Google Ads, previously called Google Adwords, has become a critical tool in the digital marketing space.
It gives you an advantage over SEO because you can start advertising today and earning quality leads tomorrow.
Coupled with a great SEO strategy, Google Ads will supercharge your online marketing.
Google Ads for IT service providers does take some time to get right. Have you ever had phone calls from someone asking if you can help when with their desktop or Xbox? It’s most likely that you’re bidding on the wrong keywords and someone who is at home accidentally clicked on an ad that you paid for.
Below, I have put together 14 quick tips for your MSP to reduce Google Ads spend and increase your lead generation.
1. Increase clicks by writing better ad copy
Getting more value for your advertising budget is vital, and writing better ads is gold for saving money with Google Ads.
Writing optimal ads means that you are paying less. Improving the quality of your ads increases click-through ratio and increases your Quality Score which is ultimately the one score you should focus on to run campaigns that are going to cost you less and give you more quality traffic.
Below is two ad sets, which one do you feel is more relevant and on point the with search term “Managed Services”?
2. Get your quality score up!
Quality Score matters because it is representative of the relevance of your ads to users’ search queries.
There are two main reasons why you should care about a low-quality score: You get fewer clicks and pay more for the clicks you do get. Google deliberately lowers the visibility of your ads and charges you more for a low score, meaning that ads won’t be served unless you pay a lot more.
What does the quality score measure? Pretty much, if your keywords are not related to the ad text and the landing page isn’t keeping users engaged. You will get a low-quality score. The quality score rating can affect your, keywords, ads, ad groups, landing pages and even your entire account.
3. Utilise extensions to increase clicks
Clicks from qualified leads are what you are after, which means an increased click-through-ratio (CTR). One feature that is often missed is adding ad extensions which make your ads more clickable.
Google Ads has many types of extensions available, no matter what services you provide, there is an extension that helps your ad stand out.
See the example below, this helps your customer see what they are looking for and makes your advert even bigger!
4. Adjust the region your ads are targeting
Are you paying for ads that are outside of your geographic area? Geo ads are great, they allow you to serve ads to people who are within a specific region or distance from your company.
As with most IT businesses customers are local. Yes, I understand there is remote support, but with IT project services and consultants; clients are most likely local.
Geolocation advert options are some of the most underrated features, many advertisers incorrectly set up their Geolocation settings and pay for clicks outside their service area.
5. Run your ads at the best time of the day
AKA Dayparting – limit the times your ads run during the day. This practice allows you to set the time of the day you want your ads to be displayed, maximising the visibility of your ads during specific times.
Your goal is to have your ads display during your office hours. The best time to get a response is when your office is open, if you have ads running when you are not available, then you are wasting your money.
Even if the lead can leave a message or send an email, my years of experience has proven that in B2B customers who are looking for IT Services, are less likely to convert outside of office hours then within.
6. Exclude keywords that are low value
Not all keywords are created equal, would you pay for someone who is looking for free advice, an unrelated industry, or even a job?
For instance, someone is searching for something unrelated or is low cost, there is no point in paying for their search term. This increases your cost per conversion.
Your first step is to compile a negative keywords report. This is where you can find low-value keywords or keywords that convert less often.
How to find low-value keywords:
- Manual search. Find a list of keywords that you are advertising, or considering and start searching. What else shows up in the listings? Are there some results that aren’t related?
- Google suggest – When you’re manually searching, take notice of suggestions from Google. There are potential negative keywords. Below are some examples of “desktop support services”.
- Bad searches – The search terms report will help you find negative keywords. The report displays actual terms people have searched for which trigger an ad and led to a click. You may spot search terms that are related but aren’t what you sell.
7. Remarket your visitors
If you aren’t remarketing, then visitors who are not converting are falling through the cracks, and you’re essentially spending all this time, money, and effort into attempting to persuade prospects to convert during a single visit.
Remarketing is one of the most essential features that IT Service business should utilise. This is because the sales process can take from 6 weeks to 18 months. It is your goal to get in front of your prospects and stay front of mind.
This tactic is great because all your visitors from paid search, SEO, email or referrals will be able to see your ads long after they leave. You can target ads for specific parts of the journey, for example, someone who has downloaded a white paper or started to signup and stopped halfway through the funnel.
Quick tip: Don’t forget to exclude visitors who go through your careers pages, you don’t want to pay for people who are looking for jobs.
8. Search for new target keywords
Did you know? 51 per cent of searches are longer than 4 words.
Many advertisers focus on their existing keywords, our strategy is to find the long-tail keywords which are used less frequently, but yield higher returns.
One of the most effective keyword strategies to save money is to find entirely new keywords. Look for new keyword groups and target different long-tail keywords, this will have a remarkable impact on your click-through rates, raising Quality Scores and reducing your ad spend.
9. Set different strategies for mobile vs desktop
Do you know if mobile or desktop converts better? At the point of writing, Desktop for B2B IT Services has far higher conversion rates during the business day. Mobile vs Desktop targeting should be considered in your optimisation.
More people are searching for good and services throughout the day, and many desktop conversions may have started on mobile. Take a look at your bids, Mobile bids are beginning to climb. Take a look at your mobile bidding strategy and make sure you’re not paying too much.
You can set mobile bids at the campaign or ad group level, giving you control over how much you will spend.
10. Creating a compelling call-to-action within your ad text
If you aren’t sure of what call-to-action is most effective, test and rotate your ads with A/B testing. Before you choose the winning ad, be sure that you have enough data to warrant statistical significance.
11. Optimise your landing page
I consider landing page experience as one of the most essential factors in your Ad optimisation.
It is your primary goal to give visitors the information they are looking for, if they cannot find the information they need, the user will be gone within three seconds.
Does the ad text relate to the landing page? What part of the buyers’ journey is the visitor in?
You need to give users the right information for where they are in the buying cycle. If a user is on Google, they are just getting started in their search, making them in the early stages of the buyers’ journey.
12. Reduce the scope of your matches
The broader your search queries, the less likely you are to get the keywords you want.
For example “IT Support Services” on a broad match could get queries for “Xbox tech support” or even worse “Home IT support.” Do you want to be paying for people at home who aren’t;t even relevant?
You have a few choices
- Broad – The default option and can be very costly. Used for terms related to your business, and attempts to find similar terms;
- Modified Broad – put a plus sign (+) in front of one or more words. The words with the (+) must appear exactly or a close variation. Close variants include misspellings, plurals, abbreviations, acronyms and stemmin;
- Phrase – Ads only appear for keywords that contain the phrase;
- Exact – Only the specific keyword you’re bidding on or close variants.
13. A/B test your ads and landing pages
A/B testing is essential to get the most from your advertising budget. People are always more likely to click one advert more than the other, and likewise with landing pages, some just work better than others.
How to test ads, over a week or two, run two variants at the same time, at the end of the period, check out the stats to see which one received more clicks.
On your website, you should consider setting up conversion tracking and integrate your Google Ads with Google Analytics. This is another topic for another day, but with Google Analytics, you will be able to see the quality of the traffic you are receiving per ad.
14. Integrate Google Analytics data sharing
Google Analytics is a free analytical tool you can use to monitor traffic on your website. It is considered one of the industries best.
Once linked, you will be able to see campaign level Ads data, which includes RLSA, DSA, remarketing, display and other types of campaign format. The Google Ads report shows useful engagement metrics such as visits from the campaign, bounce rate, average visit duration and a lot more.
Even if you don’t understand the report, it is a good idea to set this link-up, because Google Analytics does not pull data from the past once linked, it only collects data from the time you link the accounts and it may be a good idea to have a few months of data before you make any decisions.
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