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    search campaigns - how to optimize them

    How to effectively optimize search campaigns?

    In the world of performance marketing, it’s easy to get lost in indicators, numbers, ratios and data. Often, we tend to focus too much on the technical aspects of marketing efforts, overlooking the fundamental issues that ultimately make the main difference in the success of our campaigns. 

    Optimize google campaigns

    For campaign optimization to be effective, it’s best to start by thinking about the body of the campaign, even before we get to analyzing metrics and evaluating effectiveness. The most important piece of this puzzle is to set a campaign goal, i.e. a KPI. Should it be sales, page visits, or perhaps form downloads? With a properly set goal, we will be able to clearly measure the effectiveness of a search engine campaign. 

    Determine the target audience you want to reach

    This is a basic optimization activity not only at the search campaign level, but any type of Google Ads campaign, indeed most marketing efforts, even beyond Adwords. When choosing targeting settings, think about who might want to buy your product, sign up to learn more about your company, or visit your site. A precisely defined target audience is half the battle. This will ensure that you display ads only to the people you consider most valuable to your business. A high quality of traffic coming to your site will translate into a higher conversion rate, and thus more profits for you and your business. Try to determine demographic factors such as age and gender, location of your target audience. Also choose the languages you want to target your ads to, as well as the country of sale. Remember that the ads and keywords you create should be in the languages selected in this section. You can add audiences for targeting based on their demographics, interests or online activity, or by selecting the remarketing option.

    Ad groups

    Dividing your campaigns into ad groups will allow you to examine the effectiveness of each ad group. Therefore, it is important to sensitively fragment your search campaigns. Each group should be related to what people interested in your products or services are searching for online. Let’s assume that your company sells shoes. You can create an ad group called “women’s shoes” in which you target ads for keywords such as “heeled shoes,” “boots on heels” or “boots.” You can then create ads related to this type of footwear and link them to the relevant section on your site. By creating more ad groups analogously, you will make a logical and consistent division, which will make it easier to manage subsequent optimization activities in the ad group.

    Most important-data-indicators-for-search-campaign-optimization

    If you have all the steps described above, it’s time to focus on the more technical elements of your campaign. While there are many coefficients you can pay attention to, I’ll highlight a few of the most important ones that usually determine the effectiveness of your efforts. I will present them in the order in which the user interacts with your ads.

    • Displays – as the name implies, this is a ratio of how many times your ad has been displayed to users. A display is recorded each time your ad appears on a search engine result page or any other page on the Google network. Highlights – there may be a situation where your ad displays at the bottom of the page and the user does not scroll down the SERP (search engine result page) to the bottom, thus not actually seeing the ad. This is not a dangerous precedent, as we pay for ad clicks, not displays, however, if you ever notice that despite many impressions, users are not clicking on your ad, you can try using a rate-setting strategy that will allow you to display your ad at the top of the search results. Take care of the displays if your marketing goal is to build awareness of your brand.
    • Clicks: a click is counted when potential customers click your ad. The number of clicks helps determine how attractive an ad is to the users viewing it. Well-tailored ads are more likely to get clicks.
    • Click through rate (CTR – click through rate): CTR is the percentage of people who came to a page using an ad displayed to them. The value of a good CTR will vary depending on the product or service being advertised, as well as the network on which your ads will be displayed. To increase CTR, focus on creating compelling ad text that is closely related to your keywords. Tip – we often focus on increasing CTR without considering the quality of traffic that comes to our site through ads. A high CTR indicates that the ad is inviting and users are eager to click on it, but this does not necessarily mean that they will find what they are actually looking for on the site. Ensure that your ads clearly communicate what the user will get when they click on them. This will allow you to attract users who are actually interested in your products or services.
    • Conversions: a conversion is counted when a user interacts with your ad and performs an action you specify. Conversions can range from purchases and registrations to phone calls to your business. When setting up conversion tracking, you specify what is counted as a conversion. To see the number of different conversions achieved, you can segment the data table by the action causing the conversion.
    • Average cost per click (CPC average): the average cost per ad click. It is the cost of an ad divided by the total number of clicks. This is one of the most important ratios you should pay attention to when optimizing your campaign. Depending on the strategy you choose, you can focus on lowering the cost of clicks as much as possible, thus getting more users in the same amount, or you can focus on getting more expensive clicks, which at the same time are of higher quality and more likely to lead to conversions. The average cost per click can vary dramatically, depending on your industry, keywords, the geolocation in which you display ads, or even demographics. That’s why it’s important to optimize cost-per-click from different angles, such as ad groups, for campaigns, product types, landing pages.

    Keyword optimization

    To effectively diagnose the effectiveness of your keywords, pay attention to several ratios that you will find in the Google Ads interface:

    CTR – described in the paragraph above. It can apply either at the ad level or the entire campaign level.


    Status: shows whether the keywords are active. For example, the “Relevant” state means that the keyword can cause ads to be displayed.

    Quality Score: allows you to monitor the Quality Score of your keywords. Quality Score is a diagnostic tool that allows you to see how the quality of your ads compares to other advertisers. The score is measured on a scale of 1-10 and is available at the keyword level. A higher quality score means that your ad and landing page are more relevant and useful to users searching for a given keyword compared to other advertisers. The quality score is calculated based on the combined effectiveness of 3 components:

    Click-through rate (CTR): the probability that a user clicks on an ad after it is displayed.

    Advertisement relevance: the extent to which an ad matches the intent of a user searching for a given keyword.

    Landing page quality: the degree to which the landing page is relevant and useful to the user who clicks on your ad.

    Each component is rated with an “Above Average”, “Average” or “Below Average” status. This rating is based on a comparison with other advertisers whose ads have been displayed based on the exact same keyword in the last 90 days.

    The ad’s performance is based on a comparison with other advertisers whose ads have been displayed based on the exact same keyword in the last 90 days.

    Focus on raising the quality score of the keywords you use so your campaign can achieve better results.

    Keyword Modifiers

    Keyword match types determine to what extent a keyword must match a user’s search term in order for an ad to participate in an auction. For example, you can use approximate matching to display an ad for more user searches, or strict matching to focus on specific user searches. 

    Exclusionary keywords

    With the help of exclusionary keywords, you can prevent ads from appearing in search results containing a certain keyword. If your business sells guitars, for example, but does not sell electric guitars, you can add an exclusionary keyword for electric guitars. Analyze users’ search terms and find and exclude those that generate low-quality clicks or have an unprofitable price/quality ratio. Exclude unrelated words from your campaign to make sure that users who type in search terms are looking for the products or services you offer.

    To make the campaign work well, test different ads, their effectiveness, the ad network, include a separate campaign if it involves different products. Rely on historical data, check traffic on mobile devices, it is a good idea to display different ads to a particular group. Not every group of ads needs to be separated in the same way, you can divide them from different angles. In each group, check whether what on the page corresponds to the ad, maybe you should redirect the campaign to another page, or set up a new campaign at all.

    In your campaign, set up an ad schedule, separate ad groups, collect remarketing lists. Adjust your rate-setting strategy, and acquire a report of search terms – you will do it with a single click. Perform A/B testing, so-called displayed alternation.

    The ways described in this article will help you effectively advertise your business and optimize the results of your basic level search engine and product campaign. If you’re already familiar with these ways, or are looking for others that may be effective, check out the article we wrote titled “Non-obvious ways to optimize your ad campaigns“. You’ll find tips and tricks we’ve developed from years of experience in the performance marketing industry. They will help you carry out effective optimization of your google campaigns.

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    Krystian Karasiński
    Krystian Karasiński

    Marketing strategist and SEM specialist with experience in team management. He has been involved in performance marketing for several years. His favorite area of interest is data analysis.