Conversion Tracking: What's Being Reported
The most common issue we encounter in Google Ads accounts is the absence of proper conversion tracking or, even worse, the presence of misleading tracking setups that give a false sense of success.
Your advertising agency should be able to explain which conversions are being tracked and how.
Here are some key points to consider regarding performance tracking:
Ensure that all conversion points are accurately and correctly tracked.
- Accurately = using appropriate naming conventions, avoiding duplicates, excluding primary GA4 conversions (since GA may lose around 20% of conversions), and ensuring confirmable conversions.
- Correctly = understanding the distinction between secondary and primary conversions and utilizing them to optimize performance. (NOTE: Utilize conversion actions that collect data to increase goal conversions.)
Google Ads Conversion Tracking should be implemented for all primary conversions in your account that are not directly imported from your CRM. You can confirm the tracking source in your account by checking for the “Website” tracking source.
- If you are tracking call conversions, it is essential to use a call analytics provider. Beware of agencies that assess the value of a call based solely on call duration; this is a warning sign. Call conversions should be easily imported and recorded based on the content of the call.
Definition of a Conversion:
Any action that provides new information about a website visitor.
Bidding Strategies: How Your Budget is Utilized
Your agency should be capable of explaining the rationale behind the chosen bidding strategy.
Some pro tips:
- Ensure your agency comprehends and can articulate each bidding strategy.
- Confirm that your agency is not using “max conversions” for every campaign.
- Confirm that your agency is not exclusively relying on manual CPC for all campaigns.
- Your agency should embrace Google’s automation and optimizations, leveraging the platform’s ability to make informed decisions more rapidly than any human can at any time.
- Furthermore, your agency should be able to explain how each campaign and its bid strategies contribute to your company’s overall profitability. (NOTE: Not all campaigns necessarily require the same bid strategies. Different campaigns have distinct objectives.)
Campaign Structure: The Foundation of Your Google Ads Account
Adopt a holistic approach within the Google Advertising Networks.
Here are the six campaign types that nearly every account should include:
- This safeguards your brand from competitors (refer to competitor campaign).
- This campaign targets users at the bottom of the sales funnel, who are ready to make a purchase.
- This campaign focuses on top-of-the-funnel activities, primarily educational content, to establish trust, enhance brand reputation, and create awareness.
- This campaign allows you to capture valuable traffic from your competitors. It is also important to bid on your own brand terms to prevent competitors from doing so.
- This campaign targets your most valuable traffic, allowing you to communicate directly with them. By remarketing to users who have visited your pricing page but have not yet converted, you can tailor your messaging based on their interests, as inferred from their browsing behavior.
- This campaign grants Google the flexibility to employ any approach necessary to achieve a specific goal.
All channels must work together to educate and nurture potential buyers. Impulse purchases are rare; therefore, the entire system must function harmoniously. This is the path to achieving true omni-channel integration, utilizing platforms like Google Ads, YouTube, Programmatic, Facebook, and others!
Ad Copy Strategy: Conveying Your Company's Message
Ensure that your ad copy, keywords, and ad groups align on a one-to-one basis.
Has your agency meticulously analyzed the pain points and variations in phrasing for each service or product?
MOST IMPORTANTLY, are your ads relying on the hope that users will make mental leaps to click?
Ensure you have the appropriate number of ad groups in each campaign:
- Each product or service should have a dedicated ad group.
- Separate ad groups should address different pain points or customer needs.
- Use separate ad groups for different phrases that refer to the same product or service.
- Make sure that the keywords align with the respective ad groups.
- Verify that the ad copy is consistent with the ad groups.
- The ad copy should closely relate to the ad group it belongs to, and each ad should also be highly relevant to the landing page. (NOTE: If keywords are generally unrelated to the ad group or if you notice an excessive number of keywords, these are usually red flags.)
Audience Targeting: How to Find Your Customers
Maintain flexibility in your account to allow Google’s AI and ML to optimize for the most suitable audience.
While it may be tempting to exert control over Google Ads, today’s approach is more about aligning with Google to achieve your business goals, rather than trying to control and dictate Google’s actions.
For instance, suppose a current client introduces a potential customer who loves watching financial news, while your existing clients are mainly pet lovers. You wouldn’t reject this potential client solely based on their different interests. Similarly, Google possesses extensive knowledge about potential clients and can locate them in places you might not even be aware of.
Ensure that your agency keeps your account open and flexible, enabling Google to work its magic!
Quality Data: CRM Integration & KPIs
Give Google the data it needs to optimize your account for maximum profitability.
Your agency should have established an integration between your Google Ads account and your CRM from the outset.
Working with high-quality data from your client database is crucial to gaining a comprehensive understanding of your business’s performance and how your marketing efforts impact overall growth.
(NOTE: If your agency doesn’t utilize key performance indicators such as LTV, CAC, and MER, these are red flags.)
Agency Accountability: Final Checkpoints
Ensure that you have administrative access to your Google Ads account.
- This will allow you to access the backend of your ads account, promoting maximum transparency.
Make sure your agency understands your primary business goals and develops strategies aligned with them.
- An agency’s mission should be to drive your company’s bottom line growth. While achieving a high return on ad spend (ROAS) on Google Ads may seem impressive (NOTE: If a significant portion of the budget is spent on branded keywords, this is a red flag. This is a tactic to boost numbers on reports.), it’s crucial to ensure that your agency focuses on acquiring new customers at a cost per acquisition (CAC) that doesn’t undermine your profit margins. They should be able to present the complete story and demonstrate how they contribute to your company’s overall success.
Verify that your agency is proactive when campaigns fail (as they inevitably will).
- Your business will encounter campaigns that fail; however, your agency should inform you promptly and develop a proactive plan of action. They should demonstrate both the failures and successes.
Ensure that your ad agency provides regular reports on ad performance, aligning with the primary goals you have communicated to them.
- Focus on meaningful metrics rather than vanity metrics. The reports should be based on your agency’s marketing efforts and how they impact your bottom line.
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