You’ve started a Google ad campaign—but your results are pretty lackluster. Your campaign is getting clicks but you’re still not seeing the flood of new customers you were expecting. And suddenly, you may start to question the wisdom of doing Google ads at all.
Before you decide that Google Ads isn’t working for you, doing some conversion rate optimization can be a huge difference between a campaign that flops and one that achieves your goals. Conversion rate optimization can be one of the most important parts of improving your PPC campaigns, even if you’re just getting started.
One of the top reasons why people contact me about Google Ads consulting is because of frustration with their campaigns. Trust me, you’re not alone. Google Ads can seem really straightforward but once you really get into it, PPC has one of the highest barriers to entry in the entire marketing and advertising space.
Let’s look deeper at the best ways to improve ppc performance by increasing your Google conversion rate.
What is a Conversion in Google Adwords?
A conversion in Google Ads is when a person takes the action you want after interacting with your ad. You can set a conversion to almost anything you want.
The conversion rate formula used in Google Ads is:
Conversion Rate = (Conversions) / (Number of ad interactions)
Why is conversion rate calculated from ad interactions and not clicks? Because a conversion can happen directly from your ad, not just on your website! For example, if someone searches for your business and you have an ad that appears on the Map pack, if they ask for directions to your business on Google that can be a conversion.
I always recommend that you align your conversions with your overall business goals and how you create revenue. For most people, this means conversions come in the form of purchases but for others, it can be aligned with increasing your affiliate revenue or ad views. Before you even get started with conversion optimization for your Google Adwords account, you need to pick your conversions.
Common Google Ad conversions include:
- Form completion
- Phone Call
- Newsletter or Opt-In Sign-up
- App Install
- Page views
- Time on page
- Video watches & engagement
- Local actions, like getting directions
- Offline actions, like in-store purchases or signing a contract
When I set up conversion tracking in Google Ads for my Google Ad services clients, I use Google Tag Manager to make the process easier—but it can be easy to get it wrong. If you’re not seeing conversions, one of the first troubleshooting steps is to check your tracking implementation!
What is a Good Google Ads Conversion Rate?
What makes a good conversion rate for Google ads? Well, it depends! The average conversion rate for Google Ads account-wide is usually around 2%, though it’s common to have a higher converting campaign with high performing keywords.
Looking up your industry’s average PPC conversion rate can help you better understand what to expect from your Google ads campaigns and give you a benchmark to work towards when you’re getting started with Google Ads.
When I’m projecting conversion performance for a new Ad Account, I try to use a combination of historical data, industry benchmarks, and my own experience having managed Google Ads for a number of years.
It’s a bit of an art to figure out what your conversion rate should be—but using an industry benchmark is a great place to start!
How to Increase Conversions in Adwords
If you’re ready to improve your adwords conversions rate and increase ppc conversions, there are a number of steps you can take. Some are more difficult than others so I’ve included a list of the steps I take below from what I consider the easiest to the hardest.
It can be an involved process to make Google Adwords more effective for your business after you’ve taken care of the low-hanging fruit. In my experience, it usually takes around 3 months to start to see the results of the more complex parts of Google ads conversion optimization and may take as long as 6 months to really see it hone in.
Optimize Demographic & Location Targeting to Increase Conversions
If you’re advertising to the wrong people, your conversions will definitely suffer. It’s a common problem I’ve seen new and seasoned Google Ads campaign managers make time and time again.
Checking your ads to make sure you have the correct targeting setup is key to optimizing for conversions and can be a quick fix for increasing conversions. It’s probably the easiest way to make sure you’re not wasting money and missing out on conversions!
You can check the most basic targeting options first to make sure you’re not making some obvious but common mistakes:
- Geographic area
- Income levels
- Age groups
Many people forget to set the right targeting during the initial setup of their campaigns, which causes a lot of worthless clicks and wasted ad spend. If you’ve never done Adwords before, it’s an easy mistake to make—and you may not have even known that you had these targeting options available!
Decrease Cost Per Conversion in Adwords with Negative Keywords
Another easy mistake to make is paying for clicks on keywords that don’t align with your goals, target market, or products & services. Irrelevant keywords can produce clicks that waste your advertising dollars, decrease your reach with the right target audience, and increase your cost per conversion.
One way to avoid wasted ad spend and decrease your cost per conversion is to add negative keywords to your campaign.
Negative keywords are types of keywords that prevent your ad from being shown. For instance, “cheap” and “free” are two of the most common negative keywords that prevent your ads from being shown to people searching for free or low-cost options in your niche. If the search includes these words, your ads won’t show.
Working with an experienced Google Ads expert can help you fast track your campaign towards decreased costs per conversion with extensive, well-maintained negative keyword lists.
One of the first things I do when I set up a new campaign is upload a list of negative keywords I’ve developed over years of managing Google Ads campaigns. It’s also important to maintain a negative keyword list specific to your campaign goals and routinely review your search keywords to make sure you’re not getting irrelevant clicks. It’s part of any good Google Ad campaign management service (and a standard part of mine!).
Use Display Network Remarketing to Increase Conversions
Remarketing is one of the most effective Google ad strategies to increase your conversions and decrease your cost per conversion. Why?
Remarketing allows you to target people who have already engaged with your website and advertise to a more “warm” audience than a search ad. Think about it: are you more receptive to marketing messages from a website you’ve already visited?
Research shows that someone needs to interact with or see messaging from your company 7 times before they’ll take action.
It’s no surprise that conversion rates are highest on the 6th time a potential customer sees a remarketing ad after their first interaction with your site.
If you don’t have remarketing set up for your Google Ads campaign, you’re missing big opportunities. As a Google Ads consultant, I help my clients get remarketing setup but also guide them through implementing advanced techniques like dynamic remarketing ads—it’s essential to success with Adwords!
Increase Quality Score By Increasing Click Through Rate
One of the most important parts of your overall Google ads campaign is your keyword quality score. Quality score has an outsized impact on your ad rank, how much you’ll pay for clicks, and how your overall campaign will perform.
A higher quality score can help you increase your conversions and decrease costs per conversion. The quickest way to increase quality scores is to improve your click through rates.
The biggest factor on quality score is your expected click through rate. Way back in 2008, Google stated “Clickthrough rate (CTR) is the most significant component of Quality Score because it directly indicates which ads are most relevant to our searchers” and that still hasn’t changed today. The best way to improve your conversions with quality score is to entice more clicks with your ads.
Improving your CTRs on Google Ads can be a tricky process but the payoffs can be huge for your conversions! Writing better ad copy and using proven techniques can go a long way to improving your CTR.
The process of improving ad CTRs involved A/B testing ad copy, using copywriting techniques specific to Google Ads, and really digging deep into the reasons why someone is searching in the first place. Experience helps a whole lot so if you want to fast track your Google ads success, hiring an experienced Google Ads specialist can be a big help.
Maximize conversions in Google Ads by Improving Landing Page
If your landing page experience is awful but your ads are great, you could easily see a lot of clicks on your ads but zero conversions. And if your landing page is just mediocre, your conversions may be less than you’d expect in comparison to industry benchmarks.
One way you can increase your Google ad conversions is to make your landing page experience better and use on-page conversion optimization strategies. Take a closer look at your landing page and make sure you can positively answer these questions:
- Does your landing page create a clear connection to your ad copy?
- Does your landing page convince visitors to take action and provide a clear path forward?
- Does your landing page quickly and clearly convey your unique value proposition and show how it solves your ideal customer’s biggest problems?
If your landing page is missing any of these key elements, making changes can help improve conversions.
In addition to those big questions, there’s all kinds of smaller details that require technical knowledge to fix, like loading times, usability, and coding. Landing pages can be one of the hardest parts to get right in your Google Ads campaigns because there’s a lot more involved in increasing conversions from landing pages.
If you really want to maximize your conversions, keep in mind that most Google Ads managers don’t know a whole lot about how to develop websites and make the technical changes that may be required to really get the most out of your website with an advertising campaign.
Not to toot my own horn too much, but I know I’m an anomaly that I’m skilled at Google Ads, SEO, and website development. It’s rare to find a Google Ad consultant like me who can do all of those things!
Ready to Improve Your Adwords Campaign?
Improving your conversion rate from your Google Ads campaign can be a big undertaking if you don’t know all the different steps and strategies. It took me a few years to really understand how to do conversion rate optimization on Google Ads and get good at it, even as a professional.
If you’re ready to optimize your ads for conversions, you can go the long route of learning how to do it yourself. But for most people, hiring a Google Ads consultant is the best way. Plus it tends to be both faster and cheaper in the long run.
The first step is to get in touch with me to see if your account needs conversion optimization and get a free initial consultation. I’m happy to give you my opinions on your Google Ads and help guide your decision on what to do next!