If Google Ads isn’t working for you, then it might seem like it’s the perfect place to literally throw your money away. Whilst most solar dealers understand the importance of being visible to customers searching online, they don’t always give their accounts the attention they need to perform. The goal is to produce the best revenue results. The pressure is finding the right person to deliver these goals.
If your solar business is currently feeling this pressure, then it’s probably time to streamline your Google Ads management to ensure your campaigns perform well for your business.
Solar dealers in this instance have two options; train up an internal resource or outsource the task to an agency dedicated to optimising budgets, goals and ROI. It might even be a combination of the two - but whichever option you choose, it should all be based on avoiding wasted ad spend and getting the best results.
Here are our Top 10 Tips to Boost Your Solar Company's Google Ads Results
1. SKAG (Single Keyword Ad Group) structure really works.
When you’re a local solar dealer with restricted locations to target, it is very important that you maintain your impression share for all the related searches that are taking place within your targeted locations. With SKAG structure in place, you can actually take better control of it because of the following reasons:
- It will help you to surround one search query with the help of three match types [BMM (most effective), Phrase & Exact]. Leaving no chance of losing an ad impression.
- It will reduce your work towards adding negative keywords.
- SKAG structure along with the ‘Maximize Clicks’ or ‘Maximize Conversions’ bid model can deliver great results if your KPI is to bring as much relevant traffic as possible to your website.
- In case you face difficulties with high CPCs, you can either try limiting the Max CPCs or opt in Manual eCPCs so that you have better control over it.
Last but not least, it will eliminate the need of creating DKI ad as you can easily use the targeted keyword as headline 1.
It has been proven and supported by Google itself that there should be 3 expanded text ads (at least 2) and 1 responsive search ad per ad group to allow A/B testing. So if your ad groups have fewer ads than this number or they are missing a responsive search ad, it’s probably time to raise a red flag to review this.
3. Location Specific Campaigns:
If you’re a local solar dealer dealing with multiple cities, always create separate campaigns for different locations. So that you can easily monetise the performance at city level and manage the budget accordingly.
4. Audience Lists With Search Campaigns:
There is a misconception that if you add an audience list to your search campaign it will start behaving like a ‘search with display select’ campaign. And hence most of the agencies do not add audience lists to the search campaigns.
My recommendation here is to add an audience list but add it in ‘observation mode’ and not the ‘targeting’ mode. The only difference is that ‘targeting’ mode is going to narrow your reach by only showing ads to the common audience (Audience Lists + Keywords Targeted). On the contrary, ‘observation’ mode expands your reach and also allows you to monetise how your ads perform on the selected audience.
This tip is very useful where customer nurturing is required. The conversion journey is a bit longer in such cases. Perfect examples are solar advertisers. Some good examples of Audience Lists that solar advertisers can target are:
- Homeowners - Detailed Demographics
- Climate Control & Air Quality - In-Market Audience
- Power & Electrical Supplies - In-Market Audience
- Your Personalised Google Analytics audience lists
- Age: In my experience, I recommend an increase in bids by 15% on the people aged above or equal to 35 years of age (This does not include ‘unknown’).
Note: This does not imply that you reduce bids or exclude any other age groups from your targeting.
- Household Income: Again, in my experience with solar clients, they tell me that the ‘Top 10% of Household Income’ have the maximum tendency to convert. So 10% bid hikes for such an audience is a wise strategy.
If you’re a local solar dealer, Desktops & Mobile Phones would be your preferred devices, we find that tablets don’t perform as well. So, adjust your device bids accordingly.
7. Ad Extensions:
This is a basic feature that many solar dealers neglect. When conducting Google Ads audits, I usually find very few solar advertisers are using Ad Extensions. My recommendation is not just for solar advertisers but for all businesses investing in Google Ads. Use minimum 4 types of ad extensions. Below are some of the ad extensions that I find perform the best:
- Structured Snippets
- Location extensions (very important if you’re a local solar dealer). Get your Google My Business fixed, if not.
- Call Extensions (wherever applicable)
- Promotion Extensions (if applicable)
8. Recommendations Tab:
I cannot stress this enough -- do not blindly follow what Google recommends! Google’s basic approach would be to increase your spend, no matter what your KPIs are. Hence their recommendations are not advisable in every instance. Review the recommendation, think before accepting the recommendation and ensure your choice to accept has the ultimate goal of your campaign in mind.
9. Remarketing Campaigns:
Out of all the types of display campaigns that exist, Remarketing campaign is one of the most important. One should never take it for granted. The best part about this type of campaign is that it is equally important for any kind of business, be it lead generation, eCommerce, B2C, B2B.
Below are some of my favourite remarketing lists that I usually build and recommend to build:
- All Visitors:
Visitors (7 days)
Visitors (30 days)
Visitors (180 days)
Visitors (540 days)
- Converters (for cross selling)
- Email (Customer Match Audience):
Email Unsubscribers (to negate in your targeting)
- Last One Year Purchasers (depends on your product/service. Usually targeted to resell/cross selling)
- eCommerce Audience Lists like:
Cart Abandoners (7 days)
Cart Abandoners (30 days)
Cart Abandoners (180 days)
Cart Abandoners (540 days)
- GA Audience List:
Non-Bouncers & Non-Converters
10. Set Up Your Tracking Correctly:
Last but not least, in fact the most important aspect. If your website possesses conversion leakage then you might be making incorrect optimisation decisions for your ad campaigns. It is very important that you take care of any form of conversion leakage on your website like absence of call tracking, button event tracking on buttons delivering “contact us” information like email, phone number, newsletter subscribers etc.
An example of how important conversion tracking is
You might reduce the bids or pause some keywords because you think that it is not bringing conversions. However, the reality is that due to conversion leakage and improper conversion tracking you couldn’t see the worth of that keyword. You will most probably miss out on a potential opportunity.
Google Ads is a powerful tool that can help grow your solar business. And it takes time.
If you are investing time and money into Google Ads are not seeing great results then we can help. We work with solar dealers around Australia, we understand the solar space and have years of data on what works and what doesn’t.
Contact us for a Google Ads Audit. We will do a complete review of your Google Ads account to highlight issues, recommend fixes and improve your campaigns. We recommend a Google Ads audit if you:
We recommend the Google Ads Audit if you:
- can’t keep up with all of the latest Google Ads updates
- don’t have time to understand the platform and all the features it offers
- have just taken over an account and need to review what’s working, what’s not and opportunities
- want to stop wasting money and focus on efficiency
- want to make sure your business is targeting the right keywords and audiences
- want to check that you are are tracking conversions correctly
- think Google Ads is a waste of money and want to uncover areas to eliminate from marketing spend
- want to see what campaigns have worked well and what gaps you can target
- want to understand if Display or Search campaigns perform better
- want to make sure the account is structured and labelled clearly for reporting purposes
- have never managed Google Ads before, and don’t know where to start
- want to ensure all the benchmark basics are covered
- want to see how much you are paying per click on your main keywords
- want to check that you are targeting the right areas
- want to make sure you have all ad types covered
- need to be able to report back easily to your manager
- want to see if the search terms report uncovers new keyword ideas
- want to avoid “I wish I knew that earlier” moments
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