The basics that you know (almost) off by heart
1. Implement tracking
Great, you know that tracking is essential. You can either use the tracking code provided by Google Ads or a tag management tool like Google Tag Manager (GTM). The first is activated by clicks or visits to key pages (e.g. purchases on an e-commerce site, page loads or sign-ups), while the second enables you to deploy all your traffic and activity tracking tags (Google Ads, but also Facebook Pixel, LinkedIn Insight Tag etc.) directly via an online interface. A word of warning, the tool is extremely powerful and configuring the GTM can be simple or more complex depending on the kind of tracking you want to implement.
2. A conversion linker, yes! But not any old how!
If you choose GTM, don’t forget a conversion linker, which enables you to save the conversion data from the Google Analytics cookie – it is a first-party cookie not a third-party cookie. The latter are now blocked by key browsers in particular Safari, which represents a massive 20% of mobile traffic in the world!
Another solution if you’re not using GTM is to link your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts to use the first-party cookies.
3. Connect Google Ads and Search Console
Make sure you also remember to link Google Ads and Search Console to get a complete overview of your performance (and opportunities) with paid and organic traffic. This information, available directly via the Google Ads interface, is key to optimising your acquisition strategy. For example, whether or not it is useful to bid on your own brand name.
4. Several ads with the same objective
Take the time and effort to create several ads with the same aim. Google recommends building three for each Ad Group. Why? Because the search engine rotates your ads to find which one best meet your objectives (e.g. site visits or sign-ups). Remember to also configure the ad rotation option for the campaign or Ad Group.
Basic advice that sometimes gets forgotten
(I’m going to humbly call them “The 5 commandments of Julien”)
1. Correctly configure columns for your activity and performance reports
Each column should correspond to a KPI that is relevant to your objectives like number of transactions, turnover or number of page loads. You need to do this at several levels e.g. each campaign, Ad Group and keyword.
2. Select the right language
If you’re targeting a French-speaking audience, opt for French (of course). But remember to also choose English as some people use the English version of Google.
3. Use labels to compare how well your actions perform
The good news is these labels can be used in Google-generated reports, adding information from different levels e.g. campaign and keyword.
4. Configure as many extensions as possible
Providing extra information – from geolocation to call buttons, direct links to specific pages and pricing information – extensions make your ads richer and significantly increase your click-through rate (CTR).
5. Use audience lists to target or exclude users
If you’re selling a subscription service, remember to use your client list to remove people who have already signed up. This way you’ll optimise your budget and CTR, which will in turn boost your CPC… Stop me if there are too many acronyms 🤓.
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