Google ads have been the best way to utilize paid advertising for ages. That's still the case in 2024, but the way things work has changed.

A lot of the PPC strategies and ad formats we used in the past are no longer as effective.

As a seasoned digital marketing specialist, I can tell you one thing: You need to constantly learn and adapt. Otherwise, you'll be out of business.

So, in this blog post, I'll share 7 tips to boost your Google ads strategy and get the most for your buck in 2024.

1. Use a Mix of Google Ads Campaigns

To reach your target audience, you need to show up wherever they are. Over the past six months, we've achieved great results for our clients by using a mix of ad campaigns.

I'm talking about Google display ads, YouTube video ads, dynamic and responsive search ads, and when it comes to shopping ads...Performance Max.

I know marketers have mixed feelings about the latter, but as I mentioned in my Google shopping campaign optimization post:

You shouldn't underestimate the power of AI and advanced features in Performance Max campaigns.

That said, I recommend two options:

  • Testing a mix of 3 to 5 different campaigns that align with your specific marketing objectives.
  • Trying a single Performance Max campaign, which will show your Google ads across all channels.

Now, let's move on to ad extensions, which are now called ad assets.

2. Utilize the Right Google Ad Assets

Assets (extensions) are very useful when it comes to the effectiveness of your Google ads. Impressions, clicks, conversions, etc., no matter the goal, utilizing the right assets will help you be more competitive by improving your ad quality.

Your Google Ads Interface currently has 12 asset types, but we rarely use even half of them simultaneously. These are the most effective ones based on my experience:

Sitelink

Using sitelinks is a must for all Google ads campaigns unless your goal is to send people to a single landing page.

Callout

Research your competitors and use callouts to add your unique selling points - everything that sets your product or service apart.

Structured Snippet

Snippets look very similar to callouts but serve a different purpose. This is the place to tell your target audience what you offer.

Call extensions

This is the best asset for service-based businesses. It even has Google ads conversion tracking built into it. To make it work, the same phone number must appear on your website.

Image

Adding an image is a game changer for search campaigns when promoting physical products, especially if your competitors are only running text-based search ads. Don't miss on that.

Let me wrap up this section by saying this:

The idea is that the bigger your ad, the more eyeballs and clicks it will attract. However, too much text can have the opposite effect. That's why we create ads with 5-6 assets.

3. Target Exact and Phrase Match Keywords

Google's ranking system is based on relevancy, so why use broad match keywords?

use exact and phrase match keywords in your google ads strategy

They say you could reach more potential customers or enhance smart bidding strategies. While I agree to a certain extent, the risk of irrelevant search traffic leading to wasted ad spend isn't worth it.

Targeting exact and phrase match variations using not more than 3-4 words is how you get the most out of your advertising budget. Here is a quick example:

Let's say you sell shoes and want to use Google ads to promote running shoes.

Exact match keywords [running shoes]: shoes for running or shoes to run.

Phrase match keywords "running shoes": deals on men's running shoes or running shoes for flat feet.

Whoever clicks on one of your Google ads will find what they're looking for as you matched their search intent. Now, whether they'll buy a pair of shoes depends on how well your site is optimized for conversions.

4. Improve Your Google Ad Ranking

Folks who know I run a digital marketing agency often ask me:

How do I increase my Google Ads quality score?

It's quite simple. You just need to look at things from Google's perspective. Whether we're talking about targeted ads, simple queries, or blog content, Google's main goal is to provide relevant information.

Therefore, to increase your ads' quality score, you must improve the ad copy, optimize landing pages, and focus on relevant keywords.

Imagine you're the customer. When you want to spend money on something, what ad would you click on, and what would you expect to see where the ad takes you?

And in case you aren't sure if ad quality score still matters in 2024, the answer is yes. Even if you're utilizing the best Google ads strategies, the low-quality score will cost you money.

5. Find the Best Keywords and Categorize Them

Good campaign architecture requires extensive keyword research and categorization.

Finding the best keywords in 2024 is like reading minds. You need to figure out what's driving someone to search for a given term. Are they looking for info, or are they ready to buy?

Learn how to decode search intent, and your results will improve dramatically. Trust me on that.

Now, after you've found the right keywords, you need to organize them. At Ernst Media, we manage many accounts for clients, and here is our process:

We keep a simple spreadsheet that lists all keywords. Then, we organize these keywords by ad group, which helps us stay focused and strategic with all campaigns.

Campaigns are segmented by the type of product, and we use ad groups to manage different sets of keywords. This way, each ad group contains keywords that are related but have unique descriptions.

It's not like we invented it. It's a commonly used method that works.

6. Select the Optimal Bidding Strategies

As you probably know, the bid strategy you choose has a significant impact on ad performance.

For those just starting with Google ads, I recommend avoiding automated strategies like max clicks. These require historic campaign data to optimize based on.

So, start with manual CPC and switch to auto once there are 10-20 conversions or clicks.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that switching to automated bidding is a must. Quite the opposite. We apply different strategies for paid search campaigns and use manual bidding on many of the accounts we manage. It's time consuming, but it gives us more control over the budget.

I know most people don't have the time for that and prefer to let Google do the work. Here are two automated options that I find the most effective.

Target CPA

If your goal is to generate leads such as signups or downloads, use the Target CPA bidding option of the "Maximize Conversions" strategy.

Target ROAS

For e-commerce biz owners promoting a variety of products, I recommend Target ROAS, now part of the "Maximize Conversion Value" bid strategy.

7. Keep Up with the Google Ad Trends

The pace of technology advancements and changes in consumer behavior and regulations has never been faster. Being successful in Search Engine Marketing in 2024 and beyond means keeping up and adapting to the trends in Google advertising.

My team and I will be focusing on three key factors.

Integration of AI

As I mentioned a few times, we still do a lot of the work for our clients manually. But whether we like it or not, Google is doubling down on the implementation of artificial intelligence. So, we need to adapt.

At the time of writing, we're getting good results with using AI for advanced targeting and data analysis. You should also explore the current features and everything that will be coming out, but don't go all in on experimenting.

I've played with many AI tools over the last 18 months, and not everything works as intended. Follow some of the big names in the space, see what works for them first, and then apply it to your own Google ads strategies.

Data Privacy

Google's "goodbye" to third-party cookies marked a major shift in how we track and target. Make sure you understand how to use first-party data and focus on more privacy-friendly tracking methods. Utilizing Google's privacy-centric solutions seems like a good starting point.

Video Advertising

The steady growth of video advertising is set to continue in 2024. Make no mistake about it. We all need to leverage this format when aiming for higher engagement or a better conversion rate.

Google even introduced 30-second non-skippable in-stream video ads. So, if you can make videos that truly stand out, this is a great opportunity. You'll be charged based on impressions, and the average CPM rate of $7-8 sounds pretty good to me.

Wrapping It Up

These tips are straight from the Ernst Media kitchen, so I'm confident they work. The more you implement, the better results you can expect from your Google ads strategy. But keep in mind that none of these is set-it-and-forget-it. Regular tests and optimization are required to stay ahead in the game.

I wish you good luck, and if you have too much on your plate at some point...we are here to help with both paid and organic customer acquisition

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