Google Ads Cheat Sheet

Google Ads is an incredible system, but has become more than a little complicated!

Maybe you’ve wondered if you’re losing or making money from Google Ads? Perhaps you’re not sure whether your Google Ads account is set up correctly? Or perhaps you simply don’t have the time to learn how to really work the Google Ads system to your advantage, and would like to hand this over to a Google Ads Certified Company?

If you’re interested in a no-obligation, free proposal, then please click here to get in touch.

Our Google Ads cheat sheet is based on more than 18 years of experience. It could save you a lot of money, and produce spectacular results.

Check your campaign settings:

  • Use descriptive names for campaigns. Accounts grow with time, and a logical structure makes management simpler. The same applies to ad group names.
  • Never mix search and display campaigns.
  • Never mix display/image ads with text ads. Each performs differently, and analysing performance in a combined campaign is close to impossible.
  • Never mix remarketing within a standard search or display campaign. Remarketing traffic behaves differently than traffic from a standard campaign.
  • Understand device targeting. By default, your campaign will target all devices (desktop, tablet and mobile) Performance on those devices will vary so adjust accordingly.
  • Understand the location options. By default, your ads could be shown to people outside your targeted locations.
  • Set ad rotation to “Do not optimize: Rotate ads indefinitely”. You need to monitor ad performance for yourself, and not rely on Google for this.
  • When targeting a large number of locations within one campaign, ads will be displayed according to demand and bid levels. Some locations may over-utilise your campaign’s budget.
  • Make Google work hard for your money. Never increase your budget just because Google think you should.

Use keywords correctly:

  • Keyword relevance is vital to the success of your Google Ads account. Google rewards advertisers for relevance. Cost per click will be lower and your ads will be shown more often.
  • Find new terms through continuous keyword research. Google’s keyword planner, your search terms reports and Google search results are each great sources for new keyword ideas.
  • Huge keyword lists are not a good approach. Smaller, focused keyword lists are more effective.
  • Negative keywords are essential. If you’re not offering free software, -free, -freeware and related terms can be useful. As are -hack, -crack, –serial etc.
  • Match options:
    • Use broad match with caution because it can result in off-target clicks. But don’t let this deter you; broad match, when used correctly, can be highly effective.
    • Don’t only use one match option. Using all of them shouldn’t work, but it does!
  • Misssspellings can be useful. Regional variations too eg: British / American English.
  • Purge keywords that don’t work and expand on those that do.

Tweak your ad texts:

  • Ad relevance is crucial to the success of your Google Ads account. Google rewards advertisers for relevance and your ads should perform better.
  • Don’t be gentle – be pushy! Calls to action work.
  • Use your keywords within your ad texts.
  • You don’t need to stuff your ads. Shorter can sometimes produce better results.
  • Experiment with punctuation and Capitalisation.
  • Keyword insertion is simple to implement, but use with caution – unexpected results may occur!
    • {KeyWord:Alternate Text}: Fast Red Cars
    • {Keyword:Alternate text}: Fast red cars
    • {keyword:alternate text}: fast red cars

Best practices for new ad groups:

  • Relevance. Are your keywords relevant to your ads? Are your ads relevant to your landing pages? The more relevant, the better they will perform and the less you’ll pay per click.
  • Start small. Once you have data, purge low performers and expand what works.
  • Start with “safer” keywords – using a reasonable number. Less is better.
  • Always analyse data in time intervals of seven days (7, 14, 21, 28 etc).
  • Never use one single ad per ad group. Always experiment with multiple ad variations.
  • Allow adequate time to generate sufficient data. Haste invariably leads to poor ROI.
  • Split ad groups into focused keyword-based themes. Then set up targeted ads for each of the new ad groups.
  • Purge whatever doesn’t work and expand on what does.
  • What worked today may not work tomorrow, so you’ll need to keep optimising.

Best practices for improving an existing ad group:

  • Keywords:
    • Identify and delete low performers:
      • Low CTR (high impressions low clicks).
      • Off-target keywords (common sense).
      • Zero-impressions over 28 days.
      • Make sure keywords with large numbers of clicks are highly targeted.
  • Ads:
    • Identify and delete low performers:
      • Through CTR.
      • Through conversion tracking.
      • Through Analytics.
      • Pause ads for at least seven days before deleting them.
  • Improve your keyword –> ad –> landing page relevance.

Better tracking:

  • Track everything that makes sense, but don’t drown in data.
  • Consider a better way to track conversions.
  • Use the Google Ads auto-tagging system.
  • Google’s conversion tracking is easy to implement but has limitations:
    • It’s cookie based. You won’t be able to track conversions if the cookie is not present at the time of the conversion:
      • The person clicking on the ad is not the person making the purchase.
      • Conversion occurs outside of the conversion window.
      • Ad is clicked on a mobile device but purchased through a desktop computer.
      • Cookies are cleared from the browser.

Reports and Google Analytics:

  • Use Google Analytics to track your website visitors.
  • Connect Google Ads to your Google Analytics account. What happens after people click on your ads is as important as what happened prior to the click.
  • Make use of the reports within your Google Ads account. Here are a few:
    • Search terms report – for finding new and negative keywords.
    • Automatic placements report – for gauging how well your ads perform on the display network.
    • Geographic and user location reports – for understanding where your ads are displayed around the world and how they perform in each of those locations.

Google Ads Editor:

  • Clunky but useful software – great for copying and pasting keywords, ads, ad groups or even campaigns.
  • Always work in units of seven days to make sure that trends are accurately identified.
  • Twenty eight days is a good time period to work with:
    • Click on the “statistics” button, choose “last 30 days” then add two days to the initial date.

Golden rules:

  • Never allow a Google Ads account to run itself.
  • Never make too many different types of changes at a time.
  • Never let Google control your budget.
  • Never let Google decide what’s best for you.
  • Always allow time for changes to take effect.
  • Always work in time intervals of seven days.
  • Always question Google’s motives.
  • Always keep control.
  • Repeat the mantra: A neglected Google Ads account is a dangerous Google Ads account.

Taking Google Ads to the next level:

  • Have your Google Ads account managed by certified professionals.
  • We take care of all aspects of your Google Ads management.
  • Free up your time so that you can focus on what you do best.
  • Stop wasting your money and time.
  • Let us improve your ROI.
  • Let us help you turn your Google Ads account into a money maker!
  • SoftwarePromotions Google Ads Management 

Google Ads News – Keep up to date with new options, preferences and functionality in the Google Ads system. Unique hints and tips are also shared.

Did you know?

Since 2001, we have been attending and speaking at a variety of events all over the world.

Dave Collins has delivered over 100 presentations at over 30 different events, conferences, webinars, online classes, networking events, accelerator programs and more in the United States, China, Russia, Germany, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom.

His reputation is based on his wide range of experience and willingness to share good, useful information. Either that or his receding hairline and the ever-expanding bags under his eyes.