7 Advanced Google Ads (Adwords) Optimization Tips from a Former Googler | Ben Lund | Skillshare

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7 Advanced Google Ads (Adwords) Optimization Tips from a Former Googler

teacher avatar Ben Lund, Founder - Rise Marketing Group

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Top 7 AdWords Tips

    • 2. Device Segmentation

    • 3. Creative Excellence

    • 4. Audiences

    • 5. Location Settings

    • 6. Responsive Ads

    • 7. Partner Network

    • 8. Automation

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About This Class

Over the past 4 years at Google I've been in Google Ads (AdWords) on a daily basis and know all of the nuances with the platform and how to squeeze out the best performance from it. With that, I want to share top AdWords optimization tips to maximize the return on your investment. This covers:

1) Location settings (it sounds simple, but there is a setting all advertisers should know about).

2) Audiences - adding audience segments to search campaigns.

3) Creative excellence - best practices to load up your ads to achieve higher quality scores, more clicks and cheaper CPCs.

4) Device segmentation - all devices do not perform the same, how to identify this and take action. 

5) Automation - take advantage of Google's automated bidding to maximize the return on your investment (and save time!). 

Meet Your Teacher

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Ben Lund

Founder - Rise Marketing Group


13 years digital advertising experience including the last four at Google. Previous to Google I was at major media entities such as RKG ad agency (since acquired by Merkle), Yahoo! and Monster.  Throughout my career I worked with enterprise companies (Nutrisystem, Philips, Aspen Dental, Weight Watchers, Equinox Fitness, etc.) literally helped companies make millions off of AdWords and now want to scale my expertise to benefit more people and businesses. 


Currently I'm the founder of Rise Marketing Group (www.risemkg.com) which offers full service digital advertising and a DIY marketing blog, DIY Digital Strategy (www.diydigitalstrategy.com).

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1. Top 7 AdWords Tips: What's up, everybody? I hope everyone's having a great day s o this course I created. It's It's kind of like a phase two of my AdWords course that I have on this platform without first course is very much how to create your AdWords account. How do you link it with Google Analytics and without it out, best practices within. But this is taking a step further. So now, as you have some data or you have the basic account set up now I'm gonna break down top seven Edwards optimization tips, and this course is very fast. It's only half our along, but I promise you it packs a punch. And these air top seven Edwards optimization tips that I believe have the biggest impact as it pertains to account performance. So few things that I'm going to cover or seven to be specific is one location. Settings had sound. Super symbol, Um, by Edwards is very nuance, and if you don't check one thing right, you your ads will serve outside the area that you're targeting or have a high chance of serving outside that area. Next, audience segmentation hiking add very rich audience context signals to your search campaign . Next, What I call is creative excellence, and it's not so much how to write a good ad, but rather how to set up your ad groups. So that way you have sufficient enough ads as well as your just loaded up with that extensions and what that positive impact it is from that next device segmentation. Each device behaves differently, whether mobile devices or computers. And I should be thinking about that and how you can review performance based off of device . From there. Gettinto automation, which is, I feel like the Holy Grail as it pertains to digital advertising. You can do extremely well with automation. I'm gonna break out some thoughts of how you should get started with automation specifically from a bidding format. Next is, as you have display campaigns or re marketing campaign, uh, type of creative that works out extremely well. Um, I'm gonna provide that for you and then lastly, search networks seems simple. You have a few different options of networks that you should advertise on. One will definitely take performance. Eso avoid that one on, then the other one is okay, but I'm going to break down this for you and then also share. Um, how if you're advertising on these different networks how to take a look at performance and how Teoh how to optimize accordingly. Um, So again, this is a quick course, Um, only half hour long, but it packs a punch. If you have any feedback, feel free to hit me up at any time. Thank you. 2. Device Segmentation: The next step that I want to share with you guys is device segmentation. Now a lot of marketers will go into their kind of like, OK, you know how my performing and having a few columns like Conversions and you see your investment like Okay, in the average cost per click. Like all right, on average this campaign. Doing well depend the business outcome. You can make that decision, and then if it's working well, you increase. If it's not, um, you know, you pull back a little bit. With often overlooked is the performance by device. Your performance by devices going to vary significantly Mobile is often times a research tool. People may not take action on their mobile device, but said they'll do research, find your business and then convert on desktop. Um, but that's not always the case, but what I always recommend. Once you have data hit segment, this is the campaign view by device. Add in a few meaningful columns, such as conversions caused, and then what you can see is the performance by device. And take a look at this right here. You see for rise Marketing group Um, computers has a relatively low click through rate mobile. The click through rate is very high. Mobile has cheaper cost per clicks most My money was spent on mobile, but then it also drove all the conversions that I had, which were leads to my site. So in this case, Mobile didn't really well, um, But what you can do is you can actually segment. You can actually place bid adjustments based off of performance off your in a campaign, go to down a devices, and you can place bit adjustments. Because if one device performs really well, another dozen like, for example, maybe tablets. You know, I don't have much data here, but if it doesn't perform, I might say, I don't want to serve on Taylor. I only wanted to run mobile. Or maybe I only must survive computers, but check performance by a device. It will very, um, and let the data tell you the story. If all three devices work equally great, but chance are you gonna have one that performs the other focus on the top performing devices 3. Creative Excellence: all right now, time for the third advanced Edwards optimization that you could make to your account that strongly recommend any again. This is coming from experience, working directly Google for the past four years. Now this is has only to do with the creative. Um, there's two aspects of this within I'm gonna go into on my search campaigns. And within every ad group, it's highly recommended to have at least three different ads. It sounds tedious, Um, but what happens is Google will automatically optimize and serve the ads that are most likely to have to perform the best, um, automatically in the background. So it's recommended to have at least three different ads within each ad group. Now it doesn't have to be anything crazy you can. Simply What you can do is just maybe change the headline a little bit. You can see what I'm doing right years You rise Marketing group at rising kg dot com, led by former Googler Um, that's that. That's the second ad, But then the first ad, everything is the same. The only thing that's different is Google Ads Marketing agency, then led by former Googler, make these settle two weeks. And then what Google will see is one ad might have a better quality score or has a higher chance of performing, and it's going to favor that one. But do yourself a favor. Just take two extra minutes for every ad group. Just create a couple extra ads and then let the system auto optimize. So that's one for every age group. Have at least three ads number to leverage. All add extensions, go to add extensions and then hit everyone that's relevant to your business. There's a few reasons why I'm recommend this one is Google. Straight Out said that adding extensions increases the quality score increasing the quality score has a direct correlation to ranking on the page, so them, or the higher the quality score. Google, saying that's equality. Add in the U rank higher up on the search engine results page by not even necessarily paying higher CPI sees or cost per clicks. So load up your ad with his many add extensions as possible. Not only are gonna be able to drink a little bit higher, but also you're just adding more text to your ad and giving users more more information up front before they've been clicked. Because if you give them so much information out front, they may say, You know, this actually isn't a fit for me. That's great. That means they don't click and you don't pay for that click or they might say, Wow, this is really awesome. I love what this individual is offering. I'm going to click it. So let me break this down. You have the site link extensions. Um, this is just a deep link to your site color extension. These air non clickable extensions. They're just differentiators that you can add on, like I have a few like over 1500 students rated No. 4.9 out of five, etcetera. Um, let's go back to extensions. Structured snippets, these air different services that you offer or courses brands, etcetera. It's non clickable, but at it, if it pertains to you colleagues tensions. If you want phone calls, definitely add this. That way people can give you a call right from the ad message extension. I really like these. Um, we're all under mobile phone. Sometimes people don't want to call, they don't want email. They just want to text you. Add that location extensions. If you have a brick and mortar physical location that you want people to stop by and visit , add that is going to show your address and people can even click it to get directions. Affiliate location extensions. This is only relevant for manufacturers for manufacturers out there. They're listening. What you can do is then, um, have a location extension, but to big box retailers that sell your products such as you know, Target and Best Buy buy. Imagine for the most of you out there. This probably isn't relevant. Price extensions. You can list your pricing structure up front epics engine if you have an app, include it and then promotion extension if you have a promotion, whether that be $50 off for 10% off, whatever that might be at it. But bottom line, just load up your ads with his many addicts centers is possible because again it's gonna heavier and said, apart from the rest, you're gonna give use are way more information than they would have otherwise received to understand if they should be clicking to your site or not, because if it's not relevant for them, you don't want them to click. You don't want to pay for that. Um, And then third, you're gonna you're gonna rank higher, and Google's going to reward you for that. So that is Ah, that is the third opportunity. Make sure you have three ads, parade growth, and then load up your ad groups or yeah, your head groups with all relevant extensions. 4. Audiences: all right, So the next step I have is audiences. Now, search is great because you only reach users who are searching for the products and services that you're looking for, right? Makes a lot of sense. But over the past five years, this whole idea of audience targeting within search came, came in to be, and it's extremely powerful. So what it allows us to do is now a rich people that are searching for products and services but also giving us additional context behind that audience. So, for example, were they not, were that my previous site? Are they passed customer? Or does Google have information about them based off of past search history or just what they're looking at online? And if we add these audiences to our search campaigns, we can see some a significant increase in performance. And I'm gonna show you how you can do that and then how you can review the data and then act upon it. So I'm just gonna click one of my campaigns. I'm gonna go to an ad group and I'm gonna click into audiences and right off the bat, everybody should add in these audiences. Um, so click audience and to this ad group. Sounds good. Sorry, it's at the campaign level, Um, so there's two options when you're adding audiences. One is you can just Onley target an audience so you can target. People have previously been to your site or based off of segments that Google has information. I would I wouldn't do that because then your way to target it in your approach, because that means two criteria has to be met. One is they need to be searching for your keywords, and also they need to be in this audience on said Always Click the second, which is observation. And then there's a few audiences that you can do. One is thes Air Google audiences that are available. So what I selected for my campaign is you can go in and market whatever you sell. You can likely find an audience that fits, but in this case, it's anyone who is in who's been doing research for advertising and marketing services. So I added that as an observation, Another thing that I would recommend to add and have this at the campaign levels are going to go. There is remarketing lists now, my other class that I offer on skill share. I talked about how to set up your re marketing list, but what you can do is this is integrated with an Edwards is Then add in these users of people who have previously been to your site and maybe even people who hit, check out. And it is an observation and what's gonna happen when you go to your campaign, you're going to see you're gonna start seeing performance data, you're gonna start seeing performance data and what you can see over time. And right now, I don't have a lot of data so that I can't draw any conclusions. But what you're gonna see over time is that certain audiences might outperform, um, users who you don't have any audience data of or additional context. And when you find that out, what you can do is you can place bid adjustments for each audience. So, for example, in time, maybe anyone who's previously been to my site is gonna outperform those who didn't previously been to my site. That's usually the case. And then, in that instance, I would create a place a higher bid adjustment for those audiences or we might have an audience that just for whatever isn't just doesn't perform. Let's bid down. But any time you can add audience information onto search keyword search, it is just It brings your account to a whole new level, and a lot of people been extremely successful at this. And Google just released on Lee this past spring these other in market audiences to search , which was previously only available to take advantage of on display. So across all your campaigns, ad and relevant audiences as an observation, review the data and then you can make bid adjustments over time. And if you have any questions, just hit me. I'm happy to help you guys out. 5. Location Settings: everyone s. So I am going to give the top five tips that I have when managing your Edwards account. And this is beyond, um, beyond the basics of just setting up your keywords and your ads. Anyone can do that. But I'm going to give you these five techniques that will either save you a lot of money or to help you make a lot more money. And some of these, um, you seem obvious but are often overlooked. So I'm going to dive into it is the first thing that I want to share with you, our location said in. So this seems so incredibly obvious. But it is a significant, um, pitfall to a lot of people. So I'm in my own Edwards account because I advertise for my business, which is rise marketing group rise, m k g dot com. But I'm showing you this account just because there's riel data in here and I don't really spend that much, maybe about 100 or so every month. But you know, it works. Um, but I'm I say this because I'm not showing my client's accounts is just the account that I advertised within. So if I am in my Edwards account. I'm going to go into a campaign and I'm in brize campaign and I'm gonna go to settings and , um, you know this. You see locations right here and it seems very straightforward, like, OK, I'm gonna target and in the U. S. Awesome. Cool. But here's the trick. Go to location options. This is really, really interesting and can be can be a downfall to a lot of advertising campaigns. Even though this lander here say this is recommended people in or who show interest in your turn to locations Absolutely. Do not click that, um, it says it's recommended it, but in my experience, especially working for Google for four years, it's not recommended. Instead, check people in your target locations and now let me break this down. What this means is people in or who show interest in your target locations. This means that if someone showed an interest in the United States, so, for example, let's say if someone is in Berlin and they're thinking about busy in the United States may be taking a trip to New York City if within their search history, they did searches for new York City. So maybe whether New York were things to do a tourist, etcetera. They would be qualified, um, within my campaign to reach them because they have shown interest in my location. Now, the intention by of Google doing this is actually it's good, for example, like if you offer service in a specific city and someone's doing research in that city, Yeah, maybe they might be in market for your service, but chances are no. And I would highly recommend it against clicking it. So just click, click this, um and I'm going to give you if if you have the above selected, I'm gonna show you where you can actually see if you're serving outside the United States or your targeted go to locations, then go to geographic report, then go to user location report, and then you can see everything. But literally, this happened to me no more than two days ago. One of my clients that, um I was doing an audit for them. They wanted to see how their AdWords campaigns was set up, and I just looked here. I went to the user location report and I saw, Yes, they're serving the U s. But then they're serving all over the world. But they're only their business only services users in the U. S. So huge. Pitfall seems very straightforward, but I just want to call that out. So location settings again hit that second option. So that's the first tip. 6. Responsive Ads: So next I'm gonna talk about ah, re marketing creative. So re marketing is very much a display product, and you're gonna serve banner ads to people who live visited your site. Now I want to share just like a quick recommendation that highly recommend and it's called Responsive adds to use as a as a creative. So what I really like about responsive ads and I think I'm actually gonna show you an example is these ad formats that Google provides work extremely, extremely well because they auto fit within any page across the web. And they're just auto optimized to learn the best of performing combinations to work really well. So if you're in an ad group, what's a remarketing? And then I'm going to go to ad formats. These air examples This is just untold company that leads to manage advertising for but in this company is ah is no longer around. I was actually just a fun side project. My brother and I did for a little bit, but, um, how it works is you upload a few images, um, images. If you have local upload it, you're at a headline short headline, long headline description very much like a search ad format. But what it does is it combines all of these elements together to to an ad form. And it's called responsive ads because, as you can see, based off of the ad slots available within the Google display networks two million plus ah network of sites it will automatically adjust. So, for example, there's about 40% of the inventory out there. That's Onley reserved for text only adds. Now, if you upload just a standard banner ad with tax included, you'll be missing on 40% of the inventory. Additionally, not only does this auto optimize towards the ad formats that are available to serve on, but additionally it auto optimizes against itself of different components and combinations that perform really well. So my recommendation always do responsive ads for any type of display campaign, especially American campaign, and just upload a bunch of ad assets and let the system just automatically auto optimize and makes your job so much easier. And it really puts together some really awesome creative 7. Partner Network: So this next Edwards optimization tip is the search networks. So I'm gonna log in again one of the campaigns that I'm running right now. And if I go into the settings option of the campaign, you're gonna see a few different options available and right here like this is absolutely critical. If you click the wrong button, Um, performance is just gonna go haywire. So right now, if you have a search campaign, you're gonna be in the search network and then it gives you an option for Google Search Partners. I was saying Sure, give it a try. Um, in a second, I'm gonna show you how can you review performance between google dot com search as well as the search partners, which consists of literally hundreds of other smaller search engines? And it could even be like cable riders like Comcast, where they have ah, home page and you can actually do a search in Google powers that. But you conserve ads on it, so I always say, include it. Um however, I would strongly strongly strongly avoid, including on the display network for a search campaign so many times this is automatically defaulted to including it But if you have this included, performance is gonna be off. You search just will not work for you. And if you have any instances where it does feel free to send my wakes I love Teoh Love toe . See an example. So and I'm gonna explain for a moment. Search works really well because you're only reaching users as they're searching for their products and services that you offer. However, if you expand to the display network, you're not gonna really reach users as they're actively searching for your products or services. Instead, you're gonna reach users that might be reading about content somewhat related to the products and services that you offer just based off of Google's matching technology. But it sounds cool, and it sounds like it could be effective, but it really is in. There's a stark difference in performance or for someone who is actually searching for your products and services and you being there. The exact moment intent for someone just reading a site that might be loosely about what you provide. Now there is a time and a place for display campaigns and even that type of targeting, but by bucking and together with search campaign? Um, that's not that would be it. So let's say you have the search networking Google Search Partners included, and I'm gonna go to all campaigns and I'm gonna show you how you can segment performance. So if I go to what's do for fun, go all time, go to segment network with search partners and I had a customized my columns a little bit. So maybe you'll dio cost per click and some of these campaigns I had conversion tracking on some I didn't, but what you can do is you can see how each perform. So, for example, this campaign that Iran of this is actually a long time ago we could see the search partners had very inexpensive CBC's need. That's usually the case. It's usually much lower. Um, but the engagement rate was also much lower. But what I would really look for is how many conversions that you're giving and the cost per conversion that looks like actually did the could have conversion tracking on it. So let's just open this up, Teoh cost per conversion so you can see what didn't make sense for my business. Now, in this case, my cost per conversion for the search partner was $17 compared to Google Search, which is only four. So in this case, I would say Cool. I'm glad we tried it, but not if it for me. So those are my quick recommendations as it pertains to the search partners as well as other networks that you should or shouldn't be advertising on for your search campaign. 8. Automation: All right, everybody. We covered a ton so far. Um, but I'm saving probably the the best for last, and this is bidding automation. And what this? What I'm going to get into is what our bidding strategy is now. Currently, you know, most marketers bid manually, so if they go down to the keywords, they'll have, you know, certain cost per clicks that their that they want to achieve, whether it's a dollar $3.10 dollars, whatever, and they bid manually. Now that is certainly in the way of the past. Google is by far the leader, and automated bidding and ghoul has amazing tools where you can have the system automatically bid for you to achieve the best business outcome for you. And I've tested automated bidding. When I was at Google for very large, large nationwide to clients, I had full scale marketing teams just in AdWords manually bid in, day in and day out. And what we found is that the machine Google's bidding machines outperformed manual bidding even by a team of marketers, because Google is so much more context behind the user user based on performance based off where the user is in the states the time of day, the day of week. What device? That they're on What browser? If they're on a WiFi connection, or is it a cellular connection? All these variables have a significant, um, impact on performance, and Google understands that. So by leveraging Google's automated bidding options, you can take advantage of that. So if I'm in a campaigning, gonna break down if you a few ways on how you can do this. So if I'm going to an ad group and then I'm gonna go into settings now, actually, sorry, go to the campaign, got ahead of myself. There, go to bidding. And then there's a few opportunities. One is if you're just starting out and this campaign is actually relatively new, and I don't have much conversion data rolling. And yet my recommendation said it to maximize clicks and that maybe set a maximum cost per click bid limit. This way, the system will just any time that there's a pocket of efficiency that other advertisers aren't in the auctions. It will just put your ad in those slots just to get very efficient clicks. Um, however, when you do this, make sure that these keywords are the search queries are relevant that you're mapping too. And I'm just gonna deviate real quickly by going keywords and then go to search terms and always reviewed these just to see if you're serving on any negative over and and Nikki words that aren't relevant. And if they you see any that aren't relevant, add in specific keywords. Um, so anyways, going back to bidding. But I say this because within the strategy, Google insert you in different auctions where other advertisers just may not be present may because they hit their budget or whatever. But as you're serving on those in those auctions, just always check your search query report just to make sure that those are very relevant keywords. So getting back to bidding if you're just starting out do maximize, Click said, is maximum CPC bid limit, and then always check this help increase it conversions with enhanced CBC. What this means is Google will, um, take some of its own data to Teoh. Try to serve your ad to people who are more relative, more relevant and who have a higher likelihood of conversion so Google may adjust your cost per click slightly either up or down, dependent on likelihood of of purchase or conversion. You bet. So, if you're starting out, do that now. I'm going to hit, change bid strategy and go through a few things. Avoid manual CPC. Um, if anything doing hand CPC, which is just manual bids and then by enabling this Google adjuster bid slightly based off of expected conversions. But if you're starting off, start off with maximize clicks next. Only when you have around 15 to 30 conversions in there in a particular campaign over a three day period, then you can really have some fun with automated bidding. And the system will really drive awesome performance. A few options If you have a cap budget where you let's say you can only spend $1000 per month or 500 whatever it might be hit maximize conversions. What this will do is Google's acknowledge that budget limit that you have like Okay, I understand we can't exceed this budget, but I am going to bid to just maximize and drives many conversions as possible. Um, next is if you're not budget constrained, you like, hey, if Google hits this certain cost per conversion threshold. More is more. Just sky's the limit. Go target. Cph. What this means is you can set a limit for every conversion event. Let's say you want to spend $25 for conversion. Google will hit that, and then just open up your budget limits because Morris more next target return on ad Spend . If you are funneling revenue data into Edwards, you can set a return on ad spend. So maybe it's 200%. So for every dollar you put in, it needs to be double in return. Um, that's probably one of the more sophisticated strategies. A few things I would not dio target Search page location. I don't like it. You should never be bidding based off of position on the page. You should really be bidding towards out outcomes like conversion events. Same would target ranking share. This is if you want Teoh outrank a certain domain. Don't even don't even compare yourself against competitors. Compare yourself against, um, business outcomes. So my recommendation. Do you maximise cliques within hand? CPC. Once you have at least 15 and 30 conversions, either go to maximize conversions if you have a set budget. If you don't have a set budget and the sky's the limit and turn your target C p a and go with it. Typically ill recommend what the target C p a is in. What that should be is probably about your historical cost per conversion that you've been receiving over the past 30 days. Um, but yeah. Automation. Highly, Highly, highly. Suggest this if you have any questions, hit me up. Wow. Is that Google is actually, um, in automation specialist for the vertical. I was in a ton of knowledge behind it, but the stuff works. So that about wraps up everything. I hope you got a lot of good nuggets out of this and hope to see this improve your performance.