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Solving the unknown with Google AdWords

Posted 1st December 2022
Google Core Update


Discovering your audience’s appetite to click and convert

Google Ads, AKA Google Adwords are a proven way to generate traffic for your website. But it can feel like venturing into the unknown when setting them up for the first time. How can you forecast clicks and conversions?

The trick is to work backwards. Prior to setting up your Google Ads search campaign, you need to reduce as many of the ‘unknowns’ as possible. The list includes:

  • Keyword opportunity
  • Analysing your competition
  • Ad strength
  • Landing page strength
  • Testing your ad and landing page using SEO tools.

Google Ads

Keyword opportunity

Keyword research is an important component of all content-based campaigns and should be your first port of call in your Google Ad setup. For Google AdWords campaigns, you should aim to target keywords where there is an opportunity to rank highly in the paid search results and be specific enough to match the intent of the person searching for the term.

Keywords need to combine several attributes:

  • Specific terms – where the searcher’s intent matches what you are offering on your landing page
  • Low CPC (cost per click)
  • A low-ranking difficulty
  • A search volume for the term which is greater than 0 but under 1000 (a high search volume suggests your term isn’t specific enough).

Analysing your competition

Whilst using SEO tools will tell you the level of competition your keywords have, you can only get a clear picture by experimenting with the SERP (Search Engine Result Pages). Try your keywords out in Google Search and see what ads appear and in what order. The top ads will have the highest spend against them, plus they will have a strong landing page and the ad will have an impact too. Learnings from these will help inform:

  • Whether to use that specific keyword/phrase itself or not
  • How you can set up your ad
  • What you can do to make your landing page better than theirs.

Google Ads strength

You’ve identified a good list of keywords and set some target audience criteria (location, interests, etc.), so the next step is to create an ad using those keywords, that will maximise the chances of a click-through to your landing page.

Your ad needs to do several things:

  • Match the intent of the search terms the person used
  • Provide the route to answer their questions or the solution to their problem keeping within the Google Ad character limit.

Making use of Google’s Ad extensions (such as callouts) upfront is beneficial. Google always suggests improving ads with them, so provides the option to add them later if necessary.

Landing page strength

As mentioned above, using Google Search you can find similar landing pages to yours and you can take action to make yours better than those you find. For instance, you can:

  • Adjust the use of your keywords on the page
  • Increase clarity in your content and the specific action you want the visitor to take
  • Use SEO tools to optimise your page as much as possible.

The position of your call-to-action (CTA) is also crucial. Make it as easy and compelling as possible for the visitor to make a purchase or complete a form.

Testing your Google ads and landing page using SEO tools

SEO tools make optimising your ads and landing pages easier and quicker. Leveraging your SEO tool will help decrease the uncertainty of whether your ad will perform well or not.

Live test period

All marketing campaigns should be data and insight-driven.

However, you won’t be able to fully see / test the impact of your ad until you make it live. Google takes time to ‘learn’ your ad and help optimise how, when, where and whom it will appear to in the SERP.

It’s therefore worth considering the first couple of weeks as a live test period. This test period enables you to try out your keywords, see what Google advises about your ads in terms of improving them and make adjustments to your landing page if your clickers aren’t converting. At this point, you can also review what keywords triggered the ad to display and add any misleading terms to your negative keyword list.

The test period is the final piece in discovering your audience’s appetite to click and convert. Use it well and you’ll be more successful with Google Ads. Your learnings and experience from the process will also help to inform your future campaigns.

Finally, get your stakeholders on board with this test process. It is crucial as they often have the expectation that ‘magic will happen’ immediately and you’ll generate lots of conversions on day one.


We have provided you with our guidance on how best to discover your audience’s appetite to click and convert. Our recommendation is to always ensure your marketing activity is insight-driven and for Google AdWords, your early research will be the key to increasing your AdWords campaign success.

If you need help getting started or have started but aren’t seeing the success you hoped for get in touch and we’d be happy to help.

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