50+ Google Ads Expert Tips to Nail Your SaaS campaign (2023)

50+ Google Ads Expert Tips to Nail Your SaaS campaign (2023)

We have curated the best tips from experts to crush your next Google ads campaign.
Note: SaaSwrites is a curated growth marketing hub and resource built to help SaaS founders grow their products. We sincerely thank all our experts for their constant value addition to this world.

I spent $3,150,000 on Google so far in 2022. (so you don't have to) and here are some interesting takeaways

1. Focus on Audience Based Targeting

Google is rapidly moving away from keyword-based targeting to more audience-based
Keywords & Search Terms are becoming less relevant BUT this shouldn't kill your profits
Key --> Start utilizing more audience lists
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2. Duplications work

Duplication in conversions is becoming more and more prevalent across accounts
(yes even w/ conversions set to "one")
Key --> Make sure you have the correct "duplication prevention code" added to your conversion actions
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3. Turn off your auto-recommendations

Please don't give Google the ability to fuck w/ your accounts
Automation is THE thing right now and yes you should maximize it, but Google is not ready yet to make every single decision for your account
Key --> make sure "auto-recommendations" are turned off
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4. Have patience with Google Ads

Google Ads takes time to get going
Very rarely you're able to start off with $$$$s of spend a day and see amazing results within the first couple of days (unless you've had success in the past and are a huge brand)
Key --> Don't judge performance outright for 60-90 days

5. Learn from your competition

Competitors are truly your best friend when it comes to Google
If you have no competitors = something is wrong
I want to see competitors around your offer/product
This allows us to maximize your USP (NEED ONE) + test traffic strategies
Key --> Don't shy away from competition

A friend of mine fired his agency and started working with me on Google Ads I scaled 900%+ higher than the previous agency within the first 14 days Here's what I changed

6. Bidding strategy to target ROAS

The previous bidding strategy was on maximize clicks and maximize conversions for most campaigns.
Although the ads were profitable, I prefer a strategy where we can give some control to google for scaling.
I immediately switched to target ROAS

7. Stop having inconsistent ROAS results

The previous results were all over the place.
  • Some day: 1.9 ROAS
  • Some other day: 0 ROAS
  • Another random day: 4 ROAS.
It was unsustainable to scale without an automated bidding strategy.
After switching to tROAS the campaign hit 2.5-4 ROAS every day when my tROAS bid was 300%

8. Try not to be restricted by budget:

This is painful to see profitable campaigns not reaching maximum search impressions.
There were some campaigns reach their full budget which is something I try to avoid when scaling ad accounts.
The goal is to have an open budget to maximize scale

9. Make sure you are remarketing:

I created 2 campaigns, one search campaign targeting brand terms and another targeting cold terms related to the product line with an audience targeting setup to retarget website visitors.
I also set up discovery and display, in the end, RSLA was the best

10. Have Smart Shopping

I created a Smart Shopping campaign instead of the previous standard shopping campaign in order to get more search impressions.
This Smart Shopping spent about 70% of the total account's budget and it was spending more rapidly than standard shopping.

11. Transition into Pmax:

After increasing the account 9x, I decided to test the highest sales volume of products below 3 ROAS into a performance max campaign with a 300% tROAS.
Each product has its own campaign, we are currently testing this with goal to raise current ROAS

12. Segment shopping campaigns

Click on your Adgroup and go to Product Groups. Next, click on the pencil icon / plus icon and edit the subdivision.
You want to segment by "Product Type" and "item ID" which will allow you to see ROAS based on specific collections & products.
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13. Optimize Search Campaigns and Standard Shopping:

Filter by search terms and make sure to exclude anything spending your breakeven point without a sale by creating a negative keyword list.
You can also add the keyword as a negative to the campaign level or ad group level.
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14. Optimize Audiences:

If you have audiences enabled on observation or targeting, You will be able to exclude any audiences which have spent a lot without a sale
PRO TIP: If one audience is 1-2 ROAS and needs a quick boost, decrease your bid by 50% with a bid adjustment

15. Demographics Bid Adjustments:

Not every buyer is the same... Some prospects 18-24 will convert better than 65+ and vice versa.
You want to capitalize on your existing data, so simply tell Google which ages you want to Increase/Decrease spend with by implementing bid adjustments
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16. Optimize Listing Groups - Performance Max:

If you are running Performance Max, You will want to constantly turn off any asset groups or specific products under "Listing Groups".
Doing this will allow your asset groups to spend on the highest probability products and audiences

17. Optimize Device - Bid Adjustments:

Increase your spend on top-performing devices such as computers/phones with bid adjustment.
Increase your bid on high ROAS devices and decrease your bid on low ROAS devices.

18. Optimize Location:

If you are targeting United States, consider expanding to the big 5. BUT, if you are targeting ONLY one country and still want to optimize, try this trick.
Go to Locations, Click on the Blue United States, then segment by state with custom bid adjustments ;)

19. Choose Negative Keywords too

Don't just choose relevant keywords.
Choose negative keywords too.
An easy example is luxury watches.
Target a few keywords, but also don't target with searches that have the words "cheap" or "affordable" in them.
This will increase ROAS.
Get specific.

20. Emotions for your ads matter with Google Ads too!

Focus on creating emotion, not just describing your offer.
If you can make people feel something, they'll click.
Sell a mystery or a transformation, not a product.

21. Google ads is marketing too!

Google ads isn't just about Google ads
It's also about:
  • The quality of your offer
  • CRO on your landing page
  • Back end marketing like email
Test everything.
Improve everything.

22. Use psychological hacks for Google Ads

  • Hook them with pain or curiosity
  • Cultivate attention with benefits
  • Sell the click
  • Let your landing page sell the offer
Do these, and your conversions will 🚀

23. Bid on your own brand

It kinda sucks that Google advertises other brands when people search for yours.
But it is what it is.
Bid on your brand name to capture those clicks.

24. Have backend marketing

Set up lead generation and email marketing, then use them to market your core offers.
And maybe some exclusive offers that only the back end sees.

25. Focus on quality score

Create hyper-relevant ads for your keywords/audiences.
This will make more people click.
and tell Google that your ads are worth showing more of.

26. Use the right keyword match type

Study broad match, phrase match, and exact match to understand how they differ.
Then test to see which one works best for you.

27. Realize the importance of copywriting.

Study short-form copywriting, and write a ton of variations for each:
  • ad
  • angle
  • audience
Then test and optimize.

28. Use ad extensions

  • Go into your Google Ads account
  • add relevant extensions like verified reviews (that’s probably the most universally valuable one).

29. Focus on high-quality clicks

It's not about getting the most clicks.
It's about getting the highest quality clicks.
Do deep keyword research, test them, and use negative keywords too.
Make your ads hyper-relevant to a specific audience, and your ROAS will shoot up.
Google lets you target your competitor's audiences.
Just copy their URL, create a custom audience, and plug that URL in.
If your offer is better than or different from your competitors, it should convert.

31. Split Test everything with Google Ads

Use the Experiments Module in Google Ads
Split test:
  • Bidding strategies
  • Landing page
  • Ad copy
  • Devices

Let’s look at some mistakes that you might make to running Google ads.
Nick Vitucci audited dozens of accounts on a weekly basis and below are some of the most common mistakes I see that lead to wasted spending…As a SaaS, every dollar spent on advertising is important. Don't waste your money on garbage traffic that isn't converting!

32. Inaccurate conversion tracking

It's a lot more nuanced than running a couple of broad match keywords that aren't giving you any return.
Lack of tracking is clearly a problem. If driving more leads is a goal within a specific campaign, then those leads must be tracked.
Identify all possible conversion points and configure tracking.
These may be:
  • forms
  • phone calls from the website
  • phone calls from call extensions, chats, etc.
Disable any tracking that isn't measuring what you want it to measure.
If tracking isn't right, Google's ML won't be fed accurate data, you/the advertiser won't be able to make informed decisions, etc.

33. Have a good website or landing page experience

If you're driving traffic to a page that doesn't
  • have a clear call-to-action
  • prominently display your business phone number or quote form
  • make it easy for the user to interact with
then fix this before spending on Google Ads.
If you are sending desktop and mobile traffic, then you must consider both the desktop and mobile experience.
Things to think about for mobile experience:
  • Is the site easy to navigate?
  • Is it easy to submit a form?
  • Is the phone number set as click/tap to call?
  • Are images too large?
You should not be spending money on ads until your website experience is good.

34. Obsession with reducing Cost per click (CPC)

CPC is an OK metric to be aware of, but it's not the be-all end-all.
Let's focus on metrics that are lower in the funnel (higher value) such as Cost per lead or Cost per acquisition.
For example, It's OK to pay more for a click if the user has a higher likelihood of converting.
The same biz owners who are overly concerned about what their CPC's are, are typically spending money on bad keywords simply because they cost less than higher converting keywords.

35. Filter through search terms

Regularly filter through the search terms report in order to find irrelevant terms that should be added as negative keywords (also can find new keyword ideas for expansion).
Negatives are important for keeping the account tight. If you're utilizing broad or phrase match keywords, the 'net' being cast is much larger than if using an exact match. A strong negative keyword list will help keep the net from catching too much garbage.

36. Auto-apply recommendations

Be very careful here. It's best to turn OFF Google's auto-apply recommendations settings.
These settings are at the account level (set to 'don't apply ad suggestions) and also in the recommendations tab (click auto-apply and be sure all items are not checked).
It's better to first review their suggestions and decide if they're something worth adding.

37. Configure lead tracking from the start

Every ad dollar is precious. Avoid wasting money on non-performing keywords/strategies
Tracking can be configured natively inside Google Ads or through third-party lead tracking software.
I typically recommend @WhatConverts for this (their support team is amazing). Remember, the goal here is to track exactly which keyword drove which phone call, form submission, etc. (keyword-level attribution)

38. Spend More

Well, don't just blindly spend more. Spending more is going to help get more action, BUT we want to ensure the cost per lead makes sense for your SaaS business. In other words, we want to spend efficiently.
Some items to consider when it comes to efficiently spend:
  • start with phrase match keywords that are specific to what your service is
  • target keywords that aren't too general
  • be careful of using broad match keywords if you don't know what you're doing
  • send traffic to a landing page/site with a clear offer and CTAs (prominent phone number, easy to fill-out form, etc)
  • utilize Smart Bidding strategies (i like max conversions with a target CPA)
  • experiment with lots of different headlines and descriptions
  • utilize all relevant ad extensions
  • filter thru search terms report to build a strong negative keyword list
I think a good rule of thumb for an advertising budget is ~10% of revenue, so however Google Ads fits into your company's advertising strategy - do the math and deploy those funds efficiently.
If a SaaS business comes to me with a budget of $1k/mo to spend on Google Ads, I typically tell them to look for another marketing channel until they can spend more.
Google Ads doesn't work well for folks who aren't spending much. A few reasons include:
  • the monthly limit doesn't give us enough spend on a daily basis (spend is avg'd out per day)
  • low spend = not enough data to make informed decisions for optimization
  • agency/freelancer management fee doesn't quite make sense until you're spending $2k+/mo
Channels to focus on if spend is < $2k/mo:
  • Google Business Profile optimization (previously 'GMB')
  • Spend on Google Local Services Ads (LSA). These are pay per call. Can target specific job types, dispute bad leads, etc
  • Angi's
  • Buy leads from other pay per call providers

39. Trust Google

This is a seemingly crazy thing to say, because the Big Goggle wants you to spend more.
But, I mean it.
Google has all sorts of data points/signals we (the advertisers) cannot see. We can (and should) lean on Google for audiences, smart bidding, responsive search ads, taking advantage of their machine learning, etc.
When building campaigns, I always try to retain as much control as possible from the start, but as data begins to come in and the account gets stronger (more robust negative keyword list), we can open-up to more automation.
The truth of the matter is, if you own/operate a home service company then you need the phones to ring. At a certain level, Google Ads has become a sort of 'tax' to make that happen.
There are no secrets here.

AndreiVisan has been with the Google Ads space for B2B SaaS for more than 12 years. He shares some of his valuable tips

40. Google ads can be cost-effective for B2B SaaS

I've tried a lot of channels over the years, but in all cases, GoogleAds search brought in 95% of traffic, leads and revenue. All the other combined were the rest of 5%.
At least for B2B saas, I am sure it can be very very different for other channels

41. Google ads is an all-round process

The best secret I can share, it's that you must have in mind all the time, the entire process from the person searching to solve an issue, until after they pay the subscription, and beyond. Everything must work as good as possible. If you have the best google ads campaigns, but the support team it's crap, a lot will churn at some point.

42. Nail the right keywords + your product solves the problem

I'd suggest going on keywords. Picture it like this: you put something in front of an audience, it's like a tv ad (not entirely here, but mostly it is), while people searching, are having an issue, and actively searching to solve it.
If you nail the right keywords + your product solves the problem, it's a no-brainer.
The longest customer I've had,Peoplehr.com, got to 15 million of GBP in ARR, 99% coming from GoogleAds, no audience set, just keywords, and an account totaling 40 keywords in the end :)
but also, 18.000+ negative keywords, and a lot of testing. It went so well, that they sold the company for a tremendous amount.

Jared says Google Ads is used by 99% of the world’s businesses, and
most people still don't know how to use it.
Here are 9 basics everyone should know:

43. Use other's ads

Go to Google and type a search term for an adjacent product. Find the top companies' ads.
Use and modify the copy that you find for your product. The copy is probably already tested with a larger budget.
This will give you a massive head start.
Use other’s google ads to understand
Use other’s google ads to understand

44. Use PPC Spy Tools

Use spy tools such as SpyFu to see what keywords your competitors are using.
Also use it to look at comparable companies in different markets to give you even more keyword and ad ideas.
Use PPC Spy Tool
Use PPC Spy Tool

45. Use Single keyword ad groups (SKAGs)

SKAGs use one keyword for an ad group.
This gives you the benefit of optimizing every aspect of your campaign around that one keyword.
Make hyper-focused ads & landing pages based on that keyword, to reduce costs & increase conversions.
Use Single Keyword Ag Groups (SKAGs)
Use Single Keyword Ag Groups (SKAGs)

46. Eliminate negative keywords

Google will include irrelevant search terms along with your keywords.
In order to dial in your campaign, you need to add a lot of negative keywords.
For example, "free" & "jobs" are often added which are most likely not your target.
Eliminate negative keywords for Google Ads
Eliminate negative keywords for Google Ads

47. Add bid adjustments

You can increase or decrease your bids based on where, when, and how people search.
Monitor where, when, and how conversions are happening with goals and increase/decrease bids based on the data you are finding.
Add bid adjustments on Google Ads
Add bid adjustments on Google Ads

48. Bid on competitors' names

If someone is searching for your competitor they are in the market for your offering.
Add your competitors' names to your keyword list.
Give prospects the option to buy your offering.
Big on competitor Google Ad names
Big on competitor Google Ad names

49. Create Ad Extensions

Extensions expand your ad with additional information such as address, phone number, store rating, webpage links, pricing, etc.
Ad extensions increase conversions.
Add all the extensions applicable to your offering.
Create Google Ad extensions
Create Google Ad extensions

50. Remarket your Google Ads

Remarketing allows you to show ads to people that have visited your website.
Consumers need to see an ad ~7 times before it actually syncs in.
Remarketing helps with this, increasing conversions.
Link Google Ads & Analytics to enable remarketing.

51. In-market audiences

In-market audiences are users that Google predicts to have a high likelihood of making a purchase.
Target relevant audiences to show ads to increase conversions.
Create In Market Google Ad Audience
Create In Market Google Ad Audience