisfied Customers” does.

Conduit Insight:

Conduit used this tactic when setting up Callout Extensions in a lawyer from Florida’s campaign, and we saw the conversion rate increase by 39% in the ads that showed the specific extension!

17. Utilize The Keywords Throughout The Ad Text

Using a keyword throughout the headlines and descriptions of an ad boost relevance in the eyes of Google and searchers. This will improve Quality Scores and help to reduce your cost per click.

18. Understand Need Recognition When Writing Ad Copy

Unless searching for Branded terms, consumers are looking to alleviate a need they have. Focusing on writing ad copy from the perspective of why the searcher is there in the first place is a great start.

19. Get Local With Ad Copy

Especially for brick and mortar stores, proximity and convenience are huge factors in a customer’s choice. Identifying yourself as a member of the local community creates a level of comfort and familiarity as well.

20. Don't Over-Pin Headlines In Responsive Search Ads

The beauty of Responsive Search Ads is in the freedom that Google has to mix and match your headlines and descriptions for the best performance.

Wordstream states that pinning headlines reduces this freedom, thus reducing the potential for the algorithm to find the optimal ad text combination.

21. Use One Responsive Search Ad Per Ad Group

Based on how Responsive Search Ads work, it is optimal to max out the headlines and descriptions in one ad than to have multiple ads.

Also, as mentioned earlier, utilizing Responsive Search Ads always advertisers to take advantage of Google’s algorithm which finds the best ad creative match up.

Ad Extension Tips

22. Include All Extensions Relevant To Your Business

As previously stated, and according to Google, adding more ad content in the form of extensions increases the visibility and often the number of clicks your ad receives. However, do not get ad-extension fever and add extensions that don’t offer any value for your business.

Conduit Insight:

From looking at our data, campaigns that include call outs, site links, and structured snippet extensions see an increase in CTR of 45%!

23. Add Extensions At The Relevant Level Within The Account

Extensions can be added at the Account, Campaign, or Ad Group level. For example, say you are running a campaign for an Electronics Store that has ad groups broken out by product types offered with one ad group focusing on ‘Televisions’. Using a Structured Snippet specifically listing the Brands of televisions at this ad group’s level to make the ad hyper-relevant to the searcher’s need.

Sitelinks Extension Tips

24. Include Relevant Sitelinks

Reassuring the fact that more ad content leads to more engagement, Google states that including sitelinks increases the click-through rate by 30%.

25. Use Sitelinks To Direct Traffic To Relevant Pages Deeper In Your Website

Sitelinks allow you to cast a wider net out to your target audience. Let us give you an example. If a campaign is selling sweaters, adding additional links to different types of sweaters will help increase the likelihood that you are displaying a solution to a specific consumer’s specific need when they are served your ad.

26. Add Descriptions To Your Sitelinks

Google allows the option to add descriptions to your Sitelink extensions to include additional information about the page.

These descriptions also make each Sitelink extension more prominent on the SERP, in turn increases the visibility of your overall ad.

Conduit Insight:

We used Sitelink Extensions for a client trying to sell newly-constructed condominiums in Florida giving users the option to go directly to the Contact page, see the basic blueprints of the units offered, and jump right to images of the residences.

When analyzing the data, we saw that ads that included Sitelink Extensions increased by click-through rate by 20%!

27. Highlight Your Unique Selling Points Using Callout Extensions

Use Callout Extensions to highlight additional unique selling points of choosing your business, whether overall at the account level or more specifically at the ad group level.

Conduit Insight:

When the campaign for a plumber located in Indiana was launched by Conduit, we originally used campaign-level generic Callout Extensions.

We eventually broke the campaign into campaigns focusing specifically on ‘Installation’ and ‘Repair’ keywords respectively, and while doing this we created specific Callout Extensions to showcase the offers in these specific service areas.

Where you can, it is beneficial to showcase USPs that will give you an edge over the competition.

28. Using Structured Snippets Will Provide More Valuable Information To The Searcher

Structured Snippets allow you to create an extension centered around choosing a header or category, and showcasing what your business has to offer within that category, known as values.

For example, if you were advertising for a shoe store and creating a structured snippet at the account level, you may choose ‘Styles’ as the header and ‘Running’, ‘Casual’, ‘Dress’, and ‘Sandals’ as the values.

29. Ensure That Headers And Values Are Aligned

You want to make sure that the values you plan on showcasing align with the header you choose to go with.

This could create a mismatch and confusion in the eyes of the consumer, but the ads could also get disapproved by Google altogether.

30. Include Call Extensions

Google reported that 70% of mobile searchers make a phone call to a business directly through the ads.

This ties back to the shorter path to conversion, as one less action needs to be taken. This is also more pertinent to Local campaigns, as a higher percentage of visitors will traditionally be searching from mobile devices.

For Local Businesses that are tied to a consumer’s need for a higher level of immediate contact and a sense of urgency, supplying them with a number to call as soon as they search can be a huge help to them and your conversion rate.

31. Get Local With Call Extensions

As often as possible, try and create a Call Extension using a number with a local area code as we have seen this familiarity increase the CTR.

Conduit Insight:

A tow truck service in Indiana saw a 40% conversion rate when only looking at conversions generated by the call extension using a local area code.

area code call extension

32. Use Lead Form Extensions To Generate Leads

Although still in beta, Lead Form extensions can be a great way to collect consumer data and generate leads.

By customizing the extension, lead form itself, and the submission message that users see after submitting their information, your ads can be set up to collect leads right from the SERP.

33. Set Up A Webhook To Easily Manage Leads From Your Lead Form Extension

You’ll most likely want to attach your Lead Form Extension to a webhook, as the other option is a CSV download of all the submissions get wiped after 30 days, stated by Google.

To set this up, simply input your webhook’s URL and key under ‘Lead Delivery Option’ when setting up your Lead Form Extension.

34. Utilize Message Extensions To Make Customer Contact Easier

Like Lead Form extensions, Message Extensions allow users to contact a business, or convert, directly from the SERP.

Decreasing the path-to-contact and increasing the size of your overall ad, CTR’s have been seen to increase by 50% when Message Extensions were included by Wordstream.

When setting up, you can choose to have messages sent directly to a phone number in the form of text messages.

The other option is to have the messages sent to an email address, and then your responses will get sent back to the customer in the form of a text message on their mobile device.

35. Make Sure That You Link To A Text-Friendly Number When Using Message Extensions

This is pretty self-explanatory, but if you choose to have messages sent to a phone number when setting up your Message Extension, the phone number you use must be able to receive and send text messages.

36. Utilize Ad Scheduling As Message Extensions Are More Time Sensitive

Like other ad extensions, you can use ad scheduling to dictate when your Message Extensions can accompany your ads when they are served.

If the business has limitations during certain days of the week or hours of the day in terms of being able to respond, make sure to schedule this while setting up your Message Extensions to ensure that leads are not being missed and inquisitive customers are not messaging a non-responsive number in their time of need.

37. Make Sure To Have Message Reporting Turned On

Make sure to enable ‘Message Reporting’ to ensure that you are able to track and report on the data that your Message Extensions collect.

38. Always Link Google My Business Listing To Set Up Location Extensions

Location Extensions are set up by linking a Google My Business account to a Google Ads account.

By simply linking these accounts, the business location, as well as the contact information, will automatically display underneath your search ads.

39. Take Advantage of Google Map Ads By Linking The Google My Business To Google Ads

Enabling a Location Extension, your ads will become eligible to show in search results of Google Maps, which becomes more crucial when reaching a user who has shown local intent.

Not sure how to link to your Google My Business listing? Look no further.

Conduit Insight:

When running a hyper-local and mobile-focused auto body shop campaign in Alabama, Conduit saw that pairing mobile bid adjustments with the Location Extension generated a conversion rate of over 50%!

ppc location extension increase

40. Ensure That Your Google My Business Information Is Cleaned Up Before Linking Your Google My Business Account To Google Ads

Make sure that the Google My Business account information is cleaned up and accurate, as Location Extensions give the advantage of including a clickable business address and phone number, which get pulled directly from the Google My Business listing.

These provide users with additional ways to convert and gain information about your business, especially those with more local intent.

Having your business information up to date on the listing is one of the quickest ways to optimize it to increase organic traffic!

41. Location Extensions Make You Eligible To Show Ads In The Local Pack

SERP visibility has been linked to CTR increases in a multitude of these tips, and additionally serving ads in the Local Search Ads pack adds to this. Following a local search, Google will showcase eligible ads paired with ‘Get Directions’ and ‘Call Buttons’ underneath a map of where your business is located relative to the searcher.

These listings are shown amongst organic ‘local results’, but being eligible to serve ads here is one more point of visibility with action items that local searchers can take towards contacting or choosing your business.

42. Set Up Price Extensions To Show A Local Competitive Advantage

Price Extensions allow you to include a carousel of snippets under your ad text containing the associated prices of up to 8 of your individual products or services.

As price is arguably the largest competitive advantage one can have, utilizing price extensions so showcase this can play a great role, especially in local markets.

Conduit Insight:

When running a local summer-vacation destination’s campaign in New Jersey, we found that including price extensions tied to the activities that visitors would be able to find there (and more importantly that local competitors were also offering) specifically drove a click-through rate of 28%!

43. Qualify Your Price Extensions For Easier Upkeep By Using The Price Qualifier

Google allows you to set up a ‘Price Qualifier’ to accompany the price you advertise per product or service. These qualifiers include ‘From’, ‘Up To’, and ‘Average’ that allow you to dictate how these prices are presented to searchers.

They also allow for a tad more freedom in terms of constantly keeping your Price Extensions contingent with the exact prices you are offering in-store.

44. Link Price Extensions To The Most Relevant & Conversion-Friendly Page

While being able to include individual final URLs per product or service being showcased, you want to make sure that users are being taken to a relevant one.

A click on a specific price within the carousel implies more intent than a more general click on overall final URL, so you want to make the client’s path to conversion as fluid as possible.

45. Use Promotion Extensions To Showcase Sales And Discounts That You Have Running

Promotion Extensions are designed to advertise any enticing sales or discounts that a business is currently running and separates these out under the traditional ad text where they can blend in and get lost.

Google gives you the option of using ‘Monetary Discount’, ‘Percent Discount’, ‘Up To Monetary Discount’, or ‘Up To Percent Discount’ Promotion types.

You also have the option of using ‘On order over’ or ‘Promo Code’ Promotion details if there are certain requirements associated with the promotion being offered.

46. Use Promotion Extensions Rather Than Updating Ad Text

Promotion Extensions can be set up with start and end dates, meaning that you can very easily ensure that these extensions are not running outside the life of your sale or discount.

Conduit Insight:

The account managers at Conduit have found it much simpler to use this method over the more-time-consuming and messier approach of duplicating ads, swapping out promotional headlines and descriptions, and applying automated rules to enable or pause certain ads when sales or discounts begin or end if the promotional ads are not driving to their own landing page.

Promotion Extensions give you the freedom of not worrying about promotional ad text running at inaccurate times, while also providing a very visible and enticing spot on the search results page to reach users.

47. Create App Extensions To Drive App Downloads

If you are advertising for a business that values app downloads, utilizing App Extensions is a surefire way to increase exposure and generate conversions.

By linking to a page on an app store, you can create a direct link under your text ad accompanied by a call-to-action that you create.

48. View Your App Store Page The Same Way As A Landing Page

You would never send traffic to an irrelevant, unenticing landing page, right? Right, you wouldn’t. So why send users to a poor page in the respective app store that doesn’t promote the path to conversion?

View these pages as any other traditional landing pages, that is, as the next important step to securing a conversion. Not sure how to create the perfect landing page for your ppc campaign? We’ve got you covered.

Landing Page Tips

49. Drive To Specific Landing Pages To Increase Quality Score

If your campaign is segmented by ad groups focusing on specific service areas or products that you offer, ensuring that your ads drive to hyper-relevant landing pages that match the keywords you are bidding on can impact ad performance immensely.

User experience is the driving force behind Google Quality Scores, and Landing Page Experience is one of the three pillars that impacts it.

Driving to a relevant Landing Page will increase Quality Scores which will, in turn, increase your click-through rate and help you drive more conversions.

50. Drive To Specific Landing Pages To Reduce Path To Conversion

Piggybacking off of the previous tip, creating specific ad groups that drive to pages that are as relevant as possible to the keywords that you are bidding on will reduce the path to conversion, which will, in turn, help you drive more conversions. The more you require users to navigate to where they ultimately are most likely to convert, the more bounce opportunities they are provided with.

An ad that shows when someone searches for “foam top surfboards” should drive to the page showcasing all of and only the foam top surfboards that you offer.

Conduit Insight:

When optimizing the campaign for a Plastic Surgeon in Florida that had been running for some time, Conduit made the ad groups more granularly-focused while driving to procedure-specific subdomains on the site. After analyzing the data for a month, we saw the conversion rate increased by 17%!

51. Making Landing Pages Local-Friendly

Local intent is incredibly powerful, and understanding that nurturing this can help your business will go a long way.

Creating familiarity by using phone numbers with local area codes, showcasing business locations on maps, and using local imagery are all ways that you can relay your locality to page visitors.

After all, in a survey taken by Uberall, 82% of smartphone shoppers use “near me” while searching.

52. Keeping Path To Conversion Above The Fold

Driving users to a relevant landing page is crucial, but making conversion points clear, at the forefront, and above the fold of the other aspects of the page can have a major impact on optimizing your campaign’s conversion rate. Any additional step required by the user has the potential to be the point at which they bounce, so why drag out the path to conversion?

Conduit Insight:

While running a campaign for a hospital in Kentucky, we A/B tested where the lead form and phone number were located on the landing page relevant to the statistics and informative text.

We found that pushing the lead form and phone number to the uppermost right corner of the landing page resulted in the conversion rate doubled!

53. Request Only The Necessary Information

Revisiting the idea that you want to make the conversion path as seamless as possible for the user, requesting impertinent information or including a tedious form that takes a long time to fill out will almost always result in a lower rate of conversion.

Especially with elastic services and products where the user has many options to satisfy their need, elongating the conversion process will negatively impact the user experience.

According to Wordstream, eclipsing 7 fields of information on a form results in a steep drop off.

54. Continuously A/B Test Your Landing Pages

Like anything else, there is always room for improvement. Even what may appear to be the obvious right choice in content or page-layout can be tested and will often times surprise you.

A/B testing one aspect of your page at a time over the life of your campaign will hone in on the most optimal landing page to drive to. This is a slow process, but one that surprisingly most marketers fail to utilize.

Conduit Insight:

Conduit has been running a PPC campaign for a hospital specializing in cancer treatment in Tennessee, and while slowly A/B testing the landing page, we have been able to hone in on a page that has driven a 106% increase in conversions compared to the initial page!

a/b testing ppc campaigns

Keyword Tips

55. Bid On The Brand Name

Bidding on the brand name comes with a multitude of benefits that outshine the belief that users would reach your site and convert anyway.

While your organic listing will be in the search results as well, making sure that you have an ad in the #1 spot takes up more Branded space on the search results page and will also ensure that you stay listed above competitors who may be using conquesting keywords (i.e. bidding on your brand name.)

Also, being able to dictate the copy within the ad (unlike an organic listing) allows you to utilize current sales and promotions to pre-qualify searchers who are most likely further down the path to purchase relative to users who have not searched for branded terms.

56. Use The Landing Page And Overall Website As An Initial Keyword Guide

To start, familiarizing yourself with and clicking through the subdomains of a website will help you hone in on an extensive list of products or services offered.

57. Using Keyword Modifiers To Make More Relevant Ad Groups

Keyword modifiers allow you to create additional ad groups with keywords more relevant to their respective ads.

To put it simply, modifiers create longer-tailed keywords with each modifier that is added. Searchers on mobile devices have shown a lot of local intent, which is why “near me” has been an immensely common modifier that marketers tend to include in their local campaigns. In this case, structuring an ad group around this modifier would allow you to test creating geo-based ad copy, increasing bid adjustments on mobile devices, and creating ad extensions with a larger focus on your proximity.

58. Regularly Comb Through The Search Terms Report

Regularly utilizing the power of the Search Terms Report is the backbone of finding new keywords, match types you should be including, and keywords or phrases that are eating up a budget that you should be negativing out of your campaign.

Having a scan through this report as often and as granularly as possible at the ad group level will be in your best interest.

As search terms build up over time, the list of search terms that you are paying for can get very expensive in a hurry and difficult to analyze.

Also, looking through the Search Term Report at the Campaign level can be difficult for this same reason, but more so because of the fact that you need to see which ad group pulled in each search term.

Analyzing the report at each ad group’s level is the best approach, as the list is smaller, you will know exactly what keywords you are bidding on relative to the search terms you are looking at, and optimizing right in that same ad group becomes easier.


Negative Keyword Tips

59. Use Negative Keywords To Reduce Wasted Ad Spend

Bidding on the ‘right’ keywords ensures that your ads are being served to your target audience, but negative keywords are equally as important because they ensure that your ads are not being served for the ‘wrong’ search terms.

Let’s look back at the shoe store example. If you were advertising men’s boots, but the business did not specifically sell waterproof men’s boots, then you would want to include “waterproof” as a negative keyword.

Plain and simple, when used effectively, implementing negative keywords is a surefire way to increase your campaigns’ ROI because you dwindle down your wasted ad spend from users outside of your target audience as you keep adding them.

60. Use The Search Term Report For Negative Keywords

The Search Term Report can be used to find keywords to bid on that you aren’t taking advantage of, but you can also use the report to see search terms that triggered your ads that you don’t want to be paying for.

Similar to using it to find keywords, you’ll want to stay on top of implementing these negative keywords by scanning over the Search Term Report as often as possible at the ad group level.

You also could be wasting ad spend at any moment.

61. Use The Correct Match Type For Negative Keywords

Understanding match types will go a long way in terms of how your negative keywords impact your campaign.

Like regular keywords that you bid on, you can choose to make a negative keyword Broad Match, +Broad +Match +Modified, “Phrase Match”, or [Exact Match].

The differences between these match types and how they dictate how your negative keywords function will determine what search queries will serve your ads.

62. Make Sure Ad Groups Aren't Cannibalizing Each Other

If you have created similar ad groups having keywords that are similar and maybe one modifier away from one another, it is important to make sure that they are not competing and cannibalizing each other.

You may see that a variation of a keyword is performing very well and decide to separate it out into its own ad group or campaign. When you do this, it is imperative to use this longer-tailed keyword as a negative in the other ad group.

Using the ‘waterproof men’s boots’ example yet again, when creating the ‘waterproof men’s boots ad group, also be sure to include “waterproof men’s boots” as a negative keyword within the “men’s boots” ad group.

Otherwise, these two ad groups would bid on the same keyword and compete with one another whenever a user in your location targeting search for “waterproof men’s boots”, in turn increasing your cost per click and your cost per conversion.

63. Start Your Campaign Off Right With Negative Keywords

Many digital marketers view negative keywords as the go-to when looking for ways to optimize a PPC campaign, so why not launch a campaign that is already ahead of the optimization curve?

Including a negative keyword list into a campaign prior to going live will limit wasted ad spend from the start and make sure that the campaign is putting its best foot forward.

Many times, product or service campaigns can benefit from a generic list of negative keywords to start with.

Very common baked-in negative keywords include employment keyword modifiers like “jobs” or “hiring” for non-recruitment campaigns and informative keyword modifiers like “do it yourself” or “how-to” to negate users that aren’t looking for meet a need with your product or service.

64. Include Negative Keywords With Care

That all being said about how great negative keywords can be for serving your ads to your target audience and boosting ROI, they should be handled with extreme care.

As you can imagine, a poorly placed negative keyword can flip the performance of your campaign upside down as it could hinder your ads from getting served to a portion or all of your target audience. This could have a devastating blow to your conversion rate and leave you scratching your head asking yourself, “Why has my conversion rate dropped 50%?”

All the while, a negative keyword was blocking your ads from serving! We recommend taking the time and adding negative keywords at the ad group level, as adding them at the campaign level increases the risk of including a nagging negative keyword in an ad group that it shouldn’t be.

Also, if negative keywords are being added in bulk at the start of a campaign or down the line, they should always be heavily vetted for any negative keywords that would negate valuable traffic.

Conduit Insight:

Having a major impact on campaign efficiency, negative keywords filter out traffic outside of your target audience which can lead to drops in cost-per-click and cost-per-conversion.

This was the case for a home remodeling company in Idaho, as while we were continuously adding negative keywords that we found by looking through the Search Term Report over a 6-month period, we saw the cost-per-conversion drop by 53%!

Audience Development Tips

65. Boost Your Campaign's Performance With Audience Targeting

Adding audience targeting to your PPC strategy has been proven to boost a search campaign’s performance by reaching people who are browsing websites, using apps, or watching videos. You can add audience targeting at the campaign or ad group level.

Doing so is a good way to reach people based on who they are, what their interests and habits are, or by how they’ve previously interacted with your website.

66. Be Strategic And Creative With Your In-Market Audience Lists

Don’t just add random audiences to your campaigns just for the sake of adding them. Be strategic!

If you’re looking to add in-market audiences to a campaign keep in mind you may sometimes be limited based on the categories provided by Google. For example, you’re looking to add relevant in-market audiences to a funeral home campaign.

There is no specific option in Google to choose anything slightly related to this industry. You can get creative and add in-market audiences to people who are actively searching for flowers in your area.

Since the two may go hand in hand, you may be able to reach people who are also looking for your services.

Conduit Insight:

A weight-loss company in California was unable to add in-market audiences to their campaign due to the limited audiences listed in Google Ads.

After adding in-market audiences for food, baked goods, and chocolates, this company saw a 21% increase in conversions over the course of two months! Don’t be afraid to be creative!

67. Turn Your Non-Converters Into Converters

Create a remarketing list that targets people who’ve visited your website but didn’t convert.

There’s only one caveat. Your remarketing list must contain at least 1,000 visitors before you’re able to add it to your search campaign.

Let’s say you’re a shoe store owner looking to target customers who previously interacted with your business.

If, for example, you have a user searching for running shoes, who then showed an interest in your website by looking at prices of the latest pair of Nike sneakers, this person may have left your website to continue comparing prices because they were only in the research stage.

If you have a remarketing tag on your website, cookies would be used to track this person and they would be added to your remarketing list.

Since they are in the research phase, they would more than likely be searching for shoes again and will get served your ad. Google’s best practice is to write ad copy that entices this person, boasting about specific savings given to first-time customers, for example.

Your odds of hooking them into the sale will be greater than someone whose ad is geared toward having a large inventory selection since the searcher’s intent is deeper down the funnel.

Not to mention, they already showed interest in your product or services. Also note, due to privacy concerns, there are some verticals in which remarketing is restricted such as in the healthcare industry for example.

Don’t let that stop you. Instead of using remarketing lists, try adding relevant in-market audiences to your campaigns.

68. Re-Engage Your Customers Using Customer Match

You can use your online and offline data to target your customers in order to increase conversions or drive brand awareness. Start off by building a customer list using information your customers already shared with you.

The list may contain customers’ names, phone numbers, email addresses, and zip codes. This data can easily be downloaded to an excel file from your existing CRM system.

Don’t forget this list must consist of 1,000+ members. After uploading this list into your Google Ads account, you will be able to target ads to those specific customers and other customers just like them.

69. Target What People Are Actively Searching For Using In-Market Audiences

Choose from audience lists compiled by Google which consists of customers who are actively searching for products or services like yours.

These lists are categorized so you can easily choose them based on a consumer’s general interests and behavior. Google uses machine learning to compile these lists based on billions of search queries and browsing activity to predict purchase intent.

Because of this, you have the ability to target people who are lower in the purchase funnel and are closer to converting.

70. Only Add The Amount Of Audiences You Can Manage

You can layer in-market audiences with other audience targeting options for a more granular approach.

According to Google, there is a limit of 5,000 audience lists you can add to an account but there’s no need to go above and beyond. Make sure you are adding an amount you can test and manage.

71. Expand The Reach Of Your Best-Performing Audiences

In order to reach new users who are similar to your already existing, top-performing remarketing audiences, focus on similar audiences.

These lists consist of new users with similar characteristics to your website visitors. Using these lists will help you reach new potential customers.

The Google Ads platform will look at the millions of people searching on Google and compare this information to the aggregated data collected in your current remarketing lists in order to build similar audiences.