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Optimization of Search Campaigns in Google Ads

Advertising is becoming increasingly automated, and in a few years we will not be surprised by an advertising office with

Advertising is becoming increasingly automated, and in a few years we will not be surprised by an advertising office with a single button “Do well”. But for now, digital marketers still need to have a certain expertise and manually improve advertising campaigns. In this article Traffic Manager newage. Daryna Krazhay will share life hacks on optimizing search e-commerce campaigns. She will explain how to influence key ad metrics and provide checklists for improving CPC and CR.

Impression Share

Impression share is the percentage of impressions your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions they could have received.

Impression Share = Impressions You’ve Got/ Total Possible Impressions

Intuitively, it may seem that this ratio should be 100%, because otherwise it seems that the company does not receive advertising, customers, publicity. But if you chase the maximum share of impressions, you can get carried away and not notice how flooding the Google auction with money collapses the return on your marketing investment. Therefore, we will consider what affects this indicator and how to influence the components of Impression Share.

In the Google Ads account, we can display three metrics with share of impressions:

  • search impression share — share of received impressions on the search network (applies to all search campaigns and is displayed first in the report)
  • search top IS — the share of received impressions on the top position in the search network – refers to shopping campaigns
  • search abs. top IS — the share of received impressions in the top position – the display of the ad above the organic search results.

Previously, there was also a similar metric — impression in the highest position, but now it has been combined with other indicators.

An example of Impression Share in the Google report

How to Improve Impression Share

When analyzing Impression Share, you should pay attention to the percentage of losses by budget and the percentage of losses by rating.

  1. Loss share by budget signals that we are not getting impressions over budget. If you increase your daily budget, you can get a higher share of impressions.
  2. Loss share by rating means that we are not getting impressions due to a low bid. This could be a CPC limit for a Maximum Clicks strategy or a low bid for a target CPA or target ROAS. Also, this metric increases when we lose impressions due to insufficient relevance of the ad to the page — for example, when we lead to the wrong landing page that was described in the ad.

Impression percentage is calculated several times a day, so it will be useful to compare it week-to-week. It is also important to note that there is no budget loss notification for automatic betting strategies. To understand that we are losing impressions due to a low budget, we need to look exactly at the percentage of losses by budget.

Among other things, this indicator is influenced by the type of keyword match — it is most accurately calculated by exact match keywords. If most of the keys are in the phrase match type, then the value of this indicator will decrease slightly.

If you want to test keywords in a broad match type, you should be prepared for the fact that the share of impressions received will be extremely low, ~20%. This is explained by what search queries will appear for your keyword. A wide type of relevance pulls everything from the subject: synonyms, close in the meaning of the word. Accordingly, the possibility of exact display for a keyword will decrease, therefore the percentage of impressions for a wide range of keywords will be quite low.

If the percentage of impressions received is down, but the total number has not changed, even though there have been no adjustments to the keywords, this indicates a drop in demand. If the percentage of impressions has fallen, this suggests that the demand on the contrary is increasing, moreover, for some hype reason, it is not just a seasonal change.

Quality Score

Quality Score is an indicator of the quality of a keyword. This indicator is calculated for three days — during this period, information is collected to evaluate the ad. The higher the rating, the better your ad position, and the lower the price per click.

Accordingly, if your ads have a low Quality Score, your price will be higher and your positions will be lower. We are in newage. we have as a rule that the total quality of the keys on the account has bits of 6 or more; if it is lower, we improve the ad as follows.

How to Improve Quality Score

There are three components that influence the Quality Score.

  1. Expected CTR is the probability that a user will click on the ad. If your expected CTR is below average or average, you need to change your ad to make it more attractive to your target audience.
  2. Ad relevance shows how well the ad matches the user’s intentions.
  3. Page quality shows how relevant and useful the landing page is to the user.
Component Quality ScoreHow to influence the component~ weight
Expected CTRadd extensions so that there are at least 4 extensions of the same type.
add more attractive texts, add a Unique Selling Proposition and more original CTAs
~20%
Ad relevanceadd keywords to titles and descriptions
group keywords by topic, forming new, narrower ad groups
add dynamic keyword insertions
add negative keywords
~40%
Page qualitycheck the page for relevance to the ad
increase page speed on mobile
the relevance of the content on the page to search queries (if it is low, then add keywords to the layout of the website)
~40%

Factors Affecting CPA and ROAS

Let’s consider two entities from the unit economy, which our clients pay attention to when discussing projects.

CPA is the cost per user action that the advertiser is aiming for.

ROAS is the return on advertising expenditure, how profitable this or that advertising channel is for the advertiser.

Accordingly, the marketer’s job is to keep CPA down and ROAS up. To understand how to do this, you should decompose the complex metric into its components. So let’s look at the CPA formula.

how CPA is calculated (formula)

To put it simply, CPA is influenced by cost per conversion (CPC) and conversion rate (CR), so you need to work with these indicators.

If CPC is growing along with CR, then this is a normal situation. If the CPC increases and the CR decreases, this leads to an increase in the CPA. Conversely, if the conversion rate increases while the CPC decreases, the CPA will decrease.

how CPA changes (infographic)

A similar situation with ROAS

how ROAS is calculated (formula)

The original formula with ratios of revenue to cost of advertising can be reduced to the average check (which digital agencies can usually only indirectly influence), as well as CR and CPC, which we usually work with.

If all metrics increase, so does ROAS. If the CPC goes down but the conversion rate goes up, the ROAS goes up. In the opposite situation, when CR falls, about the growth of CPC, ROAS will fall.

how ROAS changes (infographic)

So, we want the conversion rate to increase and the CPC to decrease. So let’s take a deeper look at how to influence these indicators.

CPC Decomposition

To understand what influenced CPC growth, you can go through this checklist.

Look at the companies with the most growth in quantitative terms. In percentage terms, this will not always be correct information, because a campaign growth of 2 cents will not affect the overall CPC as much as a dollar growth of another ad, even if in percentage terms it will be 200% and 10% growth, respectively. At this step, it is necessary to identify the campaign, group, and keyword that most influenced the statistics.

Look at the history of changes, and find whether there are changes in history that could have an impact.

Check the quality score.

Check whether new competitors have appeared in the context,\ and whether other market players have strengthened their campaigns

Overall changes may be affected by volume skew on higher CPC campaigns. Check (or set) CPC limits so that the rate does not grow to cosmic proportions.

CR Decomposition

Regarding CR, the situation is similar to CPC, and there is also a checklist for it.

Find which campaign, group, keyword changes the statistics – where the CR has fallen the most.

Check the functionality of the site – there may have been some work on the site that led to the appearance of unexpected bugs.

Check the “invalid clicks” metric on the graph. If there are more of them, this may be a sign of competition from competitors.

Check the correctness of work in Google Analytics, whether all conversions are tracked correctly.

Check the traffic from the remaining sources and, if possible, look at the web analytics data year-over-year – there may be a seasonal drop in demand.

Life hacks of a Digital Marketer

Think through the logic of how you will add links at the group level in a way that leads the user to the very bottom of the funnel. You can add subcategory links. If the user googles “brand watch”, add specific brands. If you google the brand, give a link to the lines. If you already “buy a watch of a specific series” – lead on the model.

If the user Googles “buy paving stones of a brand, series, product”, he can be guided to the product and add sizes, colors, etc. to additional links.

At the same time, it is important to observe the rule of linguistic relevance of extensions. And this applies not only to additional links, but to absolutely all text extensions. For example, if we have an English-speaking group, it is logical to add links to English-language pages to the group level; and to, for example, a Spanish-language ad group, an extension in Spanish should be added.

Managing CR on holidays

The holidays can give a good boost to business, but for everything to go well, a digital marketer should be attentive and keep his hand on the pulse of campaigns. Google suggests using seasonal adjustments and data exclusions for holidays and predicted problem days.

Seasonality adjustments in Google ads is one of the advanced tools in bidding strategies, which allows you to effectively adjust the strategy in conditions of increased demand. It works for short-term events (up to 7 days) with ROAS and tCPA strategies, as well as with all Performance Max strategies.]

Seasonality adjustments in Google ad

With this feature, you can optimize your bidding strategy for events that are expected to have the highest conversion rate. For example, it can be useful for a flower shop on March 8. There are often cases that the client does not have time to process the number of orders on a holiday, then you can even lower the CR by a trick so as not to turn off advertising completely and thus affect the strategy.

Data exclusions is an advanced tool used in case of problems with the site.

Data exclusions in Google Ads

For example, if the site was down for some time, but the ad continued to rotate and drive people, Google Ads may decide that something is wrong with the ad and will adjust the strategy without any positive results (the site also does not work and conversions do not occur on it) . In this case, you should pause advertising, fix the site, and then indicate in the advertising cabinet that the data for the period of bugs is irrelevant and should not be taken into account for training algorithms.

Problems may concern individual pages, then you can apply data exclusion for specific campaigns, but if the entire site is affected, you should exclude data for all campaigns.

Conclusions

  1. To effectively improve a search advertising campaign, you need to focus on quantitative, measurable indicators.
  2. Impression Share shows how well your campaigns are using their reach potential. Campaigns don’t have to select all 100% of possible impressions, but if the numbers are low, the reasons for the lack of selection should be investigated in detail and affected by budget or ad relevance.
  3. The keyword’s quality factor is measured by Google over several days of the campaign. If the system considers the ad to be relevant to the keyword, the advertiser will receive more impressions and they can be significantly cheaper than low-quality ads.
  4. A digital marketer can influence CPA and ROAS directly through CPC and CR. These metrics are key for search campaigns and in the article above we provided checklists for improving both metrics.
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