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Tips To Improve Google Ads Campaigns

Today we’re going to talk about Google Ads.

How to create a high-performance google ads campaign that can deliver a great ROI?

A lot of home service companies spend a ton of money every month on Google Ads alone.

Five figures a month is fairly common.

And every dollar counts, so let’s make sure that money is being spent the best it can be.

Let’s look at our rules for creating high-performing google ads campaigns:

Rule #1 – It is to have call and form tracking in place

You have to know which ads are converting into leads and which ones aren’t.

Which ads do you stop, and which ones do you pour more money into?

The only way to know is t track calls and form submissions and review that data.

We use Call Rail for our clients, but there are other platforms available.

You can also track both forms and phone calls just using Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. 

Setup a trigger and tag for phone calls. The data will be in Google Analytics under Behavior, Events, and under Conversions, Goals, then Overview.

To track form submissions – use a custom form and unique thank you page for each campaign landing page and use Google Tag Manager to track each of the unique thank you pages.

The advantages of Call Rail are there is more useful data such as name, phone, call length, where they came from, the search terms they used, which landing page they were on, and more.

Call Rails platform also enables you to record the calls and use them for training your customer service teams.

Plus, all of that data is in one place on their dashboard or through their API.

We’re an agency partner with Call Rail.

We’ll put a link to them in the show notes and on this episode’s blog post.

So once you have call & form tracking in place or about to be put into action, let’s move on to the other parts needed to build and run successful google ad campaigns.

Rule #2 – Create one campaign per service

For plumbers, one campaign would be water heaters, leak detection, drain cleaning, water softeners, etc.

For solar – batteries & storage should be its campaign, so should campaign for leases, purchases, calculators, etc.

Next up is INTENT – are your ads only looking for ready buyers, which is the most common use for Google ads.

Or are you also creating some top-of-the-funnel ads that lead to a consumer guide on the subject?

Within a campaign, Create Ad Groups separated by intent.

Rule #3 – Create at least 3 ads per Ad Group

Create a call-only ad and at least two responsive text ads using different headlines and body copy.

Google has removed the simple text ad to put in one headline and one section of body text.

Now they want responsive text ads with a dozen or more headlines and two or three body text sections, and then Google mixes and matches them to find the optimal combination.

Quite honestly, this is an insult to copywriters and advertising specialists, where lots of time, energy, skills, and experience goes into creating ad copy that converts.

With that said, do your best to include headlines that speak to your customer’s problem, their INTENT.

  • problem – solution
  • include WHY they should do business with you
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • All work guaranteed
  • # of Reviews you have
  • Same Day Service
  • Free estimates

Whatever your guarantee buzzwords are, include them. Check Google’s suggested headlines while you’re making the ad.

Rule #4 When creating your ad

Use leads as the campaign goal but “maximize clicks” as the bidding structure.

Set a maximum CPC you’re comfortable with and have identified for this campaign.

Use their keyword planner with your keywords to see what cost per click charges are for each. Then, look at the maximums and know what you’re comfortable with.

Install the conversion tracking code Google ads provide. Again, we use GTM to do this.

Link Google ads account with google analytics – in tools & settings then Linked accounts.

Rule #5 – Do great keyword research

Do great search results page analysis.

You don’t want to use keywords where the SERP is all directories (usually a plural of a word causes this).

You don’t want to use keywords where the entire SERP is all educational articles.

Find the right keywords and examine them against the SERPs to develop the best keywords to use.

ahrefs, ubbersuggest, KWfinder, or find a reputable service that does keyword research for you, such as HumanProof Designs.

Make a note of the headlines and copy used in ads and the organic results – you may want to use versions of these for your ad copy.

Make a note of the keyword phrases that are NOT good for you, and start a negative keyword list to put them into.

Rule #6 – Keywords

Use at campaign level + ad group level if multiple ad groups in a campaign.

exact match, [leak detection] = recommend these dominate your keywords lists.

phrase match, “water leak detection company near me” – acceptable but watch like a hawk.

no broad match, anything related to leak detection, like “stop diaper from leaking.”

little to no modified broad match (going away).

close variants – like they sound close variants to your keywords, even exact match.

So review close variants daily – add bad to negative KW.

For example, in a plumbing “leak detection” campaign the phrase, “evap leak detection” came up as a close variant to our main keyword.

But “evap” leak detection is related to automobiles, not plumbing leaks, so we set the word “evap” as a broad match negative keyword.

Episode 12 - 15 Rules For High-Performing Google Ads Campaigns

Rule #7 – Use negative keywords

Keywords you do NOT want your ads to show up for like the “evap” example we just gave. There are a ton of negative keywords you should have before you even turn on your first ad, words like:

  • DIY
  • How to
  • cheap
  • handyman
  • equipment
  • tools
  • employment
  • jobs
  • hire
  • hiring
  • for rent
  • home depot
  • Loews
  • loans
  • and so many more.

Rule #8 – review all campaigns and their search terms daily

Review “search” keywords for bad close variants – make them negative either as an exact match, phrase, or broad.

Review keywords that got clicks and conversion or no conversions 

Are CPC prices acceptable?

Is conversion happening in certain keywords? – examine the SERP!

Rule #9 -Set locations, schedule, and audience.

Add locations where the ad group or campaign is to run. Be sure to exclude all neighboring locations and nearby bordering counties.

Set your ad schedule – days and times to run – will someone be answering the phone? Best to be a live person – no voice mail!

Select your audiences – homeowners, in-market audiences, website visitors, competitor’s audiences, and more.

Rule #10 – Add every ad extension possible

  • Call extensions with phone #
  • little text callouts – Free quotes, 24/7
  • lead forms
  • Site links – URL to the page on your site
  • structured snippets – your service catalog
  • and now images and dynamic images also

Rule #11 – Add a location extension

Link it with your Google My Biz listing to allow better “near me” searches.

Rule #12 – Use custom landing pages for each ad group.

Have it speak to that problem, that solution, that service.

No menu, no footer, nowhere else to go, custom page per campaign + split test.

Include calls to action above the fold – in the header or top bar, click to call phone, text, see & read the phone number, and a simple form to request a call.

Rule #13 – Use a custom thank you page for the form(s) of each landing page.

This makes it easier to set up goals, and conversion tracking for GTM & GA, plus click forensics tools.

Rule #14 – Turn off automatic ad recommendations

You don’t want Google enacting any of their ad or campaign recommendations without your consent.

They’ll waste a lot of your money if you do.

So I repeat, turn off automatic ad recommendations

To do so, you log in – on the left side, click on recommendations – then in the upper right – just below the top header and a couple of inches from the right side, make sure “auto-apply” is NOT turned on.

Recommendations affect quality score – so every day examine each ad campaign’s recommendations.

Dismiss all that ask about using Google’s search partner network, examine all other suggestions carefully.

Most are not in your best interest – dismiss – keep quality score as high as possible without agreeing to any recommendations that you don’t like.

The quality score measures your ad campaign’s ability to get clicks and conversions in the eyes of Google.

The higher the quality score, the less you’ll pay for clicks. So keep it as high as possible—every day.

It’s affected by correctly set up ad campaigns and groups and ads with excellent copy that gets clicks and conversion from custom landing pages that speak to the topic of the ad.

Rule #15 – Review ad clicks and conversions regularly

What is the average cost per click in each campaign?

What is the click-thru rate of each ad?

What is the average cost per conversion?

What is the conversion rate of clicks that became leads (calls or forms)?

Examine each campaign’s performance and budget at least weekly to see what adjustments need to be made.

Does the amount you pay per click need to come down? Adjust the campaign settings.

Does the conversion rate need to be better? Examine the keywords, ad copy, landing page, and offer. Run new tests.

Bonus rules:

  • test, test, and never stop testing one variable at a time
  • test different ad headlines
  • test different ad body text
  • test landing pages
  • test the headline, copy, and offer on the landing pages
  • test calls to action
  • test CTA colors

Be sure to include click to call, text, and a form on every landing page

Change only one thing each time to see if it increases clicks or conversions. Then, keep the winner and test again.

There you have it, 15 rules, and a bonus tip on how to run high-performance google ad campaigns.

Alright, I hope that helped some of you. Thanks for sharing your time and attention with us today.

Good luck out there, and create a great day!

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Founder & CEO of Battle Plan Marketing, LLC. We customize marketing strategies and solutions for home service companies. Mark has over 30 years experience in sales and marketing, 20 years as a business owner or partner, and over a decade in digital marketing and website design. We offer analysis, strategy, project implementation and management, and marketing coaching. Mark is also host of the new Battle Plan Marketing® Podcast.
Mark Ambrose
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