There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.” – Zig Ziglar

I doubt Zig was talking about running a successful Google Ads account but for me these words of wisdom ring true when managing clients Google Ads. None of my below tips will solely transform your Google Ads account but these little tweaks can add significant improvements over time.

Overlook these settings at your own peril!

Google Ads hidden gems

Negative keywords

While adding relevant keywords to your campaign you should also have a negative keyword strategy and devoting a great deal of energy to this list. Negative keywords allow you to ensure that your ads don’t show for particular searches. By preventing your ads from showing on unwanted search terms you save money while spending your hard earned on relevant searches.

Let’s say your keyword is “accountant Geelong” your ad is eligible to show for a search such as “salary for accountant in Geelong”. This however is not a relevant search and will likely not result in a booking. There’s an opportunity to add “salary” as a negative keyword to avoid throwing money away.

Other examples might be:

  • Become
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • books
  • Swear words

Advanced bid adjustments make life easier

Google’s new interface has introduced advanced bid adjustments which let you adjust your bid to drive actions like pushing a call extension.

This basically tells Google you’re willing to pay a little extra if they’d show your call extension or a call-only ad. Kind of like greasing the palms of a bouncer at your local disco.

Google Ads traps you probably didn’t know about

User locations

Depending on if you’re a glass half-full or glass half-empty person will determine how you view my next tip.

Location options are always worth considering. Location options allow you to include or exclude people based on where they physically are.

I almost always tick “People in my targeted location”. For example, if your ad is designed for a Geelong audience there’s very little benefit having the ad eligible to appear in Melbourne.

This will increase your click through rate (CTR) and ensure your ads are appearing to the most relevant audience.

As you can see above the first option is the Google recommended setting. This option allows someone holidaying or working in another city to search for your service in their home city. Although this could be a relevant click it will chew your budget overtime. Unless you’re running shopping ads, travel related ads or have a daily budget of $50 or more I wouldn’t recommend it.

These “outside” clicks could become costly quick.

Ad rotation

Should ads be set to rotate or optimise? Glad you asked! The answer is it depends.

Google’s default setting is “optimise” so if you have multiple ads like all ads accounts do, your better performing ads will be shown more often. This might seem great and it is if you’re ads account has been running for a while but if you’re ads account is brand new Google will have no data to determine which ads are performing the best. I would always recommend overriding Google’s default setting and force all ads to be shown equally then switch to “optimise” later down the track.

We need to allow Google some time to generate enough data to best optimise which ads to show to your audience. Ticking “optimise” initially will not allow all of your awesome ads to show evenly, Google will keep showing the same ad (most of the time) that gets the initial click. This is because it thinks it’s the best performing ad when in reality there’s not enough data.

Keep in mind clicks are not a great measure of success. I’d strive for conversions, calls, sales and leads, these are the desired outcomes and better measures of performance.

Rotating ads could be the difference to success.

Ignore Display Network when running Google Search ads

Ignore this setting if you want your ads to only appear on Google Search. I never tick this setting unless running separate display/image ads for clients.

You should never have one campaign targeting both the search and display networks. The most important reason is that the two options target very different audiences. Searches on Google Search are actively looking for what you have to offer whereas individuals browsing websites are doing everything but looking for your services.

Advertising to these people is fine but always keep it separate to your Google search/text ads.

Don’t fall for Google’s many default settings, these are designed to make set up easier but these default settings have traffic in mind not necessarily better quality traffic.

Knowing these settings gives us more power and control of your ads, saves you money and satisfies my craving for data.


If you need help creating a Google Ads’ campaign drop us a line.


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