Google Ads Audit
The Eurisko Google Ad Audit Checklist is our holy grail, it’s our Players Handbook that we have been working on for over 18 years. While there have been some major updates and changes along the way but there are some simple basics that remain the same. At last count, there are 180 touchpoints that we consider when setting up, reviewing or rebuilding your Google Ad Campaign.
While we have a number of ‘favourites’, the first three things we look at when we’re working through the checklist are:
- Wasted Spend & Budget Optimisation. What is the formula here?
- Bid Modifiers. Device, Time of Day, Location. The Who, When & Where.
- Optimise Your Ad Extensions.
These are going to sound simple, but I promise if you apply these to your campaigns, you will see dramatic results very quickly. Of course, these tips are only a fraction of what you need to do to maintain a healthy Google Ads campaign. Just because you have a Level 10 Hill Dwarf Cleric with 75 Hit Points doesn’t mean you’re going to automatically beat that Drow Mage right… a lot of skill is still involved, but it’s a whole lot easier when you have those extra healing potions (tips)!
So let’s roll for initiative and dive into three of our favourite Google Ads tips…
1. Wasted Spend and Budget Optimization
Of all 3, wasted spend and budget optimization are by far the most important. But before you can even use this tip, you have to first structure your campaigns properly.
There are a nearly infinite number of ways you could structure a Google Ads campaign. You can structure campaigns for each of your core products or services, for each of your target locations, for top performing keywords versus test keywords, for exact match keywords versus phrase match keywords, and the list goes on and on.
When we launched the new Google Ads campaign for our client, we had 5 main campaigns organized by the different types of prospective clients we wanted to attract. Each prospective client had different keywords and we weren’t sure which was going to perform the best. By separating them into 5 campaigns, we had the ability to allocate our total budget across them differently.
This brings us to budget optimization. We quickly determined that some of these campaigns were performing better than others so we allocated more of the total ad budget to the top performing campaigns (and reduced the budget for the poor performing campaigns).
Over time we actually paused 2 of the 5 original campaigns and created a new campaign targeting a new audience group that we had identified during our optimisation. That dramatically improved the cost per conversion because we were focusing all of our budget on the top performing campaigns and best converting keywords.
It sounds so simple, but this was a huge factor in the overall account performance.
2. Bid Modifiers & Optimization
Now that you have the proper budget allocated across your campaigns, it’s time to look at your ad performance during different times of the day and across different devices. This is called Schedule Optimization.
Typically, when you launch a campaign that is driving phone calls you’re going to only show ads during normal office hours. That’s an easy “cheat” to avoid spending your budget during hours when no one is available to answer the calls.
In our case, our client wanted to drive leads via a webform so it wasn’t obvious which hours to block. Rather than guess, we let the data decide. As we started to collect click and conversion data, we were able to determine which hours were most effective for our campaign. We found weekdays between 5 am to 11 am worked best so we boosted bids during those time slots and lowered bids during other times when performance wasn’t as strong.
We also found there was much more search volume for mobile devices versus computers or tablets. When I look at performance from September through February, then here are the conversion rates for each device:
• Mobile = 7.42%
• Computers = 9.69%
• Tablets = 4.81%
Clearly, our bids can’t be the same across all devices if the conversion rates are so different. That’s why we used device optimization to adjust our bids per device and ensure we’re getting the most conversions at the best price for each device.
Again, a simple change that had a big impact on ROI.
3. Optimise Your Ad Extensions
While there are several Ad Extensions that you should include in your ad, to get started we recommend using Call Out Extensions, Call Extentions and Sitelinks
- Call Out Extensions. As these are not clickable links, we typically use callout extensions for short unique selling points and promotional offers. For example, if you specialise in local area services, or you have a limited time 10% discount offer, then you can promote it using a callout extension.
- Call Extensions. These give your customers the ability to call you directly from your Google Ad rather than visiting your website. This works best if your ad is well crafted with a strong call to action, and consider this, over 60% of searches in Australia are from a mobile device and users are more inclined to click to call rather than visit a website.
- Sitelinks. Sitelinks take people to specific pages on your site such as your contact page, product page or FAQ. When someone clicks or taps on your Google Ads Sitelinks, they go directly to what they want to know or buy which results in a higer conversion rate.
Get Off Autopilot
My client had been running their Google Ad through a big Perth Agency for a number of years before they reached out to Eurisko. It turns out that their activity had plateaued for sometime and that their interactions with the agency had certainly decreased overtime to the point where little oversights missed and campaign errors were becoming common place. It was almost like their Google Ads account was achieving its very modest goals, so it was set to auto-pilot. Sound familiar?
What would a 25% change in your marketing activity mean to your business? Contact me, and lets find out.
If you’re running a Google Ad campaign but looking at ways to save your marketing budget without comprimising your performance, now is the perfect time to get a healthcheck from Eurisko with our Google Ads Audit. Like Dungeons & Dragons, Google Ads can appear to be quite difficult for many businesses to pick up and learn. However, once you apply the 3 “tips” above, I’m confident you’ll be well on your way to a successful ad campaign.