If you’re using Google Ads as your lead generation tool, chances are you’ve had a good deal of success. Now that you have a steady stream of leads coming in, what do you need to do next?
It’s no secret that Google Ads is a powerful tool for lead generation. But what many businesses don’t realize is that there’s more to be done after the leads start coming in. That’s where the Best Google Ads Ecommerce Agency comes in, they help you look after your ads and optimize accordingly and save you from all the hassle.
Here’s the dirty little secret: tactics like ad testing and landing page optimization will probably make your campaign more effective – but they won’t make it better. They won’t help you get closer to the highly qualified leads that turn into sales. To do that, start thinking about improving quality from the very beginning. In this article, I’ll show how Google Ads can help us fine-tune our targeting with great targeting criteria – without parsing a single line of backend data.
Targeting is not an Afterthought
Developers tend to be fairly obsessive about data structures. We like to think through all the scenarios, and then model them in code. That’s why we agonize over things like whether to use a list or an array in Python or what kind of data type to use for storing records in Postgres.
What about the user interface? Should it come second, so that we can make sure everything works well under any circumstances? No! Good UIs are an important part of good engineering practice because they help us understand our target users better. The thought process is similar when it comes to targeting in Google Ads: even if you’re just getting started with lead generation, don’t treat targeting as an afterthought. Your keywords will evolve over time, so keep reading.
Explore Your Target Audience with Negative Keywords
The simplest way to start targeting is to add negative keywords. These tell Google not to show your ads for certain searches. Basically, they make it easier to zero in on the kind of users you want rather than showing your ad to everyone who’s vaguely related. Here are some examples:
Negative keywords are a good place to start because they’re easy to set up and track. However, they only take you so far. It’s highly likely that Google Ads will present your ad alongside search results that don’t have anything in common with what you actually sell. For example, here’s what happens when I search for “quinoa”:
Google would have shown me ads if I had searched for “buy quinoa” or “grow quinoa,” but not the search term “quinoa.” That’s because Google doesn’t know what I’m interested in when it sees the word “quinoa”: maybe I want to cook, or learn more about it, or read a recipe?
Set Up Custom Campaigns and Ad Groups
To get closer to your ideal customers and start making real sales you need to target more precisely. The best way to do this is by setting up custom campaigns, which allow you to create specific combinations of keywords and ad groups. This lets you specify search queries that are very similar – but not entirely identical – so you can show ads only to users who might be interested in your products or services.
Custom campaigns are the key to better lead generation targeting. They let you create new combinations of keywords and ad groups tailored to your specific requirements. For example, you might want to show ads only for people who searched for “quinoa” AND “buy quinoa,” which is where custom campaigns come in handy.
These more advanced strategies aren’t without their own shortcomings, however. Custom campaigns work best when you have a lot of data about your users, so they won’t be very helpful if you don’t already have at least some backend information. With that in mind, let’s take a look at another Google Ads feature designed to help us out: remarketing.
Targeting Readers for Life with Remarketing Lists
Remarketing lists work similarly to custom campaigns, but you get there through a different path. They’re designed for websites with existing traffic that want to show ads only to returning visitors.
That means they’re perfect for developers who already have at least some backend data about their users, like sign-ups or downloads. Google Ads lets you create remarketing lists based on the information you supply in your Google Analytics account. Once the list is created, it’s available right away and you can start adding users across all your properties (website plus mobile app).
Remarketing lists are helpful because they let you target users who’ve already shown interest in your product or service before. For example, if someone on your website fills out an online form or signs up for your game, that’s the perfect moment for remarketing.
Google Remarketing Lists vs Custom Campaigns
So what are the benefits of using custom campaigns instead of remarketing lists? Well, they’re about equal when it comes to targeting users who have already visited your website. But custom campaigns win in two important areas: diversity and results.
Remarketing is good for reminding users who’ve already shown interest in your product or service, but you can’t target them with specific searches or keywords. By contrast, with custom campaigns, you’re not just tailoring ads to them – but also showing them different types of search queries so they always see something new. That means better lead quality AND more conversions time and off course more business.