3 Google Optimize Strategies to Boost Your Paid Search Efforts
Conversion Rate Optimization is a critical strategy to improving PPC efficiency and scale. Through an iterative process of testing and optimization, your website and landing pages can become more engaging, more persuasive, and ultimately better at driving leads and sales.
However, CRO is a challenging marketing effort, which often has to span multiple teams and resources including marketing, IT, design, and more. Though there are a number of CRO tools on the market, some are expensive and complex to setup.
The combination of high software costs, complex implementation needs, and cross-department collaboration can often be a barrier to a successful CRO project launch.
Enter Google Optimize. It’s the most useful and overlooked advertising tool Google offers.
Compared to other CRO tools out there:
- It’s FREE
- It’s easy to use. Most changes are made intuitively in a visual environment with the use of a mouse and keyboard
- It’s able to integrate with most tools you already use. This includes Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Tag Manager
- Reporting is efficient and straightforward. Simply select up to three metrics to measure performance
- It makes landing page testing fair. Instead of rolling out your new landing pages to half your ads and risk not driving enough traffic to them or using Google Ads experiments and interfering with the size of your account, you can redirect a portion of your traffic to the new page, with gradual increases. This way, you avoid making decisions upon unreliable or statistically insignificant data. The test will be independent of ad performance and you will have full control over the portion of redirected traffic. This is a simple yet powerful technique!
- It promotes cross channel testing and strategies. CRO is at the bottom of the list for many marketing departments because of the resource commitment required. I’m talking specifically about planning, coming up with tests, signing off, development time and test logistics, and sometimes, performance risks. For example, gaining back SEO traffic is a hard and time-consuming job, so it’s understandable why many companies may be hesitant to make the investment. However, A/B and Multivariate tests allow for the implementation of CRO tests quickly and efficiently while deploying them in controlled conditions (paid search). Then the tests can be expanded to more volatile and higher risk channels — all with the click of a few buttons.
In simple terms Google Optimize offers five types of experiments:
A/B Test: A controlled way to compare two versions of your landing page to determine which one performs best.
Multivariate Test: Modify your landing page to test changes in various page elements in combinations, e.g.:
Default page headline + default button
Default page headline + modified button
Modified page headline + default button
Modified page headline + modified button
This lets you discover which ones perform best so you can refine your test or re-run it with different combinations.
Redirect Test: Test two different landing pages by having a portion of your traffic redirected to another page.
Personalization: Tailor your website to a specific audience. This involves no experiments and the changes run all the time as long the user meets your targeting conditions.
COVID-19 Banner: In line with the times, Google Optimize offers a handy solution to adding a COVID-19 banner to your website using a template.
CRO does not sound like much of a mystery now, does it? But to avoid testing for the sake of testing, we have put together three different approaches on data-driven tests that have helped us speak to potential customers more efficiently, improve conversion rate, increase conversions and reduce CPA.
- Get personal with your users
It has never been easier! With personalization, one of the newest features in Google Optimize, you can now make permanent changes to your website that are applicable only to specified audiences.
Although you need Optimize 360 (the paid version) to access Google Analytics audiences, you have full access to linking with Google Ads.
One of our favorite optimization tactics is to tailor our landing pages to the returning users of a website through our RLSA campaigns. This way, not only are we able to allocate more budget to returning users and be more aggressive in the SERPs, but also create a unique user experience for one of the most invaluable audiences in PPC and be in every step
of the funnel in the path to conversion.
Pro tip: Personalization can also be used with Facebook ads – and other paid social campaigns, — through targeting specific UTM parameters.
- Push different conversion types
Here is one lead-gen approach that B2B companies will find especially useful. If you track more than one conversion in Google Ads (e.g., forms and phone calls), you can use A/B testing or multivariate testing to test tailoring your landing page to a specific conversion action.
In such Google Ads accounts, at OpenMoves we like to test which conversion action works best through ad copy testing of different calls to action., For example, in the aforementioned example of calls vs. forms, we would test the following headlines:
- 1 ad pushing calls
- 1 ad pushing form fills
- 1 control ad pushing both conversion actions
Using Google Optimize, we like to take this to the next level and run the same test at the landing page level by making the phone number more prominent and/or moving the form to a different place on the page.
- Utilize your non-performing campaigns/ad groups
We’ve all found ourselves in the situation where some campaigns just won’t convert — even after trying everything: different bids, different bidding strategies, ad copy, extensions, landing pages — you name it. CPA is still through the roof or, even worse, there are no conversions at all. And now you’re thinking about giving up on these campaigns altogether.
Don’t. This is actually a great time to try CRO and give these campaigns one final shot before hitting that pause button. Whether it’s making a phone number more prominent, tailoring page headlines to your ads, or moving a form to the optical center of the page above the fold, you’ll be able to minimize risk, turn performance around and gain confidence in rolling your tests out to the rest of the account.
There’s no doubt that CRO in paid search can be a little hard to implement at the outset, but once you do, it can be a game-changer! And thanks to Google Optimize, it is now easier and more intuitive than ever, with great results.
Now that the smoke around CRO has cleared, here’s one caveat: it’s easy to get carried away. CRO yields great results when it’s aligned with your overall media strategy and serves your paid search and overall marketing strategy. We highly recommend consulting a paid media and CRO expert to help with devising a plan, setting up and monitoring your tests and unleashing your ad account’s true potential.
But if you feel confident, by all means, get started! Collect all the ideas you have for better landing pages and start testing.