Creating a high-performing Google Ads campaign is no simple task. Adwords has become increasingly competitive across every niche, and even the most skilled digital marketers can end up running unprofitable campaigns.
Despite what Google might tell you, good campaigns are not about getting clicks, but getting clicks that convert. Often, businesses trust too much in Google’s recommendations and metrics and don’t take the time to create the highly-targeted, hyper-efficient campaign structures necessary to actually see a return on paid media spend.
Remember, Google wants to make money off your campaign, and as I’ve written about before, Adwords campaigns can get really expensive. But there are some strategies for maximizing your campaign structure to make sure the clicks you do get are of the highest-quality and are the most likely to convert.
If you’re currently struggling to get a campaign to perform, there’s probably something off about your campaign structure. Here are 5 of the most common reasons I’ve found why your Google Ads campaigns might not be performing well, along with some advice for how to make sure your Adwords budget is only spent on the clicks that really count.
1. You’re Not Using Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs)
When it comes to your campaign structure, you need to use SKAGs. Although it takes more work for your marketing teams, SKAGs are the most effective way to perfect your ad copy and landing pages to match the user’s search query.
Creating one big Ad Group targeting lots of different keywords with only one set of ad copy is the most inefficient way to structure a campaign. In contrast, SKAGs allow you to create ads that match your keyword more closely. It’s far more efficient to target the highest-value keywords in your ad campaigns with hyper-specific ad copy and to send those clicks directly to optimized landing pages on your site.
Besides targeting and messaging, SKAGs also make it easier to determine if the clicks you’re buying will perform well or not. They are the surest way to determine if Google Adwords can be a profitable marketing engine for your business.
I’ve seen SKAGs outperform more simplistic campaign design by 2 to 3 times. The best strategy: Start with singularly focused ad groups and then slowly conquest new keywords via new SKAG campaigns as time goes on.
2. Your Quality Score is too Low
Google’s bidding model combines your max CPC as well as your Quality Score to determine which ad position to fit you in. If your campaigns have a quality score below 5, your performance is going to suffer as your competitors buy more clicks than you for less money. Higher quality scores mean lower CPCs, which improves your overall ROAS (return on ad spend).
In practice, a quality score of 8 or above will reduce your CPCs and make your budget get you more clicks. But if you’re not there yet, here are a few areas to direct your focus to improve your Quality Score.
- Make sure you use the keyword you’re targeting in the ad copy
- Get a higher CTR by maxing out your SERP real estate by using all of the Adwords extensions you can on every ad and taking up the full character limit
- Use the latest Google Ads format with 5 headlines, because more text real estate gets you more clicks and a higher CTR
- Optimize your landing page copy for the keyword you’re bidding on (my landing page optimizer tool is free for anyone)
- Follow my advice about campaign design with SKAGs, as 1-1 ratios between your keywords and the web pages where users land can significantly improve Quality Scores
3. You’re not Geotargeting
Geotargeting lets you target regions where your customers actually are. For local businesses, this is obviously key. But for national brands, it is still a powerful strategy because it allows you to reduce or eliminate bids from parts of the U.S. that are clicking but not converting well, pushing budget allocation towards clicks that will convert. – Read more