I recently had to do some 2019 paid media planning for several of our clients and what came out of our meetings was nothing short of genius. After running thousands of paid media campaigns across Google and other platforms we have learned the formula for successful. At the same time we want to make sure we are not staying stale in our tactical marketing execution and this is the mindset we approached our 2019 media planning with. As we went through each client we tackled how we can best help our clients crush it in 2019 with Google Ads.
If you are doing any type of media planning for Google ads in 2019 then you need to be aware of these highly effective and widely under used tactics. Keep in mind that this is not a full list of all of the available tactics we have strategized for our clients. We did take the most effective hacks and compiled this list that we feel will best help you crush it in 2019 with Google Ads.
HACK #1 – Device Targeting and reports
One of the things we do really well at Red Wagon is setup campaigns in a way that we can track, analyze and optimize them to make better decisions. Device reporting is one of the most important tactics you can leverage in Google ads and it will have a dramatic impact on your cost per acquisition. How people access google and how they behave on different devices is critical to understanding campaign performance.
Below is a screenshot from an ad account of ours. This is a great example of why separating campaigns by type can really help highlight how the same campaign can perform very differently across different devices.
In this example, mobile devices have a lower conversion rate and a higher cost per conversion. The best performing campaign is the computers device. The computers device campaign has the lowest cost per lead and the highest conversion rate. This is why we spent the lion share of our clients budget on the “computers” device targeting.
When we setup campaigns we typically will duplicate a campaign and make it specific per device. This helps us keep our data integrity, it’s easy to review and it also allows for us to dedicate a specific budget to that audience.
Hack #2 – Location Targeting and reports
Once you tackle your device targeting you will want to look into your location targeting. Most likely you will see that you have had impressions and even clicks from outside of your targeted area. This is a very common occurrence and highly overlooked area for paid media managers.
Google does record location data on where every click and impression comes from but if you want the ability to adjust bids then you need to include every area you want to target specifically in your locations targeting prior to running your campaign. There are three types of reports. location, User and Per Store reports. Under location geographic reports you will see the physical and geographic region users are seeing your ads and how they engage with them. Below is an example of a geographic location report.
You can look at these reports PER campaign which makes these reports very useful and helpful tools to deduce what works and what doesn’t.
Exclude every country and state that is outside of your service area. There may be some instances where you wont want to do this but for the most part if you want clicks and visitors from a specific geographical region then you need to exclude other areas and change who can see your ads under the settings tab in each campaign.
Hack #3 – Click to call ads
Do you want to start making your business’s phone ring? Thats the intention of these ads and click to call ads are special ad types that can start driving calls, right now! These are typically ran on mobile only campaigns and do a great job at driving targeted phone calls. Service based business’s really benefit from this ad type and campaign setup because it can generate instant inquiries and sales opportunities.
Hack #4 – Budget optimization changes
Google Ads has several different types of bid strategies for their campaigns and are listed below:
- Target CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)
- Target ROAS (Return On Ad Spend)
- Maximize Conversions
- Enhanced Cost Per Click (ECPC)
- Maximize Clicks
- Manual CPC Bidding
- Target Search Page Location
- Target Outranking Share
- CPM Bidding (Cost Per Thousand Impressions)
- vCPM Bidding (Cost Per Viewable Thousand Impressions)
I’m not going to go into each one in detail however I will say that testing different bid strategies out per campaign is a smart idea. The bid strategies we like to test against each other are below.
- Enhanced Cost Per Click
- Maximize Conversions
- Manual CPC Bidding
- Target ROAS (ecommerce)
- Target Outranking Share
These work for the majority of our clients however these are not an end all be all for testing out strategies. We use all of the bidding strategies but you have to understand when you want to deploy these different bidding strategies based upon your clients marketing goals. The ones above help drive lower cost leads and product sales but if you are looking to just get your brand and message out there without a hard KPI such as a lead or purchase then the other bidding strategies may be more effective for you.
Hack #5 – Display lookalike audiences
Have you heard of lookalike audiences? It’s been a pretty effective tactic and all around generalized buzz word in our industry over the last few years. If you haven’t heard of them then I’ll give you a quick run down. Lookalike audiences are built upon email lists typically lists of your past clients. Then this data gets uploaded to Facebook or Google and you can create an audience that looks like your past converters/sales.
Our 5th hack is not lookalikes in facebook which you might have been thinking. No, instead this is a lookalike audience in Google Ads. This is only available as a display campaign right now so click through rates are much lower and conversion rates are much lower than typical search or paid social campaigns. This is still at the heart of the campaign a display campaign ment to drive awareness. The hack here is that you can drive people to your site/product/service very inexpensively while only targeting people that are most like your past clients. Once you drive people to your site through this campaign type you need to nurture this new audience and you can do that by remarketing through paid social, paid search and native advertising.
Hack #6 – Gmail Ads and Google Maps Ads
Gmail ads are under the promotions tab in your Gmail. These are effective ads for branding, lead nurturing and lead generation. You have a lot of targeting options when it comes to gmail ads and you can target keywords found within a users email that match your product and service which is a really interesting hack many advertisers are not engaging in.
Hack #7 – ad scheduling
Once you have taken all of these hacks and integrated them into your business its important to dive deeper. Take a look into your ad scheduling. Its possible you are wasting money on hours and times that are not effective for your business.
Pro Tip: We setup 24 hour tracking using google scripts but if you don’t have that ability then at least create 6 time blocks from:
12am – 4am
4am – 8am
8am – 12pm
12pm – 4pm
4pm – 8pm
8pm – 12am
This will allow you to see what time blocks work best for your campaigns and give you the ability to leverage bid adjustments on those times for an even more in depth optimization.
Bonus Hack: Assisted Clicks
Our last tip is adding assisted clicks as a column in your campaigns performance reports. Assisted clicks show you if someone searched a different keyword before searching a different one, clicking and completing an action. This is highly important in campaign optimization because if you pause a keyword that is assisting another then you could be canabalizing your paid media campaigns.
At the end of the day if you take these steps and run with them we are very confident you will be on the road to crushing it in 2019 for Google Ads.