November 12, 2021 | 11 min reading time

Consumers know that Google is the place to be when a consumer is hot on the trail of a product they really want. When consumers are aching to buy, you want your brand to be front and center with Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords. If you’re not familiar with Google Ads optimization, we’re going to get you up to speed in a New York minute.

One thing is certain, there’s no shortage of ad formats with Google Ads:

  • Display Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Search Ads
  • App Ads
  • Shopping Ads

Google set up the various designs for their ad formats intentionally to give businesses prime choices to customize their ads. The right content on an ad in the right size and shape is sure to reach the ideal audience possible within your target market.

Advertisers give Google Ads high marks for its versatility. Check out all the perks for setting up Google Ads optimization:

  • Target specific websites
  • Remarket to various audiences
  • Run ads on different apps
  • Set up video ads to play before or during related videos

Your target audience could see one of your ads anywhere across the Google network. Prospects will find your search ads on the Google search engine. You’ll have good success when you target the right keywords and do your research on how to optimize your Google Ads. 

Google Ads presents lots of opportunities to enhance your ad campaign results. It’s the platform of choice for serious marketers who are looking to grow a brand or build an online business. 

One of the biggest reasons why leading marketers choose Google Ads is that it gives you the ability to know your real marketing acquisition cost of each sale or transaction. 

What Is Google Ads Optimization?

Google is the largest, most popular online advertising platform in the entire world. In fact, millions of businesses place their trust in Google Ads to grow their customer base. Search Engine Journal reports 98% of survey respondents gave Google a 4 out of 5 on the trust scale. There isn’t any other platform that can compete with Google at this time.  

The Google Display Network extends to millions of websites, blogs, and other popular sites and platforms. You may be surprised to learn that the Google Display Network displays ads in front of 90% of internet users across the world. 

One of the things that made Google Ads optimization so popular is its versatility. In setting up a Google Ads account, you can target users across two main networks:

  1. The Search Network 
  2. The Display Network

What’s the difference between them? Search ads will appear at the top of the results when someone searches for one or more of your keywords. 

By contrast, display ads appear on other sites where people are browsing around online. Users are apt to find your ads on YouTube videos, their emails, and on their apps and mobile devices. 

Let’s get familiar with some of the terms related to Google Ads optimization. PPC is a term that marketers commonly use to refer to pay-per-click advertising. Marketers also refer to PPC advertising as paid search. 

With PPC ads, advertisers place bids on keywords that relate to their business, products, and services. The ads will visibly show up for users on Google’s search engine and other sites for your target audiences.

Intent optimization is optimizing your campaign for searcher intent and not only for keywords. For this to happen, you have to take into consideration buyer intent, commercial intent, etc. It’s key to analyze the reason behind the search. In order to do intent optimization, you need to run an in-depth post click analysis

The goal of intent optimization is to focus on where your conversions are coming from, eliminate waste and maximize your ROAS. 

The key to unlocking your intent optimization is going to come down to 3 main factors 

  1. Understanding your buyers journey 
  2. Reading into the post click analysis data 
  3. Acting on the data to optimize your ads for Intent

It all sounds pretty simplistic, and it is. To truly maximize the potential of the platform, you need to invest some of your time in becoming a Google Ads intent-optimizer sorts. Take heart, Google has lots of tools to move you in the right direction. Next, we’ll go into more about the Google Ads optimization score and how to leverage it to improve your ad campaigns. 

The Google Ads Optimization Score

How can you be sure that all the time, money, and effort you’re putting into your Google Ad campaigns are paying off? 

First of all, know your ROAS. You can find out more about properly calculating your return on ad spend here (link)

Google gives you a quick and easy way to check in on your ad campaigns simply by taking note of your Google Ads optimization score. Your Google Ads optimization score gives you a very high-level insight into how Google believes your account is performing. 

Here’s how they do it. They’ve designed a scale that ranges from 0% to 100%. The max Google optimization score is 100%, and that gives you a worthy goal to shoot for. Although don’t be fooled, Google is notorious for giving prompts that may not be aligned with your business goals and your Google Ads ROI. 

Don’t fret over low scores, get excited about them! Lower scores give you more opportunities to make changes, test, and retest so you can take your ad campaign performances to new heights. 

Your Google Ads optimization score gets calculated in real-time, and here are the things Google uses to base your score:

  • Statistics
  • Settings
  • Status of your account and campaigns
  • Relevant impact of available recommendations
  • Recent recommendations history 
  • Trends in the Google Ads ecosystem

Because Google uses many factors to calculate your optimization score, and it all happens in real-time, your report changes every time Google sees changes. Efficiency is at its best with the Google Ads optimizer score program. 

Let’s take a deeper dive into 7 of the factors that are at work in the Google Ads optimization score. 

what google considers when calculating your google ads optimization score
  1. Results in real-time – Google takes notes on whether you choose to apply one of their recommendations or dismiss it. Based on your decisions, they change your optimization score immediately. The lesson here is to consider their recommendations fully.
  2. Statistics – Google takes the results of your account’s past performance and combines them with predictive modeling to come up with an impact score of each recommendation. 
  3. Settings – Google quickly gets up to speed on your specific conversion actions and account structure. Its algorithms can understand your ad group themes, and it provides recommendations based on your current keyword match types. 
  4. Status of account and campaigns – Google only gives suggestions for your current, active ad campaigns. That’s an opportunity for you to focus on how your campaigns are currently performing. 
  5. Relevant impact of available recommendations – Google weighs its recommendations on the potential impact they can make on your account. Recommendations with high scores could yield stellar results. 
  6. Recent recommendations history – This factor relates to the hierarchy within your recommendations, and the platform accounts for the ones you choose to apply. If you opt out of smart bidding, the system won’t likely make recommendations like changing your CPA. Also, as you add new keywords, the platform might suggest some new keyword ideas for you to try. 
  7. Trends in the ads ecosystem – Marketing trends are always changing and evolving, and Google Trends will help you to stay in the loop of current changes early in the game. The proof was in the pudding as consumers migrated to online shopping as a safe alternative to visiting brick and mortar retailers during the pandemic. 

Optimizing Google Ads Pre-Launch

Beyond the 7 factors that help to create your Google Ads optimization score, we’re giving you 7 Google Ads optimizer tips for planning effective ad campaigns:

how to optimize google ads pre-launch
  1. Define your audience
  2. Determine which products and services to advertise
  3. Identify the keywords that have the most potential
  4. Set up negative keywords 
  5. Prepare your website with landing pages
  6. Set up conversion tracking
  7. Research your competitors

Don’t put it off! It’s worth it to plug some time into your schedule to understand Google Ads optimization. Your results will speak for themselves. 

Intent Optimization with Post-Click Analysis

A big part of the challenge of attracting your target audience is getting into their heads and understanding their intent when they enter search terms into a search engine. Post-click optimization is essential to accomplishing that, by unlocking the data that is behind each and every click you can unveil insights into your customers' click behavior. Of course, as the name suggests, post-click analysis is the kind of optimization you run after the ads have been published.

Post-click analysis is the process of recording behavior in your site’s visitors after they interact with your ads. Then, use this data to optimize your ads. It is not enough just to record activities. The key is to make this data actionable in order to use it to optimize your campaigns and refine your target audience.

Post-click analysis should be used by all marketing professionals but in reality, it does not happen. The reason this type of post-launch optimization is important is that it provides you with a deeper understanding of user behavior (beyond Google Analytics). Marketers that don't use this are missing a huge opportunity to optimize for your target audience.

When you run ads, you use a platform to define your target audience. This can be done by geo-targeted, keyword, etc. The platform does its best to match your ads with the people that are more likely to be interested in your offer. The main goal of this platform is to send you traffic to your site but after this, they are done. Therefore, a marketer should analyze the quality of leads/traffic that the site is getting in order to optimize the campaign further. 

The size of the campaign doesn't matter. As a marketer if you have a small campaign with a small budget, you should do more in order to make every dollar count. It is possible to do post-click analysis in small campaigns. The process is the same in order to make the data actionable. If you have a small sample of data, you just use a simple algorithm to make that data actionable and ready to implement. On the other hand, if you have a big campaign with a big budget, you should use a middle complexity algorithm with a deeper analysis.

Any advertiser no matter the site can benefit from data such as: 

  • What is the average time people spend on your site before converting?
  • What level of interaction do people have with your site?
  • What is the probability that the interactions are made by bots?

If you don't make room to analyze the quality of traffic and second do proper attribution, you are blind. Because you don't have any insight on the quality of traffic that you are paying for. Therefore, you can't fix or refine anything. 

Think about what happens after a user clicks on an ad. Their experience with your brand can easily end there if you let it. Why risk it? Enhance their experience by setting up a matching landing page. From there, continue their experience by taking them to a customized thank you page, customized thank you email message, text message, or automated postcard.

You’ll be collecting data every step of the way, so be sure to leverage their contact information and other demographics to optimize the post-click customer journey. It can be the start of a long-standing, loyal relationship with your brand. 

Yes, we know we’ve given you a lot to digest, but that’s because we want you to feel informed and have the confidence to run the hottest Google Ads campaigns ever. Contact the experts at ClickGUARD to help you set up the most impactful post-click optimization strategies and get the latest scoop on Google Ads trends and strategies.

Jason is the CMO @ ClickGUARD. He is passionate about all things PPC, SEO and has extensive customer acquisition experience. When not writing about SEM he can be found surfing the wildest ocean waves of the South American coast.