3 Pro Tips for Maximizing Google AdWords Performance

By EXCLUSIVE Insights Team
TOPICSFeatured, Paid Search

You can achieve “good” AdWords performance by following best practices. Going from “good” to “great,” however, requires a more advanced approach. In this article, the marketing experts at EXCLUSIVE have shared three tips for going beyond best practices that will enable you to maximize the performance of your AdWords campaigns.

1. Surpass the Ad Testing Status Quo

Rotating at least three ad variations per ad group allows Google to test more ads against each other, resulting in a more accurate (and profitable) decision about which ad resonates best with users. Additionally, by using ad customizers (these work like the keyword insertion feature, which uses the {keyword:default text} parameter to put the keyword used by the searcher into your ad text) you gain the following advantages:


  • Allow a single text ad to have hundreds of variations, and show the most relevant variation to each potential customer.

Tailored targeting

  • Create hyper-specific ads mapped to each search or webpage being viewed. For example, to capture high-converting shoppers that fit a well-defined demographic, you can target an exact location (e.g. a college town) with aggressive bidding that will show them products they’re likely to respond strongly to (e.g. college apparel for their school) based on previous campaign data.

Ad customizers unlock a world of highly targeted campaign opportunities

2. Create an Advanced Keyword Strategy

For most advertisers, having a robust negative keyword list and not targeting overly broad keywords is a basic standard. But adding user behavior into your keyword methodology allows for a deepened understanding of your campaigns, in addition to providing a performance boost.

Ensuring that ads for your luxury product are only triggered by income-qualified shoppers — or that your children’s book ad is only shown to appropriately aged parents — is essential.  These are all of the persona and contextual factors that you should be weighing:


  • Using search demographics, as shown below, you can filter searchers by age, gender, parental status and income.

Demographics reports in AdWords can provide keyword strategy insights

Shopper and Search Context

  • Remarketing audiences can be used to target high-converting searchers based on previously demonstrated shopping behavior.
  • Using the similar audiences feature allows you to target searchers that have also been added to your remarketing lists based on proven search criteria (e.g. “buy running shoes online”). So instead of wastefully targeting broad keywords, you can hone in on similar audiences that have already demonstrated themselves to be valuable via remarketing.

Custom Intent Audiences

  • While an automated version of this feature also exists, the customizable alternative is the one savvy account managers should be using. With your preferred keywords or established lists in-hand, you can setup a net of terms that clearly demonstrate buying (or researching, price-comparing, etc.) intent on the searcher’s part based on your business’s preferred indicators, yielding leads that match your specific needs.

3. Reach Your Remarketing Potential

Using remarketing campaigns is just table stakes. How well the specific campaigns are configured will determine how much additional value you can extract. A typical remarketing campaign has audiences segmented based on behaviors such as time-on-site, pages visited, cart abandonment and more. An advanced solution, however, is able to capitalize on much more.

Bid Scaling and Identifying Your Target

  • Scaling your bids up or down based on the value of a particular audience group (determined by looking at engagement levels or the value to your business)
  • Optimizing ad placements by excluding certain websites or domains to ensure that your ad doesn’t appear on a low-value site or a site that reflects negatively on your brand. For example, if your ads continually appear on a particular site whose shoppers have no practical use for your products, then you can prevent your ads from displaying there by tweaking your placement settings.
  • Optimizing demographic targets based on core customers and engagement levels helps ensure sure that your most loyal customers are appropriately accounted for

Location-Based Ads

  • Geo-targeting to relevant locations in order to hone in on your audience. This includes countries, areas within a country and exact radius targeting options.

When paired with the right ad, geo-targeting can greatly enhance performance

Taking  Your AdWords to the Next Level

While basic AdWords strategies often lead to “OK” results, uncommon techniques and flawless execution can create a competitive edge. To get you there, our experts rely on the experience that comes with optimizing paid search campaigns since before Google was founded (and they’ve learned a trick or two since then). If your paid search strategy needs next-level tweaking, take our free ecommerce analysis so we can uncover new opportunities for your business.