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Build a Google Ads Strategy That Gets You Clicks & Conversions

What goes into a winning Google Ads strategy? Here are all the various components that you should nail and the right tactics to test to see conversions.

Octavia Drexler
By Octavia Drexler
Ben Kazinik
Edited by Ben Kazinik

Published May 2, 2024.


If digital advertising is on your roadmap, a Google ads strategy should be at least an option. Despite the noise around, well, everything in digital marketing, Search Engine Marketing continues to be one of the favorite marketing tools for businesses use when they want to reach new customers, re-convert old ones, and build up their brand.

How do you integrate Google ads into your over-arching digital marketing strategy? What are the main elements to consider when building a Google Search Engine Marketing plan?

Read on and find out more.

Does Google Ads work?

Google Ads works.

That's the short answer.

Marketing stats speak louder than words. The average conversion rate on Search ads is 4.4% and the average conversion rate on Display ads is around 0.5% (but do consider many Display ads are built for awareness, not conversion too.) On Shopping Ads, the average conversion rate is 1.91%. Compare this to, say, Instagram ads, where the average conversion rate is little over 1%.


Done right, Google Ads can be a highly effective tool for businesses of all sizes. Whether you are a small startup or a large corporation, Google Ads can help drive traffic to your website and increase conversions.

But success with Google Ads requires more than just throwing money at it. To truly make the most out of your ad budget, you need a solid strategy in place.

Advantages of Google Ads

In 2023, Google's ad revenue amounted to $237.86 billion. Clearly, advertisers aren't flocking to Google Ads just for the fun of it -- there are benefits to consider. Some of the most important ones include:


Google Ads can significantly increase website traffic, providing immediate visibility to highly targeted audiences. Depending on your campaign type, you can choose to appear at the top of search results, on relevant websites through Display ads, or even on YouTube videos. With over 8.5 billion searches per day, Google is a prime location for getting your business in front of potential customers.


Google Ads offers highly targeted options, which means you can reach your ideal customers where they are, when they are most likely to take action. You can target by location, demographics, interests, behavior, relevant keywords, and more, ensuring that your ads are seen by the right people.

Pro tip: Want to nail your targeting and improve your ROAS? Talk to one of our vetted Google Ads experts.

Short term results

Unlike search engine optimization (SEO) strategies that take time to yield results, Google Ads can provide immediate traffic boosts and outcomes. Keep in mind: neither Google Ads, nor SEO are magic tickets to fast money land. They both involve a lot of work. However, with Google Ads, you can see tangible results and make changes to your campaign in real-time.

Google Ads functions on a pay-per-click model, where advertisers bid on keywords and pay for each click on their ads. Depending on which type of ad you choose, your targeting will be different and ad will appear in different locations on Google and its partner websites.

The auction system

Google runs an auction every time a user searches for something. The winner of the auction gets their ad placed at the top of search results, depending on the campaign type and keyword bids used. Winning is not always about who bids the most - Google also considers ad relevance, quality, and user experience.

Understanding Quality Score

Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. It takes into account expected click-through rate (CTR), ad relevance, and landing page experience. A higher Quality Score can lead to a lower cost per click (CPC) and better ad placement.-


What makes or breaks your Google Ad

There are a lot of factors that go into a successful Google Ads campaign. One of the most important ones is having a clear primary goal in mind. Is your main objective to drive website traffic, increase conversions, or boost brand awareness?

Regardless of your goal, here are a few key elements that can make or break your Google Ads success:

Your AdRank and Quality Score

These are pivotal in ensuring your ads' visibility and the cost per click you incur. Your AdRank is determined by your maximum bid, ad quality and expected impact of ad extensions. Quality Score is calculated based on the relevance of your ads, keywords, and landing page. Both of these can greatly affect your ad placement and cost per click.

Budget management

Google Ads allows you to set a daily budget for your campaigns, but it's important to continuously monitor and adjust this budget based on performance. If a particular campaign is not performing well, you may want to reduce the budget or even pause it altogether.

Your location

Geographical targeting can significantly impact the effectiveness of your campaigns. It's important to carefully consider which locations you want to target and make adjustments as needed.

Your keyword research

For Google Search advertising campaigns, unearthing the right keywords is crucial to reach your target customers. This is how you will appear in search results and reach good-fit customers. It's important to use a mix of broad, exact, and phrase-match keywords to ensure you are targeting a wide range of relevant searches.

a screenshot of a table with a number of items on it

Please keep in mind you should also research and use negative keywords. These "negative keywords" are words or phrases that you want to exclude from your ads to ensure they don't show up for irrelevant searches. This helps to optimize your campaign and prevent wasted ad spend.

Also, remember you should always consider individual keyword intent. It's one thing to create bids for a commercial keyword intent, and a completely different one to do it for awareness, for example.

Your keyword match types

Your keyword match types determine how closely your keywords need to match a user's search query. Broad match, phrase match, and exact match all have their unique purposes and can greatly impact the success of your campaigns.

a pair of shoes is shown on a web page
Source: Spider AF

Pro tip: Want to make sure you're using the right keyword research strategy for your Google Ads? Talk to one of our vetted Google Ads agencies.

Broad match

Broad match is the default match type that reaches the widest audience by showing your ad for searches that include any word in your key phrase, in any order, as well as similar phrases and variations.

Modified broad match

Modified broad match allows advertisers to have greater control by ensuring their ads appear for searches that include the modified term (or close variations), but may also include additional words before, after, or in between.

Phrase match

Phrase match targets more specific searches, allowing your ad to show for searches that include your exact key phrase with additional words before or after.

Exact match

Exact match targets the most specific searches by allowing your ad to show only for searches that include your exact keyword phrase or close variations with the same meaning.

Your headline and description

Your ad's headline and description play a crucial role in attracting and engaging potential customers. They need to succinctly convey your offer's value proposition and persuade users to click through to your website.


Check out our guide on the top 60 Google Ads headline ideas to try for your next campaign.

Your ad extensions

Ad extensions are additional pieces of information you can include with your Google Ads to give potential customers more reasons to choose your business. These can range from contact details, product links, to additional service information, enhancing your ad's performance by making it more informative and clickable.


Call extensions

Call extensions allow you to add a phone number to your Google Ads, encouraging direct communication with potential customers by making it easier for them to get in touch with your business.

Location extensions

Location extensions enable you to attach your business's address to your ads, allowing customers to find your physical location directly through your Google Ads.

Offer extensions

Offer extensions provide an opportunity to include special promotions or discounts directly in your Google Ads, thereby attracting more customers with enticing deals.

App extensions

App extensions allow advertisers to include a link to download their app directly from their Google Ads, thereby increasing app downloads by making it easy for users to access.

Your creatives

Creatives for the Google Display Network refer to the visual and textual elements of an advertisement, such as images, videos, headlines, and descriptions, which play a crucial role in attracting attention and influencing user interaction.

a screen shot of a website with a bunch of books on it

Your copy

Your ad copy is the textual element of your Google Display campaigns and is critical in conveying your message and persuading potential customers to click through to your site.

Pro tip: Want to make sure your Google Ads copy is on fleek? Hire a professional advertising copywriter. Contact us and we'll match you with the best one for you.

Your targeting

Targeting in Google Display Ads involves selecting specific demographics, interests, and behaviors to ensure your ads are displayed to the most relevant audience.

Your Google Shopping Rank

If you run Google Shopping ads, your Shopping Rank determines where your product ads appear in relation to other similar products. This rank takes into account factors such as bid, product relevance, and ad quality.

Your bidding strategy

There are multiple bidding types you can choose from in Google Ads, depending on your advertising goals. Some of the more popular bidding options include:

  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC): You pay for each click on your ads, suitable for driving traffic to your website.
  • Cost-Per-Mille (CPM): You pay per thousand impressions, ideal for building brand awareness.
  • Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA): With CPA bidding, you pay for each acquisition or conversion, perfect for focusing on specific actions like sales or sign-ups. Keep in mind cost per acquisition is not the same as cost per action -- the first refers to acquiring customers, the latter can be a micro-conversion (like a freebie download, free app install, or a soft newsletter sign-up.)
  • Cost-Per-View (CPV): When you opt for CPV bidding, you pay for video views or interactions, beneficial for video ad campaigns aiming to increase engagement.
  • Enhanced Cost-Per-Click (ECPC): Google automatically adjusts your bids to help get more conversions, blending manual bidding with a smart strategy.
  • Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): You set a desired return on ad spend, and Google tries to achieve this goal through bid adjustments, ideal for maximizing revenue.
  • Viewable Cost-Per-Mille (vCPM): With vCPM bidding, you pay for every thousand times your ad is viewed on screen, which is great for advertisers who want to increase the visibility of their ads without focusing on clicks or immediate conversions.

Aside from the specific bidding options you can choose from, you should also know you can choose a manual bidding or a smart bidding strategy. A manual bidding strategy gives you more control, whereas a smart bidding strategy allows you to be more hands-off with your Google Ads.

Your product data feed

Your product data feed is crucial for Google Shopping ads, containing detailed information about the products you are advertising, enabling Google to match your ads with user searches effectively.

Your bid amounts

Your bid amount is critical in Google Ads as it influences your ad's placement and the frequency with which it is shown, directly impacting your campaign's overall success and visibility in search results.

Your product relevance

Ensuring your product is highly relevant to your target audience's search queries is essential for achieving top placement and optimizing your ad spend in Google Shopping campaigns.

Video quality

For Google video campaigns, video quality is pivotal in engaging viewers, as higher-quality videos can significantly enhance user experience and increase the likelihood of conversion.

a screen shot of a woman on a video chat

App Store rating

If you run App campaigns, having a high App Store rating is essential because it impacts consumer perception, influences download decisions, and can significantly affect the visibility and success of your app in the marketplace.

App icon

Your app icon serves as the visual representation of your app, playing a crucial role in attracting user attention and influencing their decision to download.

App description

A compelling app description succinctly communicates the app’s features, benefits, and functionalities, encouraging potential users to download and engage with it.

App ad action

App ad action refers to the specific call to action (CTA) employed within an app advertisement, aimed at guiding users towards engaging directly with the app, such as downloading or performing an in-app purchase.

App ad placement

App ad placement is the strategic positioning of your app's advertisement across various platforms and networks to ensure maximum visibility and user engagement.

a group of three smartphones showing different images of people
Source: RevenueCat

Tactics you can use with your data segments

Strategically targeting website visitors, app users, and utilizing dynamic remarketing are just the tip of the iceberg in refining your Google Ads campaigns for better conversions and customer retention. Here are some of the most important segmentation tips you can use to boost your Google Ads success:

Target all website visitors & app users

Targeting all website visitors and app users involves creating segments in your Google Ads campaigns to include everyone who has visited your site or used your app. This broad approach ensures your ads reach people already familiar with your brand, potentially leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

Optimize for conversions with the right bid strategy

Optimizing for conversions requires selecting a bid strategy that focuses on converting users into customers or leads. This involves using Google Ads' algorithms to automatically adjust bids in real-time, aiming to maximize the number of conversions within your entire budget.

Go for similar segments

Targeting similar segments involves identifying and reaching out to new audiences whose interests and behaviors closely match those of your existing customers. This strategy leverages the power of Google Ads' algorithms to expand your reach effectively, potentially increasing your customer base and enhancing campaign performance.

Enable auto-targeting

Auto-targeting in Google Ads utilizes the platform's algorithms to identify and serve your ads to users who are likely to be interested in your product or service, but might not be directly targeted in your existing campaigns. This feature can help expand your audience reach by automatically finding new prospects based on their similarities with your target segments.

Use dynamic re-marketing

Dynamic remarketing in Google Ads allows advertisers to tailor their ads based on a user's past interactions with their website or app. By showcasing products or services that visitors have previously viewed, this tactic aims to bring high-potential customers back to complete a purchase.

Re-target people who abandoned their shopping cart

Re-targeting individuals who have abandoned their shopping cart is a strategic move aimed at re-engaging potential customers who showed initial interest but did not complete a purchase. This tactic leverages personalized ads that remind and incentivize these users to return to their cart and finalize their transaction, thereby boosting conversion rates.

Upset and cross-sell to your customers

Upselling and cross-selling to your customers involves recommending higher-tier products or complementary items, respectively, enhancing the user's experience and increasing your overall sales. This strategy not only drives higher average order value but also strengthens customer loyalty by providing more value.

Show different product categories

Showing different product categories in your ads allows advertisers to showcase a broader range of their inventory to potential customers. This approach can help capture the interest of users with diverse needs and preferences, potentially increasing the reach and effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.

Reach customers at a set time after they made a purchase

Reaching customers at a predetermined time after they have made a purchase is a strategic approach to fostering repeat business and nurturing customer loyalty. It involves sending targeted communications or offers that coincide with the expected time a customer might be ready to engage again or need a complementary product.

Tactics you can use with your ad strategies

There are some ad specific tactics you can use to improve the performance of your Google Ads too. Here's more about the most essential ones:

Personalize ads to the different segments you target

Personalizing ads to cater to different segments involves creating tailored advertising content that resonates with the interests, behaviors, and needs of specific user groups. This strategy increases the relevancy of your ads, potentially improving engagement rates and boosting overall campaign performance.

Employ responsive display ads 

Responsive display ads automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit available ad spaces across the Google Display Network. This dynamic adaptation ensures optimal visibility and engagement with your target audience, regardless of device or platform.

Bid on segments most likely to convert 

Bidding on segments most likely to convert involves prioritizing your ad spend on user groups that have shown a higher propensity for completing desired actions, such as making a purchase. This strategy enhances the efficiency of your ad budget, ensuring it is allocated toward audiences with the greatest potential for conversion.

With the ever-increasing amount of data available and the advanced capabilities of Google Ads, taking a targeted approach to your advertising campaigns is essential for maximizing success. By leveraging various segmentation tactics and combining them with ad-specific strategies, you can effectively reach and engage with relevant audiences, leading to higher conversions, improved customer retention, and increased revenue.

Your Google Ads strategy is your fast(er) way to renting online real estate and putting it in front of your target audience. Whether you're an online retailer, a SaaS company, or a local business aiming to expand, building a PPC strategy for Google can be your winning ticket to achieving your goals.

Combined with organic search efforts, your Google Ads strategy can do the customer acquisition heavy lifting for you -- and skyrocket your business to new heights.

So why wait? Contact Mayple and we'll connect you with the best Google Ads specialist for your specific niche and business model.