If you are getting a lot of clicks from your PPC campaign, but not getting the new leads, customers and prospects you are looking for, it is likely because your PPC campaign is not targeted correctly (or you are “ahem”, using Google’s “Smart Campaigns”. Pro Tip: Don’t do that)
Google Ads has a lot of brilliant features which give you, yes you, the power to reach exactly who you want, when and where you want to reach them. I am going to go ahead and let you in on one of the most powerful ways to do this, so you work toward getting the actual results you are looking for and generate a return on your ad spend.
First thing: If you are currently running a “Smart Campaign” in Google, stop. The trick I am going to share with you does not apply to these campaigns and you have very little control over who Google is reaching. There is no reason to use this campaign type, ever. Now to the real business.
Take Advantage of Google’s Interest and In-Market Intent Audiences
This is a rather new addition to Google Ads and one of the most powerful. Programmatic advertising is fast becoming the norm, and Google has a built-in list of programmatic intent and interest audiences just ready for you to use to power-target your campaigns.
These can be implemented for all campaign types (search, display, etc), but I recommend using them 100% of the time, especially for the common search campaign. Why? Observe…
Under the “Audiences” tab in your Google Ads dashboard, you will find this magical box of options:
Now, let’s say you are a plumber, and you are advertising your services in Google Ads. Plumbing keywords are ultra-competitive and expensive, and you are tired of getting irrelevant clicks. You specifically want to reach homeowners who Google has identified are actively searching Google for plumbing searches. You open the magic box above, do a couple of searches, and boom….
It literally does not get more targeted than this. It doesn’t stop there. Google now gives you a couple of options on how you want to target these people. They call this “Targeting” or “Observation”
“Targeting” means, I only want to serve ads to these people, and only these people.
“Observation” means, I want to target everyone searching, but I want to see if this audience does better -or- I want to bid a little higher for these people.
Unless you are in a highly competitive market serving a very large geographic area, I recommend using “Observation”, but going a step further by adding bid adjustments and exclusions. You can find this under the “Audience” menu item in your Google Ads dashboard.
If you are using the observation strategy and you really (I mean really) don’t want to serve to renters…period. You can exclude them. In your dashboard, under the “Audience” menu item, you will see “Exclusions”.
The possibilities are nearly infinite, and audience targeting and audience exclusions can be set at the campaign level and even as granular as the ad group level. Keep in mind that a strong ad group structure, keyword strategy and well-written ads are just as important; Audience targeting only further enhances your campaigns and ad groups for higher relevance and less wasted spend on irrelevant clicks.
There are audience targeting options for almost any industry and any Google Ads campaign. I recommend just getting in there, digging around and finding the precise audience you want to reach with your campaigns.