7 Tips for Increasing Your Google Ads ROI + A Bonus Tip

Published on: 19th August 2013

Google Ads have the potential to bring high conversion rates and unparalleled visibility when used correctly, but can also be equally disappointing when poor marketing practices are employed. As with every business endeavor, return on investment (ROI) is paramount, as it is the primary metric used to compare the efficacy of all advertising techniques. However, whether you’re able to achieve a desirable ROI with Google Ads or any other venue will ultimately depend on your own actions, not necessarily the quality of the network. So what can you do to maximise your Google Ads ROI?

1.       Use Landing Pages

When someone clicks your ad you have the ability to send them to whatever page you’d like, so why would you only send them to the home page? Instead, capitalise on every opportunity by creating custom landing pages that will cater to the needs of visitors based on the ad’s content. For example, if you run an e-store that sells a wide range of electronics and your advertisement is targeting people who search for the keyword “cheap video game accessories,” don’t just send them to the home page and expect them to find what they’re looking for from there, send them directly to your video game accessories page.

2.       Create Headline-Worthy Titles and Convincing Ad Material

The title of your ad is what will catch the attention of most people, so be sure to make it captivating. The goal is to answer a question that the searcher is asking, or indicate that you have a solution that the searcher is looking for, as succinctly as possible. The ad body can then be used to elaborate on your offering/promotion – so make sure you learn how to create effective ad copy.

3.       Diversify Keyword Targeting and Use Exact Match

If you restrict yourself to using one or two keywords you’ll never be able to discover the ‘hidden gem’ terms. Remember, phrases that are targeted by fewer competitors generally cost less to bid on, and your chances of converting are higher since the visitor has fewer alternatives to choose from. Try to stay away from broad terms like “buy electronics” as those are highly competitive, cost a lot to bid on, and offer lower conversion rates. Instead choose 5-10 niche-specific phrases, as these will offer cheaper clicks/impressions and will let you specifically target searchers that are more likely to buy or subscribe to your promotion.

Google Ads offers two ways to determine how your ads are displayed in search results – exact match (which displays the ad to anyone who searches for the exact phrase you bid on) and broad match (which displays the ad to anyone who searches for phrases that contain all or part of the phrase you bid on). In line with the recommendation to choose niche-specific keywords, it would be best to go with the exact match option. Broad match is typically used by large corporations or advertisers with excessive budgets because they can afford a lower conversion rate as long as they’re promoting brand awareness and staying profitable.

4.       Use CPC For Content Network Ads

Google allows you to display your advertisement two ways – within search engine results (in the “Sponsored Results” box), and within the pages of relevant websites that are part of the Adsense publishing/content network. They also let you choose between two payment structures:

Cost-Per-Click (CPC) – you pay each time someone clicks your advertisement.

Cost-Per-Mille (CPM) – you pay every time your advertisement has been shown to 1000 people; this is also called “cost per thousand impressions.”

Although search ads can offer a good ROI with both of the above options (depending on your targeted keywords and advertising angle), on-page ads shown on Adsense sites generally offer a better ROI when you buy clicks (CPC) instead of impressions (CPM).

5.        Split Projects Into Separate Campaigns

Instead of just giving each site its own campaign, consider the advantages of having several campaigns for one site:

6. Utilise Analysis

Google gives you many analytical tools that can be used to determine which ads are working and which aren’t. There are so many stats to cover that we can’t really go into detail without making this page too long for the liking (and attention span) of most internet readers. However, if you absolutely insist on being spoon-fed an excellent resource, check out these tips on analysing Google Adwords statistics.

7.       Set Your Budget High Initially

Google lets you set predefined budgetary limits for projects, but that doesn’t mean you should cautiously tip-toe your way into bidding. While it may seem counterintuitive to spend a lot initially, being lenient with your budget in the beginning will let you get a more comprehensive view of how well (or poor) certain ads are performing on a large-scale basis. Once you know what works consistently then you can fine-tune and cut back to a more conservative approach.  

Bonus Tip: You might also want to check out Google’s official Conversion Optimizer tool, which is said to increase conversions by more than 20% on average: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2471188?hl=en

Adam Livermore

Adam Livermore

Author Adam Livermore is the Director of Consult3 Ltd a Preston (Lancashire) Based Online Marketing Consultancy. He has been involved in online marketing and web since 2003 and offers Training, Consultancy and Project Management for Businesses wanting to improve their online footprint, increase leads and convert more of their website visitors. View my services for more details