How to optimize Google Ads accounts: Money and Conversions
An optimization session always starts with two things in mind: 1. Money
The reason we start with the money is that it's the most dangerous, and the easiest way to lose an account is to overspend its budget.
Budgets are set, typically, at a monthly level. The client says we have X amount of money to spend this month, go get me the best results possible.
The first thing we do when looking at the money, determines how we are pacing towards our monthly budget allocation.
Depending on how we are pacing, that will determine how we optimize.
Therefore, the first question we need to answer is:
How are we pacing?
Are we going to spend the budget?
Are we going to overspend?
Are we going to underspend?
Looking at the above screenshot, this is a real account that I was optimizing. In this case, the budget allocated for the month was $10,000.
Take a look at the data - what would you do? Here is what I did.
I sent this message to the account team: “Hey team, we made some optimizations in Google Ads this month that cut out a lot of inefficient spend (i.e paused keywords that had a high cost per conversion). The account is not pacing towards its $10K a month budget. My recommendation is to set the budget at $5K for this month and reallocate the remaining $5K to next month in either Google Ads or LinkedIn Ads.
This will lower clicks to the site for March, but it will also lower the cost per conversion significantly. Let me know how this sits with the client. If she would rather have the volume, we can turn the old keywords back on.”
In the case of this client, even though they had allocated $10,000 for the month in Google Ads, it was not in the client’s best interest to try and meet that pace. Instead, if the client is willing, we recommend shifting the unspent budget to another channel or to the next month.
After we look at money, the second thing we look at is goals. It’s definitely not enough to just pace the account properly, you have to meet or exceed the client’s stated goals for the channel and/or campaign.
So we always keep the goals in mind as we are looking to optimize the account.
Most often, the goals are going to be recorded as “Conversions” in your Google Ads account…if it's set up properly.
If you are unsure of what the goals are, or if you are unsure of what Google thinks the goals are, go look in the MEASUREMENT -> Conversion tab in your Tools and Settings in Google Ads.
In this case, the client is a B2B tech company, so their goal is leads. Leads are most often going to be tracked as a conversion through a form fill on a landing page.
Getting back to optimizing, you’ve looked at the budget and you know you are underpacing. So you want to spend more money, but you want to spend more money wisely and with the client’s best interest at heart.
Therefore, we want to do our best to spend more money on keywords that convert. In order to do that, we need to take a look at our keywords and see which ones are converting.
Answer these questions:
Which keywords are converting?
Can we get more money into those keywords?
What is the best way to get more money into those keywords?
If we can’t get more money into the keywords that are converting, can we add new keywords that are likely to convert?
There are a variety of metrics that are going to help us answer these questions.
Conversions are the easiest way to see which keywords are converting, but that conversion column doesn't tell the whole story. You need to get lead feedback from the client and then compare that lead feedback with what you are able to optimize towards in the platform.
Search impressions are a great metric to see if we can get more money (i.e optimize) into certain keywords.
According to Google, “Search impression share” is the impressions you’ve received on Google search sites divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive.
Eligibility is based on your current ads' targeting settings, approval statuses, bids, and quality. Impression share data is updated daily.”
Said plainly, search impression share is a metric that tells you how many people saw your ad out of how many possible people could have seen your ad.
If you have a low impression share, that means you can get more money into that keyword. If you have a high impression share, that means you cannot get much more money into that keyword.
If you find yourself with keywords that have high impression share, it may be time to add more keywords.
This process is ongoing and one that should be part of an evergreen optimization cadence.
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