Set up your campaign for success

There are several ways to improve the performance of a newly created ad campaign. This article offers tips to ensure that you’ve chosen the right settings for a successful campaign.

1. Set up conversion tracking on your website

Conversion tracking can give you insights to optimize your campaign performance. Conversions will show you what happens when a customer interacts with your ads – whether they purchase a product, sign up for your newsletter, call your business, or download your app. 

When a customer completes an action that you’ve defined as valuable, this action is counted as a conversion. To enable conversion tracking:

  1. Set up a conversion action for your account.
  2. Copy a piece of code called a “tag.”
  3. Paste the tag to your website. 

Learn how to set up conversion tracking for your website.

2. Use Smart Bidding strategies, like Maximize conversions

Automated bidding uses advanced machine learning to optimize the right bid for every ad auction. The majority of advertisers use some type of automated bidding because these bid strategies can boost performance, while saving time from manually adjusting bids. 

Smart Bidding is a subset of automated bid strategies that optimizes for conversions or conversion value. To access Smart Bidding, you’ll have to first set up conversion tracking. Without conversion tracking, you can still use automated bidding with Maximize clicks. Once you’ve set up conversion tracking on your website, edit your campaign’s settings to use a conversion-based bidding strategy.

We recommend using Maximize conversions because it optimizes for what’s valuable to your business, while reducing the time you need to spend on daily campaign maintenance. 

Learn how to change your bid strategy.

3. Expand your targeting

Targeting your ads to a small city or a few keywords can prevent your campaign from serving to customers. Alternatively, targeting to an area that is too large may bring irrelevant traffic to your website. Here’s how to avoid these common pitfalls.

Target locations where your customers are, not just where your business is located

Let’s say you run an e-commerce website. You’d want to target all the locations that you ship to, not just where your business is physically located. Regardless of how great your ad is, it probably won't perform as well if it doesn't appear in the right places. Keep in mind, you can adjust your location targeting settings at any time. 

Learn how to use location targeting.

Add as many relevant keywords as you can

Savvy advertisers invest time and effort into building a good keyword list. Try to imagine everything that your customer might search for when you select your keywords:

  1. Write down the main categories of your business.
  2. For each category, write down all the terms or phrases that your customers might use to describe your products or services.
  3. Plug those terms into Keyword Planner to get more keyword ideas and see estimates of how many people are actually searching for them. 
  4. Let’s say you sell men's footwear. You could start first with the basic category of "men's sports shoes." Within that category, you might add related terms like "men's sneakers," and "men's tennis shoes." You can then expand your list further by including your brand and product names, like “Acme men’s sneakers.”

Learn how to add keywords.

4. Spread your keywords into more than one ad group

Ad groups include ads to be shown to people searching for specific terms. A campaign can have several ad groups, each with its own ads and keywords. The ad content should be directly related to the keywords in your ad group.

Let’s say you run an online bicycle shop. You might want to have separate ad groups for children’s bikes, racing bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, helmets, and bike locks. The ad group for children’s bikes should have keywords related to this product, and one of your keywords should be in the headline text of your ad.

To break up larger ad groups into smaller, more specific ones, learn how to copy the ad group and edit the keywords within.

5. Write ads that directly relate to what your customers want to buy

Your text ad should mention exactly what your customer wants to buy. Here’s an ideal scenario: 

Someone searches for “24-hour flower delivery lilies.” They then see an ad with the headline “Order lilies fast - 24-hour flower delivery.” They click the ad and go straight to the flower site, where they complete their order.

Learn how to write successful text ads.

Tips for writing relevant ads

  1. Be clear about what you’re promoting. Include at least one of your keywords in your ad headline. If you've included “digital cameras” as a keyword, your ad headline could be "Buy Digital Cameras." (Remember that any use of trademarks in ad text needs to follow Google Ads trademarks policies.)
  2. Be relevant. Make sure you’re giving an answer or solution to your customer. For example, if they’re looking for a solution near them, then your location is the most useful information and should be added to the headline.
  3. Match your ad to the headline. Have a look at the page that you're linking to from your ad (the landing page), and make sure that the promotions or products in your ad are included there. People might leave your website if they don’t find what they expect.
  4. Make sure your ads follow editorial guidelines. In order to make sure all ads are high quality, every ad must meet high professional and editorial standards. That means no  extra spaces, sTrAnGe CAPITALIZATION, exclamation marks!, or unclear URLs, to name a few. Learn more about text ad requirements.

6. Include at least 3 ads in every ad group

It’s important to have more than one ad so that Google Ads can show the one that will likely perform best for each search. One headline in each ad should mention at least one of your keywords. For the other headlines and descriptions, each ad can highlight different aspects of your offering. 

Consider including text about these topics 

  1. Products or services: What does your business offer? For example: 
    1. Bouquets from Local Growers
    2. Certified Pre-Owned Cars
    3. Web Hosting Plans
    4. We Accept Most Insurance
  2. Benefits: How do your products or services help people? For example:
    1. Easily Post to Multiple Sites
    2. Hassle-Free Meals in 30 Mins
    3. No Cooking Required
    4. Two Convenient Locations
  3. Brand: What phrases use your brand? For example:
    1. [Brand Name]
    2. [Brand.com]
    3. Best Prices from [Brand]
    4. Official [Brand] site
  4. Call to action: What do you want your customers to do? For example:
    1. Book Your Hotel in Las Vegas
    2. Schedule a Test Drive Today
    3. Compare Over 100 Great Offers
    4. Sign-up Today for a Free Exam
  5. Inventory and selection: What categories, options, and selections do you offer? For example:
    1. 100s of Options to Choose From
    2. The Latest Winter Styles
    3. Supply of Over 50,000 Products
    4. 50 Styles in 50 Vibrant Colors
  6. Pricing and fees: What are your prices, taxes, or fees? For example:
    1. Book from as Low as $[number]
    2. No Cancellation Fees
    3. 0% Intro APR for 18 Months
    4. Very Low 0.05% Management Fee
  7. Promotions and discounts: What type of deals to you offer? For example:
    1. Up to 33% Off All Orders
    2. Weekend Deals Available Now
    3. Earn Double Loyalty Points
    4. Get Your $100 Sign-up Bonus

​7. Make sure you’re using at least 4 extensions

Most advertisers use extensions, and they’re essential to creating Search ads. If you’ve ever been searching on Google and seen an ad with a call button, extra links, an address, or other extra information, you’ve seen extensions.

Extensions make your ad larger and more robust, giving people more reasons to take action directly from your ads. Extensions are free to add, and typically increase your click-through-rate and ad quality. They only show when they’re predicted to get you better results, like clicks to your website. 

To get the most value from your Search campaigns, be sure to add at least 4 different extension types to your account or campaigns.

Learn how to boost your ads with extensions.

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