How Long Does It Take to Optimize a Google Ads Campaign?
Why Advertise On Google Ads?
Google Ads enable companies to promote their products and services via targeted ads presented to potential customers. These in turn aid in increasing revenue by increasing brand awareness, or by focusing on specific niches of keywords to drive prospective buyers with high purchasing intent.
Setting Up Google Ads
Setting up a search engine advertising campaign is fairly straightforward. Once you visit the Google Ads, simply click Start Now and follow the guided setup. Google provides helpful tips along the way to get you set up in a matter of minutes once you have your ad copy already created. For newbies, Google provides a detailed checklist outlining how to set up Google Ads. This covers everything from organizing accounts into campaigns and ad groups, setting budgets and bids, keyword selection, keyword match types, and connecting to Google Analytics.
If you are a nonprofit with a 501c3 status, you would want to register for a Google Ads for Nonprofits account to be eligible for a Google Grant that can cover $10,000 in monthly spending of standard in-search text advertising. Pay particular attention to all of the restrictions when setting up your Google Ads account as a 501c3 nonprofit, as there are a number of restrictions you need to abide by to maintain the grant. Reach out to an experienced marketing agency like Prime Marketing Experts for help in successfully managing your Google Grant, especially given that you need to deploy specialized strategies to optimally manage the account.
Why Optimize Your Google Ads Campaign?
In order for your ads to perform well, they must be optimized. Google Ads rates your ad campaigns and assigns each keyword a quality score. This is an estimate of how each keyword performs. Along with the score, a list of recommendations is also provided to assist with optimizing each campaign. This is a diagnostic tool meant to give you a sense of how well your ad quality compares to other advertisers. Google states that while both optimization score and quality score are meant to provide actionable feedback to help improve the effectiveness of campaigns, it is the optimization score that provides a more holistic view of a Google AdWords account’s health. As such, optimization of google ads campaign is an integral process that ensures higher conversion rates and increased value for money on ad spend.
Before even thinking about optimization the actual structure of your google ads account is very important. As seen below your AdWords Account can have several Google Ad Campaigns active at once. These are then broken down into ad groups comprising targeted ads for various keywords.
AdWords Account Structure. Source: Wordstream
This approach adds structure to Google AdWords accounts and makes managing campaign optimizations a whole lot easier. This also ensures ads are relevant and targeted to a campaign’s ideal audience, based on defined keywords, the right location, and time. Once your Google Ad campaign is optimally organized and activated the real work of optimization begins.
How to Optimize Google Ads
Optimization involves tweaking specific areas of your campaign in order to strategically and effectively redirect advertising spend across ads, thereby improving performance and achieving campaign goals. This is a trial and error process based on how the ad campaign is performing. It is best to utilize a guided checklist to ensure key areas are covered and optimized. The main areas to focus on for Google Ads optimization are ad targeting, ad copy, keyword selection, and the quality of your landing page content and design.
Optimizing Ad Targeting
While setting up initial Google Ads campaigns, businesses go through a process of selecting the ideal target keywords they wish to rank for, however, until the ads go live the best mix of keywords for their keyword lists for each ad cannot be determined. In addition to keywords, other targeting factors are also of great importance in optimizing advertising campaigns. These include campaign bidding and campaign targeting.
Keywords – The initial selection of keywords forms a base for keyword optimization of campaigns. Once ad campaigns go live the performance of keywords for each ad needs to reviewed, revisited, and replanted, if necessary, in order to fully optimize. For optimizing keywords the following must be done:
- Ensuring only relevant keywords are utilized by removing those that may be generating clicks but not converting, thus saving ad spend
- Removing irrelevant negative keywords from negative keywords list which may not have been generated in recent searches
- Reviewing quality scores and removing all keywords with a quality score of 3 or lower. This will ensure better positioning of ads and maintain quality scores of other keywords in ad groups. Once lower quality scores are removed the remaining ones should naturally be edited and improved. The aim is to have them rank at least 7 or above.
- Revising keywords to include new relevant ones which are converting or trending
- Replanting high performing keywords together in separate campaigns to improve overall quality scores and to obtain more accurate reporting from Google
Campaign Bidding Strategy – The main goal of optimizing the bidding strategy is to determine the keyword level bids that will result in the most profitable conversions for each keyword. When optimizing a bidding strategy agencies must ensure that the cost per conversion for each ad is profitable. Thus effectively utilizing advertising budget across ad spends. This can be easily done by utilizing Google Ads conversion tracking, which is a free tool for measuring results.
Campaign Targeting – Each Google Ads campaign must be targeted based on geographic location, device (mobile vs desktop users) and time of day. All these factors need to be taken into consideration as they can significantly and positively affect campaign success once reviewed and strategically targeted.
Optimizing Ad Copy
In order to complement optimized ad targeting ad copy must also be optimized. This can be done utilizing split testing or ad extension.
A/B Testing – One useful tactic for optimizing ad copy is utilizing A/B Testing to test how different versions of ads are performing. Selecting the one that works best gets the higher click-through rate and which variation leads to more conversions.
Ad Extensions – Ad copy can also be optimized utilizing ad extensions. Google Ads recommends that you boost your ads with at least 4 ad extensions. These include site links, callouts, and structured snippets as well as additional ones to support your business goals, such as app extensions, location extensions, promotion extensions, and review extensions.
Optimizing Your Landing Page
Once ad targeting and ad copy have been optimized the next step is to ensure the actual landing page your ad redirects to on your website is optimized. This will convert website traffic into leads and sales. It is important to create a custom landing page and not simply redirect traffic to the homepage. The landing page content and indeed the page heading should speak specifically to providing the product or service displayed in the ad and not general content about the business
In general, a good landing page has the following:
- A Strong Headline
- Focused, Optimized Content
- Clearly Defined Unique Selling Proposition
- Your Offer
- Social Proof Such As Testimonials or Case Studies
- Credibility Indicators such as Memberships with Industry-Relevant Organizations
- Call to Action
How Long Does It Take to Optimize a Google Ads Campaign?
Given all the variables to cover when optimizing a Google Ads campaign, the timeline for executing the optimization strategy can vary from business to business. Factors affecting the timeline include how well the initial campaign was structured as well as optimization of ad targeting, ad copy and the actual landing page on your website.
Optimization is not a one-off task but rather a process of testing and trial and error to see what is working and improving the performance of a particular ad campaign. Results can be noticed in as little as 3 months, however, the process cannot be rushed. For truly effective campaigns optimization will take much longer.
Additionally, each time you optimize your Google Ads campaign, you will need to wait for enough data to determine how that change impacted the campaign. This happens every time changes are made and will thus lengthen the process further. Depending on the number and size of changes, this process can take about 1-2 weeks maximum.
As such, with effective and continuous monitoring and tweaking real tangible results and outcomes of a well-executed optimized campaign would only be visible after 6 – 12 months.
At Prime Marketing Experts we provide Integrated Sales & Marketing Growth Service and detailed optimization services to ensure ad campaigns are transformed into high converting assets for your company.
For more information on how we can help to optimize your Google Ads campaigns, contact us for a free, no-obligation 45-minute initial consultation sesssion.