Google Ads Tips and Tricks For Your Marketing Campaign

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Google Ads Tips and Tricks For Your Marketing Campaign

30.10.2020

After months of testing in different locations, Google has rolled out its Discovery ads globally!

Savvy advertisers across the world can now rely on Google’s artificial intelligence and knowledge of their potential customers’ interests and behavior. To interact with them as they casually scroll through their favorite Google feeds.

Although “casually” isn’t perhaps the most appropriate term to use in this context.

Google claims that 86% of people are “on the lookout for shopping ideas as they watch videos or explore content across the web”.

This is especially pleasing after finding out Discovery Ads’ massive exposure reaches 2.9 billion people, in part through Gmail social tabs and YouTube’s Watch Next Feeds.

But before you rush to jump on the train, you need to reign in a potentially costly Google Ads faux pas! Do you think your click-through conversions tell everything about ad performance? Or do you think you have all the data to measure the performance of your Google ads?

It turns out—not quite.

Scale Your Ads Through Fine-Grained Targeting

Robust data is integral to the success of any advertising campaign.

In terms of availability, Google Ads is one of the most open channels, giving you enough data points to measure your ad performance, assess your user behavior, and borrow data-driven insights to strategically pivot your advertising efforts, and harness better results.

Thus, it tweaks out on how to market your startup or business. One of the sources of data that I just uncovered is the “Segment” button that resides in the Campaign section of your Google Ads account.

Know How TCF Google ads

Click on it and it will roll out a menu with metrics that shoot through the roof!

Time, Click type, Conversions, Device, Network, and plenty more—each giving you a new launchpad to explore your ad performance from a different angle.

Let’s look into some of the most crucial ones!

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Hit “Time” and Google Ads will segment out your conversions by, you guessed it, time! The most useful ones for us are by hour of the day or by day of the week. With them, you can easily pinpoint the day or precise hour range when most of the conversions were logged.

Here is our ad performance configured around day of the week. As you can see in the chart below, Monday outperformed all the other days in terms of the number of conversions and conversion rate alike.

Know How TCF Google ads

Maybe we should look into incrementing the daily ad budget on Monday to reach a wider audience?

Segmenting by “Click Type”, on the other hand, allows you to see where exactly your leads clicked on your ad. And the options aren’t as abundant here. It’s either the headline, the sitelink or the promotion extension, which usually includes a highlight about the limited-time deal or sale to add scarcity and make the ad look more click-worthy.

In the snippet below, you’ll see that the vast majority of our leads were hooked by our ad headline which compelled them to click and convert down the funnel, driving a massive 42K+ revenue!

Great job copywriters!

While disproportionately fewer, we also had users who landed on our page following a click on the sitelink or the promotion extension.

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Moving forward!

The data in the “Conversion” section, along with some other helpful metrics, sheds light on your customer journey from the very first interaction all the way up to conversion.

Do you know how much time your leads take to make a purchasing decision after seeing or clicking on your ad?

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In our case, most of our prospects converted within a day. However, we did have a few prospects who took 21-30 days to rethink a purchase before returning to the site to convert.

You’ll find that the time window between the first interaction and conversion is often directly correlated to the price of the product. Hence, if we were speaking about a high-ticket product, you would likely expect the conversion peak to be up a week after the ads were first launched.

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If we hit “Device”, we can see which devices our prospects used to make the purchase.

In our case, most of our leads converted through a mobile device. This drives us to think of ways to optimize our ads so they better fit the mobile interface and offer our leads a seamless navigation experience.

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The last section called “Top vs. Others” shows how our ad performance varies depending on the ad placement. Namely, these include the top or bottom surfaces of Google Search (remember Google allows a maximum of 7 ads on a SERP— 4 at the top and 3 at the bottom), Search Partners, Google Display and Cross Networks.

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I know this data overload may seem too overwhelming at first sight.

But trust me! Once you take the time to thoroughly analyze, these seemingly distinct data points will eventually align to map out a series of data-driven pivots you can use to ramp up your ad performance exponentially and drive significantly more conversions with an improved ROAS.

A Keyword Hack to Split Your Competitors’ Traffic

It’s fascinating how simple mistakes we make can surface possibilities we may have never considered before. One such insightful mistake happened to me this week.

As I was searching “Trello” in Google, I accidentally made a typo and ended up with “trellp” instead. It became the best typo that I had ever made in my life! Because… look at what I discovered.

A Keyword Hack to Split Your Competitors’ Traffic

Monday, a direct competitor of Trello, runs a Google Search Ad that targets the keyword with the exact same typo that I made —“trellp”.

The ad’s display link and following meta description frame Monday as a far better alternative. This will likely tap into Trello’s leads’ cognitive biases as they start to question whether the choice they are about to make is the right one. Maybe Monday is, indeed, a better alternative?

And seeking validation to their own rationale to put their minds at ease, click on the ad.

Once the lead is captured, it’s all left to Monday whether they’ll be able to keep the interest sparked and translate a would-be Trello lead into a loyal Monday customer.

You may be curious — why doesn’t Monday just target “Trello” instead?

And the answer lies in Trello’s marketing strategy. They are already running ads targeting their brand keyword and, taking into consideration how Google’s algorithms rank, Monday hardly stands a chance to beat Trello at their own keyword.

However, they are clever enough to target another variation—with the typo. Meanwhile, Trello misses on it and maybe gets to split its fair share of traffic (and qualified leads!) with its own competition.

Keyword Planner To Quickly Find Long-Tail Keywords

The right keyword research is instrumental to the success of any Google Ads campaign. While the market is inundated with various keyword research tools and extensions, our job as marketers is to seek out ones that provide the best insights with a friendly price tag. Better yet, absolutely free.

The Keyword Planner by CleverAds Chrome extension is exactly like that.

Once installed in your Chrome browser, go to your own page or any of your competitors’ to scan it just like in the screenshot.

Keyword Planner To Quickly Find Long-Tail Keywords

Once it’s scanned, the extension will roll out an exhaustive list of long-tail keyword ideas related to your business to target through Google Ads.

Keyword Planner To Quickly Find Long-Tail Keywords

But what’s even greater, the tool also displays the search volume of each, allowing you to filter out the most relevant keywords as it generates.

Udimi!

Udimi! Read that again—it’s not Udemy.

Udimi is a managed advertising marketplace, connecting buyers with sellers. Sellers on Udimi have their own audiences, ready to partner up with over 2 million customers and drive qualified traffic to their products.

know how marketing tools tcf

Sellers’ ratings on Udimi are based on reviews of their customers and their repeated orders ratio.

Udimi claims that their algorithms filter out any fraudulent clicks, ensuring their customers pay only for genuine prospects to view sellers’ offers.

I am about to test Udimi to promote one of our crowdfunding campaigns—Egret, a powerful disinfectant that cleans every surface at home and outdoors.

I normally would have been skeptical about a platform like this, but Udimi seems to be in line with all our requirements. And while my expectations are not very high, I am way more hooked by the significantly low CPC, or Udimi’s equivalent—price per visitor.

And who knows, maybe it does work.

Automate The Sense of Urgency in Your Google Ads

Tapping into your prospects’ sense of urgency is key to generating successful sales results. Especially on the last days of your campaign.

You can spice up your ad copy with the exact hours and days left — i.e. “last days to get 50% Off” or “3 Days left to catch the deal” — to inspire immediate purchases.

However, the frequent edits or stops to keep the countdown up-to-date tend to hinder your ads’ delivery. But this week, I discovered a clever solution inside Google Ads called countdown customization that automatically updates your countdown without your intervening at all.

You simply create one ad and the function automatically updates the days and hours remaining.

Countdown customization is available on ad level — in headlines or descriptions part. Simply type in {= COUNTDOWN()} and it will prompt a window to set your countdown.

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As visible in the screenshot, you can select the start and the end day of the countdown, the number of days to be run, and even modify languages.

You can set the timezone as your AdWords account’s or personalize it to that of your viewer.

Let’s say your sale ends at midnight across all the time zones where your target audience resides. If you use the ad viewer’s time zone option, someone in New York will see your ad read as “Sale ends in 2 hours” while someone in California would see the “Sale ends in 5 hours.” message.

Awesome, right?

If you set the Account timezone to midnight, the countdown will end when the clock strikes 12.00 am in your place although it may still be an afternoon on the other side of the ocean. It’s wise to employ this option only if you and your audience live in the same time zone.

Using the countdown functionality in Google Ads will dramatically increase your ads’ CTR thanks to the scarcity-inducing message, driving in waves of conversions on the last days of your campaign.

Target Your Competitors’ Audiences By Their Page URLs On Google Adwords

Google Adwords is insanely effective when switching between different targeting options to test each of them and find the ones that deliver the highest conversions.

Here is an advanced tactic on how to create new audiences inside Google Adwords.

First, go to the Google Adwords Audience Section, click on Audience lists, and choose Custom Audiences.

Google ads

Here you are given a choice to create either a Custom affinity or Custom intent audience.

Google ads

In the Custom affinity section, you can select and create audiences from interests, URLs (you can even paste the links to the competitors’ pages to target their audience), places and apps.

google ads

Once you’ve selected your targeting option, name it and your audience is ready to be tested!

Take the time to also explore your audience analytics in depth and consider pivoting your campaign with some of the Adwords’ suggestions (i.e. other interests you should focus on or info about the most convertible audiences based on gender, age, and parental status).

Google Ads

Google ads

In the Custom intent section of Custom Audiences, you can create audiences based on your keywords and search terms.

Google ads

Just pop any keyword in and Google will suggest thousands of new related keywords you can add and subsequently create new audiences around them. Once you have selected the audiences, you can now see the size of each.

Edit Your Google Ads Hassle-Free

If you have ever created an ad in Google Ads, you know that bulk actions require a more granular effort.

You need to add keywords one by one, locations one by one, and even audiences—one by one.

The manual routine at its finest!

While this may seem like an atypical break from the seamless automation streak, it will likely take just a few seconds before it becomes infuriating.

50 countries to add, another 50 to exclude, and just gazillion keywords each to be wrapped in 3 different punctuation marks to define their query match… Glad our Ads Pro Ani found that Keyword Wrapper extension at least!

But this week I discovered Google Ads Editor—the revolutionary way to manage Google Ads. This software can be easily installed on your laptop to streamline bulk actions within any campaign set up on your Google Adwords account.

To eliminate all the hassle, I’ll even share my handy location and keywords lists, so you can copy or make edits to customize them to your own campaign specifics.

Side note: The sheets are all on view mode. To access them, simply login to your Google account, click “File” in the top left of the menu bar, and click “Make a copy” to create your own copy.

Locations, Negative Bulk

Keywords, Negative Bulk

Now let’s visualize the process step-by-step, starting from the installation.

Type in “Google Ads Editor” in Google’s search bar, click on the first result and you’ll be immediately redirected to this page.

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Press the blue button to start downloading Google Ads Editor.

Once installed, save it on your laptop and run the software.

In just a fraction of the second, the Ads Editor’s dashboard will appear on your screen. Press the “Add” button overlay.

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This will redirect your Google Ads account to choose the “Open browser to sign in” option.

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Next, this screen below will pop up to choose the email you’ve created your Google Ads account with. Then press “Allow”.

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You’ll soon see your unique code to activate the Ads Editor application.

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Paste it in the browser window opened and push “OK”.

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That’s it. Now let’s start the party!

Checkmark all the ad account(s) you want to download to your Ads Editor and hit “OK”.

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Now you just need to decide which campaigns on the given ad account you want to download.

You can be selective and download only specific campaigns while leaving others intact… Or you can download them all right off  the bat!

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Now hit “OK” and you’ll have your campaigns downloaded and segmented according to their attributes just like in the screenshot below.

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Now hit “Open account”.

Follow the 3 quick steps illustrated below to start editing your ad campaign.

Click “Keywords and targeting” in the sidebar, from the drop-down menu choose  “Keywords, Negative” and hit  “Make multiple changes” in the top overlay.

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All that’s left for you to do now is simply copy the respective keywords from the sheet shared at the beginning of my know how, paste it right into Ads Editor and hit “Process”.

the bat!

And you’re done!

Replicate the exact same steps to modify your list of locations and feel the breeze of bulk actions.

Deflect your focus from tiresome repetitiveness and capitalize on strategizing, while the Ads Editor takes care of all the automation.

If only there was something similar for Facebook Ads…

If you are familiar with Ads Editor and know other applications, I would love to hear from you! Comment them below and I will personally check them out and reply back to you with how it went.

Track The Performance of Your 100+ Ads Through Ads Scripts

Using Google Ads is great. Using Google Ads’ native scripts to make cool automations is even greater.

These scripts operate on your behalf and let you optimize your ads in ways you could have never done manually.

The Google Ads dashboard shows you all the metrics through columns and reports and helps you get a better grasp of the changes to make to boost your ads’ performance.

However, it can be overwhelming to dig into the individual reports of the hundreds of ads you are running to analyze, make edits, and keep the pulse on results as they come.

Every advertiser wants to run more ads, but we’re so lazy to do it manually. So these tiny Adwords scripts come as a rescue to save us from manual optimizations.

I know the word “scripts” may sound scary to many of you. But you definitely don’t need to be a geeky developer to wrap your head around it.

Because all you need to do is to find the solution that best suits your needs and simply copy and paste the corresponding code snippet into your ad account. Although a little JavaScript will definitely come in handy too.

As we always do, let’s break the process down into small steps.

To get started, first go to Google Ads scripts.

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Press “Get started”, you will see the following screen where you get instructions and the code to copy.

This is a test code for “generating 10 keywords with most impressions yesterday”.

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Copy the code from the snippet, then navigate to your Google ads’ account “Tools and Settings” section in the top menu and choose “Scripts”.

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Then hit the blue plus button to create your first script.

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Next, press  “Authorize” to grant your script an access to your ad account to perform all the operations on your behalf.

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To do it, choose your Google Ads account…

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And give it all the permissions it requires — don’t worry, it shouldn’t steal your identity!

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You will now be redirected back to the “Scripts” section where you left off to create and run your scripts.

Hit the plus button at the bottom to get started right away.

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In the window that pops up, give your script a name. I’d advise you to give it the exact script name as it is found in the library to make it easier to locate the script in the future.

Paste the JS script in the respective box and press “Preview” to see the results in the “Log” section. From here, you have two options: you can either hit “Run” to start running the script or you can save it to run it later on.

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The minute you start using scripts in your Google Ads, they will naturally embed themselves into your daily workflow. And once you start seeing significant results (and it won’t keep you waiting for long!), you will never stop experimenting with these powerful snips to elevate your ad campaigns to even greater heights.

Boost Your Google Ads’ Quality Score With Smart Keyword Insertion

If you want to improve your Google ads’ performance, you need to boost your quality score. A high-quality score places you in a better position to beat the Google Ads auction, ensuring your leads will see your ad upon making a relevant query.

This week I discovered an advanced option in Google Ads that will help you attain a higher quality score and garner your ad a more favorable position on a SERP. It’s called dynamic keyword insertion. This smart function allows you to replace a fragment of your ad headline with the keyword you target.

All you have to do is type in {KeyWord: <your keyword> } in the designated placeholder where you’d usually write your ad headline.

Let’s say you write in Buy {KeyWord: white chocolate}.

While processing the search, Google Ads will automatically replace the word after “Buy” with the keyword indicated in curly brackets if it matches the keyword in the search query.

As a result, your ad will only be displayed to qualified leads who will likely be interested in your product, substantially trimming your ad costs and increasing your conversions.

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Discover If Your Google Ad Appears For Your Target Keyword

Your Google ad likely targets an exhaustive list of keywords—a mix of both short- and long-tail, more or less competitive keywords. But will your Google ad appear every time your keyword matches the term in the search query?

The process isn’t as straight-forward as you may expect.

Every time a user searches for a term that matches your keyword by any of the 3 match types you’ve identified (exact, phrase, or broad), your ad enters an auction to determine whether and in which position your ad will appear in depending on the quality scores and bidding of your competition.

Running a simple Google search on your laptop won’t give you many insights!

Because first, you can’t attribute all your multiple audiences’ characteristics to yourself. And second, your Google search is personalized which, while not to a tangible degree, will still impact the ads and the order in which they’ll appear on your page.

But it turns out there is a very useful tool within Google Ads which shows whether your ads will be displayed when a relevant search query is made.

If you navigate to the “Tools & Settings” section in Google Ads, you’ll find the “Ad preview and diagnosis” under the “Planning” section.

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Here you can select a country, language, device, and audience (similar, custom, website visitors, and users who are not in any audience) to boil down the results to each distinct segment of your target.

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In fact, you can type in just any search term on the planet you want to scan results for!

But now let’s focus on the keyword that your own search ad targets.

In the first example, you can see that my search ad shows up for the long-tail keyword “tea machine kickstarter” when the query is conducted from the United States on a mobile device.

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In the second example, I entered the highly competitive “indiegogo” keyword. While my search ad does target the keyword, it doesn’t rank for it due to the many stronger ads fighting for a spot.

When an ad is not displayed, Google gives you a detailed account to explain the reason.

In this particular case, the reason why the search term didn’t trigger the ad to appear on the page was the low ad rank influenced by the bid strategy and quality score. This already provides enough guidance to introduce changes to this search ad, so it becomes more competitive to win the bids.

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Your Google Ads’ CVR Is Just A Piece Of The Puzzle

If you’re relatively new to Google Ads, you should at least know that conversions here fall into one of two distinct categories—click-through and view-through.

A click-through conversion, like any other advertising medium, is just a user clicking on the ad, prior to converting.

The Google Ads-specific view-through conversion, on the other hand, counts the times a user sees your ad, doesn’t click immediately, but converts after one or several days—depending on your chosen conversion time window.

So how can you distinguish between these two types of conversions?

It turns out that in Google Ads, the term “Conversions” and other conversions-bound metrics such as “Conv. value” or “Conv. cost”, include the click-through conversions alone. And as you can imagine, it may be quite misleading at times…

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To get your hands on the view-through conversion data, navigate to the columns in the right-hand side of your interface, choose “Modify columns for campaigns” from your drop-down menu, and check both “All conversions” and “All Conversions Value” boxes.

“All Conversions” is the all-encompassing metric that includes absolutely all conversions a Google Ad brought—click- and view-based alike. And so when we subtract Conversions (click-through) from All Conversions (click-through + view-through), we will be left with only view-through conversions. This same logic applies to the rest of “Conversions”- and “All Conversions”-related metrics.

In the snapshot below, you’ll spot quite a tangible difference between the “All Conversions” and “Conversions” data.

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For a second, imagine we didn’t know this hack…

We would have likely never learned that our ad, indeed, delivered a little less than double the conversions shown—which as we just discussed counted only the click-throughs. The other 17 conversions came through the view-through funnel as some of our savvy prospects just glanced through the ad and went ahead do some research or rethink a purchase, before actually returning to the site to convert.

Make It To Your Competitors’ Leads Inboxes Through Gmail Ads

I bet you’ve spotted a Gmail Ad at least once in your Inbox! Appearing as a regular unread email, their promo nature is signaled only through the tiny “Ad” tag in the subject, placing them (no surprise!) in the Promotions tab.

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Here is an inside peek into the typical Gmail Ad layout:

Powerful copy wrapped in an inspiring visual and accompanied by a clear call-to-action—the 3 pillars of any high-converting Gmail ad.

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And now the hack!

In the “Display Keyword” section of your Gmail Ads, include your competitors’ domains (i.e. example.com) and let Google scan your email bodies and subjects for the defined domain. By doing so, Gmail will start looking for emails from competitors’ audiences you target, and if the email recipient has a Gmail account, push the ad to their inbox too.

Once landed, headlines and texts are what will ultimately fuel the success of your campaign.

They should be insanely powerful to catch your prospects right away. You may also want to resort to the good ol’ proven psychology triggers and combine them with impactful language to create the desired emotional resonance. A great deal, a limited-time discount or a succinct yet authentic account of your advantages over your competition, will connect with and convert many of your prospects.

Pair it with some precise targeting, and you’ll see the results come in fairly quickly.

Time-Bound Cookies To Retarget Only Qualified Leads

By Lena Martirosyan

We tend to spend a lot of resources trying to capture our page visitors through retargeting ads and return them to our sales funnel. But the simple fact we overlook is that some fraction of our visitors, indeed, have never been our leads. Some of them may just have clicked on the ad and pogo-sticked the minute they landed on the page.

It’s OK. But with the steady influx of varied traffic to your page, how can you distinguish the hotter leads from the masses?

This small growth hack I came up with will help you capitalize on people who are more relevant to your business.

The idea is to hide retargeting cookies for a certain number of seconds and later retarget only those who spent more time on your website and, hence, are more likely to be interested in your product or service.

How to hide time-bound retargeting cookies? You need to incorporate a small piece of JavaScript code in your website. Enlist some help from your developers who’ll get the job done in minutes.

PPC keyword Wrapper for Google and Bing ads

In Google search ads, there are 3 main ways in which the user query keyword and your ad keyword can relate to each other:

  • Broad match, when the two keywords are semantically affiliated (“red blouse” and “pink color blouse”)
  • Phrase match, when they are synonymous (“red shoes” and “red footwear” or “girl shoes in red”)
  • Exact match, when they are identical (“red shoes for boys” and “red shoes”).

These 3 variations of keyword matching are differentiated by simple punctuation marks. The phrase match keyword is wrapped with quotation marks, the exact match—with square brackets while the broad match just stands for itself.

Google ads match types

You’ve probably used the quotation marks in your searches before, to find the exact phrase you typed, or to specify a word that HAS to be included in the search results.

For ads, we also previously had to include punctuation marks around keywords to signify each match type, manually. Just picture how tedious it was…

But with PPC keyword wrapper for Google and Bing ads extension installed, wrapping keywords is just 2 clicks away.

  1. Click on the extension and paste your list of keywords in the first window.
  2. Then tap on the Wrap button and you’ll have all your keywords wrapped and their phrase and exact match variations ready.

PPC keyword Wrapper for Google and Bing ads

What’s left for you to do is to just copy this wrapped list into your ad group.

Simple!

Google Gallery ads

Speaking of Google Ads – lately, Google enabled pictures inside the search results.

Its an Ad with swipeable carousel images, which users can click, expand into a vertical view to swipe through.

With the help of Google’s new mobile search ad format, you can upload from 4 to 8

______

What are your thoughts on some of Google AdWords tips and strategies shared in this article? Will you apply them to your marketing campaign?

Give them a try and comment on your results. We’ll be happy to hear how it went for you, and help you out if you have any questions.

TCF team

TCF team

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