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Google Ads Workshop REPLAY

Google Ads Workshop REPLAY

Google Ads Unlocked: Common Pitfalls and Winning Strategies

Google Ads Unlocked: Common Pitfalls and Winning Strategies

This workshop is for those who are spending money on Google Ads and feel like they should be getting more out of it.

In this workshop you’ll learn:

✅ Account Red flags (and how to avoid them)
✅ Essential Campaign configuration you MUST know
✅ Conversion tracking basics
✅ Brief look at alternative Campaign types
✅ Why YouTube ads could be your secret ticket
✅ Case study: Google Ads
✅ Q&A

Webinar Resources

Webinar Resources


AI Prompt

I need you to create 15 Google Ads headlines and 5 Descriptions for a Google Ads campaign we want to run for our Painting company. I will provide the information for you to extract ideas from. 

Remember that Google Ads headlines have a 30 character limit, and the Description had a 90 character limit, so do not go other those limits. 

The goal of the campaign is to get leads. The ads should be captivating and persuasive in order to get the prospect to click on the ad.

About us: We are a local painting company serving Victoria BC. 

Here is the content which you can extract ideas from: 


Workshop Outline:

  1. Introduction to Google Ads:
    • Explanation of Google search ads, local service ads, display ads, and shopping ads.
  2. Rules of Engagement:
    • Learning Period: Expect a break-even or loss phase in the first 4-6 weeks.
    • Realistic Budgeting: Ensure your budget matches the market’s cost per click.
    • Goals and Phases: Initially focus on controlling traffic quality, then move to optimization.
    • Website Importance: Success is 50% ads and 50% website quality.
    • Control and Risk: Balance between giving control to Google and maintaining oversight.
  3. Common Red Flags (Pitfalls):
    • Magic Buttons:
      • Location settings: Target “people in or regularly in your targeted area.”
      • Networks: Disable search and display networks by default.
      • Automatically created assets: Disable Google’s auto-generated ads and URL choices.
    • Keyword Control:
      • Regularly review search terms reports and exclude irrelevant searches.
      • Use phrase match instead of broad match for better keyword control.
    • Conversion Tracking:
      • Differentiate between primary (hard) and secondary (soft) conversions.
      • Avoid double counting conversions.
    • Trusting Google:
      • Be cautious with Google’s recommendations and auto-apply settings.
      • Disable automatic ad and keyword adjustments.
    • Branded Keywords:
      • Exclude your company name to avoid paying for your own branded searches.
  4. Strategies for Success:
    • Fine-Tuning Campaigns:
      • Adjust ad schedules, demographics, and bid adjustments.
      • Monitor quality scores and auction insights.
      • Use Google Ads’ experiment feature for structural changes.
    • Additional Campaign Types:
      • Performance Max campaigns: Black box approach, complement search campaigns.
      • Display campaigns: Focus on remarketing and targeting specific interests.
      • Shopping campaigns: Set up through Google Merchant Center.
      • YouTube video campaigns: Powerful targeting options for brand awareness.
  5. AI and Ad Creation:
    • Utilize ChatGPT for ad copy creation and other creative tasks.
  6. Case Study: The Tragedy of Toronto:
    • AV company example highlighting the impact of unchecked red flags.
    • Importance of regular account audits to avoid wasting ad spend.
  7. Conclusion and Recommendations:
    • Regularly review and audit Google Ads accounts.
    • Consider professional audits (light or deep-dive) for optimized performance.


  • Free and deep-dive audits available to help optimize Google Ads campaigns.

Full Transcript

Hey guys, before we dive into the video, just want to let you know that it was recorded on May 29th, 2024. The content of the video, I’d say, is mostly for people in the beginning stages of their Google Ads journey. The tips in here are mostly, I think, intermediate-level tips. So if you’re looking for anything in more of the advanced category, I’d say this workshop is not for you.

However, people who have been running ads for a couple of years might still have the fundamentals of Google Ads not set up right. Anyway, we go through the common red flags we see in most accounts that we audit, and then we also go through some strategies for success on how you can fine-tune your campaigns. Anyway, hope you enjoy it. That’s all sorted. Welcome, thank you guys for joining me today for this workshop.

Today, we’re talking about Google Ads, and let’s get going straight into it. Here, so it’s going to be hopefully 40 to 45 minutes. We’re going to go over some of the rules of engagement when running Google Ads. We’re going to dive into the common pitfalls, which I’m going to be labeling as the red flags and what to do about them. Then we’re going to go into some strategies for success, then we’re going to go into the different campaign types. We’re going to go over a great case study, and then if you’re here until the end, you have a chance to win $50, and we’re going to do a spin-the-wheel contest, so make sure you hang around until the end for that.

So a bit about me, I am Gavin, I am originally from Dublin in Ireland. I moved to Canada about nine years ago now and just got my citizenship, so hopefully I’ll be here a little bit longer. Currently living on the very western tip in Victoria in British Columbia, and yeah, probably love it over here and probably be hanging around here for the foreseeable future, hopefully.

The company Monolo, we’ve been around for, I think this is our sixth year, and we’re mostly focused on Google Ads, SEO, and a little bit of local SEO as well. Pretty much at the end of the day, what we do is we are all about delivering you customers. So we’re all about bringing more traffic, more leads, more customers, because at the end of the day, that’s all people care about—growing their business, getting more revenue, getting more customers, and growing their business. So everything that we do is all focused around getting you more customers.

Okay, so today, just want to make sure we clear the air here and identify what we’re actually talking about here. So we’re talking about Google Ads. Mostly, we’re going to be talking about search ads, so what you see when you search on the regular Google search page. Type in a keyword, and these ads here that you’ll see with the sponsor, these are your Google Ads. Everyone’s pretty familiar with these, they’ve been around for a long time, but this is what we’re talking about here.

Often, I get asked this question: what type of ads are these? Now, these are slightly different, they’re actually a different system altogether, and they’re called Google Local Services Ads or Google Guaranteed Ads. These are not available for everyone, these are only available for certain industries, mostly your trades, contractors, people in those sorts of industries, so your plumber, electrician, roofers, those types of guys. This is a pay-per-lead program, whereas Google Ads itself is a pay-per-click program, so this is something totally different. If you are in one of these industries where it’s available, I think it’s a no-brainer to set it up because you’re only paying whenever you get a lead or phone call in the door.

So that’s going to be a separate system, so we’re not really talking about these ones today, but just so you know what ones they are. People ask me what are these types of ads, so you’ll see ads on the Google Maps. These ads are when you connect your Google Business Profile to the Google Ads account. When you do that, then you can run ads on Google Maps. If you do not have a Google Business Profile, then you can’t run ads on the maps.

You also see different types of ads when you search for products on Google Search. You’ll see these types of things, these are your shopping ads. They’re for products. You also see them on the right-hand side here as well, so these are products. These companies are running Google Shopping Ads, and they are run through the main Google Ads dashboard as well, so that’s what they are. These types of ads are your display ads, and you’ll notice these on various different websites. I’m on the Weather Network here, and you’ll see a bunch of different banner ads, but these are also set up through the Google Ads dashboard, they’re called display ads.

Okay, so why are we doing this workshop today? Yeah, I did something similar two years ago where we walked through some of the common pitfalls and what to do about them. It seems as though it’s the same year and the same mistakes. Every time we do audits, we’re encountering kind of the same fundamental errors in the accounts. Yeah, so I just thought it’d be good to do a little refresher here.

We’re finding, like when I’m speaking to people who have just started on the Google Ads journey or are thinking about it, they’re frustrated. They don’t really know what to do in the system. The system has great potential, has the potential to be amazing, but out of the box, it’s just not going to get you to where you need to be. So often people who are getting into it who are managing themselves are pretty frustrated. And also, I’m frustrated because we’ve been doing a ton of audits the last couple of years, and it’s, yeah, I mean, it’s a damn shame the amount of money that is actually going out the window and not towards anything significant. People are burning a lot of cash, and you know, Google doesn’t really care about that, so they don’t really care about the business owner at the end of the day, they care about themselves.

So, I’m frustrated that business owners are not getting success. So today, I really want to give you guys the power, the power to at least set yourself up on the right track. I want to educate you guys, and for those in the room, I know there’s a few people here that are not going to be running Google Ads themselves but have connections, friends, business partners. Everyone knows someone who’s going to be running Google Ads campaigns, so spread the word to them about what we’re going to talk about today, which are the major red flags, plugging the holes, and getting a good base within Google Ads. So I would love you guys to spread the word that way as well. This will be recorded, so I’ll be sending out a link afterwards, so you can go over it again if I skip over anything too quickly.

Okay, so our rules of engagement: just setting expectations I think is really important. Someone has asked a question in the chat there, yeah, I’ll be sharing everything with you afterwards and you can do what you like with it, that’s fine. So expectations: there is going to be a learning period. Expect that you will actually probably lose money or just break even in the first four to six weeks. There is this learning phase, we are setting up the system, doing the settings, and you’re trying to see how the system reacts to what we have set. So there is this learning phase, you’re not going to be profitable straight away, but as long as we’re making progress towards, yeah, we’re kind of learning and gathering data at the start, that’s what’s really important.

Also, it’s important to be realistic. There are certain industries where the cost per click is really high. For example, lawyers, accountants, anyone in that really, the professional service space. Whenever the value of the sale is high, typically the cost per click is going to be high. So what I mean by this is being realistic. If you only have $500 budget and you’re a lawyer and you’re trying to compete, and the clicks are $20 for every click, $30 for every click, you’re only going to be getting a handful of clicks every week, and the system’s not going to be optimized for you. So there’s got to be a realistic amount of budget for the market that you’re competing in, and maybe then if you only have a small budget, it’s not right for you in that moment in time.

Just understanding your goals and your phases. So at the start, your goal is to get control over the traffic. You want to get quality traffic, you want the ads showing up in front of real customers. This is what we’re going to talk about with the red flags, it’s like plugging the holes. And then once you’ve got a good stable base there, then you can do way more optimizations and really fine-tune everything. But first, your first goal is we want control on the campaign, we want to get good quality clicks coming through with real people behind them.

Our next rule is that the success of Google Ads is going to be 50% based on the ads and 50% based on your website. So the greatest ads in the world are not going to save you if you have a crummy website that has poor user experience and is just not optimized for a conversion. So we always give recommendations to clients, what can we do to improve the user experience, what can we do to reduce friction and make it easier for people to reach out to you and become a lead. So success is 50% ads and the rest is your website.

The last one here, our rules are just to help you understand control and risk. So yeah, risk and control. Essentially, this is the big decision that you’re going to be making with your Google Ads account. How much control you’re willing to give over to Google and all the automated systems that come with it, and understanding the inherent risk that comes with that. Do you go fully automated, do you give Google full control of the wheel, or do we put some guardrails in place to get it to where we want it to go? The danger is that it goes off in the wrong direction, and it can do that, and it quite often does that. It will think these keywords are great for your business because it’s adding them automatically, but in fact, they’re not. There are so many cases that this has happened. So this is what we’re doing here, we want to go somewhere in the middle. We don’t want to be really, really strict on the settings that we’re not getting much action from it. We don’t want to give Google full control; we’re going to be somewhere in the middle.

Yeah, so that’s just understanding all the things that we’re going to be talking about later on. There are loads of different buttons where you can give all control to Google, or you can keep that yourself.

So these are the five red flags here, and these are the major ones that I have found that are consistent over the last few years. These are the five here, and we’re going to go into each of them in a bit of detail. We’ve got some magic buttons, we have got understanding keyword control, conversion tracking, trusting Google, and branded keywords. We’re going to dive into each of them.

Did you know that inside of Google Ads, there are magic buttons, and some of these buttons are enabled by default and sometimes they’re pretty well hidden? If you don’t disable them, you could be in a lot of trouble. So in the location settings, the first one here, presence or interest: people in or regularly in, or who have shown interest in your targeted area. This first toggle doesn’t necessarily mean that someone’s in your area, so if you’re trying to only work with customers in your city, in your area, the top one is not the one to choose because this is people who have shown interest. So it could be someone searching from a different city that is looking for stuff in your city, but they’re not a potential customer. So always you want to make sure that you’re clicking this bottom one, which is people in or regularly in your targeted area. It’s going to solve a lot of problems straight away.

What we can look at is when we go into Google Analytics, I filtered by paid traffic. I’m looking at the cities these people were targeting, only Vancouver, but what’s happened is we’re getting a bunch of other cities here as well. We’re getting other cities where the client does not serve, so this is a bit of a health check you can do to see actually where the ads are coming from, and this is a shot from Google Analytics here. Also, what I’ve seen is people choosing the wrong city altogether. So this client is trying to serve a city called Surrey in British Columbia, but what happened in fact was, you can see here, they chose Surrey in the United Kingdom. So just a typo, I mean, you’re typing in “Sur” and selected the wrong one. But yeah, just got to be careful here, there are a lot of duplicate cities around the world. If you click the wrong one, you could be advertising in a totally wrong location, so that’s something to keep an eye out for.

The second magic buttons are in the campaign settings under this section called Networks. So we have the regular Google search page, but then also we have the search network and the display network, and these give you the ability to run ads on other websites around the web. This can cause a little bit of a problem, so by default, I always like to turn these guys off. If we want to add them on later on, we can. I’m going to show you a couple of screenshots later on of how this has caused serious trouble. So in your settings, just make sure you deselect these two guys when you’re setting up.

The next magic button is related to the automatically created asset. So in here, what I’m saying is, do I want Google to automatically create text assets and to pick the URL that it wants to show as an ad? Typically, you’re only really going to have one to three URLs that you actually want to send people to. Not all the website URLs are going to be optimized. So no, I do not want Google to create ads, and I don’t want them to choose whatever URL they want. So I’m going to deselect these two guys.

Let me show you how this can create a bit of a mess. So this is what it’s done, you can see the typos here, it’s just a bit of a mess, and then this sentence is not even complete. So this is the automated autogenerated text that Google has given, and it’s just not good enough. Here’s another example, this company is called Compass Massage, and I mean, the first one’s okay, it’s only using 44 out of the 90 characters, so it could be better. This one’s okay, and then it has something here, Infinity Massage, that’s actually the name of a different company, and they’ve put it in here under this company’s ads. And then “the RMTs are very friendly,” I don’t think the Google systems are good enough at creating my ads. So right now, I’m just going to deselect anything to do with that straight away. I mean, there will come a time in the future where they are really, really good at this, and we probably won’t ever have to write ad copy ever again. But for now, I’m just going to deselect some of these guys because I’m not happy with how they’re showing up.

So the next one is related to target keyword and search term mismatch. So our target keyword is what we set of what we want our ads to show up for, and the search term is what the people actually type in. So, for example, target keyword, we put it in the account that we say “plumbing companies near me,” we want to target that. But what happens is the ad, our ad can actually show up for something like “local plumber for a basement leak,” and that is the actual search term or search query that the person has typed in.

There’s another example here you can see. So your keywords can show up for a variety of different search queries, and the goal here is that we need to review the search terms report and see if we’re getting good clicks from that. So I’m going to jump over here to an account quickly, and hopefully, everyone can still see my screen. So I’m in my Google Ads account here, I’m in the section here which is Search Keywords, and here are the keywords that we have put in that we want to show ads on.

We can add in more, we can type it in here. So these are the ones, and you can see all the different stats here, all the clicks and impressions. You need to go up here and go on the insights, go to search terms. And this is what we’re talking about here, this is what the people are actually searching. Yeah, and you can see the relevant clicks beside them as well. So this is really important to review because if you’re finding here that there are a bunch of irrelevant searches, you need to exclude these from the account. So you need to go down through this, you need to go, okay, this one’s good, this one’s bad, you can add them or exclude them. So you click on it, and you go add keyword or add as negative keyword. This is a really important part of the process, and especially at the very start of your campaigns, you want to make sure you go in here, and this essentially is like quality control. We’re seeing the real searches that people are typing in. Are they relevant, are they not relevant? And you do a bit of work here to kind of get this right by adding and excluding the ones you do not want.

Jumping back to this guy here. So I find that a lot of the problems with this come down to not understanding the match types. This is like Google Ads 101, this is like understanding the match types and what to choose for your campaign. It’s relatively self-explanatory: exact match, they call it tight matching; phrase match, they call it moderate matching; and then broad match is loose matching. So exact match is pretty well closely related to the term that we put in. Phrase match is somewhere pretty close, and then broad match is like, think about it as like a radius and how far away in relationship from the main keyword it is. So you have your core keyword, and it’s like, okay, that’s kind of related but it’s a little bit further away.

So you can see in this example here, broad match might show your ad for “home decor” for your keyword which is “furniture store,” so you can kind of see how this works. The main red flag for me is when I see all broad keywords on the account. You definitely do not want to start off like that. Start off at all phrase match. Your broad match keyword should be used more on the exploratory side when you want to generate new keyword ideas, and you might want to do a separate campaign for that. So when you start off, put most of your keywords into phrase match, the one in the middle.

Number three on the red flags: you’re tracking the wrong things. So we identify conversions as either primary or secondary, sometimes people call them hard conversions and soft conversions. So a primary conversion is like a sale, a lead, you know, an ebook download, a webinar sign-up, whatever the case is. A secondary conversion will be something related to user metrics, so say, for example, time on site, how long someone spends on the site, how many pages they visit, do they visit the about us page, or how far they’re scrolling down the page. So there are your soft metrics. You have your primary and your secondary, so you need to differentiate between those two guys.

So this account that we had here, I’ll talk through it right now. So you can see that, I know it’s a little bit blurry but hopefully, you can make it out, you can see that overall they had 264 conversions, but let’s have a look at what conversions they really had. The first one here is about us, so this is people who visited the about us page, and they marked that as a conversion. I don’t think that’s a real conversion, I think that’s more of a soft conversion, so I kind of want to discount that straight away. We have a phone call, we have a phone call, they’re good. We have the contact form, yeah, that’s a real conversion. So this one here is the visits to the contact us page, this one is visits to the schedule a call page, this one is time on site when someone spends more than two minutes. So really, of those 264 conversions, how many are leads or sales? We only really have these three here.

So the main point of this is that the system, if you add in conversions that are not real conversions, the system’s going to be optimizing for those conversions. So what you want to do is just tell the system which ones we’re going to look at here: primary and which ones are secondary. So you need to go into settings and go, hey, okay, this is a call is good, a web form is good, and change them from primary to secondary, and there’s just a little button here, so make sure that you do that in your settings.

Next thing I see is people that are double tracking. So this one looked kind of good, we had 118 conversions, but what happened was they were actually tracking the calls twice. So you can see the number on the right-hand side’s the same, 59 and 59. So yeah, it’s just when they, unless you drill down into it and split it out, you don’t know, they just couldn’t see that there was a problem here. So really, we’re cutting the leads in half, and yeah, just make sure that we’re not tracking the same things there.

Also, a case of double counting. So let me explain this one. You know when you submit a form on the website and you go to a thank you page, and that thank you page might just say, “thank you for submitting your form,” blah blah blah. Say if you just go away from your computer or your phone, and then you come back and you open up your computer again, and you’re still on that page, that page is going to reload in a new session. So what happens is that’s going to fire another conversion event, and you would think that Google would be smart enough here to not double count it, but what happens is that conversion gets fired again and it counts, and it looks like you have more conversions than you actually do.

So this is what this is here, this is the repeat rate. So of the 31 conversions which we had, there’s a 1.2, so there’s an extra 20%, a fifth of the people, we need to remove 20% from this to get the actual number of conversions. So it’s a little bit annoying that this one’s really hidden. Where you do this is in the settings, in the conversion settings. Do you want it to count every conversion action, which is set by default, or do you want to change it that it’s only one, that we only count one? You need to click it to one, otherwise, we’re going to get this double counting.

Alright, that was now we’re moving on to red flag number four. So yeah, this is one that comes up quite a lot as well, which is that we put too much trust in Google, and we take everything, we accept all the recommendations that they show us. So you are going to be hit with tons of recommendations, warning lights, ways that you can optimize your account, you’re going to be hit with this all the time. Google really are the masters of this direct response, getting you to do things with, yeah, not flashing lights, but loads of buttons here and there to just make you, yeah, make you force you into making changes that you don’t want to make. So just proceed with caution here, you do not need to accept every recommendation that they put forward to you.

Most of the time, they want you to increase your budget, which you don’t need to do. What’s important here is that Google, the Google Ads system does not know you in your specific situation, it’s doing what’s best for the system and doesn’t really know exactly you and what’s going on. So just tread carefully here, and I will show you a few things here. There’s one interesting case that we had with a client who, when we came in to do the audit, this was one of the recommendations that was there for him. He would log in every couple of days, and he would see this recommendation which is “add new keywords,” and he would just click the apply all button every few days without even reviewing them.

So what was happening was these keywords were being added, then more keywords were being added, and the system thought that he liked these extra keywords, and then it was finding more keywords that were just way far away from the actual target keyword of what he wanted. He ended up having 2,500 keywords in the account, most of which were totally irrelevant, and it was just showing ads on totally irrelevant things and wasting money that way. So he thought it was good, he thought the Google system was looking out for him, but in fact, it was working against him. Just be careful with all these different warnings that you see inside.

There’s another section in there called auto-apply recommendations. This is kind of coming back to the control side of it again. So there are a bunch of different settings here where you can select or deselect what the Google system can do. So in this one here, I’m just looking at some examples. Do I want Google to add new search ads? Do I want it to improve my current search ads? I’m going to deselect these straight away, as I talked about a few slides ago. I’m not confident that the quality of the ad text is going to be good enough, so I’m going to deselect this and this straight away. Then maybe add it in later on if possible, but right now, off the bat, deselect it.

Here, in this section here, do I want Google to add in new keywords that it thinks are appropriate? Do we want the system to add in new broad keywords? I’m going to say no, no, and no for this guy as well. I’m not confident that it’s going to be able to add in keywords that are relevant for my business. I think this might work for some specific industries where Google has a ton of data. So maybe some of the industries that have been running Google Ads for years, and they just have a whole wealth of data in there, whereby you could go more automated. Right off the bat, I’m just going to say no and no, and then maybe later on, when you want to run a special campaign, you can give more control to Google that way. So yeah, that’s that, these are the auto-apply recommendations.

The last red flag here that we see is when a lot of the branded keywords are consuming all the clicks and all the budget. So this example here, we had this company called Pride Painting, and they were running campaigns, but most of the budget was going towards their own company name. The goal is not initially to be running ads to be paying for your existing customers, you want to get net new customers, not paying for your own brand. So what you want to do is exclude your own company name from the campaign so that you do not show ads for your own company name.

There will come a time and there is a time and a place where having a branded search campaign is important. If you’re in an industry where it’s really, really competitive and competitors are actually bidding on your company name, then you need to do a bit of brand protection, and then you would set up a separate brand campaign to make sure that your customers or prospects click on you and not on someone else. But for the most part, most companies don’t need to be running, most companies under that kind of like threshold don’t need to be paying for their own company name on Google. So just removing that from the campaign in the negative keywords is going to save you a good bit of money.

Okay, so these are the red flags, and now we’re going to move into some other things. Essentially, what we’ve done is we have patched the holes, fixed the leaks in our Google Ads system. Those red flags are where you will burn the most cash. So once we have that sorted, we’re happy with getting real clicks from real people in the locations that we want, then we can move into other things, and we call these strategies for success. We’re kind of moving to that phase two and beyond.

So we got our solid foundations, we plugged the holes, now we can look at more optimization. At this stage, it will be really important for you to know your numbers and potentially track all the leads internally. This is going to help you later on to make decisions about where to put your budget. So, what are you paying for a lead, for a customer? Is it worth your while? Maybe the cost per acquisition is way too high, and it might be worth going to Meta ads or something else instead. So yeah, just knowing your numbers here, this is going to help you get out of that phase one to see if Google Ads will be a sustainable model for you.

What happens at this next phase is that once we’ve got a good base, clients start asking the harder questions. Like, we’re getting leads, but can we improve the quality of these leads? How do we get more commercial jobs instead of residential jobs? That seems to be a really, really popular one. How do we target a specific group of people, say, property managers, for example? How do we target those people only? How do we get more of our high-margin products? How do we get more leads at a cheaper price? This is when we’re going to move into more fine-tuning of the campaigns and get more out of the system, essentially.

A lot of people don’t know that you can actually make some pretty nice tweaks within the system based on schedule. So you can set the days of the week you want to advertise on, you can set the hours, and you can choose demographics as well. For example, you’re a women’s health clinic and you only serve women, you would then deselect male from the campaign settings so that you’re only showing ads to females. Just going back to that last question which was a really popular one.

Say, for example, we are a roofing company and we’re getting a lot of residential leads, and they go, okay, no, actually we want more commercial leads, what can we do about that? There are a couple of things we can do. We can set the ad schedule for Monday to Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. That will give us a better chance because there’s a higher chance that you’re going to have more commercial clients during the working hour period rather than residential people who might be searching on the weekends.

What you can also do is use your ad copy to qualify people out. So what I would suggest is to adjust your ad copy to include more of those keywords, like commercial roofing company, commercial contractors, whatever the case is, just so you can kind of send a message to people who might be residential customers that you’re actually a commercial company. So that’s one way to use ad copy, it’s going to qualify people out. There’s a section in the Google Ads called Audiences. Google has tons of data, as we know, and it has identified people with specific interests or who are interested in purchasing something, that’s what in-market is. So you need to go in there and let’s have a look.

For this example that we’re talking about here, a roofing company, there is already an audience that Google has identified for people who are in need of roof maintenance, roof repair. So it would be a good idea to go in there, and you can add this audience to your campaign. We call that layering on the audience, it’s something that’s worthwhile exploring. So go in there and kind of type in the keywords related to your business, and we’ll see what’s available. I’ll show you another example of that in a few moments’ time.

A good thing to do, another good thing to do with fine-tuning is to monitor your quality score. I’m going to show you a slide on that and also to look at the auction insights, which is how you’re stacking up against competitors, which is really nice to look at sometimes. So if you’re inside of the campaign at the keyword level, this column on the right-hand side is called quality score.

So quality score essentially is how well matched is your target keyword to your ad, to your landing page. If you have 10 out of 10, Google thinks there’s a perfect match there, and it’s going to serve your ads most of the time because it’s matched. What you want to do here is make sure you don’t have any ones, twos, and threes. Most of the accounts I have are like six and above, five, six and above, and that’s totally fine. When you see a one or a two, what the system is telling you is that there’s a poor match, there’s some sort of issue here. You’re going to need to adjust your ad copy and maybe make changes to your landing pages to try and improve the quality score because the worse your quality score, the higher the cost for every click is going to be. So you want to make sure that’s up to an acceptable level.

This is something interesting as well, which is an area where you can see how you’re stacking up against your competitors. So I’ll draw your attention to here. So top of page, your ads are showing at the top of the page, and this is actually positions one to four. In Google Ads, there might be anywhere between one and four ads. So this is, yeah, top of page means positions one to four. Absolute top of page means position one.

So you can see then, okay, 30% of the time our ad is showing up number one. What’s interesting from this is if we come back down here to these guys, these guys have, you know, 64% of the time, 65% of the time, they’re showing up in position one, and they’re doing a way better job than all the other guys here. So my inkling here is that they have done a bit of a bid adjustment, and they are forcing the system to show their ad up at the top most of the time because they know that the first ad is going to get the most clicks. So yeah, it’s good to see this so you can see how you’re stacking up against your competitors.

What else do we have in fine-tuning? There is a feature inside of Google Ads called the Experiment feature, and the reason why this exists is that when a campaign is going okay, you’re generally happy with the performance and you want to make some structural changes to the campaign, the fear is, the danger is, that if you make some of these structural changes, the campaign might go off the rails, and that can happen.

So this experiment feature can be used when you want to change some major settings of the account, like the bidding strategy, and you can do this in a safe environment, and it’s not going to impact the existing campaign. So that’s definitely something to explore later on when you’re in phase two, when you want to try some major structural changes.

The last thing here in terms of fine-tuning that we like to do is related to bid adjustments. So you can do this at two places. You can do it at the keyword level. For example, we have a bunch of keywords in our account, and we want to make sure that our ads show up for one of the particular keywords in the account. It’s a really, really popular one, or we just want to make sure that we are at the top for this keyword each time. So you can do an adjustment to say, for this keyword, I would like to bid an extra 10%, 30%, and that will hopefully force the system to show your ad up more. Yeah, you’re paying for it, but you’re getting more action at the top.

The second bid adjustment you can do is based on location. So say if you’re targeting a city, but there’s a specific neighborhood in the city that maybe is more affluent, and you want to really get your ads in there. So you can go into the locations, drop your pin, do your radius, and say, okay, I would like to bid more for people in this neighborhood. And this is actually a really popular one because, yeah, I mean, people are looking for more profitable jobs in kind of affluent areas. This is somewhere you can target. So you say, extra 30% on my bids into this neighborhood, and yeah, try and get some customers that way. That’s your fine-tuning.

The Google Ads system has so much to it. These are ones that we like to try first, and then there are definitely other ones to look at as well. So what we’ve been talking about so far are the search campaigns, but there are a bunch of other campaigns that you should consider.

Performance Max, the best way that I can describe this is I like to describe this as the ultimate black box. You don’t really know what’s going on, you’re giving full control over to the system to work its magic, and it can work amazing, and it can not work so good at the same time. So you’re only going to set this up as a complement to your regular search campaign. But, yeah, Performance Max, why I don’t like it is that you don’t get to see the data. It’s just going to show you 10 conversions came in this month, but it’s not going to show you where it came from, and you can’t gather any insights or make any decisions off that. You just have to work off blind faith that it’s working and it’s bringing you in real leads. So it definitely can work, but it does have some challenges in terms of the data you can see.

The display campaigns, the most, the first display campaign that I would set up would be a remarketing campaign. I think remarketing campaigns should be a no-brainer most of the time. You can just remarket people who have visited your website. We all know that remarketing retargeting works, just getting more exposure in front of potential clients. You can run as little as $5 a day and get some good results from it as a complement to your search campaign.

Within the display campaign, what we talked about a few minutes ago is we can then use a display campaign to target people of certain interests. So we’ll go into here in a moment now. We work with a tree care company, and went into this audience segment targeting and just typed in a bunch of keywords. It looks like Google has already identified people who are in need of these services. So there’s already a bucket of people who are in need of specific services, they need tree removal, tree care, etc. So why not give it a go at targeting these guys with a display campaign? Google is obviously gathering more data every single day, and what you’ll find is that some of these things were not available previously but are available now. I did not realize that these were available until a few months ago until I went in and searched for them. So we’ve now started a campaign, and we’re going to be targeting these interests, and so far, so good, but we’re going to see if the cost per lead is as good as a regular search campaign.

Same thing again here, if you want to target specific people who are in need of services, here we’re targeting property management people. That option is available inside of your campaign.

Your shopping campaigns, I know some people here have an e-commerce store and want to learn about that. So I had a bunch of slides in here about Google shopping, and I figured this was a huge topic and required its own session itself. So I’m probably going to do a separate session specifically on Google shopping ads and what to do there. But essentially, you need to set up what’s called the Google Merchant Center, which connects to your website. If you have Shopify, it’s pretty easy. If you have WordPress, it’s a little bit more finicky, but you can still do it. You need to connect your Google Ads dashboard to your Merchant Center to your website, and then you have the ability to run shopping ads.

The last one here is video, which is related to YouTube. You know what, I’m really liking YouTube currently. The last probably year and a half, we’ve been running way more YouTube ads. If you are running ads on Meta or doing any other brand awareness stuff, if you’re running digital banner ads, anything in that category, I really feel like YouTube could be a really good, really nice complement to what you’re already doing. I just want to give you a taste for what you can do. The targeting options are really, really, really powerful. There’s so many ways that you can go after different people, and I’m just going to go through a couple of them now just so you know what’s available. Obviously, you can do your remarketing, you can remarket people based on your website or your own YouTube channel. As I talked about before, those audiences based on specific interests or affinities to certain groups, there’s tons of them there, you just need to go in there and type in your keyword and see if there is a group related to your industry already.

Website placement, so you can target people who had visited a website that has a certain keyword on it, so that’s on a certain topic. So a website that’s talking about watches, a website that’s talking about plumbing, whatever the case is, anyone who’s visited those types of websites, you can set ads to target those guys. You can target based on videos viewed on YouTube. So you can go and, for example, if you have a competitor and they have a specific video that’s really popular on a certain topic, you can actually target ads to people who have watched their videos. So this is not your own video, this is like someone else’s video, any video you can pick. Highlight those people who have watched that specific video and then run an ad towards them. So that one, I think, is pretty darn interesting.

You can also run ads to people who have watched or engaged with different channels. So if you’re trying to find people on a certain topic, you go in there and you type in the keyword, people interested in watches, all the YouTube channels that talk about watches or review watches, you can go in and you can set ads that target those specific people, which I think that’s another really powerful one.

Then you can, the last thing here, is that you can create your own custom segments, people who have watched some of your videos. You can have it for people who are recent purchasers on your website, you can layer on demographics, you can just combine a lot of what’s above together into a custom segment and really narrow your audience.

That’s the Google Ads there. I guess it wouldn’t be a workshop without me mentioning anything to do with AI and ChatGPT. So we use ChatGPT to help with the creative side of it, of Google Ads, creating the ad copy. I’ll send this to you guys afterwards, but yeah, this is kind of like being used as my creative assistant. I’ll send this to you guys after, so I’m just getting help here with the ad creation, and this is one prompt that we use, and it’s pretty good.

So we’re kind of moving towards the end here, so we’re coming to a bit of a close. This case study hopefully will serve as a bit of a summary of what I’ve talked about so far. This specific case study is really interesting, and we’ll dive into it right now. So this case study is called the tragedy of Toronto, and let’s talk about it now. So it’s an AV company, they sell AV equipment. Roughly, the average sale is like 2 to 5K. The amount of ad spend they have is 2K per month, and the time frame here we’re talking about is roughly about 8 months. So this is the tragedy of Toronto, and I’ll show you exactly what happened. They had all the five red flags on their account, and it was a little bit out of control.

So this is what it would look like on the outside. When you’re looking up from the outside, you’re like, okay, this actually maybe looks good. So we’re getting clicks, we have our average cost per click here, which is pretty low, which is nice, and you have, okay, we’re getting a bunch of conversions, and the cost per conversion is 676, which is, okay, that looks pretty good from the outside, but let’s drill down a little bit and figure out what’s actually going on.

Remember when we talked about the different networks? So this is the real Google search page, and we have the additional networks. All of the clicks are going towards the search partner networks, and none on the Google search page. I know by looking at this that there’s probably some sort of spam issue going on because the search partner network does have some issues related to it regarding spam. So, yeah, not looking good there. What happened here was that they had these two buttons enabled. An easy fix would have been to disable them.

Same thing again with these guys, they had the double tracking in place, so they were tracking the telephone clicks twice, which you do not want to do. Then we can do a bit of a sanity check inside of Google Analytics. So we go in here, we’re looking at the traffic, and we can split it out by country. We can see they’re only meant to be targeting Canada, but you can see all the different countries here where we’re getting clicks from, so a lot of it just total waste of traffic. Really only maybe 57 potential customer clicks at the end of the day coming to the account.

So again, we’re going to make sure that we click that second button, the presence, the second button, and we want to solve that problem as well. Also, they were tracking some of those secondary or soft metrics which we talked about here. So they were tracking time on site, visits to the contact us page, get a quote button. They were tracking a lot of stuff that are not real conversions. So, yeah, a bit of a shame here, and it was a bit of a total mess.

Lastly, we talked about the search terms report. I don’t have a screenshot for this, I couldn’t get it, but a lot of ads were showing on really unrelated keywords. So what we did was we cleaned it up, we plugged the holes, we implemented some of the different strategies that we talked about. At the end of the day, the moral of the story here is that we obviously were able to turn things around within about three weeks. They just didn’t have someone to look over the account. If they had someone to check in on the account, to see if everything was going okay, they might have been able to save themselves. So that was like two grand a month for eight months, maybe longer. You’re looking at like 16 grandish that was pretty much all wasted there, which is a shame.

Okay, we’re coming to a close here. This is the last question. We can do that later on. Pretty much at a close now. So yeah, what I would say, just kind of emphasizing what I was mentioning just a moment ago, which is, yeah, get someone to look over the account, even if you don’t want someone to fully set it up or someone to fully manage it on a monthly basis, get someone to come in, pay someone a couple of hours to show their eyes over just to make sure that these major things are taken care of. That’s what I’d definitely look to do.

If you guys are interested, I’ll send this to you guys after, how you can sign up, but we have a free audit which is a light audit, and we also have a deep dive audit. So, yeah, depending on what you want, how much detail you want, these are the two options we can do just to get you going. But yeah, I just encourage you all to find someone who knows Google Ads and get them to run a bit of a check.

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Monalo is an SEO and Google Ads Agency in operation since 2019. Our team consists of high-skilled marketing professionals, as well as trusted collaboration partners, in the areas of SEO, PPC, Content Strategy, Web Design, Google Analytics, CRMs, and Marketing Systems. 

Everything that we do here at Monalo is to bring focus back to what’s important.. customer acquisition. We will help you find your marketing system so that you can have a steady flow of new prospects. 

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