Long ago, Google offered simple elements within their platform: search only, desktop only, limited targeting, and few ad “products”. Since then, Google has evolved into a more robust tool boasting several ad formats and creative ways to target consumers across multiple devices. This kind of innovation can be overwhelming, so here are a few best practices to help navigate the platform.
Wait, don’t skip the prequel
Before setting up any campaign, review the campaign objectives, KPIs, budget, keywords, appropriate landing pages, and ad creative. This will be your foundation to drive the strategy not only at the set up but throughout all the optimizations as well.
Okay, one step at a time
Don’t let the platform overwhelm you; walk through each step deliberately, and you will be running the platform like a champ in no time.
- Trust Google Insights: Google provides an Insights tab, showing trends and search volume. These insights are built on Google’s machine learning leveraging vast pools of data.
- Conquer Ad formats: Google’s ad formats vary from text, responsive, and image all the way to app promotion and call-only. Go back to your foundation and match your formats to your strategy and KPI’s. These different formats do not need to act in a silo and should work together.
- Tailor Your Buy:The display network can offer a wide array of placements. Across a network, it is important to omit negative content. In mobile, for example, you may not want to appear within a gaming app and there are ways to avoid doing so. Take back the control and tailor as much as possible.
- Do Your Research: Google’s keyword research tool helps you discover the cost, competition, and most importantly, search volume for search terms.
- Take Control of your Keywords: user personas, modifiers and negative keywords are basic ways to control your ad groups and analyze search intent. Avoid wasting budget on irrelevant clicks by auditing your search terms on a regular cadence.
- Go Beyond basic targeting: Google Ads offers basic targeting to help reach a specific set of potential customers within age, gender, parental status, or income. However, dive deeper by targeting in-market audiences and intent locations. In-market audiences helps your brand connect with consumers who are engaging while intent locations allow for you to hyper-target with geographic coordinates.
Media Works is always expanding and testing out the Google platform for our clients and can share those best practices and wins across categories, products, and campaigns. The power of Google’s data across millions of dollars in several industries helps each individual campaign perform and deliver better. And just when you think you have a handle on the platform offerings and options, get ready because Google will change it. Why…..because they can!
This post was written by SEM/Social Specialist, Krystal Novaton.