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Google Ads: The often forgotten factors & why they matter so much: The key takeaways from the Manchester HUG

8 mins read

The third and final talk at May’s HUG was presented by Chris Ellis, the PPC Marketer here at Digital 22. Chris has over 10 years of experience working in PPC, managing budgets from £500 to £100,000 per month. In his talk, Chris discussed the five forgotten factors of Google Ads and why they matter so much. Here’s a breakdown of each:

  1. Location
  2. Expected click-through rate and click-through rate
  3. Ad relevance
  4. The landing page experience
  5. Quality score


The Google Ads location setting allows your ads to appear in the specific, geographic locations which you choose. This includes countries, areas within a country, a radius around a location or location groups. 

In Chris’ talk, he explains that if you ignore this setting, it can end up costing your company hundreds or even thousands of pounds. Although Google will always set a default location for you, it may not be the best for you and your budget.

Location-based marketing isn’t new. It’s been around for years. If you can communicate your brand message to the right people in the right place, you have a much greater chance of gaining their attention.

Always be sure to proactively manage the location setting in your Google Ads account in order to ensure that your online adverts are reaching the relevant target market.

Expected click-through rate and actual click-through rate

The second factor which Chris discusses in his talk is the Expected Click-through rate tool. This is Google’s estimation of the rate at which ad viewers will click through from your ads to your landing page.

This tool is extremely useful because it allows you to identify the potential strength of your keyword. A below average rating means that you might want to consider changing the keyword or the text within the ad. 

Similarly to the location setting, it’s important that the keyword you’re using for your ad is relevant to ensure that the advert is reaching the right kind of people.

Ad relevance 

As you’ll have probably established by now, relevancy is a crucial part of pay-per-click advertising. When paying for clicks, we need to ensure that every factor of the ad remains relevant in order to seek high performance and minimum waste. 

Chris points out that keeping ad groups and keywords tightly matched is the most important component to ad relevance. This allows you to show authority and put the user first. If you’ve struggled with ad relevance in the past and need some tips, this blog from Search Engine Journal is undoubtedly worth checking out when you’ve got some spare time.

The landing page experience

The fourth factor which Chris discusses is the landing page experience. This is a measure which Google Ads uses to estimate how useful and relevant your website’s landing page will be to people who click on your ad. 

Your landing page is powerful. It’s a key piece to the puzzle. If you have an effective landing page, you’re more likely to increase conversions and enjoy successful paid search campaigns. 

Need some ideas on how to improve your overall landing page experience? No need to panic! Chris shared some awesome tips in his talk which are guaranteed to help you out.

Quality score

Finally, Chris went on to discuss the importance of your quality score. Although it’s an integral part of any paid campaign, Chris states that so many people tend to pay very little attention to it.

Your quality score is a ranking of one to 10 for your Google Ads keywords based on campaign organisations and performance. It’s intended to give you a general sense of the quality of your ads and whether they need to be improved or not.

Chris stresses that you should be regularly checking your quality score and remove any underperforming keywords or ads as they can have a detrimental impact on your overall account performance.

To summarise

There are lots of different settings within Google Ads which allow you to gain a greater understanding of your ads performance and ultimately make improvements where necessary. Within his talk, Chris provides a load of actionable tips and tricks which should help you make the most of your Google Ads campaigns.

If you’re interested in taking your paid search strategy to the next level, Chris' video is definitely worth checking out when you've got some free time.

Join us at the Next Manchester HUG

Chris was one of the many experts who delivered talks at the Manchester HUG event. We have three awesome speakers booked in for our next event in August, so be sure to book your free ticket when you’ve got a spare five minutes via the button below.

The transcript

- Hi everyone. I'm Chris and I am the PPC marketer at Digital 22. I deal with all things Google ads and not so much Bing ads. We do still try and get our clients on there however because it's a very good platform. The returns are very good there just isn't enough volume. 

- So here's just a little bit about me. I've worked in PPC for around 10 to 12 years now. Up until about a year ago I owned my own small agency managing budgets from anywhere from £500 to £60,000 a month. After that, it was mainly e-commerce clients, selling anything from wigs to bonsai trees to classic cars. Basically anything which could be bought in a single purchase.

- I then went working in-house for a national car leasing company, managing their spend of around £100,000 a month. However, the campaigns weren't set up as I liked so I decided to move on and I'm not at D22 helping the clients get the most out of their Google Ads. 

- I don't like wasting money. I don't like my wasting my own money, and I don't like wasting my clients money, so I will do all I can to get the maximum results for the minimum spend. 

- There is no right or wrong with way of doing Google Ads. Everyone says that if you speak to an agency, they'll know the best way of doing things. However, if you have a way of doing your own thing, build on that. But what Google needs is a solid foundation. You can't build it or people will get sidetracked. There's so much to consider, dynamic this and re-marketing that, but if you haven't done the basics properly then all that's going to do is cost you an absolute fortune down the line. 

- Now these factors which I'm going to talk about today can make a massive difference the further you go on. The worst thing with Google Ads is that anybody can set up an account. So you might be telling your friend who's a builder that you've got Google Ads. He then sets up his own account and before you know it it's cost him an absolute fortune because he's been doing everything wrong. 

- Before you know it he's spent four to five grand and got absolutely nothing back from it. And if you ring up Google and speak to your Google rep, the first thing which they'll tell you to do is increase your cost per click. If you ever ring up Google and ask them for advice, they will always tell you to just up your cost per click.

-  So some of the stuff which we're going to go through today, if you do it properly, you should see better returns from your Google Ads. What we're going to go through is not new, it's not profound and it's definitely not rocket science. It's just some stuff that if you do properly will make things work much better.

- Did you know that 85% of the above the fold on Google is paid for? Google is fast becoming a pay to play engine. Now we've got a very good SEO team in house. They are brilliant at what they do. But the fact is, is that I can now go away and within a couple of hours have a listing on Google above 18 months of hard work, just by paying.

- All the hard work which you've done can be taken away just by someone setting up a Google Ads account. You might say that you're ranked number one organically which brilliant, but if there are four paid listings above you and you get a structured snippet in there, then that leaves you fifth, and then a maps feed can leave you about two pages down in the results.

- Another interesting fact - Google makes approximately $100,00,000 a day from Adwords. This is a frightening amount when you think about it. These are just pixels on a screen. No one ever owns anything. People are now paying for real-estate on a computer screen.  This means that you need to do everything you possibly can to get people to interact with what you're doing to complete the goal that you want. 

- So the factors I want to go through today are location, expected CTR, ad relevance and ad rank, landing page experience and the final one is something which people over look the most, and when you think about it it's absolutely frightening that they do.

- Now the advanced location setting in Google is not as advanced as you'd imagine. If you ignore this setting, it can literally cost you hundreds and thousands of pounds. If you're an e-commerce site and you want to sell to people in the UK, then you need to look at location settings carefully. If we go through to the next point, Googles recommended setting is people in, or who show interest in, your targeted locations. 

- The amount of accounts I've seen who have over-looked this is mind boggling. You have paid for this setting and you need to always make sure that you are targeting your ads to the right people. Doing this wrong can literally run you into costs worth hundred and thousands of pounds. 

- We then go through and we have expected click through rates and actual click through rates. The expected click through rate is a difficult one because this is Google's estimation of what it will be. They will always go through and put you above your competitors. But what you will see is that Google will give you a rank which either below average of average based on the exact match of your keywords. This rank will allow you decide whether you need to re-think about any of your search terms or change the text used in some of your ads. 

- This is a great tool for looking at that and making sure that we are following all of the guidelines which we know are important. You should always use this tool to identify search terms which might not be great for your account. 

- Ad relevance is a big one. There's been a change recently which the Google match types and the match going off intent rather than exactly what it was. Now personally I preferred it when a match was an exact match. I don't want Google telling me what my searches intent are because I would like to think that I know my target audience better than them.

- You need to remember that if you're marketing your account, nobody knows it better than yourself. You can't have a machine writing your ads and expect them to work well. You're in control of this so you need to keep everything highly relevant, keywords tightly matched and making sure that everything is exactly what our customer is looking for. 

 - Single keyword groups used to be great but with the changes now, you're going to end up with a lot of duplicate content. This makes things difficult to manage due to the simple amount of negatives which means that you could miss out on clicks and ultimately conversions which effects the profit of the account, the main thing we are all looking for. 

- When it comes ad relevance, just be relevant, show authority and give people what they're looking for, if they put a search in, give them what they want. Always be genuine and put the user first. 

- The landing page experience is a tough one. This is because people don't always use a PPC specific landing page. I'm not a fan of this because your goal should be for the user to complete their clicks in as few a clicks as possible. Your landing page needs to be good, it needs to be good. So if you have got a poor landing page, these are just some tips to improve it. 

- Keep your landing page relevant. Give people what they want. Always use content which you know will make people convert.

- Don't overwhelm them with links. I like to take the functionality out of a header because you don't want people to click else where. Maybe take your header out and convert it into an image instead of having links functional. We've got them onto our page and the minimum we want is an email address. We want them in our databse so that we can nurture them in the hope that they might complete again. 

- Use solid site architecture. The same as the rest of your site, everything needs to be built well so that there's a better chance of people completing your set goal. Have a clear all to action, make it clear for people and easy for them to complete your desired goal. Obviously use high quality images, a powerful header and keep everything short and to the point. Use forms which will allow us to start nurturing contacts and have social buttons on the page as well. 

- Always keep your site speed in mind as well. If it's slow, people will always find a way to click off your page regardless of whether you've paid for them to get there or not.

- Finally, the last one. The people who neglect their quality score is a massive deal. Quality score is a ranking of one to ten that Google give your account based on your organisation and your performance. The organisation of your account is a massive factor so if you've had poor historical quality scores, this is going to affect your account. 

- You need to be making steps to improve your quality score all the time as it can have a detrimental affect if your score is poor. Make sure you've got site links in there and everything is highly relevant. Always check your quality score and don't be scared to take out any low performing ads. 

- Always try out new ads and test your site links as well. Each of these factors are really important because you are paying to get there. Because of the rise in mobile now, you need to have your site links in. Have your call out extensions in. You're paying to be there so take up as much room on the screen as you can. 

- This is why you quality score is so important. You can see there that anything from one to four and your prices are increasing. Anything from seven upwards means that you should be getting  a lower cost per click than your competitors. 

- The thing with Google Ads is that we need it to be profitable. If it's left alone then it can become an absolute money pit and that's the last thing that you want.