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  • Writer's pictureMike

Don't Just "Set It and Forget It" - How to Take Your Google Ads to the Next Level

Many businesses create Google Ads campaigns but then take a hands-off approach, failing to optimise and improve them over time. But to get the best performance and ROI from your PPC strategy, you need to actively manage, test, and refine your accounts on an ongoing basis.

In this post, I'll cover key strategies to take your Google Ads to the next level beyond initial setup.

Set Clear Campaign Objectives

What's the Purpose of Your Campaign?

Before doing anything else, define what you want your campaign to achieve. Common Google Ads objectives include:

  • Generate leads or sales

  • Increase brand awareness

  • Drive traffic to your website

  • Promote a new product launch

With a clear objective in mind, you can make better optimisation decisions aligned to that goal.

Choose Relevant Key Performance Indicators

Which Metrics Align With Your Goals?

Once you know your objective, identify which metrics are most important as key performance indicators.

For a lead generation campaign, key metrics would be cost-per-lead (CPL), conversion rate (CR), and return on ad spend (ROAS).

For an awareness campaign, impressions and click-through rate (CTR) may be more relevant.

Benchmark Competitors

Keep an Eye on What Rivals Are Doing

Research how your competitors' ads are performing. This will give you a benchmark to compare your metrics against and help identify optimisation opportunities.

Use tools like SEMrush, SpyFu or Google's free Ad Preview tool to analyse competitors' ad copy, keywords, and estimated traffic.

Trust the Key PPC Metrics

Dig Into the Data

To improve your accounts, you need to constantly track and analyse performance data. Key metrics to watch include:

ROAS - Are Your Ads Generating Revenue?

Return on ad spend tells you whether campaigns are profitable. If ROAS dips below your target threshold, time to optimise.

CTR - Is Your Ad Copy Compelling?

Click-through rate shows how appealing your ads are to searchers. Low CTRs suggest copy improvements could get more clicks.

CPA - Are You Acquiring Customers Efficiently?

Cost-per-acquisition helps gauge profitably. Rising CPAs indicate it's time to refine targeting, bids, and creatives.

CR - How Many Clicks Convert to Actions?

Conversion rate shows how well your account converts clicks into goals. Look for ways to boost CR through landing page testing.

Optimisation Is Ongoing

Continuously Fine-Tune for Better Results

Set time monthly or quarterly to review metrics and test changes to underperforming elements:

  • Tweak ad copy, CTAs, keywords and landing pages.

  • Adjust bids, budgets, and day parting settings.

  • Try new ad formats like responsive search ads.

Incremental optimisations add up over time.

Experiment with A/B Testing

Find What Resonates Through Testing

A/B test multiple ad variations to see which copy, headlines and other elements drive the best results. Testing reveals what resonates most.

Tools like Google Optimize make it easy to set up split tests. Analyse performance data to fuel new ideas.

Retarget Engaged Audiences

Bring Back Potential Customers

Create remarketing lists targeting people who have interacted with your brand but didn't convert. Retargeting gets your ads in front of them again.

Consider demographics, interests, and past site behaviour for smarter re-engagement.

Scale What Works

Expand on Successful Elements

When metrics indicate an ad, landing page or keyword is excelling, scale up those elements through larger budgets or wider distribution.

Doubling down on top performers moves the needle.

The Work is Never "Done"

Optimising Google Ads is an ongoing process. Continual refinement and improvement is key to driving results. Don't just set it and forget it!

What strategies have helped take your Google Ads to the next level? I'd love to hear what's worked for you in the comments!

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