My firm manages over $3 million in ad spend for clients in Google Ads yearly. As a result, we see opportunities for improvement in regards to conversion tracking across multiple accounts in diverse industries.
My Tips on Conversion Tracking
Always track website contact forms.
Try to track website phone calls.
Do not change key conversion actions.
Use Position-Based attribution.
Set your cookie for 30 to 60 days.
Add additional conversion actions for promotions.
One of the most important aspects to conversion tracking is to select key conversion actions and to NOT change them in the Google Ads conversion control panel or Google Analytics.
We have recently had several situations where well-meaning marketing staff deleted conversion actions thinking that there would be no harm in doing so, but as a result the smart bidding algorithms in Google Ads were negatively impacted and performance dropped quickly in the account.
I have found that when a customer is changing the conversion actions for promotions and they do not have key conversion actions that are always in the account, bidding algorithms are easily confused and cost per click and cost per conversions will increase, sometimes dramatically.
Assure that if you track website phone calls and email form completions that you always keep these running as conversion actions. Do not move in and out of conversion actions unless you use manual bidding.
Let Smart Bidding Algorithms Do the Heavy Lifting for You
Once you have your conversion action strategy in place, wait to accrue 15 conversions in a 30 day period and then test the use of smart bidding options like maximize conversion or Target CPA bidding for your account.
Make sure to do routine checks at 2 weeks, 30 days, and 60 days to assure that these algorithms are actually delivering results with a cost per conversion that works for your business. Most accounts will benefit from the use of smart bidding based on Google’s machine learning and AI, but not all.
If you are not budget restrained, meaning that you have additional marketing dollars to spend, here is a quick primer on how to know if it makes sense to increase your Google Ads spending budget.
First, look at your campaign level results and sort the data for yesterday. If you did not spend your full budget yesterday, raising your daily budget will have no impact. Make sure to check a few days on top of just yesterday to assure that you are seeing enough results to be sure.
Second, if your program is profitable for you meaning are getting leads which leave room for profit, then the rule of thumb is to increase your ad spend as long as you have a positive ROI or return on investment. Make sure to look at the average cost per conversion when you evaluate what your leads cost versus what you make per lead.
It is important to have an awareness of important facts that are unique for your business such as one out of every ten leads makes a purchase or becomes a regular customer and regular customers typically will stay five years with us and have a lifetime value of X.
I do not recommend raising your ad spend budget without thought to assure that Google Ads is an investment in your growth and not an expense.
That being said for accounts that have taken the approach of increasing the ad spend without a limit while there is still positive ROI, the results can be absolutely, positively, mind boggling and wonderful.
When you start advertising on Google Ads, how do you determine your starting budget?
There is no mystery to deciding your budget for Google Ads. I use the Keyword Planner to determine the best budget for starting out. Here are my tips.
Create a list of 10 two to three word phrases that you feel will help drive qualified traffic.
Go to your Google Ads account or ask your Google Ads consultant to run the numbers for you, but putting each keyword in the Google Keyword Planner to check for traffic, competition, and typical bids.
Plan on these potential bids being about 20% lower than the real auction for clicks when your account is set up.
Take the average of these ten keyword’s click costs and then decide how many clicks you would like to have a day before your ads stop showing.
Look at the number generated in step 4 and determine if you can realistically live with this number. Never get over your head in regards to a budget that is way beyond your means. It is not typical to get leads in Google Ads the day ads serve. For some account it can take as long as three weeks for optimization to start to see the first lead conversion.
Remember a lead conversion or beneficial action you are recording as a conversion is not always a sale. Sometimes it is just the first step in the sales process.
Understand that it takes time for a Google Ads account to become profitable. Google Ads is a dynamic auction with bids changing for each query and many factors determining if your ads show or not.
Work with a professional Google Ads account manager or consultant like McCord Web Services to get the most out of Google Ads.
Don’t have a Google Ads account manager? Trying to go it alone to save money on management fees? Unless you are trained and work daily in Google Ads you may be setting yourself up for failure.
Google Ads is not a set it and forget it program especially if your ad spend is over $2,000 per month for clicks. As Google Ads is a pay per click platform that operates as an auction you may be missing out on valuable activity that could generate leads for your account.
I have personally found that at an absolute minimum, there should be a weekly or more frequent review of your Google Ads account to optimize for performance.
When we do our review, we look for anomalies, areas where the ad spend is not fruitful – such as by device. We look for emerging new keywords and negative keywords to keep an account targeted. In addition familiarity with account performance metrics is key to squeezing the most out of Google Ads for your business’ benefit.
As Google Ads is incredibly powerful and yet supremely complicated, I just do not recommend going it alone when it comes to account management. Without tight controls from an experienced account manager, you can spend big on Google Ads without a measurable return.
When does it make sense to advertise on Google Ads? If you have an ad spend budget of $300 to $500 a month you are a great candidate for Google Ads Express – a slimmed down easy to use version of Google Ads.
If your ad spend budget is $500 and up, the traditional high powered version of Google Ads will give better control over activity and boost website sales and leads.
The difference between Google Ads Express and Regular Google Ads is as follows.
Google Ads allows you to add your own keywords, multiple versions of ad text and run multiple campaigns and ad groups. Google Ads Express allows you to run one campaign and one ad group and Google selects the keywords that will show your ads.
Google Ads has many advanced features: conversion tracking, ad extensions like sitelinks and call extensions. Google Ads Express does not have those features.
Google Ads will allow for targeting to countries, states, cities, and multiple radius locations. Google Ads Express will only show ads locally and you cannot choose national or state level ad display.
Google Ads Express is the entry level relatively low budget tool to help users get exposed to Google Ads. It is not uncommon for a client to start out in Google Ads Express, like the results they get and migrate into the Standard Google Ads interface.
If you need help deciding where you should start, just complete our online form to schedule a free evaluation phone call.