Set objectives for a Google Ads strategy

1. Create a Google Ads campaign and manually select a goal in Expert Mode.

Choose a goal that matches your objectives like Sales, Leads, Website traffic, Product and brand consideration, Brand awareness and reach, App promotion, Local store visits and promotions.

2. Define your ad set and specific ads for this campaign, and enable autotagging.

Create ad groups around your main keywords for the campaign. For example, if you’re a beauty salon in Owen Sound, your keywords may include eyelash extensions owen sound or downtown owen sound spa. Write compelling copy in the headlines and descriptions for your ads. Make sure that you utilize as many of your keywords as possible in the ad variations.

3. Link your Google Analytics (GA) to your Google Ads account from the GA Admin panel. In the Property column, select Google Ads Linking.

You’ll need to connect these accounts before you can import any goals or transactions across the platforms. This helps more accurately track audience behavior from your ads all the way through the various sections of your site or app.

4. In GA, define the user's endpoint (Goal) by choosing which specific action or set of user's actions you want to track, for example button clicks or form filling.

Other examples could be: Going through a list of specific steps on a website or mobile app  Visiting a specific page  Staying on a page for a certain time duration Viewing X percentage of a specific video, and so on.

5. Define the user journey (the funnel) by determining the sequence of steps users need to go through to fulfill the goals.

Decide which steps should be mandatory and which are optional. Users could choose several steps to get to a goal, and you need to predict all of those steps in your funnel. To do that, analyze your current website user behavior flow by navigating to Reports > Audience > Users Flow, and find the user flow variations. For example, let’s say that you’ve set up a Google Ads campaign to sell outsourcing services. Your potential clients have a couple of options to send a request with the following flows as shown in the image above: Home Page > Send a request Home Page > Product Improvement > Send a request Home Page > Product Design > Send a request Home Page > Web-development services > Send a request They also have the option to visit each specific page separately like Product Improvement and Product Design, and put a request there. While preparing the Goals and Funnels for this campaign, you need to be sure to correctly track all potential scenarios. Otherwise, you could find variations in your GA results versus your Google Ads results. For example, that you got 12 leads in Google Ads, but GA tracked only 8 of them.

6. Set up Google Tag Manager (GTM) and create tags and actions for each specific event.

To track all necessary users’ actions, create event tracking in Google Tag Manager (GTM) and publish them.

7. Create Goals in GA for each event so you can properly track each of the events created in GTM.

8. Import your GA Goals into Google Ads.

To do that, navigate to the top-right corner of Google Ads. Note that if you’ve just linked your accounts, you’ll need to wait at least 30 minutes before importing any data. Click on Tools & Settings and Conversions. Click on + to add a conversion. Click on Import and select all of the goals you want to import to Google Ads. Then click on Import and Continue and Done.

9. Check your results and update your Goals and Funnels based on the campaigns conversions.

Your goals will start appearing in your reports within 2 days. Review the conversions that you got from each of your ad sets.

10. Continue to monitor consistently and change the funnel to improve your conversion rate.