As digital marketing evolves, it’s easy to get caught up in the buzz around new, innovative strategies that promise exceptional results. Google Ads, in particular, offers a plethora of features and techniques that can make your campaigns sound clever and sophisticated. But in the race to stay ahead of the curve, we often overlook the importance of getting the basics right. Simplicity can yield better results than complexity.
Over the last 10 years, Google Ads has been launching features with enticing names that suggest superior performance. “Enhanced CPC”, “Smart Shopping” and “Performance Max” have all increased automation and removed control from the user. Tick a box and Google will do it all for you. Google seems to take care of everything. But in doing so, are you giving up too much control to Google, who ultimately profits from your ad spend? Would you be as trusting with other suppliers?
While it’s tempting to dive headfirst into the world of advanced Google Ads features, it’s crucial to remember that a successful campaign starts with understanding where it fits into the business strategy. By prioritising simplicity and getting the fundamentals right, you’ll build a strong foundation for your campaigns, increase their effectiveness, and set the stage for more advanced strategies down the line. So, before you get caught up in the latest and greatest Google Ads features, take a step back and refocus on the basics.
Things to consider:
1. Core Business: Do you have a main product or service that makes up a large proportion of your sales? If so, your Google Ads strategy should give this product/service the focus that it deserves. It’s easy to allocate an equal share of resource with the other products/services as they all need a Campaign, Ad Group, Ads and Keywords but it’s the performance of your core products/services that will have most impact on the overall business performance. Quite often, the core products/services are considered a bit boring when compared to new products/services but if you’re relying on them to keep the business running, make sure that you don’t forget about their importance!
2. Metrics: It’s easy to focus on conversion and Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) related metrics but if optimisation strategy is based purely on these metrics, you will develop a ‘Chicken and Egg’ situation where some products/services won’t have the opportunity to perform as the investment has been restricted due to their historical performance. Always monitor ‘basic’ metrics, for example Impressions, to ensure that everything has the opportunity to perform. Conversion metrics are impacted by a lot of external factors (eg. Pricing) so it’s important to monitor metrics that are directly impacted by the campaigns without the effect of other influences.
3. Common Sense/Logic: With so much data available through the Google Ads platform, it’s easy to get lost in the numbers. When optimising campaigns, always use Common Sense and Logic as over-riding factors when you are making your adjustments. Example: If two very similar products have performed differently on mobile devices over a given period, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one performs well on mobiles and the other doesn’t. Even if the numbers suggest that the sample size makes it statistically significant, there is always an element of external factors that are not related to the campaign and Common Sense and Logic should prevail.
4. The Future: Remember that campaign optimisation is making adjustments to the campaigns in an attempt to maximise their performance in the future. It’s easy to just look at historical performance when making changes but that’s only a part of the story. Consider all external changes that could impact conversion rate and build them in to the strategy. You are essentially betting on future performance, so bet wisely!
Although these points may appear straightforward, they’re often overshadowed by the allure of sophisticated, clever-sounding strategies. It’s essential to take a step back and review your campaigns from a broader perspective. Make sure everything is aligned with your business goals and that your campaigns are effectively fulfilling their intended purpose. Sometimes, taking a moment to assess things at a higher level can provide valuable insights that you may have otherwise overlooked.