By Ryan Faller

1. Targeting The Wrong Audience

Success with Google Ads doesn’t just happen. As with any other advertising campaign – whether it’s TV, newspaper, radio, magazine, etc. – success with advertising on Google begins and ends with targeting the right audience. If you get that wrong, nothing else matters.

But how do you target the right audience with Google Ads? Well, let’s take a look…

Finding the right audience comes down to two main factors:

a. Keywords

Much harder than it seems is the fine art of picking out the right keywords for your Google Ads campaign. Keywords are defined as those terms or phrases you tell Google you’d like to have your ads show up for.

Simple enough, right? Wrong. Oftentimes, Google Ads advertisers fall in love with the idea of showing their ads to a lot of people – rather than the right people. And the result can be dismal, with advertisers fuming as they watch rising advertising costs wasted on bad clicks from people that have no interest in their products or services.

Google Ads is infinitely more about quality than it is quantity. This can only be achieved through proper keyword selection. If your shoe store sells only Nike tennis shoes, do not choose keywords that indicate a search for other tennis shoe brands (Reebok). Don’t even choose keywords that indicate a search for other types of Nike shoes (soccer, basketball, etc.).

Choose terms such as “Nike tennis shoes,” “Nike tennis shoes for sale”, and “Nike tennis shoes store.”

Keep it simple. The keywords contained within your Google Ads campaign should plainly state would you do or what you offer. Nothing more and nothing less.

b. Keyword Match Types

Upon further review, your keyword list seems spot-on, but you’re still not seeing an ROI from your Google Ads campaign. What’s going on?

When done right, Google Ads is more effective than any other form of advertising in showing your ads to the right audience. But the line separating a healthy campaign from one that hemorrhages advertising dollars can be incredibly thin.

If identifying the right keywords for your business is the best way to develop the right audience for your campaign, then implementing the proper keyword match types is the only way of ensuring that this audience sees your ads consistently.

In short, keyword match types allow you to control the types of searches on Google that trigger your ad. But what most advertisers on Google Ads don’t know is, by default, keywords are set to a broad match type when added to a campaign. This means that keywords can potentially (and often do) trigger ads to be shown to audiences that are completely irrelevant to the products or services being promoted in those ads.

Again using Nike as an example, let’s say that the keyword in question is “Nike tennis shoes.” Assuming that the keyword is set to a broad match type, any ads written for this keyword could potentially be displayed to people searching Google for not only any item manufactured by Nike, but also people looking for any type or brand of tennis shoe.

The more restrictive you are with your match types, the smaller your audience for your ads will be, but the audience sees those ads will be much more relevant to what you’re offering. And the more well-spent your advertising dollars will be.

2. Evaluating the Search Term Report (STR)

If you combine thoughtful keyword research with the right match types, your ads will consistently show before an audience that has a need or a want for what you’re offering. But you must also realize that Google’s match type filters are not always perfect.

Inevitably, your ads will be clicked by people who do not fit the ideal profile of your audience. But, exactly, how do you find out what words people are typing into Google to see and click on your ads?

After all, you are paying for these clicks, so you should have the right to know, don’t you think?

We agree. Good news is, finding out what those words are is easy. All you need to do is access what’s called the Search Term Report inside your Google Ads account. Doing so can mean the difference between one bad search term costing you 1 bad click or 100 bad clicks.

[Steps for accessing STR here.]

Different from keywords, which are the words or phrases you physically assign to your campaign, a search term is the query (or string of words) that someone typed into Google to activate and then click on your ad. If your campaign is performing optimally, the results found in your STR should reflect a similar scope or intent as that reflected by your keyword list.

If not, this is a pretty good indication that your match types need some tightening.

When evaluating your STR, look for individual words within each search term that may not jive with your ideal audience. Those that seem out of place, assign them as negative keywords so that future searches containing those terms do not result in more wasted dollars.

And conversely, be on the lookout for any terms that you feel might make valuable keyword additions to your campaign. Sometimes, those keywords that were overlooked initially can turn into goldmines.

3. Where Is Your Adwords Traffic Going?

Reaping the rewards of a Google Ads campaign is a two-step process. The first, as we have seen, is identifying and refining the right audience for your ads. But these efforts are for naught if that audience is not provided a valuable post-click experience.

Any Google Ads advertiser can take one quick glance at his or her campaign and see that it’s generating clicks. And maybe those clicks are even coming from people who have a very keen interest in the product or service that advertiser is selling.

What may not be nearly as apparent, however, are the issues that arise only after a click takes place. Many advertisers assume that the most effective destination for their ads is their home page or another page of their website. The only problem with that is, more often than not, a website is simply not built with the mindset of converting visitors into qualified leads for new business.

And if you’re agreeing to pay Google money in exchange for the chance to acquire new business, this mindset should always be present.

Typical business websites are built like brochures, allowing visitors to aimlessly browse from page to page with now clear direction. They’re not told what to do or how to do it. Navigation options galore lead a visitor down a winding path that only ends when the visitor has grown tired. When this happens, they leave, but meanwhile, you’re still paying Google.

Take the fate of your clicks into your own hands by directing your Google Ads traffic to a custom landing page. A stripped-down version of a typical webpage, a custom landing page is designed with specific elements that do the following (and only the following):

a. Tell the visitor what you do

b.Tell the visitor how you can solve their problem

c. Give the visitor a series of clear, concise directions on how they can contact you to get their problem solved

That’s it. No navigation. No wordy company bio. No generic contact forms. Nothing flashy. Just tell your prospect what you do, and don’t worry about dumbing it down. If you’re a hardwood flooring contractor, the headline of your landing page should be “Hardwood Flooring Contractor.”

Provide value to the visitor by acknowledging why they’re there and illustrating how you can help them. And then give yourself the best chance of turning a profit on that Google Ads click by giving the visitor clear, easy-to-understand direction on what they need to do next.