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The Ultimate Guide on Google Ads Optimization (With Checklist)

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The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads Optimization (with Checklist) Creating a Google Ad campaign is easy, but the biggest challenge is optimizing it. If you are not optimising your campaign according to your needs after running ads, then it will be a waste of time.

Google Ads optimization is not a straightforward process, you have to keep A/B testing and experimenting to find out what works best for your business.

As we know that Google Ads is all about paid marketing, we must spend money on campaigns to get paid traffic.

It is true that in paid traffic will get result more quickly as comparative to organic traffic.

To help you to get the best possible result in the fastest way, we have created a checklist that you can follow to optimize the most important elements of Google Ads or PPC campaigns in general.

Google Ads Optimization Checklist

Create a negative keyword list

When running Google Ads (especially search ads) then it is important element to configure your negative keyword list.

What are negative keywords?

Negative keywords are terms or phrases that you don't want your ads to appear for that keyword. The way to do this add the keyword Free SEO course as a negative keyword.

Negative keyword can be added on account level, ad group level & campaign level.

In negative keywords also have match types like broad match, phrase match & exact match.

Let’s take a scenario to explain this

Let’s say you run two separate campaigns for SEO, & PPC these are the services you provided, but you didn’t want to show your ads to the people who are searching for free course, because you don’t provide free course so it’s a negative keyword for you, if your ads get shown by on this keyword then you will get a cost for that click for no reason. Here’s what you can do:

  • Create negative keyword list called “free”
  • Add negative keywords such as free SEO, free PPC to the list.
  • Apply this list to all the two campaigns.
  • You can also use negative broad match, phrase match & exact match

The best way to handle negative keywords is apply the negative keyword list to the account level so that it will be automatically applied to all the campaigns.

This way is easier to manage as you don’t have to apply negative keyword list to different ad groups if it is already applied on account level.

Where to find negative keywords to add to your list?

Google ads Optimization

There are three ways to do this

The first way (and most important) is to view your search term report, you can find this report in your campaign, search term report will show you the exact keywords on which your ads got triggered.

For each search term you can see the metrices Like (Clicks, CTR, Cost Per Click & Conversion) And according to this data you can decide whether to keep it or add it as a negative term.

You can view the search term report in the keyword menu in the campaign sidebar.

As a part of your ongoing optimization process, it is highly recommended to view your search term report on a weekly basis and make some adjustments according to your negative keyword list.

The second way is to add negative keywords or phrases in advance if you know the keywords are not relevant to your campaign or business.

Some typical examples of keywords that work almost all types of campaigns are:

  • Free
  • Tutorial
  • Trial
  • Example
  • About

You can customize list to your campaign as well as which are relevant to your business according to your business offerings.

The third way is to use data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console reports. These two tools also provide you Exact report.

If you get organic traffic from Google, then these two tools will provide you insights about keywords which will drive traffic or conversions to your website.

Likewise, you can add keywords which will drive traffic but generates no conversion, you can add these keywords as a negative keyword in your PPC Campaigns. It will also save your budget and provide you with more opportunity to target more effective keywords.

How do negative keywords work?

Some of the most important tips that you should know about negative keywords are:

As there are different types of match types that you can add in your negative keyword list such as broad match, phrase match, & exact match, but they have different roles, they don’t work the same as their positive counterparts.

The main difference is that it does not apply to synonyms, singulars, or plurals.

For example, if you have excluded the keyword “shoes” ads will not show on query “running shoes” but they will show for “running shoe”.

The default type for negative keyword is broad match, that your ads will show if your search query contains all the negative keywords term, even if they are in different order.

But if the search query includes some of your keywords, then your ads will be shown.

How to create a negative keyword list?

where to find negative keyword list

To create negative list, click the top menu of tools & settings and under tools & setting you can find NEGATIVE KEYWORD LIST

Click + button to create a new list

Then provide meaningful name to your list and add keywords which are negative to your business or else you don’t want to show your ads on that keyword.

When done click the save button to save your list.

One final step is to add your list to one or more campaign, to do this you can simply click on the list and then APPLY TO CAMPAIGNS button.

Google ads Optimizations

Select the campaigns for which you want to make use of this list and click the DONE button.

Monitor the performance of your responsive search ads

The next item to optimize in your Google Ads optimization checklist is optimize your response search ads. Responsive paid search ads have many benefits, but they are a bit tricky to optimize.

The Anatomy of responsive ad is they have 15 headlines & 4 descriptions. If we are filling up all the headlines, then we are providing to Google more options & our chances also increased to rank our ad on search engine result page (SERP).

Once you have run the ads then don’t make any changes immediately, give it reasonable period (at least 30 days). This gives the system enough time to collect data about the advertisement.

You can then analyse the performance of each responsive ad and make the appropriate changes to optimize your ad.

To know how your ads are performing, select a campaign then go to Ads menu in the left side and click on the "view asset details" button which located below each button.

Ad extensions

After that look for the performance column, this shows you how your ads are preforming relative to other ad assets in the same ad.

Other Guidelines that you should take into the account

Provide as much as possible headlines or descriptions in your ad, currently have the ability to add up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions, the more you provide data the more Google will get chance to approve your ads, so make sure provide text to all of them.

Also don’t stuff keywords in all headlines, Google recommends put only 2 – 3 keywords in your headline and providing at least 3 headlines without keywords.

Avoid using same description and headlines in the same ad copy, try to differentiate your headline text & description text. Use the description to provide additional information about the product.

Make sure you use unique selling points (USPs) in your headlines to get more attract by your customers related to your products.

Besides you can also view your ads and do edits recommend by Google.

Google Ads campaign Ad copy strength

Click on the views ideas suggested by Google that you must use in your ad copies as well it will result you in Excellent Ad strength.

Use location target bid adjustment

Another factor that makes PPC campaigns profitable with location-targeted bid adjustments is location-targeted bids, which means you can adjust your bid (increase or decrease) according to your user location.

You can apply bid adjustments based on per country, state, city or even pin codes.

If you haven't done so already, the first step is to specify where, state, city, or country you want your ad to appear.

The next step is to run the campaign for a few weeks and then select a location from the menu on the left to measure the location report.

Keep the campaign optimization score to 100%

When you measure the campaign report, there is having optimization score which is given by Google After the measurement of your campaign performance. The score is between (0 to 100%). This means how much you can expect the performance of your campaign.

Google ads campaign optimization score

The score is calculated on the no. of factors, & it will help you to know about your campaign performance. Its purpose is to optimize your campaign according to your optimization score.

You can click on the "Recommendations" option in left menu provided by Google on how you can increase your optimization score.

Google Ads recommendations

What you should know about the Recommendations features of Google Ads.

Once you have seen all the recommendations provided by Google Ads after that it your job to follow those instructions & take actions to improve your content optimization score.

But you should not blindly apply all the recommendations suggested by Google Ads, because there are unnecessary recommendations also which you don’t need to apply somehow.

Click on the "recommendations" button on the left menu & apply all the suggested recommendation which are relevant to your business.

Remember your goal is to keep your optimization score to 100% all the time. Which is important to running your account to the fullest.

So, review all the recommendation and if not applicable, then dismiss all the recommendation which are not relevant to your business. This will remove all the recommendation from your account and then it will increase your optimization score.

Take Advantage of Demographics Targeting

This is another feature which will help you to optimize your Google Ads campaign.

With demographic target you can target audience based on their (gender, age, household income).

This is particularly useful if you want to target audience according to age group, and you also get feature to exclude people who are just not in your age group you can simply exclude them.

Click the DEMOGRAPHIC option and then age, you can simply track the performance according to your ag groups.

To exclude an age group, click on the green circle which (next to age) select and then simply EXCLUDE THEM FROM AD GROUP.

Demographics targeting

To adjust the bid of any ad group, click on EDIT button in the bid adjustment column.

It is important not to exclude the unknown from the campaign. Google uses a variety of methods to determine the age group of its users, but it's not 100% accurate.

Use the exclusions feature to remove age groups that you absolutely don't want to target or haven't worked well in your campaign in the past.

Use the bid adjustment feature to increase bids for age groups that are likely to lead to conversions [based on target market analysis or campaign history].

Audience Optimization

Audience targeting is a feature you can use to target your audience according to your needs. You can target a specific group of people with your Google campaigns

Basically, audience targeting plays a huge role in every campaign you are running. Even if it is Google search ads, Google displays ads, or even if it is Facebook ads.

Because if you are not targeting the right people then you won’t get results which you are expecting from your audience.

It is important to understand the audience targeting & when to use it in your campaigns in order to optimize your campaign.

What is an audience?

Audience is a group of people who share similar demographic, interests, and behaviours.

Audience can be created using:

Google Ads Data that Google has shared to each user – in this includes audience which can be defined through their demographics, interest & behaviours. In this Google Ads provide generic audience which is relevant to your business.

Remarketing audience or Retargeting audience – In this you can track customers who are just visit your site but didn’t take any actions, so you can retarget them and make them covert into your business.

For making retargeting audience who must do some pixel tracking through which you can do remarketing or retargeting.

Custom audience – to create custom audience you can just simply upload your existing customer NAP [name, email, address] to Google Ads to create custom audience.

When to use Audience targeting?

The points listed below summarises you all the way you can use audience targeting in your Google Ads campaign [Search Ads, Display Ads & YouTube Ads]

  • Affinity – reach audience based on what they are passionate about and their interest and habits.
  • Custom audience – target those users who have just purchase something or make any conversion to your site and reach users based on their recent purchase intent.
  • Detailed Demographics – in this target audience based on their age group, gender & according to their long-term life facts.
  • Life events – reach users when they are in the midst of important life milestones.
  • In market – target audience who have just made recent purchase to your site & track them according to their intent.
  • Remarketing – reach who have interacted with your business but doesn’t take any actions
  • Similar audiences – reach users with similar interest who have interact with your business.
  • Customer Match – Access your existing customer based on your CRM data.

Always use remarketing campaigns

Last but not least, when you are running any kind of campaign on Google, or Facebook you should make sure that you have pixel tag in your sites, because with help of pixels only you can retarget audience.

Remarketing campaigns are very effective and can generate conversions at a lower cost than non-remarketing campaigns.

Overall, enabling remarketing campaigns on your account reduces overall CPA and customer acquisition costs.

That's it. Be sure to follow the tips above to get the most out of your Google Ads account.

Bonus Read: How To Promote Website on Google For Free


When it comes to Google Ads optimization, there are a lot of different factors to consider. But by following the tips in this guide, you can be sure that your account is well on its way to success.

Google Ads Optimization is one of the most effective and efficient ways to get your website ranked higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). In this blog post, we'll provide you with an overview of what G

Google Ads Optimization is, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to optimize your campaign using our checklist. By following these simple instructions, you'll be on your way to achieving better search engine results!

Blog Post written by:
Digital Marketing Institute