Five Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Paid Search Campaigns


  • When it comes to running paid search campaigns, even the smallest mistakes can cost money.
  • By using the strategies outlined here, you can get the most out of your Google Ad campaigns.
  • These strategies include conversion tracking, using ad extensions, and connecting Google Ads to Google Analytics.
  • While we encourage everyone to stay on top of current Google Ads changes, these strategies should help you get the most out of your paid search campaigns for the foreseeable future.

Running paid search campaigns can be tricky. Different businesses or agencies use slightly different best practices. Not only do campaign managers need knowledge of the Google Ads platform, but they need to understand what people are searching for and how to maximize ad spend to reach high-intent customers. All of these things factor into successful, ROI-positive, paid search campaigns. Even the smallest mistakes can cost money.

Redefine Marketing Group wants to help by outlining five ways that you can get the most out of paid search Google Ad campaigns, including:

  1. Conversion Tracking
  2. Match Types and Negative Keywords
  3. Ad Extensions
  4. Connecting Google Ads to Google Analytics
  5. Using Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)

Conversion Tracking

Conversion tracking in Google Ads allows you to identify how well your paid search campaigns are generating leads, sales, or other conversion actions for your business. Without having conversion tracking set up, you can only optimize based on clicks. While clicks are a valuable front end metric to measure user intent, not all ads or keywords with a high click-through rate will convert. It is paramount to know what users reach predefined conversion events to calculate return on investment and optimize your campaigns accordingly.

Google Ads conversion tracking is setup using a pixel, which is a small snippet of code that you’ll install on the conversion pages or conversion events of your website. This pixel will fire when users click on a paid search campaign and then visit specific pages or complete specific conversion event actions which trigger the conversion tracker.

If you want to track leads, for example, a conversion code snippet could be placed on the “Thank You” page of your website, which users will only see if they’ve filled out a lead form.

Match Types and Negative Keywords

Google Ads keyword match types are variations of keywords that can be set to control which searches trigger your ads to appear. There are four different keyword match types in Google Ads:

  • Broad Match – This match type searches any word in your keyword phrase, in any order. It also allows misspellings and synonyms to trigger your ads.
  • Modified Broad Match – This match type will contain any keyword that you append a ‘+’ symbol before. It also will look for close variants of those words. Order of the words does not matter.
  • Phrase Match – This match type would only match to keywords that have your selected keywords within quotation marks, without any terms in between. The search terms can have additional words before or after the phrase as well.
  • Exact Match – The exact match keyword type will only match to the exact keyword chosen in Google Ads, with no additional words or close variants.

There are also negative keywords that allow you to exclude search terms from your campaigns. Excluding specific terms helps to focus on only the keywords that make the most sense for your customers.

At Redefine Marketing Group we recommend using Exact Match keywords to execute precision targeting, leading to higher quality scores and generally better performance. This strategy should be used in conjunction with with Modified Broad to reach scale and find new opportunities for additional Exact Match keywords by using a report that shows entire queries, not just the Google Ads keyword. Also, we suggest adding Negative Keywords from the search query report to trim the fat.

Utilize Ad Extensions

Ad Extensions are extra snippets of relevant information about your business that you’ll add to your Google Ad text. They do just what the sound like they do: they extend your ad’s length and allow your Google text ads to cover more real estate on the Google’s search engine results pages. In studies, the use of ad extensions lead to increased CTR and engagement.

RMG recommends that at the very least you always use these three ad extensions:

  • Sitelink Extensions – Link people directly to specific pages of your website, allowing them to reach the additional pertinent information.
  • Callout Extensions – Add supplementary text to your ad, generally about what separates your business from your competitors or value propositions you would like to highlight.
  • Call Extensions – Encourage people to call your business by adding a phone number or call button to your ads.

While those are the minimal extensions we always suggest, it is worthwhile to know all of the ones that are available and find the ones that suit your business best.

Connect Google Ads to Google Analytics

Google Ads is excellent at offering raw campaign data like costs, clicks, impressions, and conversions. However, other than the number of users that “convert” based on your conversion pixel, Google Ads doesn’t offer much more information as to how users interact with your site after they click an ad.

What happens after the click and before the conversion and how do users behave that haven’t converted? Those are important questions if you want to optimize your conversion rate and your return on ad spend.

Google Analytics is a free Google web analytics platform that tracks and reports on your website users and their interactions with your site. By linking Google Analytics and Google Ads, you can compare metrics for keywords and users from Google Ads to how they react after they click. Metrics like time on site or the number of pages consumed by a given user, based on a specific keyword, can inform your overall marketing strategy, even if a keyword or user hasn’t converted.

In Google Ads, you build remarketing lists from data collected by a remarketing tag, which is another piece of code similar to your conversion tracking code. In Analytics, you can create remarketing audiences from any of the data you have in Analytics. You can combine the two if your accounts are linked, this is an additional benefit to the linking.

Use Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)

Google Ads RLSA means you can target your search ads to people who have previously visited your site. It is remarketing using paid text ads, not the display or social remarketing you may have used in the past. Standard remarketing ads serve when users are browsing on display or social networks, while RLSAs don’t deliver paid search ads to users just because they are within your marketing pool. Search users need to be actively searching for the keywords you are bidding on within your Google Ad campaigns.

The benefits of RLSA ads is a reduction in risk for ad spend waste and the opportunity to expand your paid search campaigns to see if more generic terms can perform better when a user is an existing website visitor.

Staying On Top of Trends is Important

The paid search landscape is always changing. While we encourage everyone to stay on top of current Google Ads changes, the above strategies should help you get the most out of your paid search campaigns for the foreseeable future. Please always reach out to Redefine Marketing Group for additional information and help getting started with Google Ads.

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Mauricio has close to 20 years of digital experience and a core foundation in the technical side of SEO. He’s led and executed strategy both in-house and on the agency side and enjoys defining successful strategies for our clients.
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