Google Ads Failing to Convert? You Need the GOAT Formula!

11 April 2022 9 min read

By Blank Theory

Google Ads are a BLANK THEORY speciality, so it’s no surprise we have our own winning formula for success. And we’re going to let you in on it.

What’s GOAT?

If you ask Kanye, he’ll tell you that GOAT stands for Greatest Of All Time, but at Blank Theory it means something different: Gather, Optimise, Analyse, Thrive. 


When it comes to killer Google Ads, you need to walk before you can run, and that means doing your research. You want to collect existing and relevant information and data on your target audience, so you can effectively identify them from the billions of Internet users across the globe.


So you’ve done your research and written some ads, now it’s time to set and forget, right? Not if you want your ads to keep converting. You need to always be consistently adjusting your ads to keep up with the latest trends and demands of your target audience. 


As part of your optimisation, you need to be studying everything you can about your audience. Learn about their demographics, their behaviour, their locations and even their device usage. Plus, don’t forget to analyse your competitors’ ads to see how you can stand out from the pack.


When you master the first three, it’s easy to be the G.O.A.T! You’ll find that you’re breaking performance records left, right and centre because your reach has been maximised and your brand is receiving more exposure. Of course, if you want to keep reaching for the stars, you need to repeat steps G, O and A regularly, and understand and appreciate how inextricably linked they all are.

How You Can Become the GOAT of GOAT

So now you’ve got the GOAT basics down, it’s time to become a Google Ads Master! This often means looking beyond simply the domain of Google Ads and analysing and optimising your digital marketing strategies.

Effective Gathering for Even More Effective Google Ads

One of the best ways to learn about your audience is to track their browsing habits. This can be done with cookies, including zero, first and third-party options. 

The clock is ticking on third-party cookies, though, with the controversial cookies set to be banned from Google Chrome come 2023. We’ll be covering this more in-depth in our next blog on retargeting and remarketing Google Ads. While you can still utilise third-party cookies for the meanwhile, we recommend perfecting your strategies for zero and first-party data gathering. 

To do this, provide something in exchange for the information you’re after. While there will be some users who aren’t so keen for this exchange, you will find that the majority are happy to offer you the data you need. 

In fact, many customers are extremely comfortable sharing information with brands — they realise that this is an important aspect of the personalisation movement in digital marketing. Studies have shown that 71% of users expect this personalisation, with roughly the same amount also expecting businesses and brands to recognise them as individuals and to know their interests. Not only will this exchange of information for personalisation benefit your Google Ads research, but it will also assist in repeat conversions and improved revenue

Of course, this data is only as good as you make it. You need to understand your users’ interests and triggers, as well as look at your competitors and analyse their users. You can do this by building up broad customer profiles and finding ways to identify with engaged users, like getting them to click a button in an EDM. 

To establish those customer profiles, there are two stages: recognition and assistance. In the recognition stage, you want to identify the user, what they do on the site and what’s most important to them. This could be how often they come to browse versus make a purchase, and what categories they tend to focus on. It could even be as specific as their clothing or shoe sizes. 

Once you have a firm handle on what your user is looking for and what matters to them, you can set about making their experience more positive. This is stage two: assistance. How can you make things easier for the user? Could it be a wishlist or reminder email that certain items they’ve looked at are back in stock? What could you teach your user? What about rewarding them for their support?

Often you’ll find the answer to these questions by analysing their customer journey. Identify any friction points and develop strategies that will help your user get past this hurdle. 

After all this hard work, you’ll find that not only are you seeing improved engagement from regular users, you’ll also have a wealth of information to add to those customer profiles. You can then take those profiles and build and adjust your Google Ads accordingly.

Optimising Your Optimisation

How you optimise your Google Ads will depend on your resources, as well as the users you are hoping to target. However, as a general rule of thumb you want to be optimising your ads regularly — if not always — and using in-depth testing strategies, like A/B testing to get the most effective information. This can allow you to create different funnels for various sections of your audience, addressing any friction points that are specific to them.

As part of your optimisation, you can look at improving the efficiency of your Google Ads budget. This means finding the most effective keywords for your target users, including long-tail keywords. Done right, you can accurately target the users you’re after while also improving your ROI.

Take the time to review and refine the keywords that are actively driving traffic to your site. You can do this through a number of tools, but Google Search Console is our favourite. Don’t forget to look for keywords that you can leverage in your marketing strategies, including Google Ads but also SEO. With your updated list of keywords, you can then revise your existing campaigns to be more effective.

When it comes to using those keywords in content, don’t rush it. You want to finely craft your Google Ads using your best practice strategies, like showing users how you can solve their problems; adding emotional triggers, like FOMO (fear of missing out), to encourage clicks; and focusing on benefits of your products or services rather than the straightforward features. The ideal Google Ad incorporates a number of these strategies to speak to both users’ emotional and logical sides.

Along with your keywords, don’t forget to pay attention to other key data and adjust your campaigns accordingly. For instance, you may need to rejig locations based on an improved understanding of your audience, as well as when campaigns are scheduled to best suit when users are online and searching.

The Answers Are in Your Analysis

Optimisation and analysis go hand in hand — you need to analyse any data about your ads for the best optimisation. This will often come down to A/B testing to refine your ads for peak engagement, whether it’s through keywords, scheduling or other factors. 

But your analysis goes beyond your ads — it includes your audience as well. Open up your Google Analytics Audience Report to gather up-to-date insights. Try comparing performance across all of your audience to see what channels have the most engagement, which sections of the audience have the highest conversion rates, and what the engagement levels are for each audience segment. Higher results can mean that you have a better understanding and are better catering for certain audience members. The trick then is to get them all in your green zone.

Your analysis goes beyond your ads — it includes your audience as well.

Therefore, you need to dig deep into your data, looking at those broad customer profiles and their behaviours. Focus on behaviours that are the most important to your strategies or that you are looking to improve, but remember that there’s no such thing as too much data! You can then create custom reports to follow any metrics that you require.

Like optimising, you should be analysing regularly, if not all the time, to get the most accurate and current understanding of your audience. Remember: the world changes quickly and what works today may not work tomorrow.

Thriving Rather Than Surviving

A mediocre Google Ads strategy will place you fairly in the surviving camp. Things will be okay, but you may feel like you’re constantly chasing those big numbers or struggling to understand what your customers want. If you want to be thriving, you need to be prepared to put in the work and keep repeating the G, O and A steps. 

Once you have the basics down though, and you stay on top of it, you’ll find it’s easy to do. 

Don’t Ignore Your Overall Online Presence

The benefits of the GOAT strategy are far reaching as you better understand what your customers are looking for and can answer these needs both within and outside your Google Ads strategies. You can take these insights and apply them to your other digital marketing strategies and digital platforms to best service all your customers.

Additionally, it’s important to understand that while it’s absolutely fine to have conquering Google Ads as one of your top priorities, you mustn’t forget that your ads cannot be created and optimised in total isolation from your website and existing online presence. Time needs to be spent fixing friction points on your site that are hampering your Google Ads’ success, along with strategising the most effective means for gathering user data to value-add to your gathering, optimising and analysing stages.

Take Your Google Ads By the Horns

You don’t become the GOAT overnight. It takes a lot of work but it’s worth it. While you might never win a Grammy or top the record charts with your Google Ads, your success will be rewarded as your brand grows and you develop an expanding base of loyal customers.