7 Simple Tips to Improve Your Google Ads Conversion Rate

Over the last 10 years, we’ve audited and managed hundreds of Google AdWords accounts for our clients. Not only have we developed the experience and expertise to know what works and what doesn’t, we’ve seen companies make some very common mistakes that prevent them from generating results. We’ve distilled these lessons learned into this quick guide on how to improve your Google Ads conversion rate.

Growing your business is all about getting your website in front of new customers. It’s a numbers game. The more eyes you can get on your website, the better your chances are at generating new sales.

SEO is a tried and true way to accomplish that, but it takes time. Pay per click, on the other hand, is a phenomenal way to quickly generate targeted, on-demand traffic to your site. However, there’s much more to it than just putting in your credit card information and opening up the flood gates.

This article will help you bypass the common pitfalls that most businesses fall into when managing their own PPC campaigns. Follow these tips to optimize your Google Ads campaigns and start seeing measurable results!

Tips to Improve AdWords Conversion Rate

  1. Verify that you are accurately tracking conversions
  2. Make sure your landing page’s hero section reflects your ad copy
  3. Target keywords that resonate with your desired user intent
  4. Make your desired action as prominent and as obvious as possible
  5. Regularly check in and optimize your Google Ads campaigns
  6. Always have some kind of an AB test running
  7. Cut your non-performers every chance you get

How to Improve Google Ads Conversion Rate

You always want to get more out of your PPC campaigns regardless of how well they’re doing. Whether you’re new to pay per click management or you have a bit of experience under your belt, these 7 quick tips will help you improve your Google Ads conversion rates.

Let’s jump right in!

Verify that you are accurately tracking conversions

If you don’t know how your Google Ads campaigns are performing, you won’t know how to make them better.

Knowing which keywords, ads, and landing pages help generate conversions will make optimizing your AdWords campaigns that much easier. However, if you’re still in the early days and struggling to get your first few conversions, focus on which ones get you the most clicks to maximize the throughput to your landing pages.

Keep in mind that conversions are not automatically tracked by Google Ads. Setting it up yourself is fairly easy to do, but you shouldn’t stop there.

There are three places you should be tracking conversions from Google Ads:

  1. Google Ads Platform: Set up and verify a Google Ads conversion action to start tracking successful conversions.
  2. Google Analytics: Set up an Analytics goal and/or enable ecommerce tracking (if applicable) to keep tabs on conversions in Analytics.
  3. Your CRM: Work with your dev team to make sure that leads / sales generated by PPC are being properly tagged as such.

You can handle the first two on your own. Though you’ll definitely need to coordinate with your company’s dev team to make the last one happen.

It can be difficult to get this worked in since Dev teams are notorious for always being busy, but stick with it.

Getting conversions is important. However, your focus should be on generating conversions that turn into sales and you won’t have that data if you aren’t tracking it.

Make sure your landing page’s hero section reflects your ad copy

Your landing page’s hero section is the space at the top of the page that your users will see first. (It’s also been called the splash area if that helps.)

This is prime real estate since you have roughly 3 seconds to capture your user’s attention, let them know they’re in the right place, or they’ll bounce. Potentially for good since PPC is about putting your company in front of new potential clients.

If they don’t stick on your landing page right then and there, you may never see them again.

keeping the scent ppc

Let’s say that you’re running ads for “CPAs for small businesses”. Your landing page needs to have:

  • “CPAs for small businesses” or a close variation in the main headline.
  • A hero graphic that visually conveys the keyword itself or the theme of the keyword.
  • A hero graphic that shows a CPA working with a client or accounting software.

Or a combination of all three.

If your user is greeted with an image of a glass skyscraper in a metropolitan area or “Free Tax Audit” as the headline, you’ve lost the scent and the visitor as a potential customer.

Target keywords that resonate with your desired user intent

It’s very easy to target the wrong keywords. Those high volume, shorter-tail, popular keywords are very distracting because they get a lot of clicks. However, these keywords are usually far too vague to be of any real value to you.

And they’ll devour your budget like nobody’s business leaving you with an empty wallet and no conversions.

Your focus should be on long-tail keywords that match the focus of your PPC campaign.

There are three main types of search queries:

  • Informational: Find the answer to a particular question or find information to learn about a specific topic, i.e. “how to braid hair”, “best way to cook chicken”, “how much does sink repair cost”, etc.
  • Navigational: Make your way to a specific website or page on a certain website without using the URL, i.e. “Cabela’s hiking boots”, “WebMD cold symptoms”, etc.
  • Transactional: Locate the thing you want to buy, i.e. “shop bluetooth speakers”, “woven bracelets for sale”, “boys swimsuits online”, etc.

With that said, one type of keyword isn’t inherently better than the other. You simply need to match the type with what you want to happen.

For instance, you can use informational search terms to send traffic to an educational page with a newsletter signup CTA to get visitors into an email autoresponder campaign. Using transactional keywords would be a bad move here.

The reverse is true too. If your desired action is to generate a sale and you’re using informational search phrases, your conversion rates are going to suffer.

Make your desired action as prominent and as obvious as possible

One of the quickest ways to lose your customers’ attention is by burying your CTA or by not having one at all.

When a customer clicks on your ad, they’re expecting to do something on your landing page whether it’s adding a product to a cart, signing up for a webinar, or requesting a callback.

Not having a clear, visible CTA creates unnecessary confusion, frustration, and friction that’s going to be felt in your conversion rates.

You never want to leave your potential customers hanging. There should always be a clear CTA that grabs their attention and tells them what their next step should be.

Every campaign’s CTA will be different, but there are some boxes you need to check to make sure your call to action is on point. Your CTA needs to:

  1. Be as high up on the page as possible.
  2. Draw the eye using a bright accent color.
  3. Have sufficient white space around it so it isn’t buried.
  4. Stated in clear, understandable verbiage.
  5. Be the expected action based on your ad copy.

Following these tips will make your CTA impossible to miss and get you a nice boost to your conversion rate.

Regularly check in and optimize your Google Ads campaigns

We’ve said this before in a few of our previous articles, but neglect is, flat out, one of the main reasons why most PPC campaigns don’t convert. I’d even go as far to say that it’s the #1 reason.

Pay per click campaigns are not a set-it-and-forget-it marketing tactic. You can’t spin up some campaigns, shove them in the closet, and expect them to print money.

It doesn’t work that way.

And even with as far as the Google Ads platform has come in the last decade, it’s still a simple machine. You tell it what to do and it goes out and does it.

You give it the keywords to target, the ad copy to use, and the landing page to send clicks to.

If you tell it to do the wrong thing or you aren’t specific enough with your targeting, it doesn’t matter. It’s still going to go out there and spend your money in the wrong places.

That’s why regular maintenance and optimization is so important. Agencies and businesses aren’t optimizing their accounts enough and their conversion rates reflect that.

(It’s also why we get such quick results when we take on new accounts too!)

Want to double your conversion rate?

Get our FREE PPC checklist to start cranking out conversions in just 15 minutes a day!

Always have some kind of an AB test running

AB tests are the backbone of a successful Google Ads account and here’s why.

What we think gets results and what actually gets results are usually two different things. We can’t confirm that until we start running and testing ads.

What is an AB test?

AB tests are experiments that are run to test how a specific change affects your PPC campaign’s performance. This test can be on anything from your ad copy’s headline to the color of the CTA on your landing page and everything in between.

You can and should be testing everything.

And when you run an A/B test, it’s important that you change one thing and one thing only so whatever results you do see can be attributed to that particular change.

google ads a/b testing

Ad copy, landing page, SOMETHING needs be tested at all times. Even if you’re only able to eke out a +0.25% or +0.64% boost in conversion rate, that’s still a win and a valuable test.

Half a dozen of those small wins over time translates to a 1.5% – 3.84% total increase and that’s what A/B testing is all about.

A bunch of small changes over a period of time that equals a large change in aggregate.

Cut your non-performers every chance you get

You shouldn’t be attached to anything in your Google Ads account. Everything should always be one step away from the chopping block.

It doesn’t matter if you wrote the perfect ad copy, if you’re incredibly proud of the landing page you built, or if you really want to target a specific grouping of keywords.

If it isn’t performing, it’s dead weight. And not only that, it’s dead weight that’s costing you money every second it’s active. It’d be the same thing as walking down the street and handing out $10 to every person you cross paths with.

This wasted ad spend siphons your daily budget away from the ads, landing pages, and keywords that are actually converting and generating leads / sales for your business.

cutting non performers in google ads campaigns

In the example above, there’s roughly $4,000 of wasted ad spend going to 6 keywords that have 0 conversions. Pausing those keywords would improve the conversion rate from 1.73% to 11.76%, or by 581%!

It would also generate between 18 – 45 more conversions instead of 0.

Don’t get attached. Don’t keep non-performers active because of what they could do or what you want them to do.

Judge them based on what they’ve done and cut accordingly.

Recap

Google Ads is a great way to grow a business, but there’s more to it than you might think. Following these tips will help you boost your AdWords campaigns’ conversion rates and turn those clicks into customers.

  1. Verify that you are accurately tracking conversions
  2. Make sure your landing page’s hero section reflects your ad copy
  3. Target keywords that resonate with your desired user intent
  4. Make your desired action as prominent and as obvious as possible
  5. Regularly check in and optimize your Google Ads campaigns
  6. Always have some kind of an AB test running
  7. Cut your non-performers every chance you get

But what about your campaigns? Are your conversion rates where you want them to be? What are you struggling with?

Let us know by putting them in the comments section below!

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Kenny is a digital marketing specialist with over 10 years of online marketing experience, and Founder of Rank Boss Digital Marketing Agency. With 1M+ leads and countless dollars generated through his targeted strategies, he'll help unlock new traffic and revenue streams that take your business to the next level.

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