Optimising Search Ads: A Step By Step Guide

In this article, we’ll cover how businesses can optimise search ads, commonly known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) adverts. We’ll take you through a step-by-step process to help you get the most from your paid media budget, generate leads and push growth to the next level.

What are Search Adverts?

Search adverts, also known as search ads or PPC advertising, are a form of online advertising whereby you pay a fee to appear at the top or bottom of search engine results pages (SERPs). These adverts are paid advertisements businesses can use to promote their products or services. It allows advertisers to find users actively searching for related keywords on search engines like Google.

Search ads are typically displayed alongside organic search results however, paid adverts will sit above organic search results and are labelled “sponsored” to differentiate them (see below).

Paid Search example

 

 

Search ads are highly targeted and can be customised to target user’s search queries within certain locations. They are a powerful tool for businesses to increase online visibility and attract potential customers.

The Importance of Search Ad Optimisation

Optimising search ad campaigns is crucial for businesses to maximise online advertising efforts. Optimising search ads can improve performance, increase click-through rates (CTRs), and drive more conversions.

Search ad optimisation involves various strategies and techniques, such as targeting the right keywords, crafting compelling ad copy, utilising ad extensions, creating landing pages optimised for conversion, and continuously measuring and analysing performance. By implementing these optimisation tactics, businesses can ensure that their search ads are relevant, engaging, and effective in reaching their target audience.

Running search adverts is not as simple as setting up adverts and choosing keywords to bid on. There are lots of skills involved with optimising your search ads, these include:

Crafting Compelling Ad Copy

Ad copy refers to the text in the search ad and includes the headline, description, and any additional ad extensions.

Ad Copy Example

Crafting compelling ad copy is essential for capturing the user’s attention and enticing them to click on your advert. In some cases, your adverts will be up against 3 others, so if you want the users to click, you must stand out.

When crafting ad copy, you should focus on:

  • Creating a strong headline that grabs attention and relates to your user’s search
  • Have a concise and compelling description that highlights the value proposition,
  • Use a clear call-to-action (CTA) that encourages users to take the desired action.

By crafting compelling ad copy, businesses can increase the likelihood of users clicking on their search ads increasing what is known as click-through rate (CTR) and driving more traffic to your website.

Utilising Ad Extensions to Enhance Visibility

When you run an advert in Google Ads, you can put ‘Ad extensions ‘ on your adverts to help give you more space on the SERP and to provide the user with more information before they click through to your website.

These additional pieces of information include phone numbers, location information, links to specific landing pages, and additional site links.

Businesses should choose relevant and appropriate ad extensions that align with their goals and target audience. For example, suppose a user is looking for a plumber. In that case, they are more likely to want contact information than your location. Especially as SERPs will only be showing them local results.

Targeting the Right Keywords – Focus On User Intent

One of the key aspects of search ad optimisation is targeting the right keywords that align with user intent. User intent refers to the specific goal or purpose behind a user’s search query. By understanding the intent behind certain keywords, businesses can create targeted ad campaigns more likely to attract relevant traffic and potential customers.

As an example, a user searching for “best roofers near me” could be looking for reviews or want to browse through different styles. Someone searching for “roofer near me” is more likely to be closer to conversion. This is especially important when using Google ads, as sometimes if you use broad match keywords, Google’s systems may include phrases like this and will need to ensure you regularly check search terms and add them to your negative keywords if necessary.

To target the right keywords businesses should conduct thorough keyword research and analysis. They should identify keywords relevant to their services with the right user intent. Then you can create ad copy that aligns with the user’s search intent. By targeting the right keywords and aligning ad copy with user intent, businesses can increase the relevance and effectiveness of their search ads.

Create landing pages optimised for conversion

So you’ve optimised your ad copy, added all the right extensions and your keyword selection is on point. You’re driving loads of users to your website, but the job isn’t done there – now you need to execute part 2 of the plan – make them convert!

A landing page is the webpage users are directed to after clicking on a search ad. Creating landing pages optimised for conversion is crucial for service-based businesses to maximise the effectiveness of their search ad campaigns and turn clicks into conversions.

To optimise landing pages for conversion, businesses should ensure that the landing page features the following:

  • Good load times:  Make sure your website loads in a timely fashion so users don’t bounce.
  • Have a clear and compelling headline: The headline should reflect your ad copy and in turn, the users search
  • One prominent call-to-action (CTA): Don’t give the user too many conversion points.
  • Social proof: The user has likely never interacted with your business. Make sure to use reviews and accreditations/awards to build trust.
  • A user-friendly design: It should be easy for the user to contact you or find more information about your service.

Additionally, businesses should consider implementing conversion tracking and testing different elements of the landing page to improve its performance over time.

Measuring and Analysing Performance to Make Data-Driven Decisions

Once your search campaign is live, it’s vital to analyse its performance to make data-driven decisions and optimise your advertising efforts.

Some of the key metrics you should be monitoring include:

  • Click-through rate (CTRs)
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA)
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS)

By analysing these metrics, businesses can identify areas for improvement, make necessary adjustments to their campaigns, and optimise their search ads for better performance. Additionally, businesses should leverage analytics tools and platforms to gain deeper insights into user behaviour and engagement.

Don’t stop A/B Testing

As well as continuing to analyse your ads performance, you should continue to test new ad copy, landing pages and ad extensions to see what works.

A/B testing, known as split testing, is a method used to compare and evaluate different versions of search ads. It allows you to test ad copy, landing pages and other elements to determine which performs best.

A/B testing works by splitting the impressions or clicks you receive between your adverts. By conducting A/B tests, businesses can identify the most effective strategies, ad copy, landing page designs, and other elements to maximise their search ad performance.

It is important for businesses to continuously test their campaigns to stay ahead of the competition and drive better results.

Need Support With Your Search Ads?

If you’d like us to optimise search ads for your business or review your account to help you optimise search ads, please get in touch. Our paid media experts would be happy to take control of your account and ensure you’re maximising your marketing budget.

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