Running strong Google Ads not only increases traffic, sales and leads for your business, but when optimised effectively, they can be a valuable part of your long term marketing strategy for building brand awareness and targeting consumers down the funnel.
However, recent studies on Google Ads trends over the past year found that cost per leads had significantly increased for 91% of industries. And as the Google Ad space (and Google search results in general) continues to grow more competitive, it’s vital to consider how you can optimise your Google Ads to generate the best ROAS for your business.
Google, like many of the big tech giants, has been subject to new privacy standards as more users demand greater transparency and control of their data. As a result, they have announced plans to transition away from Similar Audiences.
Much like Facebook’s ‘Lookalike Audiences’, Google’s Similar Audiences are a targeting option that allows your ads to reach users who present similar interests and behaviours to your existing customers. While this change may not heavily impact all businesses, if you depended on Similar Audiences to drive a valuable segment of your online traffic, you will definitely feel the impact.
You should consider how you can benefit from alternative targeting methods including Custom Intent, Custom Affinity or In-Market audience targeting. You might find that you can actually improve traffic and lead quality.
While Similar Audiences will soon no longer exist, Google has hinted towards releasing more powerful and durable tools this coming year - definitely something to keep your eyes peeled for.
Google has granted marketers more visibility to their competitors by giving them access to Google Ads run over the past 30 days. Similar to Facebook’s Ad Library, Google has released its own version called ‘My Ads Centre’, and includes all ad types including both search and display.
The free tool - offering similar competitor insights to Semrush’s software - isn’t currently available to all businesses, but this will become more accessible over the course of the year.
Essentially, Performance Max campaigns (PMax) allow you to set a goal (e.g. target ROAS), set your budget and bidding strategy, select your target location and languages and eventually feed Google with a range of ad assets. Assets include images, logos, videos, headlines, descriptions and the like. Google will then “mix-and-match” these assets in a way that will deliver the best outcome.
As of mid-2022, all eCommerce Smart Shopping campaigns and Local campaigns were upgraded to PMax campaigns by Google. It has resulted in many benefits that include generating a wider reach for ads, and improved setup and ad spend by allowing Google to conduct regular optimisations and real-time targeting updates.
However, while these campaigns are designed to ‘simplify’ campaign management, their novelty and complexity are best managed by Google Ads specialists. A specialist will be able to shape your campaign strategy, analyse campaign data and deliver thorough optimisations regularly in order to generate the best ROAS.
Google offers multiple keyword match types that allow you to target a greater number of users and search queries. This means your ads will be pushed to searches that are loosely or heavily related to your identified keywords depending on whether you select broad match, phrase match or exact match targeting.
In particular, broad match targeting will match your keywords to a very wide range of search terms. This can result in great impression share for your products and brand, but it can also target irrelevant queries and therefore won’t drive a high number of quality conversions.
Consider the following to ensure you aren’t losing precious ad spend:
Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) allow you to target consumers in certain geographic areas, and therefore can allow you to reach audiences more suited to your business. They also provide a great opportunity if you’re looking to generate foot traffic in-store.
Additionally, LIAs allow you to promote product availability, price, and store location, which can be effective in securing bottom-of-funnel audiences who are almost ready to purchase.
If you’re a local clothing and apparel business, targeting prospective audiences in your local area will be a better use of spend than reaching city-wide audiences. One key solution to improving your local inventory ads is by setting up and regularly managing your Google My Business Centre - which is also highly effective for your local SEO.
Kayley is the Marketing Coordinator at Rocket Agency, and works with the team to deliver insightful and informative copy, organise their webinar events, and manage the company’s organic social channels. She also produces the Smarter Marketer Podcast, the definitive podcast for Australian marketers, hosted by Rocket's Co-founder and Director, James Lawrence.
Previously, Kayley worked at Fujitsu General Australia where she ran their Paid Social ad campaigns, worked end-to-end on their national campaign, assisted in their website overhaul project, and supported the execution of several company and external events.
She has also managed organic social media channels for local businesses in both the hospitality and construction space, to build brand awareness in the local community by skyrocketing both followers and engagement.