Resources & Blog


#31 With Jake Surrey & Gemma Russell

Resources & Blog

#31 With Jake Surrey & Gemma Russell

Google Ads Part 1 - Setup and optimisation

We had a great time chatting with Jake Surrey and Gemma Russell on episode 31 of the podcast. Both Jake and Gemma work at Fountain Partnership, an award-winning digital agency. Fountain is also a Google Premier Partner, meaning that they get access to bespoke tools.

During the episode, we spoke about Google Ads in depth. Since we had a lot to cover, this is the first of a two-part series. This episode focuses on account setup and optimisation. We covered topics such as quality score, keyword research, negative keywords, bidding strategy, and more.

As usual, it's available on all major streaming sites via this link. Here are some of the key takeaways from our episode....

We also spoke about several other things related to Google Ads. As usual, we finished the episode with a few light-hearted questions and Gemma told us about a story from the beginning of her marketing career. Stay tuned for part two coming next!

Liam

Let's get started. Firstly, what type of research do you perform before building out an account?

Jake

I think the first questions that we tend to ask are around the underlying business metrics, which would really apply to any marketing. So, how much money are you making per sale? How much are you willing to pay for a lead? Or how much are you willing to pay for a sale? What's the lifetime value? Then we go into the PPC specifics like keyword research. Essentially, what keywords should we be running? What's the likely CPC? What are the likely search volumes? And then we build out a forecast and a set of assumptions.

Gemma

I think it's really important to make sure that you don't put all your reliance on one keyword or one audience. If you put all your eggs in one basket and think that one or two keywords are going to generate all of your volume, that's obviously not a particularly good position to put a client in. So, it's really good idea to have a fairly solid backup plan.

Liam

Do you use Excel for your keyword research and planning? And, do you build out the entire account and then turn it live or do you activate each campaign as you progress?

Gemma

We do have a custom-built forecasting tool, but we also use Excel. In fairness, that tends to be the simplest way to do it. Especially when you are starting out. I used to be on the cautious side of things when I first started working at Fountain. I would turn campaigns on in an incremental basis. I'd test one thing and then learn and then go from there. Working with larger and larger accounts, I think it's actually important to try multiple things at the same time and try and learn as quickly as possible. A lot of the time, I would potentially do employ a number of tactics, and front load the budget.

Liam

Let's discuss account settings. What your thoughts are when it comes to bidding strategy, search partners, and goal settings?

Jake

I'll jump in on goals. It depends on those initial conversations that we have about the underlying business metrics. In general, it's really about trying to drive back to what is most profitable for the client. And, there are things like document downloads that aren't direct sales but can create opportunities for your sales team. We try to figure out the purchase cycle and then select goals based on that.

Gemma

Bid strategy is an interesting one. It can depend on client budget, but it also comes down to the number of conversions running through the account. When there is an unlimited budget, I think target CPA is gold standard. However, it doesn't work in all scenarios. Sometimes, target impression or maximise conversions might be more appropriate.

Liam

How important is it to continually monitor your account and how regularly do you do that?

Gemma

It does depend on the account size. So, I look at I look at all my accounts every day. I wouldn't necessarily make changes every day, but I'd always keep a good look at what's going on. In an ideal world. I think it's important to leave things maybe a week or two before making changes. If you keep making changes every day, you'll never understand what's worked, what hasn't, what's impacted and what's not.

Liam

How important is it to continue adding negative keywords?

Jake

There's so much variety when you think about what you type into Google. And, there's sort of quite a lot of nuance to that. What you really want to do is capture the people with the intent to buy your product. You want to make sure that you're removing any searches that are irrelevant. Expensive keywords can really add up. You need to regularly review the search term reports and considering whether the searches are relevant. If they aren't, then add them. Try to add them at the account level to keep things organised.

Liam

Focusing on large accounts, do you look at the queries that have a couple of clicks and impressions?

Gemma

To be honest, it tends to be the top ones. A good thing to remember is that when using broad match keywords, don't use single keywords. The search query report doesn't show you all of the different search term variations. It just shows you a picture. I try to add phrase match negatives.

Liam

How much attention should we be paying to quality score?

Gemma

I don't obsess over actually. I think it's important to make sure that the quality score of the keywords you have in your account is at least five or six. In an ideal world, ideally, it will be higher than that. Obviously, that's not always possible. It does add value if you want to compare historical metrics. For example, if you've made changes to a landing page then you can see if quality score was impacted. But I wouldn't obsess over it.

Liam

Is it beneficial to build a new account for clients every few years in order to keep things fresh and potentially reduce CPC?

Jake

If you do clean things up, then Google is quite good at responding. If you've optimised things properly from a poorly managed account, then Google usually recognises this. I'll give you an example. We took over an account that had eight different Ads accounts and probably 15 accounts in total when you include Facebook and others. We decided to centralise all of them. It allowed us to put all of the data in one place. It helped practically but also optimised the accounts. The automated bid strategies worked better, and our remarketing campaigns were more effective.

Cutomer Account manager
by Liam Quinn | Marketing Executive

Hi, I'm Liam, Marketing Executive at Reach Interactive. I have a background in international marketing and love branding, social media and seeing how companies communicate with their customers.

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