The holy grail of Google Ads is transforming dollars spent into dollars earned, which only occurs (if ever) via skillful and strategic management of countless operations simultaneously. In such a complex vortex of moving parts it is easy to overlook areas of opportunity that can assist in transforming your Google Ads account into a printing press for positive ROI.
Here are five strategies to increase Google Ads conversions:
- Reduce your bids. At face value this strategy sounds counterintuitive. However, in cases where you easily exhaust your daily budgets, strategically reducing bids produces more total clicks for the same amount of daily spend while also allowing ads to run for longer periods of time throughout the day. Assuming your conversion rate is predictable and stable, this strategy is especially effective at immediately increasing conversions. Keep in mind, however, that this is only effective in cases where your budgets exhaust or max out their daily budget caps. I wrote about this strategy at great length in my previous blog.
- Improve your landing pages. Too obvious, right? Stunningly, this aspect of Google Ads is frequently overlooked. Within the trenches of Google Ads only half of your battle is simply acquiring the click. The other half is entirely dependent upon what is accomplished after the click, which far too often involves sending visitors to homepages or under-optimized landing pages. A tight correlation should exist between the keyword being searched, the ad being served, and the landing page being utilized after the click. Every landing page should be tailored very specifically to its corresponding keywords, which can be accomplished by duplicating a successful landing page and keyword swapping where appropriate. This practice, though looked down upon by Google from an SEO perspective, is an effective paid search strategy. However, you should be mindful to purposefully block these "keyword swap" landing pages from being crawled via your robots.txt file.
- Check your keyword query reports. If you utilize any type of broad match keyword targeting, including broad match targeting with modifiers, it is absolutely essential that you monitor your keyword query report (located within the keywords tab underneath details >> all). The report allows you to see what keywords have been entered into Google that actually triggered clicks. By monitoring this particular section you can weed out unnecessary or unwanted clicks by adding them to your negative keywords list. Gradually, as your negative keyword list grows, the quality of your click-triggering queries will improve, which inevitably will increase your total conversions.
- Check your settings. Google is sneaky and often buries important settings that affect your traffic quality. A perfect example is located under "location options (advanced)" tab where the default setting targets the following: "people in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location." The latter part of that statement is especially alarming. By targeting "people who show interest in my targeted location" you are essentially trusting Google to display your ads to anyone in the country (and potentially around the world) assuming that person has ever expressed a passive interest in your location. How Google determines this remains mysterious, though the outcome is not good. Check your Analytics and you will most likely encounter stray clicks coming from different cities, states and perhaps different countries around the world. Depending on your business, these clicks could very likely be wasteful. It is recommended that you change your settings to "people in my targeted location" and that you elect to exclude "people in my excluded locations" as well.
- Adjust your bid multipliers. It is often beneficial to bid down or bid up within certain locations and with certain devices. For example, a technology company in Portland might be targeting the entire state of Oregon but receives higher quality leads from Portland. By adding a bid multiplier of +10% to all queries being conducted within Portland city limits, you can give yourself more exposure (and theoretically generate more clicks) in an area that actually produces conversions for you. Similarly, bids can be reduced. A perfect example is a website that fails to generate any conversions on mobile devices, in which case a -100% bid could be placed for mobile searches, thereby eliminating all mobile traffic.
By implementing a combination of these strategies you can eliminate wasteful spending overnight and consequently improve your total conversions as well as your cost per conversions. Good luck!