Digital Marketing

7 Google Ads Shortcuts That Will Help You Get Better Results With Less Work

February 9, 2024

Learn how to optimize Google Ads campaigns in less time through automation tools and shortcuts. This in-depth guide explores techniques to eliminate duplicates, accelerate ad testing, uncover insights, activate optimization features, and more. Save hours through streamlining workflows so you can focus on high-impact strategies tailored to your business goals.

In the fast-paced world of digital advertising, standing still means falling behind. Pay-per-click advertising companies need to constantly refine and optimize campaigns to keep up with the competition. However, with so many moving parts in an account, it's easy to get lost in non-essential tasks that deliver minimal impact.

The most effective PPC managers focus their limited time on high-level strategy and analysis. But how do they find those extra hours in the day? They utilize the many automation features and shortcuts within Google Ads to work smarter, not harder.

This blog will explore seven Google Ads shortcuts that can help any PPC Ads agency enhance performance with less manual effort. You'll gain back time to focus on the meaningful optimizations that move the needle.

1. Streamline Keyword Management

Keywords sit at the core of every Google Ads account. The search terms that trigger your ads make or break the relevancy of your messaging and landing pages.

With so much riding on keywords, google search ads agency thinks most managers would pay close attention to optimizing this critical piece. Surprisingly, many accounts accumulate keyword bloat or inconsistencies over time due to neglect.

  • Search for exact match or broad match duplicates
  • Look across the whole account or within specific campaigns
  • Require case sensitivity or ignore case

The tool scans all keywords and highlights any duplicates found based on your preferences. Any digital marketing agency can merge or delete the extras with just a few clicks.

While some intentional duplicates are acceptable for certaDuplicate and irrelevant keywords clog up campaigns, wasting budget on the wrong searches. Poor organization makes managing negatives a giant headache across an account.

Luckily, Google Ads offers two keyword shortcuts to cure these problems:

* Eliminate Duplicate Keywords

The Google Ads Editor makes it simple to automatically detect and remove duplicate keywords across your account. Rather than painfully scanning each ad group, turn to this handy duplicate finder.

First, navigate to Tools > Find Duplicate Keywords within the Editor interface. You'll then be able to customize the duplicate search settings. For example:

in objectives, most are simply clutter and waste. Regular sweeps for duplicates keep your account lean.

For example, any PPC advertising company’s account may be targeting different variations of "blue shoes" like [blue shoes], [buy blue shoes], [blue suede shoes], and [blue shoes for sale]. While the intent is the same, having all these duplicates spreads the budget across similar keywords. The Google Ads duplicate keyword finder would identify all of these as duplicates since they contain the core term "blue shoes." You can then efficiently merge them into a single keyword or pause/delete the extras with just a few clicks.

This consolidates spending on the optimal term and prevents unnecessary overlap. Running the duplicate finder regularly ensures you eliminate redundant keywords as your account evolves over time.

* Centralize Negative Keywords

Negative keywords prevent your ads from showing on irrelevant searches, saving any PPC ads agency money. However, adding negatives individually to each ad group is highly inefficient as your account grows.

Negative keyword lists solve this by allowing you to create reusable lists that can be applied to any campaign with one click.

For example, you may have lists of brand terms, irrelevant terms, and competitors. Your brand terms list may contain negatives like [Nike, Adidas, Reebok] to prevent your ads from showing for searches of other brands. The irrelevant terms list could have broad terms like [car insurance, airline tickets, and textbooks] that are completely unrelated to your offerings. And any Google search ads agency’s competitors list may have keywords for places like [footlocker, famous footwear, dsw].

By having these negative keywords compiled into lists, you can easily block entire categories of searches without manually adding each keyword over and over. Just apply the appropriate lists to new campaigns with a single click.

2. Accelerate Optimization of Ad Creatives

Your ad copy has seconds to capture attention and convey the value of your offering. With so much competition, continual refinement of messaging is required to stay atop the pack. 

Testing ad variations has always been integral to Google Ads accounts. However, the iterative process of creating new ads, waiting for data, and analyzing results can be slow and inconsistent. 

For example, labels like "Summer Sale Ads" and "Back to School Ads" would allow you to pause/activate ads based on the time of year. Other labels like "Emotional Copy" and "Logical Copy" make it easy to test different ad copy approaches by filtering on the labels. You could also make labels for ongoing events like "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" to manage those time-sensitive promotions. The key benefit is being able to view segmented performance data, like seeing which emotion-focused ads drove more conversions. And turning ads on/off using date-based rules on labels provides simple calendar management.

Google Ads includes two features to help accelerate and enhance your optimization of creatives.

  • Organize Ad Tests with Labels

The simple label tool is an unsung hero that brings order to managing multiple ad versions in an account. 

With Labels, you can:

  1. Compare Ad Copy Approaches-  Apply a unique label like “Promotional Copy” to all ads following that style. Then, filter reports by label to compare performance.
  1. Pause Ads on Schedule- Label any ads you want to turn on/off on specific dates. Use rules to automate this based on the label.
  1. Rotate Variations-  Label each ad option and create a rule to serve them in a set sequence, like ad 1 on weekdays and ad 2 on weekends.

Labels add dimension to how you can test and analyze ads while also enabling time-based "smart rotation" of creatives.

For example, any digital marketing agency could create an experiment testing long 4-line ads versus short 2-line ads. Rather than having to check performance manually each day to gauge differences, the experiment interface clearly shows you metrics like clicks and conversions for each variation after the experiment duration elapses. You can then easily determine if the length change had a significant impact on results.

  • Force Even Split Testing with Experiments

The Experiments feature allows you to compare two ad copy directly approaches side-by-side. 

Unlike Google's automated testing, you can force a 50/50 split of traffic to gauge real differences. Experiments also provide statistical significance markers to clearly identify a winning variation.

With a few clicks, any PPC advertising company can set up an experiment and quickly reveal how impactful each change is on metrics like CTR, conversions, and cost per conversion.

Testing systematically, both quantitatively and qualitatively, will lead to improved ad creatives over time. Tools like Labels and Experiments keep this vital process moving.

3. Uncover Deeper Insights with Context

Google Ads provides expansive reporting on performance but lacks the context around “why” metrics changed. Delving into what drove fluctuations and having documentation is tedious.

Two contextual tools help uncover insights faster:

  • Add Notes to Charts 

You can add brief notes directly onto the performance charts and graphs. Hover over any data point on the chart, and click “Add note” to document critical events tied to that date, like:

- Site or account changes

- New marketing launches 

- Holidays 

- External events 

With notable events documented on the graphs, you can better interpret changes over time.

For example, adding a note like "11/27 - Started Black Friday sale campaign" would help explain a spike in revenue around that date. Or noting "3/11 - Launched new landing page focused on eCommerce" would provide context for changes in conversion rate. Having these events annotated right on the graphs saves any Google ads marketing company time trying to recall or research what drove metric fluctuations.

  • View Automated Insights

The Insights page provides automated,高-level analysis of changes in metrics and surfaces potential issues or opportunities. For example:

- Big swings in CPA or conversion rates

- Impression share losses

- Top-performing search terms 

Regularly reviewing Insights reveals macro trends and guides you to key areas for further analysis.

Armed with the right context, you can avoid misconstruing results or chasing mirages. Convert raw data into actionable insights faster using tools built right into Google Ads.

4. Activate Automated Optimization

Optimization at scale requires using smart automation so any PPC ad agency doesn't get lost tweaking minor details ad infinitum. 

Google Ads offers two "set it and forget it" options to keep your account improving:

  • Audiences in Observation Mode

The platform allows you to layer on audiences like demographic and intent signals without impacting who sees your ads initially. The “Observation Mode” option watches how defined audiences behave without targeting them yet.

You can view reports comparing audience performance and only shift the top performers to full targeting later. Observation mode prevents prematurely narrowing your reach while revealing the best sectors to focus your budget on.

Layering in demographic, interest, and custom intent audiences can refine your targeting to highly qualified prospects. However, immediately applying narrow audiences can significantly limit your reach and impressions. 

Using observation mode allows Google Ads to gather data on specified audiences without impacting who actually sees your ads. You can add audiences like people who visited your site recently, those researching related products, or new parents. Viewing the performance of these audiences side-by-side reveals which segments may be worth shifting into active targeting. You avoid prematurely focusing your budget on unproven audiences. And observation mode buys you time to assess the data before applying any targeting changes.

  • Review Account Recommendations

Google's algorithms scan your account and provide specific recommendations to improve elements like bids, budgets, keywords, and extensions. 

For example, the system may detect excessive use of broad match keywords, hurting quality scores. It can then recommend adding relevant negatives.

While you shouldn't blindly apply every recommendation, they often address areas you likely would skip in your analysis. Regularly reviewing and implementing the suggestions can lift performance.

Google provides personalized account recommendations based on your campaigns' performance data. The algorithm detects opportunities and issues in your account you may be missing. It may surface recommendations like adding negatives for irrelevant searches triggering your ads, increasing bids on high-converting keywords, enabling enhanced CPC bidding, adding call extensions, and more. While you should not blindly apply every recommendation without thought, they often highlight areas for easy optimization. 

5. Optimize for Mobile Users

With the rapid growth of mobile usage, having ads and landing pages tailored for smartphones and tablets is becoming critically important for many businesses. However, determining the value of mobile users and optimizing bids accordingly can be challenging without clear insights. The Mobile Bid Adjustment tool allows you to add a bid modifier for mobile in observation mode first. This mode gathers performance data on mobile vs. desktop users without influencing your bids and budget allocation. 

For example, you may dig into the conversion metrics and find that mobile users are actually converting at a 20% higher rate than desktop users. The tool would detect this trend from the observation data and then recommend increasing mobile bids. With these insights confirming the value of your mobile audience, you could confidently raise bids for mobile users through the bid modifier to drive more visibility. The key benefit of observation mode is understanding differences in mobile vs desktop performance before making major targeting changes.

6. Let Google Auto-Optimize Budgets

Manually shifting budgets between campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and audiences can be an overwhelming and frustrating process as market conditions change and performance data evolves. However, Google's automated bidding strategies can eliminate this busy work by using algorithms to optimize budgets for any Google search ads agency. 

Options like Target CPA and Target ROAS allow you to simply set optimization goals like target cost-per-acquisition or target return on ad spend. Google will then automatically adjust bids and distribute the budget to find the most efficient traffic and best-performing segments to steadily hit your goals.

7. Schedule Recurring Reports

Monitoring account performance daily or weekly can be challenging, especially for larger accounts and agencies managing multiple clients. 

Setting up recurring scheduled reports saves time by delivering key metrics and insights directly to your inbox on the cadence you specify, whether daily, weekly, or monthly. Any digital marketing agency can customize the report to focus on metrics relevant to your goals and segments like device, location, audience, etc. 

For example, an agency may want a weekly report sent to clients showing returns on ad spend, clicks, and top-converting keywords. They can automate pulling this data into a report format and emailing it to clients each Monday morning. Or a lead generation account may want a daily report on lead volume and cost per lead broken down by ad group and device type. Automated reporting provides a hands-off way to distribute insights to stakeholders without having to manually compile data.

Conclusion

The manual approach to Google Ads management can be exhausting. By learning shortcuts that streamline workflows and enhance optimization, you will see your account improve faster with less effort.

However, tools and automation are only half of the equation. You need smart strategies and insights to fully unlock the value of shortcuts. Mastering the fundamentals of Google Ads to make the most of your time savings should be an ongoing journey.

While these shortcuts offer many benefits, solely relying on automation has its challenges too. Setting up and monitoring the tools takes time and expertise. The algorithms may miss nuances specific to your business. Some manual oversight and quality control will always be needed. As Google Ads evolves, new shortcuts will arise while existing ones need refinement. Striking the right balance between human effort and automated optimization is key to long-term success.

Looking ahead, the future of Google Ads lies in AI and machine learning to handle more optimization tasks. While the platform will never run itself completely, savvy managers will embrace technology to elevate strategy and analysis.

At Consagous Technologies, a premium PPC Ads Agency, our certified Google Ads managers have the expertise to audit your account and identify the most impactful shortcuts for your situation. We stay on top of the latest automation capabilities to incorporate into your PPC strategy.

Our comprehensive management services also handle the grunt work involved so you can fully capitalize on shortcuts for performance gains. With manual effort reduced, we focus on big-picture optimization tailored to your business needs.

If you are looking for a Google Ads partner to maximize your investment, 

Contact us for a free consultation. We will uncover missed opportunities through automation and develop future-proof strategies that evolve with the platform.