6 Google Ads Tips for Beginners Making Search Campaigns

By Melissa Knowlton, Paid Advertising
TOPICSFeatured, Paid Search

6 Tips for Beginners When Making a Search Campaign in Google Ads

1. Segment Your Keywords

When building a new campaign and its ad groups as a beginner, you may be tempted to add in as many keywords as possible. For an example campaign, let’s say you’re advertising your company’s new dog food. There are a lot of keywords you could target, and the easiest option may appear to be to throw all of them in an ad group and see what sticks. Instead of doing this, we encourage you think about how to better group keywords for a focused strategy.

Let’s pretend I’m tasked with building a campaign for a new dog food. This dog food is designed for senior dogs, made in the U.S. and contains organic ingredients. Knowing this, we’d make three separate ad groups, each targeting the different attributes of the product. From there, we’d choose keywords that target these attributes. In another example, since the product is made for senior dogs, we’d target keywords like senior dog food, dog food for old dogs and food for senior dogs. Using this strategy, we’re also able to make more relevant ads based on those keywords, which will help with the ad relevance score.

2. Use Negative Keywords

While keywords tell Google what search terms we want to bid on, negative keywords tell Google which keywords we don’t want to bid on. Negative keywords are essential for keeping your campaigns efficient.

Sticking with the dog food example, let’s say we’re looking at the search terms for the senior dog food ad campaign group. You might notice you’ve spent over $20 in the past week on keywords containing “puppies”. Because this product is only for senior dogs, you can save money by adding “puppies” as a negative keyword, which would prevent further ad spend from going toward searches that won’t convert.

3. Use All Headlines and Descriptions in Text Ads

In the past, Google Ads only required two headlines and one description for text ads. Now, you’re provided with an additional third headline and second description. If you have older campaigns, your ads are likely missing these new features. We highly encourage you to go in and add in the new headlines and descriptions — these are great opportunities to add more keywords and value props. And, of course, if you’re building new ads, don’t skip these features in favor of the old two headlines, one description format.

4. Create Responsive Display Ads (RDAs)

Responsive display ads are a newer ad type for search campaigns. Instead of having three headlines and two descriptions in set spots, you can now include up to fifteen headlines and four descriptions. Google will optimize the ad to show the headlines and descriptions that are most likely to drive performance. This is great for having all value props included in your ad. To show how this works, let’s revisit the dog food campaign. Instead of having to choose between listing “Made in the U.S.” and “Made with Organic Ingredients” as the second headline, we can include both and let Google optimize the ad. In addition, we can also add value props about free shipping, money-back guarantees and low prices.

5. Add Audiences

There are two primary audience categories we work with when building campaigns: cold audiences and remarketing audiences. Cold audiences are users who have not been to your website, while remarketing users have. Both audiences should be included in your search campaigns.

By adding cold audiences, you’re able to learn which users are more likely to drive performance. For the dog food campaign, we’d likely add the dog lovers and pet lovers affinity audiences. If we find one of these audiences consistently generates revenue, we’d add a +20% bid modifier, setting this campaign to bid 20% more on users who are in that specific audience.

By adding remarketing audiences, you can more effectively target users who are familiar with your brand or website. For the new dog food campaign, you’d want to add past converting audiences (meaning users who have made a purchase previously). When these users search “dog food for my senior dog”, we want this ad to show up, as we know they have made a purchase in the past and will hopefully be inclined to purchase again.

6. Take Advantage of the Various ad Extensions

Google Ads provides a variety of ad extensions to work with from sitelink extensions to callout extensions and price extensions. Extensions are included in calculating your ad’s relevance score, so it is important to make sure your extensions are significant and up to date.

  • Sitelink extensions appear as a link beneath your ad. When clicked, they take a user to the landing page you specified for the extension.
  • Callout extensions appear as part of the description text, and they’re an easy way to add more value props to your ads.
  • Structured snippets also appear as part of the description and allow you to select a header and the values associated with the header. For example, a structure snippet for dog food could be Types: Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Salmon.
  • Location extensions allow you to call out your store locations or retailers’ locations where your products are sold. They appear below the ad.
  • Price extensions appear below your ads and allow you to highlight your prices for specific categories or products.
  • Promo extensions appear below the ad and let you to call out a promotion (a percent or specific value off). You can also include details on the promo code, minimum order value and the date range for the sale.

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