You’re staring at the monitor, eyebrows furrowed. For some reason, your campaigns aren’t performing the way you expect them to and you need to find out why.
So, you clicked the mouse to change tabs. A few seconds of silence.
Another click on the mouse to look at other data. Still nothing.
Maybe you need to change the ads? Or increase budgets? Maybe the conversion tracking wasn’t set up properly?
There’s a lot of things you could look into to audit your campaigns. But where do you start? Is there a proper way to optimize your Google Ads campaigns?
Well, that’s what we’re going to find out here.
If you’ve been running campaigns for quite a while now you probably know that it’s not always rainbows and butterflies in the PPC world.
Contrary to what the majority of your clients expect, that once they advertise online their sales are going up in a very short span of time with their very small budget, you know the hard truth that it’s not like that.
Running PPC campaigns involves a lot of continuous tweaking and testing, and data analysis for it to (hopefully) perform better.
That’s the key: continuous optimizing until you find out what’s working and what’s not.
The Customer Journey
Before we jump into how to properly optimize your campaigns, it is important for you to understand your customer’s journey upon seeing your ad. This will be your basis in making decisions for your campaigns.
It looks like this:
I know this is very basic stuff that every advertiser knows very much. But how can understanding this journey helps in auditing your campaign performance?
It goes back to the client’s end goal: sales.
A Client’s End Goal
I’ve previously written an article about 3 Google Ads Metrics You Should Start Using which says that the most important metrics you should focus on are:
- Cost per Conversions
I came up with these three metrics because they are the ones that are closest to the client’s goal. If we’re going to relate this to the customer journey table above, these three are all under Phase 4:
And since this phase is the one closest to getting sales, this is where you should always start when optimizing your campaigns then move backward.
Just imagine you start doing the optimization from Phase 1 to Phase 3, and you’ve spent tons of hours trying to improve everything without knowing that the only reason you’re not getting conversions is that your tags aren’t set up properly.
So much for wasted time and effort, right?
Doing it Backwards
There are lots of ways and tips online about improving your campaign performance. But wouldn’t it be better if you can do it in a systematic way so you can monitor and test if it’s working or not instead of implementing multiple strategies all at once?
How you should do it:
- Start with analyzing the data on Phase 4
- If nothing’s weird, then move to Phase 3, then Phase 2, then Phase 1 until you can find out the right strategy for your campaigns
It should be like this:
Here are some points to look into when optimizing campaigns
- Phase 4: User Doing Action on Your Page
- Are the conversion tags installed properly?
- Where are the users usually dropping off?
- Is the page user-friendly?
- Phase 3: User Gets Routed to the Landing Page
- Is the website down?
- What’s the website loading speed?
- Are you using the correct URL?
- Phase 2: User Clicks Your Ad
- Which ad is converting more?
- Are you getting enough clicks?
- Are you doing A/B testing?
- Is your budget enough?
- Are you getting irrelevant searches?
- Phase 1: User sees your ad
- Are you getting enough impressions?
- Are you bidding enough to show ads?
Focusing on one phase at a time will help clear the cobwebs for you. It’ll give you a clearer path so you can come up with a more organized approach for it too.
Summing it Up
Managing PPC campaigns has taught me a valuable lesson in life: that not all things work during the first time.
But that doesn’t mean we should stop. As advertisers, our major role is to keep testing strategies until we find out the correct approach for the campaigns. But doing it in a non-organized way isn’t helpful–instead, it adds more problems to you and your campaigns.
Understanding the customer journey well and doing optimizations in a systematic way will save you time and energy and may yield better results.