5 Habits of a Highly Successful Google Campaign Manager

If you have ever been a Google Campaign Manager, then you know that the path to greater success is not born from a “set it and forget it” mentality. Things are constantly changing in the Google ad network auction. Competitive advertisers come and go. New products and services are continually introduced to the marketplace. The way people are searching is constantly changing. According to Google’s internal data in February 2021, 15% of search queries every day are new searches which the company had never seen before.

Think of the five habits that will lead to your success in simple terms: optimization, review, quality, protection, and conversion.

What does it take to be a successful Google Campaign Manager?

In this post I’d like to share 5 habits that have contributed to the successes we’ve had for our clients in the past year.

1. Consistently Maximize Your Optimization Score

2. Regularly Review Your Search Terms Report

3. Seek to be a 10 in Quality Scores

4. Integrate a Click Fraud Protection Solution

5. Leverage Offline Conversion Tracking

1. Consistently Maximize Your Optimization Score

The Google optimization score is a tool provided to help a Google Campaign Manager to gauge the performance level of his or her campaigns.  The optimization score calculation includes keywords, targeting, bids and budgets, ad copy and extensions, and other possible recommendations. The scores range from 0 to 100, with 100 being optimal.

The recommendations provided by Google to maximize your score can be looked at as the low-hanging fruit towards optimizing your campaigns. However, there is one caveat here, and it is huge. The recommendations provided typically include many that are self-serving to Google. For example:

  • Upgrade your existing keywords to broad match
  • Reach additional customers on partner sites
  • Raise your budgets

What habit will a highly successful Google Campaign Manager create to maximize the optimization score?

Since the optimization tool is designed to gauge the performance of the campaigns, the tool and its recommendations should be reviewed each time the Google Campaign Manager visits the account.

Tip: At Inner Architect our practice is to dismiss the recommendations that we don’t believe will improve performance or will require budget increases that we’re not ready for.

The dismissed recommendations will typically increase our score again closer to 100. As we see the score dropping in the days to follow, we return to the tool to explore what, if any, recommendations may be truly valuable for us.

2. Regularly Review Your Search Terms Report

In my opinion, the search terms report is one of the most important reports on the Google ad platform. It helps a Google Campaign Manager to:

  • Identify new high performing keywords to add to the campaign
  • Discover irrelevant search terms that are wasting click costs
  • Exclude irrelevant or inappropriate search terms from the campaign
  • Learn whether your matching strategies are delivering relevant search terms

The search terms report is particularly valuable if you are using broad search types in your Search campaigns. We have found that Google will often widen the net for search queries beyond what is relevant for broad match keywords.

Tip: If you are seeing a significant volume of irrelevant search queries, you may want to tighten the match type if you are unable to devote a lot of effort to creating negative keywords.

While you have more control in targeting with Search campaigns, you can sink the performance of a Dynamic campaign if you don’t keep on top of the search terms report. Rather than targeting through keywords and their designated matching strategies as in a Search campaign, Dynamic campaigns target specific pages or categories on a site through a user’s search history.

We have been amazed by how broad Google can expand the net for Dynamic searches. For example, we have a client in the medical niche that supports one specific disease. Only one. By closely monitoring the search terms report, we have discovered that ads have been delivered for queries for many other diseases not supported by our client.

Once identified, the terms can be added to the negative keyword list to preserve budget.

3. Seek to be a 10 in Quality Scores

A Google Campaign Manager looking to be a master at PPC needs to fully understand Quality Scores and develop a habit of evaluating and responding to them on an ongoing basis.

What is a Quality Score and why is it important?

Quality Score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords, ad copy and landing pages. Quality Score is important because it determines how your ads will rank and how much you will pay for each click.

What factors influence Quality Score?

Quality Score is determined by several factors, including:

  • Landing page quality and relevance
  • The relevance of your ad text
  • The relevance of each keyword to its ad group
  • Your click-through rate
  • Historical Google Ads account performance

Google provides ratings for ad relevance, landing page experience and expected click through rates for each keyword in a campaign.

Don’t Forget: These ratings provide a Google Campaign Manager with a roadmap to where to go to adjust towards better performance.

Integrate a Click Fraud Protection Solution

Since integrating our Google campaigns with click fraud protection, we have seen first-hand how much traffic is fraudulent, unwanted, or invalid. Blocking this type of traffic can enable your ad budget to be maximized for good use, rather than swallowed up by fraudsters.

Q: Why is this a big deal? 

A: In 2019, Inner Architect saved our clients $1 million through click fraud protection services and we continue to protect our client’s pay-per-click budgets today.

In the past couple of years, we have seen an increase in invalid traffic—clicks where a unique Google click id (GCLID) link is used repeatedly to trigger a duplicate ad. Click protection software can recognize this and block the subsequent duplicate GCLID from the ad account, thereby protecting the budget.

Money Saving Tip: Other areas where we tend to see a high need for click fraud protection is monitoring the click activity coming from the same IP address over a short period of time and blocking traffic where the device ID or IP address has been blocked. Most recently we have seen this type of fraudulent activity range from 5% to 17% of total campaign clicks.

Leverage Offline Conversion Tracking

Tracking the quality of conversions is potentially the most powerful thing a Google Ad Manager can do to maximize ROI. Offline conversion tracking enables you to see what keywords, ads, devices, and more, are contributing the most towards achieving your goals.

What is Offline Conversion Tracking?

Offline conversion tracking involves the capture of lead activity after the online conversion has taken place and tying it to the conversion click through the GCLID. This enables you to see which keywords and ads are the most productive for your goals. This intelligence can then be used to drive the targeting for your campaigns.

Offline Conversion Tracking Example

 A campaign for a law firm may generate hundreds of leads monthly, yet only a few that turn into cases. With access to the firm’s CRM where information about the lead quality is scored, the Google Ad Manager can attach that lead score to the GCLID through a file that is automatically imported into the ad account.

As the offline conversion data accumulates, keywords that are productive in generating cases will stand out, as will those keywords that don’t contribute to case acquisition. From here, the under-performers can be paused while more investment can be made in the top performers. This process provides a tool for enabling conversion analysis to be more of an exact science.  

Conclusion

Whether you are a Google Campaign Manager overseeing a large monthly ad spend or you are managing a micro budget, if you want to be successful, then develop these five habits as quickly as possible.

  1. Consistently Maximize Your Optimization Score
  2. Regularly Review Your Search Terms Report
  3. Seek to be a 10 in Quality Scores
  4. Integrate a Click Fraud Protection Solution
  5. Leverage Offline Conversion Tracking