How Our Top-Performing Clients Are Optimizing Their Google Ads Programs Without Even Knowing

When we talk about Google Ads optimization, we usually talk about optimizations you can make within your Google Ads account.

So, we cover topics such as what campaign types to test, what settings to use, how to segment audiences, and any other tips and strategies that will help with Google Ads performance.

These types of optimizations are important, of course, but they’re not the whole story.

Because much of the success of your Google Ads program depends on optimizations made outside of your Google Ads account.

We’ve found that our clients with top-performing Google Ads programs have made these optimizations without even realizing the positive impact on their programs.

They made those optimizations to support broader marketing goals—yet they became a crucial success factor in their Google Ads performance.

So when we take on a new client and see they’ve already made these optimizations, we get excited. We know we’ll have the foundation we need to optimize performance within their Google Ads account and not be undermined by factors outside of the account.

What are these clients with top-notch Google Ads programs doing to take their Google Ads performance to the next level? Here are seven things we’re excited to see.

7 ways our clients are unintentionally optimizing their Google Ads performance

1. Website and marketing content

    The first thing we look at when we talk to a new prospect is their website.

    We do this to understand their business and see if the website is updated and responsive with good, descriptive content. If it’s clear that they haven’t touched their website in a few months or years, it’s slow to load, and it consists of a mere page or two, we know we’ll have an uphill climb to set up landing pages and implement conversion tracking.

    We also look for other marketing assets the prospect may have. Do they have an email newsletter, case studies, and testimonials? Do they offer webinars? Do they have any videos?

    If they do, we can likely repurpose those assets for their Google ads.

    Having a content-rich website and good marketing assets is also a strong indicator of where marketing and advertising fall in the prospect’s priority list.

    2. First-party data

    When we log into a client’s Google Ads account for the first time, we check to see if they have any first-party data. Have they collected information from email newsletter subscribers, webinar attendees, and past purchasers that we can use for segmentation and remarketing campaigns?

      If we don’t see first-party data in the account, we talk to the client to see if we can get it. The data is there somewhere, but it may live within the sales team or another department we can hook into.

      Clients with top-performing Google Ads accounts usually have some first-party data that we can use. And they prioritize opportunities to collect, update, and share this data with us (in a hashed format to ensure privacy) because they recognize how important it is for their advertising.

      3. CRM-Google Ads integration

      We celebrate when clients have integrated Google Ads with their CRM, such as Salesforce and HubSpot.

        When the two platforms are linked, offline conversions are automatically imported from the CRM into Google Ads. So when customers make in-store purchases (instead of online), that conversion is accounted for in Google Ads.

        Capturing all conversions in this way gives us better insights into the true impact of our advertising, including what’s working well and where we can improve. It also helps train Google Ads machine learning by giving it more complete data signals.

        Some of our top-performing clients have integrated their CRM with Google Ads, which helps them (and us) optimize account performance.

        4. Conversion tracking

        Without proper conversion tracking, we can’t be sure we’re optimizing the right things.

          We might think that a campaign or strategy is performing well and, therefore, pursue it, but there’s always the chance that we’re operating with incomplete or misleading data.

          Therefore, it’s unsurprising that our clients with top-performing Google Ads programs have good conversion tracking. In fact, I’d say that the majority of our clients have really, really good tracking in place.

          Sadly, tracking conversions in minute detail isn’t realistic for every business. Fortunately, it’s not an all-or-nothing thing.

          Conversion tracking exists on a continuum from basic to sophisticated. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and we do our best with what we have. Even if you only have tracking code on your thank you pages, that’s a lot better than nothing.

          We can even use conversion tracking proxies to guide optimization. With GA4, for example, we can view engagement and then optimize for people who have better engagement. While it’s not an exact substitute for conversion tracking, of course, in many cases, we found a strong enough correlation between the two that it works.

          In all of this, the most important thing is that the organization understands the value of tracking your marketing and advertising efforts. So, if we find some discrepancies, you’ll work with us to resolve them.

          5. Marketing assets

          Most of our top-performing clients have a variety of marketing assets that we can use in their advertising. And if they don’t, they have the in-house resources to create them.

            Having good marketing assets that we can use is less of an issue than it used to be. Today, you don’t need large in-house marketing, design, and video teams to create them.

            Google is trying hard to help advertisers who don’t have creative designers on hand. Tools like Ads Creative Studio are available to everyone, and you can use them to create display ads and video ads from the assets (such as images and video) you already have.

            Of course, roadblocks may still exist even when you have many assets. Competing internal priorities can slow things down, like when a brand manager wants to update all assets before using them in their advertising.

            6. YouTube channel

            While many of our clients have video assets, most of those with top-performing Google Ads programs have also posted those videos to their YouTube channel, making it easy for us to grab and use those assets.

              Some clients are reluctant to post their videos on YouTube, which is fine. However, you can post them as “unlisted” or “private” instead of “public.”

              Unlisted videos aren’t discoverable by search, and private videos are only visible to people you invite. Private videos don’t appear in video recommendations or search results and can’t be shared.

              7. Responsive communications

              Our clients with top-performing Google Ads programs have one more thing in common: They prioritize their marketing and advertising, which shows in their willingness to respond, collaborate, and communicate.

                Our accounts magically do better when clients answer emails, attend meetings, and keep us in the loop on business and marketing changes, challenges, and goals.

                Just like any relationship, communication and collaboration is paramount.

                Are you ready to optimize your Google advertising?

                Of course, you don’t need all these elements to succeed in Google advertising. But there’s no question they can make a big difference.

                So, if you’re ready to take your Google advertising to the next level, learn from what our most successful clients are already doing.

                Because if they can do it, so can you!