Google Search Network: Top 5 creative tasks to optimize your ads

In this post, we’ll examine several tasks to optimizing ads on the google search network. Learn how to optimize your ads on the Google Search Network. Phrase match keywords, longtail ad groups, A/B testing, writing good ads and bidding to position optimization.

Add phrase matched keywords

Why do we do this? It forces the keyword to exact match, which provides:

  1. Accurate and reliable metrics
  2. Market insights
  3. Better quality scores
  4. Cheaper CPC’s

All of this is done without sacrificing reach!

How do we add phrase matched keywords?

Get to the list of phrase matched keywords by doing the following:

  1. In every search campaign, go into the phrase match ad group.
  2. Set the date range to the period to the day after you last added phrase match keywords for that campaign.
  3. Click details > Search terms all.
  4. For every keyword with significant search volume, ask is it desired?
  5. If yes: add it as a positive exact match in the appropriate (normally longtail) ad group AND add it as an exact match negative keyword to your phrase match ad group.
  6. If no: add the undesirable part to a negative keyword list on phrase match.

There are several tools one can use for keyword research to optimize your PPC campaigns on the Google Search Network. In my experience, I’ve used with great results, the keyword magic tool by Semrush. If you don’t mind spending a few dollars, then you can try Ahrefs‘ all in one SEO tool set.

Expand out longtail ad groups

Why do we do this?

  1. It increases visibility of highly searched keywords.
  2. It improves CTR and quality score due to targeted ads

Following from the last example with the Continental tire manufacturer, below is how to do it:

  • Tires + Car
  • Tires + Germany
  • Tires + Manufacturer
  • Tires + Manufacturer + Germany
  • Tires + Manufacturer + Best
  • Tires + Manufacturer + BMW
  • Tires + BMW
  • Tires + Truck
  • Tires + Automobile etc.

How do you expand longtail ad groups?

  1. In every search campaign, go into the longtail ad group.
  2. Set the date range to the last 30 days.
  3. Find keywords (or cluster of singular to plural, different word order keywords) with impressions over 200.
  4. Create a new ad group named after the keyword with a keyword relevant ad.
  5. Cut and paste the keyword(s) from the longtail to new ad group.

Bidding to position optimization

Don’t allow your campaigns to hit budget limits. If they do:

  1. Re-allocate to focus on themes that work.
  2. Cut down on phrase match.
  3. Reduce your mobile bid, only if mobile traffic does not perform well. Rarely fall below position 1.7 (laptops) or 1.3 (mobile devices) but bear Cost per Order (CPO) in mind.

A/B test to further optimize your ads

Why? It helps to improve metrics, especially CTR; you learn what Customer Value Propositions (CVP’s) are important to your persona and it also keeps ads fresh and up to date.


  • Mostly, do one element a/b tests so you know what contributed to the change.
  • If you hit a wall, do multivariate tests to get movement back in the metrics.
  • Select ‘test’ ad groups for each campaign (it’s leaner).
  • Decide at 600 clicks / ad; is your CTR is around 10%?
  • Record outcomes in your AdWords ad text optimization documents; better keep some.

Write good ads

This is pretty self-explanatory. If you write lousy ads, nobody’s going to click them even if the product is good. Best practices to write and optimize your ads are as follows:

  • Write in semi Title Case (capitalise all words except joining words such as; in, the, a, on, etc.).
  • Punctuate description line 1 and line 2 (. !).
  • Use the primary keyword in the title and url.
  • Use a Customer Value Proposition (CVP) in description line 1.
  • Use a Call to Action (CTA) in description line 2.


We’re through with the Google Search Network series; I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading all the articles and are fully equipped to optimize your ads on the Google Search Network and if you have any questions or comments, please take the time to share. Next, we’ll look at the Google Display Network. Subscribe or follow us on our social media pages for all updates.

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