fbpx

Eliminate Inaccuracies in Google Ads Testing and Tracking

Launching a successful Google AdWords campaign requires a lot of testing and tracking. Testing is very often overlooked and considered unnecessary, when in fact it’s what makes all the difference, and allows you to move forward and get results.

Many how-to guides and ebooks can give you guidance on how to create the best performing PPC campaigns, but remember that beyond general tips, no one can actually give you a magic formula for creating ads that work, every company and challenge is different. You have to test and track results to see the real performance of your PPC campaigns. While doing so, you need to know what to track, what your goals are, and how to identify and track the results, otherwise all this testing will lead you astray.

1. Use Significant Split Tests That Give Realistic Results

Let’s be honest, we all know you need to achieve statistical significance in order to make a decision, and it takes time to gather a significant amount of data  in order to make an informed decision. But, many times, we all rush into a split test without really identifying the goals and/or we’re eager to choose a winner without actually achieving statistical significance.

This extremely short and rushed testing will not only give inconclusive results, but may lead you down the wrong path and making a decision by choosing an ad as a “better performer”, that really isn’t.

Instead of questioning your decision or rushing to a decision, take the right steps and make an informed decision based on data that really matters. In order to make smart decisions, give each ad a fair amount of time to run and really  analyze your test so you can realistically evaluate which ad truly performs better.

2. Don’t Let Google Optimize Your Ads

If you are serious about testing on Google Ads, you should focus on beating your best performing ad’s CTR, conversion rate, and CPA/ROAS on an ongoing basis. Unfortunately, by default Google will display the ads with highest monitored CTR, but in order to achieve your goal and properly test all ads, you need to give them the same amount of exposure.

You can easily change Google’s default setting, and instead of allowing it to “Optimize”, you will change your campaign settings to “Rotate: show ads more evenly”. Simple as that.

3. Separate Display Network Traffic And Google Search Network Traffic

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to advertise on Google Search results as well as the Display Network. But, make sure you are doing these in in separate campaigns for each network, especially when performing tests. Mainly, because clicks from each network are treated as different traffic sources, and second, because people are in a different state of mind and different stage of the buying process depending on where they were (Search/Display) when they saw your ad and clicked on it.

If you group Search Network traffic and Display Network into one campaign and show them identical ads, you risk getting distorted data which will make it a harder to determine which ads are more profitable. Keep the networks separate in order to measure things accurately. Depending on your preference, Search/Display Network, choose the correct settings and only one network per campaign.

4. Are your clicks and conversions actually generating revenue?

Another thing to keep an eye on is tracking the revenue your conversions are generating. Nothing can be worse than generating a bunch of empty clicks that aren’t turning into customers, or would never lead to a conversion. Many times, you can get into a trap of focusing on generating as many clicks as possible or seeing a high CTR (Click-Through Rate), which, kudos to you, means your copy and creative is top notch. The thing to think about is, are you actually guiding people to a path of conversion or just clicks eating away at your budget.

Along with that, it might mean the advertising is doing a killer job, and we find this a lot where our CTRs are going up as a function of our ads are actually more compelling than the previous ones. But, if the site is not setup in an optimized way for conversion, you’re going to be bleeding money because people won’t convert. We find this a lot,

What you should be tracking is ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) OR CPA. Focusing on what those ad dollars are returning for you is ever more important than how many clicks you can generate. Thinking about the entire customer journey and funnel is just as important as the ads you’re running.

Making sure you’re targeting the right people with the right intent, who will actually convert into a purchase is really how you should be thinking about it. Once you do this, you’re definitely on the right track.

These important aspects of Google Ads testing can greatly help you eliminate inaccuracies and improve your PPC campaigns. Making sure you track all necessary parameters and make smart decisions when choosing your ads. Always remember that just because an ad performs better than the other in A/B testing in terms of CTR, it doesn’t mean it’s more profitable. Don’t skip testing to save time and don’t make assumptions, because they might lead to making crucial mistakes and eat away at your budget, without a return. On the other hand, really think through the customer journey and the overall funnel and how you can test, iterate and optimize in your campaigns to generate the most return possible.

The Power Of Keyword Search Data Reports In AdWords

If you’re a digital marketer, you have probably managed Google AdWords Campaigns a few times or use it on a regular basis. The primary reason we love using Adwords is because of the precision to get down and target searcher intent, to get in front of the right people, not just the most people. If you’ve used AdWords, you know it offers a variety of metrics and reports allowing you to track and analyze your ads and keyword performance in order to optimize your efforts. All you need to do is use the reports wisely to make the most of your campaigns.

Track Keywords to Determine Your Success

One of the most important things you need to monitor in AdWords are keywords. By analyzing your keyword performance, you will be able to review which ones are helping you meet your advertising goals for the ads that show up in Google Search Network, and which ones do not.

In order to track and review your keywords performance, you can either:

–    open the Campaigns section from the top menu, then choose the Keywords tab; or
–    open the Reports section from the top menu, and then from the Pre-defined reports drop-down menu choose Basic, then select Keywords or Search Terms, depending on what you with to analyze.

Both ways offer the same options, including analytics for Keywords, Negative Keywords or Search terms. It’s up to you to decide what data you wish to get, and specify: segments such as date, click type, or device; columns for adding specific types of data you wish to include in the table, and filters for the statistics you’d like to see.

All the data you get in the Keywords and Search Terms reports are very useful and allows you to thoroughly analyze and assess your keywords performance and make informed decisions about your ads. At .

Track Search Terms Match Type Performance

The segments can show you the performance of search terms match type – whether a broad match, phrase match or exact match search terms triggered your keyword and your ad to show. That way you can compare data about clicks, impressions, CTRs or conversion rates for the specific search terms that have been used and triggered your ad. These statistics will help you find the keywords which have the best performance for a particular search term match type.

Track your Quality Score

The columns allow you to add or remove specific types of data you wish to include and analyze. And one very important thing that we strongly advise you to track is Quality Score in Adwords. It is a measurement of the relevancy of your ads, keywords and landing page to your customer. By enabling the Quality Score attribute, you will be able to see the attributed value for each keyword in your campaign, with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest score.

google adwords quality score example

View Bid Simulations and Estimates

Another important column that you should enable is the adwords bid simulator. It estimates how the keyword bid changes impact your potential weekly Search Network clicks and costs. One more column that is not included in the default view of the report are the First page bid estimates, Top page bid estimates and First position bid estimates. These attributes will show you the approximate CPC bids you need to make to reach the first page, the top of the page or the first as position in Google SERPs when the search term is an exact match for your keyword. These estimates will be calculated based on your Quality score and the existing advertiser competition for the keyword in question. If the calculated estimates are very high, then probably you have a poor keyword Quality Score.

 

Adwords Bid Simulator

Sort Keyword Data

By using filters, you can find specific types of data that let you evaluate the performance of the keywords you use. You can use these data to learn which keywords are eligible to trigger ads, and which ones have good ROI.

Diagnose Individual or Multiple Keywords at Once

Another great option that AdWords offers is diagnosing the success of a single keyword or multiple keywords at once. By diagnosing one keyword you can learn whether your keyword is showing ads, and what’s it’s Quality Score. If it is showing ads, then it’s a keeper, but it if isn’t, Google will explain why and give you suggestion on how to solve the problem. Furthermore, you can break down the Quality Score and get statistics about your keyword relevance, landing page experience, and landing page loading time.

On the other hand, if you wish to diagnose multiple keywords, you will need to answer specific questions about your ad’s visibility. It’s up to you to choose the attributes you wish to text. After you run the test, you will receive results about the status of your keywords. But note that those results are only applicable in the time of testing and if you don’t act quickly, they can very soon become outdated.

Track, Analyze, Learn, and Optimize

As I mentioned, AdWords wants you to show your ad to fewer people and actually they reward you for it by using one feature designed specifically for that purpose, Quality Score. One key component of the Quality Score is CTR (Click-Through-Rate) – the percentage of people that click on your ad when they see it.  Increasing your CTR and boosting your Quality Score leads to lowering the CPC. And in order to achieve this, you need to carefully track and analyze your ads’ performance, especially your keywords.

Make the most of your Keywords report and learn how the keywords you use perform, which bids you need to change, and which keywords you need to remove. Additionally, using the Search Terms report, find out which search queries triggered your ad to be shown and clicked. Don’t be surprised if depending on your keywords matching options, the list of search terms differs from your keywords list. Those results can help you identify successful keywords and phrases that you can(should) add to your keywords list. And if your ad showed for what you consider to be irrelevant search terms, you can always use those phrases as negative keywords.

Either way, it’s a win-win situation. All you need to do is explore the available options, and learn from every bit of data and statistic you get. And if anything is unclear, and you are not sure which metrics or attributes to use and track, or what to do next once you received the stats, our expert PPC team can “translate” the data to you, and help you reach your goals.