Digital advertisers using Google Ads (formerly AdWords), Google has recently added Google Ads Optimation Score to help you get the most out of your ad campaigns. In this article, you’ll learn what the new feature is, how it’s calculated, and how you can improve your score.
What Is Google’s Optimization Score?
Google’s ad optimization score is a percentage amount that indicates how well your campaigns are optimized based on a number of factors such as bid amounts, keyword types, bid strategy, etc. The feature was first announced in July 2018 and is now viewable for all users in the Recommendations tab in your Google Ads account. While the feature is in beta, users can still use their optimization score to evaluate the effectiveness of their ad campaigns. It should be noted that this feature is only available for Google Ad users that have active Search campaigns. It is not available in AdWords Express or used by your Quality Score or Ad Rank.
How Is The Optimization Score Calculated?
Google’s optimization score is calculated in real-time on a scale of 0 to 100% based on your campaign’s performance and your implementation of Google’s recommendations. When calculating your score, Google considers your campaign’s:
- Bids & Budgets
- Ads & Extensions
- Keywords & Targeting
It also factors in variables such as:
- Statistics, settings, and the status of your account and campaigns
- Relevant impact of available recommendations
- Recent recommendations history
- Trends in the ads ecosystem
If your score does not equal 100%, Google provides recommendations and indicates how your score will be affected should you choose to apply it. A recommendation that would have a more meaningful impact on your campaign’s performance is given more weight on your overall score. This effect is represented by a “score uplift” value from <0.1% to 100%, representing the estimated impact on overall campaign performance.
How To Improve Your Optimization Score
Recommendations are designed to help you optimize your budget by improving bids, keywords, and ads. The end goal is to increase overall performance and efficiency of your ad campaigns.
To improve your score, you must either accept or decline Google’s recommendations. Your score will be updated no matter which option you choose. However, if you decide to dismiss the recommendations, they are represented in gray color when you hover over your score. You can view your dismissed recommendations at any time by clicking the “Dismissed” button. Note: It’s important to know that your score could sum up to more than 100%. This is because some recommendations will invalidate other recommendations when accepted.
How To Check Your Score and Recommendations
Once you log in to your Google Ads account, click Recommendations from the left-head navigation menu. This will bring you to your Recommendations page, where at the top, you will see your optimization score. Below that, you will see any recommendations that Google has suggested for your account.
You can view these recommendations at a glance or click “Learn more” to find out what impact each one might have and why it has been suggested for your account. If you have any recommendations, you can filter by specific category.
If you agree with Google’s recommendations, you can click “Apply” to apply that specific one or click “Apply All” to apply all of them at once. You can also dismiss the recommendation by clicking “Dismiss.” Each recommendation will show a score uplift percentage under the label, “Potential Score”. If this recommendation was applied, your optimization score would increase by 3.3%.
Recommendations are custom for each account. Some examples of what you might see include:
- Remove redundant keywords: Make your account easier to manage by removing redundant keywords:
- Promote landing pages missing from your ads: Landing pages relevant to potential customers are missing from your ads
- Bid more efficiently with Enhanced CPC: Automatically optimize your bids at auction time for searches more likely to lead to conversions
- Bid more efficiently with Target CPA: Get more conversions at a lower or similar CPA with a fully automated bid strategy
- Lower your bids: Lower your bids to get more clicks for the same or lower cost.
- Raise your budgets: Keep your ads running on your busiest days by fixing your limited budget.
- Add new keywords: Show your ads on more searches relevant to your business.
- Improve your mobile site: Avoid losing customers on mobile devices by improving your mobile site.
This list is only a small list of potential recommendations. For a full list, please refer to Google’s help guide.
Improve Your Campaign Performance With Landing Pages
While Google continues to make its ad platform more user-friendly through visual representations of performance (i.e. optimization score), maximizing your ads performance requires a hands-on approach in key areas of a successful ad campaign. One of those key areas is the ad’s landing page. With mobile ads becoming more popular, a focus on mobile optimized pages is a priority for advertisers. Problem areas such as speed, design, and user experience hurt poorly built mobile landing pages. The best way to avoid these problems is to use a landing page solution that prioritizes the mobile experience, such as the Instapage AMP builder.
To learn more Google Ads and adding Pay Per Click to your marketing click here to learn more or contact us for a Free Consultation
Do you have a new business or established business and are not sure about how to begin promoting it properly? Are you thinking about expanding the company’s marketing efforts to include Digital Marketing? If the answer is yes, you may find yourself frustrated asking questions that lead to more questions, with the original questions still needing answers. What are SEO and PPC? What is the Difference? Which one should I use? What should I expect?
Before getting into the specifics of SEO versus PPC, performance tracking and proper analytics need to be set up and working. It is vital to set up tracking prior to starting the SEO or PPC efforts so that you can assess the resulting performance changes accurately. One of the greatest things about digital marketing is that there is no need to ever guess how much revenue was generated, like what is needed when advertising is done through a TV commercial or ad printed in the newspaper. All of the data regarding the performance of the ad is available to you in just a few clicks.
Getting Setting Started with Analytics and Tracking
If you are not yet tracking your web performance, you will need to select a web analytics provider, acquire the appropriate tracking code to implement on the website, set up the goals for conversion actions that you will track, and then if applicable setup the eCommerce tracking. It is widely recommended to use Google Analytics—it is a free, comprehensive, and popular service used widely by thousands of professionals. Additional resources for discovering information about your website’s information can be found in our Analytics and Tracking Service.
Once analytics has been set up, it is recommended to perform an audit of the account to make sure that everything is not only being tracked but being tracked correctly. It also gives users the opportunity to measure their website for other conversion actions that are to be tracked but are often overlooked, like micro-conversions like video views or newsletter signups.
SEO and PPC. Knowing the Difference
Search engine optimization (also referred to as to SEO), as well as Local SEO, happens when a website is optimized so that it can achieve higher rankings within organic search results. The most used search engine, Google, boasts more than 200 factors in their algorithm that determine where a website will be ranked within the search results. Because it allows you to show up in organic search results, it is free. One the website has earned a high ranking in the search engine results page (SERP), the results will live there for a while and you will see sustained traffic from this. Also, organic results generally have a higher click-through rate than that of a paid ad. On the other hand, SEO is a long-term project that takes time to build authority and subsequently be indexed for search terms. While technically it is free, to fully optimize a website is a huge investment of not only time but resources as well.
SEO is more than just optimizing a website and its content to rank higher in organic search results via targeted keywords on the most popular search engines. It is also about being regarded as the authority on a given topic, providing a solution that is being sought. The top search engines like Yahoo, Google, and Bing will look at how individuals interact with a website, and if the visitors come back, and if other websites are linking about to your website, this makes it appear that you are the leading authority.
Pay-per-click (also referred to as PPC) is a model for advertising in which you will pay for each click that your ad gets. Advertising through search engines is the most common version of pay-per-click. It happens when you bid for your ad to show when an individual searches a keyword that is relevant to the business that you are offering. This kind of advertising can also be used on social media platforms like Facebook, where the ads are served to an individual based on their demographic, interests, or other specifications that the brand has chosen. The great thing about PPC campaigns is that once it has been launched, the boost in traffic is usually immediate.
There are many advertising platforms available for PPC, and you are able to choose an offering that targets the options that will aid you in reaching your target audience. Pay Per Click options includes Paid Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Remarketing Search Advertising, Social Media Advertising, and Video Advertising. PPC traffic generally has a higher conversion rate than that of organic traffic. One of the downfalls of PPC campaigns is that you have to pay for your advertisements to appear. Also, the boost may be immediate but it is vital that time is invested in order to learn how to develop and optimize campaign ads. This is vital in getting the most out of a PPC campaign. Lastly, while good results for a short campaign are achievable, you should know that when you turn the campaign off the traffic associated with it will also go away.
Essentially PPC is paying for space used for advertising using targeted keywords on a search results page. Do not think that this is a “set it and forget it” type of situation—there is still search engine optimization that is done when creating a PPC advertising campaign.
What Gets the Best Results? Organic Search Results or PPC
As earlier mentioned, it all depends. Long term, your web marketing strategy needs to include search engine optimization. The biggest advantage of SEO is that it will bring in better quality leads, statistically. And in fact, many users on the internet have become accustomed to ignoring the “paid results” portion of a page when looking through the web or searching Google. There is a lot of data that suggests organic search results visitors are more likely to trust you and the business or products. When you rank highly in Google’s search results pages through a keyword or phrase it is a great sign that you are seen as a more credible source and one of the important contributors in your industry. Considering this, do not trick yourself into thinking that SEO is really free. No matter how it is sliced, SEO will cost time and money but in the end, it is a worthwhile investment.
Which Platform Should You Choose?
Answering this questions is a bit complicated, but really it just depends. There are a handful of factors that go into deciding whether SEO or PPC is right for you. Best case scenario is that your long-term web strategy will include SEO, even if you chose to begin with PPC. For instance, some SEO efforts like improving page speed and page content will also give a better user experience for those visiting the site via PPC. These things will keep them engaged, making it less likely that they will abandon the website shortly after arriving at it. For many companies, using both SEO and PPC just are not an option when starting off, so there are some things to consider before getting started with one or the other.
In short, consider the goals of the company. Is there a lot of education involved in purchasing the product or service? Is the product or service brand new? Are you already well-known in your industry? There are just a small handful of questions that will need to be answered when considering SEO or PPC.
Don’t Overlook PPC Just Yet
There are a number of advantages to PPC over SEO organic searches. For instance, if your PPC campaign is set up correctly, you will see a significant return on your investment. This goes beyond who is paying the most to show up in the top ad spot—know that the top priority of a search engine is to give the best results for the user that is doing the searching—not the company that is paying for the advertisements. Another advantage of PPC is the power to advertise on other websites that have a large amount of traffic that fir your target user. If a user sees the advertisement but does nothing, and then later in the day sees the ad again on a different web page, there is a good chance that they will take a second look at the ad and consider the product.
To make it simple, SEO is free while PPC is not, though both do require a time commitment to get started. If there is just no room in the budget required by a PPC campaign, starting with simple SEO may be the best way for you to proceed. If you can do SEO on your own, all that it will cost is your time. If you hire an SEO professional, that will require a monetary investment as well. PPC is exactly that—pay per click so you will be paying for each click that the advertisement gets.
If the campaign being promoted is time-sensitive, like and offer for an even or a sale, the results from SEO will simply take too long for it to pay off. PPC campaigns will see increased traffic immediately and may be turned off or deleted as soon as the deadline for the promotion is over. It is vital to begin real SEO from the inception of a website to make sure that you are not going back through old posts and pages to bring them up to par. This practice will require less time altogether in the long run.
If the goal is to put together a permanent informational website, SEO is the best choice. The crowning objective is for search engines to see the website as an authority. This can be achieved with high-quality content, links leading in from reputable websites, and also consistent traffic. If the goal is to promote and sell a niche product, PPC will be your best choice. Many PPC platforms can aid in reaching the specified target audience intended.
When choosing between SEO and PPC, what will work best for you really just depends on so many things? PPC is a super way to give an initial jolt to your brand’s digital marketing efforts with an immediate spike in traffic. To make the most of a PPC campaign, it is important to take your time to get the correct training and certifications. Google actually offers this training in their process for certification for Google Analytics and Google Adwords—both of which are free for all businesses. If you do not have the time or resources to dedicate to this, it is vital that you hire someone that has experience and is trained in PPC, still understanding that when the PPC campaign is turned off, the traffic will halt as well.
Search Engine Optimization is very important and does take a bit of time to build page authority so that the pages will be indexed for the correct search terms. In addition to this, you should not be surprised by numerous changes in your rankings—especially if the market that you are in is highly competitive. It will be anyone’s guess when any number of competitors is going to put their game in high gear to become the authority in the industry. Do not feel forlorn, as a long-term SEO strategy will bring in the most qualified leads. In addition to this, your SEO efforts will directly help any PPC results. These are things like improving page titles, content, meta descriptions, backlinking, and more.
When done the right way, both SEO and PPC will work well to get you on the front page of a search engine’s results for the desired keywords. Knowing that each strategy has its own set of costs and benefits, it is hard to give a black and white answer of which is best, because it all depends on one’s needs. Take the time to think about where you are in the life cycle of your brand (still quite new or very well established), what you are considering for your budget, and how much work you are willing to put in to make your brand successful on the internet.
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The Effectiveness of Google Ads. “Why use AdWords” and “Does Google AdWords Work?” are pretty common keyword phrase searched on Google, which suggests that there are a lot of marketers and business owners out there who have heard about Google AdWords but aren’t sure if and how it can work for them. We believe that AdWords – Google’s enormously successful pay-per-click (PPC) advertising system – can work for almost any type of business. Using AdWords (or any PPC platform) requires time and money, but thousands of businesses have found that it’s time and money well spent because AdWords delivers measurable ROI. We’ve devoted countless pages to how you should use AdWords. In this post, we’ll answer the question of why you should use it.
Before any of our SEO-loving readers get up in arms, let me preface this by saying that we’re not advocating that you do PPC to the exclusion of other marketing activities. As always, we recommend a healthy balance of marketing channels, including organic search, email marketing, events, social media and other lead sources. How you allocate your marketing budget will depend on which channels turn out to be most effective for your business. But if you’ve never used Google AdWords before, and you’re wondering whether or not it’s worthwhile, this post is for you. Here are 10 reasons to use AdWords.
AdWords Is Faster than SEO
For new businesses and websites, it can take months to see results from SEO. This perceived “penalty” used to be referred to as the Google sandbox effect – people assumed Google was intentionally filtering new websites out of the results. More likely the problem is that competition is fierce and it takes time for a website to “prove” itself and earn authority and links.
AdWords is a great workaround for new businesses because you don’t have to wait around so long to see results. While working on your site’s SEO, you can put resources into an AdWords campaign and start getting impressions and clicks immediately. Because it’s so speedy, it’s also a good way to test whether a given keyword or audience is worth pursuing via organic search – if it converts well in AdWords, you can deduce that it’s worth trying to rank for in SEO and build out your content in that area. (Just one of the ways that AdWords and SEO are two great tastes that taste great together.)
As an added bonus, you can often get started on AdWords very cheaply – Google often offers vouchers (basically free PPC budget) for new advertisers. Right now it’s running a special for AdWords Express: Sign up by December 16 and get a free month of advertising.
AdWords Is Scalable
One of the trickiest challenges for any marketer is finding lead sources that scale – meaning, it doesn’t require five times the effort to get five times the leads. Google AdWords is highly scalable, which is why some business spends millions of dollars a year on AdWords advertising. If you create an AdWords campaign that is converting at a profitable rate, there is no reason to arbitrarily cap spend on that campaign. You can increase your PPC budget and your leads and profits will increase accordingly. This makes AdWords highly effective for businesses that need a lot of leads but are short on time and heads.
AdWords Is Measurable
Compared to traditional marketing channels like TV and magazine advertising, online marketing is highly measurable, and AdWords PPC is one of the most measurable of online channels. It’s difficult to make exact measurements in SEO because you can’t always know what actions led to increased or decreased rankings. Then there’s the whole “not provided” fiasco. Social media can be equally difficult to measure. In comparison, AdWords is more transparent, providing tons of PPC metrics that allow you to see at a granular level what works and what doesn’t. You can pretty quickly determine if your campaigns are sucking or returning ROI.
AdWords Is Flexible
AdWords provides tons of options so you can customize your campaigns and ads to your particular needs, hyper-targeting the audiences you most want to reach. For example, with AdWords you can:
Specify keyword match types – You can, for example, only display your ad to people who search for an exact keyword you specify, like “vegas hotels” – filtering out traffic on general terms related to Las Vegas or hotels. (SEO, on the other hand, is aspirational; you can’t define what you rank for, you can only hope for the best.)
Use ad extensions to display product images, a phone number, a mega-pack of links to your site, your physical location – you can even initiate a chat or get an email address right from the SERP.
Narrow your audience by location, time of day, language, browser or device type and more. A good portion of your SEO traffic may be worthless to you (for example, if you only need US-based leads, and half of your web traffic comes from Australia), but in AdWords, you don’t have to display your ads around the world.
Access an enormous network of non-search users on properties like Gmail and YouTube and tons of partner sites.
Leverage the display network, which is great for building brand awareness and often converts at a lower cost than Google Search.
AdWords Is (Usually) Easier than SEO
Larry has argued in the past that SEO is much harder than PPC. His arguments were met with disagreement, but probably more because of how he said them than what he was saying. Here is WordStream, we’re seasoned practitioners of both SEO and PPC. And now that our PPC campaigns are built and in place, we find they require much less effort to maintain than our SEO efforts. Not only is our enormous beast of a website very difficult to keep up to date (which plagues me), but in order to increase organic traffic, it takes a team of 3-5 constantly churning out SEO content, working on optimization and building links. It’s fun, creative and rewarding when it works – but it’s also a relief to know that we can depend on PPC to deliver leads without all the hoops to jump through.
AdWords is also probably easier to learn because there’s less contradictory information out there. If you’re not inside the industry, it can be hard as a marketer to know which sources are honest and which are just selling proverbial snake oil. On the other hand, there isn’t a whole industry built around “gaming” AdWords. Check out our AdWords Learning Center for help getting started.
AdWords Is Taking Over the SERPs
AdWords is Google’s baby (it should be – it accounts for about 97% of their revenues), and over time the SERP has changed so that more and more above-the-fold real estate is given to ads rather than organic results. This can be frustrating both for SEO and users. But if you engage in PPC, it’s not all bad! It’s an opportunity for you to get your message high up on the SERP in a highly clickable way – it’s a myth that no one clicks on AdWords ads. For queries with high commercial intent (hint: those are the ones you’d want to be advertising on), sponsored ads take up to 2 out of 3 clicks on the first page.
AdWords Formats Can Be More Engaging than Organic Results
Google has rolled out lots of new ad formats in the past couple of years, such as product listing ads and in-video ads on YouTube. Google is motivated to do this because shinier, more engaging ads get more clicks and that means more revenue for Google. But higher clicks are good for the advertiser too, so take advantage of these new ad formats and extensions. Organic listings look pretty boring in comparison.
AdWords Traffic Might Convert Better than Organic Traffic
Hey, organic traffic is great, we don’t knock it! But there’s some evidence that paid search traffic converts better than organic traffic – with conversion rates up to two times higher. (Conversion rates vary by industry, and as always, this may not be true for your particular business, but you won’t know until you try.) This is probably due to the fact that paid search traffic is more targeted and qualified (due to those targeting options we talked about above), and that queries that result in ad clicks are much more likely to be commercial in nature, rather than informational.
AdWords Complements Your Other Marketing Channels
AdWords is complementary to your other marketing efforts. Remarketing is an especially powerful way to use AdWords to target people who have shown an interest in your business. With AdWords remarketing, you can track past visitors to your website with a cookie (these people may have found you through social media, your blog, a click on a product page from a forwarded email, etc.). Your display ads will then “follow” them around the Internet, so your brand stays top of mind. For example, the Land’s End and Priceline ads below are both retargeted – I visited those websites in the past 30 days. You can even show them the exact product that they searched for. Along with cart abandonment emails (same principle), retargeted ads have super-high ROI compared to other marketing channels.
Your Competitors Are Using AdWords
Finally, there’s peer pressure: The old “Everyone else is doing it, so why not you?” argument. It doesn’t work for jumping off a cliff, but it is persuasive when it comes to search engine marketing. A recent report showed that global paid search spending increased by 33% in the third quarter of 2012, year over year. According to a study by NetElixer, which looked at data from 38 large U.S. retailers and 120 million search ad impressions, “revenue driven by a paid search on Black Friday rose an impressive 31% year-over-year as advertisers invested 21% more in keyword advertising than they did in 2011.” Do a few searches on keywords you care about. Your competitors are likely there in the sponsored results at the top of the SERP. Can you afford not to be?
Get Started Today With AdWords
To find out more information about our AdWords Service Visit our Paid Search Services. If you are ready to get started Click Here to schedule a free Consultation and receive a Free AdWords Evaluation for your Company