How many Google ads should a business start out with? And really, how many keywords should you be targeting? This is a great follow-up question to our prior post on what a good google ad budget is. How many ads you should run depends on a few key things, lets’s jump right in:

  • Keywords (user intention and searches) – are the keywords high volume, or low click volume?
  • Adgroups – words belong in “buckets” you would not market oranges to people searching for apples. What services or “buckets” do your business offerings fall into? (This helps us best segment the above keywords)
  • Ads per group – Google recommends one responsive search ad per ad group. There are custom approaches, but this is likely best practice if you do not have experience. I often have run 3-4 ads per ad group so that I can optimize for the best performance. This includes dynamic and responsive search ads

Why too many Google ads are a risk

If you have spread yourself too thin and your account has excessive ads in an ad group, Google runs into a few issues. Google accounts by default are not set to optimize for conversions. This leaves your account not serving the best performing and converting ads (assuming your conversion tracking is set up properly)

Your account may also not be set to showcase a rotating balance across all ads equally. This can lead to certain ads showing far more than others. I have seen this many times where ads with a low click-through rate (CTR) or with a higher cost per click (CPC) end up getting more visibility.

What this means:

  • Your ad shows, but people are ignoring it (low CTR)
  • Google shows your most expensive ad (killing your budget faster)

What truly matters is ensuring your account balances the delivery of ads from the start so that you can gather balanced and accurate data that reflects the market. No advertising tool is perfect. But these are some mistakes you can be sure to avoid.

Why too few Google ads are a risk factor

Not testing ad copy, and attempting to discover what is going to create the best result is a far too common instance in marketing.

We have audited hundreds of accounts that only have 1 ad for 20+ keywords.

This is a problem!

When targeting a keyword, you want a specific and intentional ad, which leads to a very specific and intentional landing page. This creates a great user experience and creates a higher chance of lead generation and conversion.

If you are only serving one ad, and that ad fails to connect and resonate with consumers quickly, you are now left serving the same, boring failed ad. By having multiple ads in each ad group, you now give Google the option to serve multiple different types of ads to test on your behalf.

I typically find that when A/B testing (serving multiple variations of ads to see what is best) one of the ads always tends to perform better than the others. You can then quickly pause the underperforming ads and iterate new ads that are getting the best engagement.

High Level Take Away

Let’s break down the approach with a TLDR:

  • Create your campaign
  • Create ad groups that represent the diversity of your products and services that match search need
  • Place proper keywords within each ad group
  • Write 2-3 ads per ad group (and use one dynamic responsive ad)
  • Ensure to stop underperforming ads, and create more of the successful ads. We model after what is working.

There are many more details that are required to get great results with your paid ad strategy. Such as:

  • Device bidding (lower bids or increase bids based on performance)
  • Location bidding
  • Time of day bidding
  • demographic targeting

If you would like to remove the headache and high cost of ad management that is ineffective reach out to our team and we can help. Get an audit or simply chat with our ad specialists and see if we are a good fit for your needs. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you!

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