A question many businesses ask themselves after setting up their Google Ads account is “Now what?” Without a specific goal in mind, your digital marketing efforts can feel aimless and unfocused. That’s why, to truly make the most of the Google Ads platform, you have to get clear on what specific advertising objectives are most important for your business. Then you have to be ready to adapt your goals, adjusting them as you continue to check account performance and identify areas of opportunity. Doing some in-depth market research and looking at the historical data being tracked within your account are great first steps to take when determining what goals you should start with.
Allow the Data to Guide Your Goals
If you’ve just created a new account, Google’s Keyword Planner tool can help you confidently jump right in by giving you access to important information such as expected search volume of individual keywords as well as their average Cost-Per-Click. But if you’ve been running ads for awhile, your existing account is a great resource for insight into what goals you should set and the strategies you need to reach them. Your historical data can tell you, with concrete proof, what in your account is working and not working, use the data to point you in the right direction. Taking a deep dive into your Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) will help you rethink your goals and reformulate your strategies.
KPI’s like your Average Ad Position and Search Impression Share shine a light on how much exposure your ads are getting while metrics like Average Cost-Per-Click (CPC) let you know how much you are spending per ad engagement. Making note of what KPI’s could use improvement is one method you could use to decide what new goals you should pursue.
Conversions are any valuable interactions a visitor has with your website that you decide is worth tracking. Tracking Conversions in your Google Ads account is incredibly crucial in determining the success of your ad campaigns. In knowing which ads are performing well, you’ll be able to focus on continuing to grow those campaigns, doubling down on your current initiatives to make them perform even better. If you’re trying to run more effective campaigns, you’ve got to start considering how your strategies help you work towards your goals.
Alongside the important on-site actions that you’ve marked as Conversions, there are other, less-significant, website interactions that you should be monitoring as well. These Micro Conversions are any additional on-site actions that website visitors make that indicate an interest in your business. An ecommerce business would consider a micro conversion to be an email list sign-up or a product page visit, for example. While actions like these don’t help improve the bottom line right away, they could lead to a sale down the line.
Aligning your Google Ads strategy with your business goals ensures that you stay on track. But it is important to note that these goals shouldn’t be set in stone. Maintaining a sense of flexibility in the goals that you set allows you to more easily shift focus as your business cycles change.
Keep Your Goals Flexible
As the seasons change, you should be re-evaluating the strategies you are using within your Google Ads account. Depending on the nature of your industry, business is bound to fluctuate depending on the season. For example, ecommerce businesses tend to see a huge increase in sales from October to December.During times of lower traffic, reconsidering the strategies you are implementing could prove to be lucrative for your business.
If you have found your Search ads aren’t performing as well during certain times of the year, it may be worthwhile to cut back on those efforts and reinvest in some Display Ads. In doing so, you are still working to extend the digital reach of your business, but instead of focusing on selling a product or marketing your services, you are building brand awareness. Making that investment won’t produce immediate results but will instead set you up to grow your customer base in the long-term.
It’s important that your goals and strategies shift in tandem with the changes you see in traffic, otherwise you could end up with disappointing results. Look at your historical data to see where lulls have been in the past and plan ahead to counteract them. Determining reference points that you can aim to complete should help you stay focused as you progress toward your overall business objectives.
Set Progress Benchmarks
It is important to think critically in terms of your short-term and long-term goals. Instead of trying to tackle your biggest ambitions head-on, break them out into more manageable steps. For example, if you are hoping to increase the amount of sales your business is getting from your ads, what milestones would bring you closer to reaching that goal?
One tactic that a business with this objective could implement is improving the performance of their low-selling products. Making use of merchant promotions is an example of a great strategy that could help boost the performance of your struggling ads. These additions to Google Shopping ads offer people searching for products online a chance to save money if they decide to buy from you over your competitors. They also convey a “Buy Now” message that encourages immediate action and should increase sales.
Besides merchant promotions, there are other strategies you can take to improve the performance of low-achieving ads. For instance, simply bidding up on keywords that aren’t doing great should increase the number of clicks and impressions at the very least.
Getting your ads in front of potential customers is the first step in gaining new business, since you can’t expect to improve the performance of your ads if no one is seeing them.
Keeping your business goals in the forefront of your mind when making all Google Ads strategies is the best way to plan efficiently. Your goals don’t have to be these huge, big picture ideas that seem impossible to achieve. Start small, and construct an approach that leads to your overall business objectives, naturally.
Want to learn more about goal setting?
Maintaining a successful Google Ads account takes constant vigilance and an eagerness to continually improve results. For more expert advice on goal setting, download our Ebook and find out just how easy it is to take control of your account today.