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How to Supercharge Conversions with Targeted Ad Groups

Want more conversions in AdWords? Doesn’t everybody?

In this article, I’m going to show you how you can supercharge your conversions by creating targeted ad groups using existing data in your campaigns.

That’s right: You don’t have to do the usual keyword research using Google AdWords Keyword Planner to get great results. Sometimes, the keywords you need are already in your campaigns, staring you right in the face. Bringing them to the surface and amplifying their effectiveness is easy, if you know what you’re doing.

Here’s how to supercharge your AdWords conversions in 16 quick and easy steps.

Step 1. Go into your AdWords account or, if you’re a consultant or work at an agency, your MCC and choose one of your customer’s accounts (any you’re tracking conversions for).

new adwords mcc 

Step 2. Select the Demographics tab and click the download arrow to the right of the screen to download your findings as a .csv file. Make sure you’ve enabled the conversions column; this will allow you to match demographic information with historical conversion data.

adwords demographic data visualization  

If you’re using the new AdWords UI, you can use the “Combinations” tab to see performance across hyper-specific subsets of searchers.

adwords demographic combinations tab 

While this may be a bit much for some (or impossible due to a lack of relevant data), if you really want to know how 18-24-year-old mothers in the top 10% compare to childless, middle-class men in their fifties, AdWords can help you make it happen!

Step 3. Upload your .csv file into Google Sheets or open it in Microsoft Excel.

using google sheets for data management 

Once the data has loaded, use the conversions column to filter your data in descending order. This will allow you to see which ad groups and age ranges are performing the best.

adwords conversion data segmented by demographic 

Step 4. Unfortunately, in our example the best is “Unknown”, so we’ll use the second best available to us, and in our case, the best age range is 25-34.

Step 5. Now that we know the age range we’ll be targeting in our new supercharged ad group, we need to know the device (desktop, tablet, or mobile) this age group converts most on.

google analytics suite mcc 

Head on over to Google Analytics and select the same customer of yours to see their Analytics (ensure the date range is the same as your AdWords date range).

Step 6. Go to Demographics and then select Age.

google analytics demographic information 

Step 7. Change your existing segment from All Users to Paid Traffic.

view paid traffic in google analytics 

Step 8. Change your secondary dimension to Device Category.

segment by device google analytics 

You will now be able to see the device your best age range uses to convert on your website. We’ve now found enough data within our ad group to target a specific age range and their favorite device.

Step 9. Now, in Google Analytics, stay in the Demographics > Age section and change your secondary dimension once again to Search Query.

search query data google analytics 

This will allow you to see the best search query for that age group in terms of goal completions.

Step 10. Now we know the age range, device and the search query we’re going to target in our new supercharged ad group.

Step 11. Head back over to your or your customer’s Google AdWords account, create a new campaign, and call it “Supercharged.” Set up this campaign just like the one you took the winning data from.

You can do this quickly by copying that campaign and editing with the new data we’re going to target.

supercharged adwords campaign creation 

  • Tick the box you see to the left of the campaign and click Edit, then Copy on the drop-down menu.
  • Click the three dots you see the right beneath the graph and select paste. I recommend pausing this new campaign until it’s ready to go live.
  • Ensure daily budget is what you’re willing to spend.
  • Now, you can either keep all your existing paused ad groups and target them all to your new data-backed demographic, device and keyword or you can remove them and start fresh. Personally, I would start fresh for the purpose of this experiment.
  • If you decide to start fresh, create a new ad group and call it Supercharged – (Your Age Range + Device). Choose your default bid, and enter your search term in the keyword box.

defining supercharged ad groups in adwords 

You might be thinking, wait – just one keyword? That’s correct. For this experiment, we’re going to be treating this ad group as a SKAG (Single Keyword Ad Group).

Why?

This allows us to really target this keyword with relevant ads and landing pages, without being diluted by other keywords.

I recommend adding your search term in as a phrase match, modified broad and as an exact match, and using a tiered bidding structure (in which the modified broad match version of your keyword has the lowest bid and the exact match version has the highest bid). This way, you can target pretty much all variations of that keyword.

Step 12. Now to create your new ads. I always like to start with just two ads and make one slightly different to the other. This way you can split test your ads and see which one works best.

Here is what your new ads should include in each of the different advert parts.

Step 13. Head on over to your demographics and exclude all the existing age ranges, except the winner you found. Under the “Demographics” tab, simply navigate to the “Exclusion” menu, click the blue pencil, and add the age groups you don’t want to target.

 adwords demographic exclusions

Step 14. Select Devices from the menu on your left and set the bid adjustments to decrease by 100% on the devices you don’t wish to target. Unfortunately, we don’t have the option to exclude devices, but decreasing the bids by 100% will reduce the chances of being shown on these devices.

device bid adjustments adwords 

To do this, hover your mouse next to the “-” under the Bid adj. column and click the pencil that appears. Change the drop-down menu from Increase to Decrease, enter 100 and then click Save.

Step 15. Now that you’ve optimized your campaign, go into the existing campaign you’ve copied from, and exclude the age range you’re now targeting with your new campaign. This will prevent two different campaigns competing against each other.

Step 16. Your new campaign is ready to go live! You can target this campaign even further by only showing your ads at specific times of the day from your existing data. You can even tailor your landing page to your specific age range and device. For example, if you’re targeting mobile, make sure the landing page works on mobile and has a great user experience.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve already applied the supercharged ad group method to your AdWords campaigns, then I highly recommend you have your account graded for free by WordStream here to see what kind of impact your optimization efforts are having. If you haven’t discovered your most valuable keywords and their associated audiences yet, give this method a try with one of your customers and let us know about your success in the comments below. 

About the Author

Thomas Caulton, a WordStream client, is a Digital Marketing Executive at Dijitul, offering digital marketing solutions and training to B2B and B2C businesses. Tom’s specialities lie within SEO, PPC, Content Marketing and Lead Generation.


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