So you need to get traffic to your website or blog, and you need it today…

What do you do?

Your obvious option is to start a Google AdWords account, right?

After all, it’s pretty straight-forward,

You choose a few keywords, create your Ads, hit run, and…

Then, sit back and watch the traffic (and sales) roll in…

Sounds good hey?

Almost too good to be true?

…and you’re right!

This outcome is the result only 1% of advertisers get to enjoy,

The rest of the advertiser’s, their experience goes a little more like this…

(This might sound like you)

You pick a few keywords; You create your Ads, Hit-run,

And you see your budget disappear before your eyes with a high cost per click and poor click-through rate. Often leaving you with ZERO sales, and out of Ad budget!

Sound familiar?

Yeah, it sucks right?

Now, not for a minute am I’m not going to say Google AdWords is easy – they’re not.

But, you can still use Google AdWords as part of your marketing strategy, with excellent results

So, this is why I have compiled a list of my best hacks for optimising Google AdWords.

First, some housekeeping,

If you’re not getting a good result, there’s a chance your not complying with Google’s best practices.

…hurting your ability to get a high Google quality score.

What’s Google quality score?

It’s Google’s rating system for determining the quality and relevance of your Ads.

Below is a list of best practices for keeping Google happy…

How to improve your Google AdWords Quality Score:

Privacy policy page

Ensure you have a visible Privacy Policy listed on your website. While ‘privacy policy’ is the big one, I also suggest you have a ‘terms of service’ page and an ‘earnings disclaimer’ page too.

Contact page

Google wants to know you’re a real business, with real people working behind the scenes. A contact page goes a long way to appeasing Google on this issue.

Phone number

Like the contact page, a business phone number helps Google to know you’re a real business. Also, people like to see a phone number, and it will help increase your conversions.

Keyword in your URL

Ensure the keyword is in your landing page domain. For example – By placing your keyword in your URL, this helps Google to know your landing page is relevant.

Keyword in Title tag

Again Google is a stickler for relevance. They want to know if someone clicks on an Ad they’ll land on a page which is relevant to the search term. So place your keyword in the page title tag as well.

Keyword in H1 tag

Place the keyword in the H1 tag at the top of your page or blog. Again, reinforces to Google your page irrelevant to the search term.

Educational content

Avoid sending traffic to your homepage. Instead, send your traffic to a relevant page full of quality content. Remember, Google is a digital library. Most users look for information before they make a buying decision.

one keyword per ad group

If you’re targeting keywords with high monthly traffic volumes? Use just one keyword per ad group. If you’re aiming for keywords with low search volume you can use a max of five – but only if they’re relevant.

Use the Keyword is in your Ad

Google’s all about relevance so it wants to see your keyword in your Ad copy. Because we’re talking ‘Quality Score’ here, I’ll say use your keyword in the Ad copy. But this can be detrimental to our ‘Click through Rate’. So you’ll need to test it.

Page load speed

No one likes a slow loading website. And Google hates them! Ensuring your website loads fast will make your user’s experience a good one. And improve your site, in the eyes of Google.

Bounce rate

Use your Analytics to track your website bounce rate. Google wants to serve relevant, helpful content to its users. One of the fundamental ways Google scores what’s relevant and what not,

…is by – what happens once someone reaches your site!

If they bounce straight back to the search results, it’s a definite sign your page isn’t relevant.

Google Adwords Optimization Tips

Look at your competition

Do a google search and take note of the ads which show. Look at the copy they use and see if you can improve on it. Take particular note of the Ads at the top of the results, as these Ads often have the highest Click through rates.

One landing page per ad group

To maximise conversion (and relevance), create a dedicated page for each keyword. Doing this will enable you to optimise each page for a better quality score. It also ensures you’re showing relevant content to your searches

It’s all about quality traffic, not vanity metrics

While a low ‘Cost per click’ might sound great. Often, it’s at the cost of conversions. Focus on the metric’s which produce the best result for your businesses bottom line.

Optimise for profits ‘Cost per Earning’ (CPE) over CPC 

You’ll rarely lower your CPC at the same time as, increasing your conversions. Track your conversions and associated earnings (cost per earning). Focus on the metric which brings in the most profit.

Long tail keywords

Head keywords are keywords which are 1-2 words long and the most obvious in each niche. For example “Dentist” or “Dentist Brisbane.”

Try using long tail keywords which are three words or more. Words such as, “dentist near me” or “dental practices Brisbane east.”

Have an irrespirable offer

As mention before, Google looks at your on page interaction. Create an irresistible offer for your landing page to increase conversions. You’ll get more leads and Google will reward you for providing its users with something valuable.

Use Ad extensions

So many advertisers fail to take advantage of Ad Extensions. Ad extensions give you the ability to expand your Ads size. At the same time providing more relevant information. Thus you take up more prime real-estate in the google search results.

Understand powerful headlines

Google Adwords are ticky, in the sene you have a limit 80 characters, broken down into two 40 character lines. But understanding great headlines will help you to craft compelling ads.

Optimise for phone calls

Again, this is too often overlooked by advertisers because you get caught up in “Clicks”. But a phone call is the most substantial lead you can get. Phone leads will also convert to sale more often than an online lead. Be sure to include phone call tracking in your ads.

Consistency matters 

Keep running your ads; Google rewards consistent advertisers. It also takes time for Google’s algorithm to understand your business and to trust you 100%. So look at it as a long-term partnership.

Competition Bidding 

Find your top competitors and use their business names as a keyword. You can’t use trademarked names in the ad copy – in fact, it’s best not to use your competition name at all. But this can help you leverage your competitor’s branding.

Don’t go too local

Think hard before you narrow your search reach to a local area. People travel far and wide for products or services today. If you refine your scope too much, you’re going to be paying more per click.

Money keyword Vs Info Keyword

Search the keyword to make sure it’s a money term – a word people search for when they’re ready to make a decision.

If you advertise for information keywords, which are words people use to search when they’re gathering more information – Your conversion rate will suffer.

Looking at the number of advertisers and the expected cost per click will help determine which keywords are ‘Money words’ or which are “info words’. A large volume of Ads or a high cost per click would indicate it’s a money word.

NO SILVER BULLET – AdWords cost money, but it’s worth it

Forget about low cost per click, High conversion campaigns – they almost never happen. Fact is there are too many businesses bidding on AdWords for you to achieve this outcome these days,

Especially since Google decided to remove the Right column ads!

Google AdWords cost money, but it’s still more than worth it if you optimise for conversions and sales.

So, how do you optimise for better conversion and sales?

By Split testing…

Here are the major things I split test to increase my results in AdWords over time.

SPLIT TEST – Google AdWords

Three ads in each ad group

Ad #1 Your Control – this is your best-performing Ad

Ad #2 Same as control but with a different headline (top sentence)

Ad #3 Same as control but with a different description (bottom sentence)

Then run the split test over 1000 impressions to see which has a better Click through rate (CTR)

Split test mobile Ads on/off

I’ll let you in on a secret…

Google Ads are nowhere as effective on mobile as they are on a desktop. Not every business will work well on mobile ads.

Mobile Ads work best for local businesses people search for when they’re on the move. But this is not a hard rule, so it’s worth you testing with both mobile Ads on and off.

Split test/Optimise for peak times

Test different times of the day to see when you’re audience is most active. You can use analytics in the hour settings to see when your users are most active on your site.

Location testing Gold Coast vs Brisbane Vs Sydney

Split test locations. People from a different area’s will often respond to separate call to actions. Don’t clump a whole state or region in with another place, this rarely works.

Use negative keywords

One of the best ways to create a strong AdWords campaign is by continuing to ad Negative keywords to your ad sets. For example, if you’re a Personal trainer looking for clients…

You might want to show for the keyword term “Personal trainer”.

….but not show for the search term “Personal trainer qualification.”


Google Adwords may be more expensive today. But there’s no doubt it should play a role in your marketing campaign as part of your lead generation strategy. What things have you found help your Google AdWords performance? share in the comments below…

Marcus Jovanovich
Marcus Jovanovich

Marcus Jovanovich is a Marketing Coach and expert when it comes to online conversion and lead generation. Having run several successful traditional ‘bricks & mortar’ and e-Commerce businesses over the past 15 years, Marcus is now a sought after marketing coach and mentor for those wanting to grow their businesses by focus targeting all aspects of business marketing.

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