How to Beat the Competition with these Google Ads Tricks

The Google AdWords advertising tool allows us to promote our business on the Internet through our keywords. When someone performs a search on Google using one of them, Google shows our ad at the top or right side, next to the results. This looks very attractive at first glance, but nothing in this search engine is so simple. The work begins when we find our competitor's ads, those that respond to the same keywords as us. Here are some tips on being a better competitor.

1. Add more extensions

Google Ads extensions are one of the fastest and surest ways to increase clicks and conversions on your ad campaigns because they give you more space on your ad so you can entice users to click. 

There are different types of Google ad extensions and you can use multiple extensions in each campaign. Some will detail different key pages on your site to entice users to click by giving them access to information they may be looking for in advance. In contrast, others may include information about products, sales, phone numbers, or company addresses and hours.

If you’re not sure where to start, a site link or structured snippet extension is often a good option to choose, as it highlights key pages on the site and can get users where they want to go quickly. Local businesses trying to generate in-store traffic should use callout and organization extensions.

Extensions are quick and easy to set up for your campaigns, and you can use a single extension on multiple campaigns if you choose to save even more time. You can create them from the Google Ads dashboard or directly from the campaign creation system.

2. Cut duplicate keywords

I completely understand the feeling of euphoria you get when you find that perfect keyword. It has a high search volume, high search intent, and maybe even a relatively low competition level. It’s the best feeling in the world and you may want to use it in every campaign of all time.

Sometimes, however, this can work against you because your campaigns compete with each other. Since you are already competing with hundreds, if not thousands, of other advertisers for those placements, this is not what you need.

Instead, your best option is to evaluate which campaign the keyword would be most relevant and successful in and then go from there. Remember that every time a second best campaign appears for a single keyword, it reduces your chances of success. Don’t ruin your best keywords with this mistake.

If you are unsure, you can try running an initial test where you place it in several different campaigns and see where it generates the most clicks or conversions. Generally, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to marketing, but this is one of those times when you should.

3. Leverage branded terms for high quality scores

Quality score is an essential part of Google Ads. It can affect the ranking of your ad, which can directly affect your success on the platform.

A large part of your quality score is based on whether or not your campaign and landing page match the ad you created and the keywords you are targeting. Not surprisingly, targeting branded terms or keywords involving your brand, is a great way to get a quick high quality score.

Some advertisers will keep branded keywords in their unique ad group. This works with some brands, but, it’s a more intelligent move to combine brand terms with other immediately relevant high-value keywords for others. The high quality score of the branded keywords will carry over and increase the ad’s ranking and prioritize different high value keywords. They act as a powerful buffer and help you get an edge on those competitive keywords that are difficult to rank for.

4. Implement UTM tracking

Carefully tracking your campaigns is essential, allowing you to adjust and optimize them as needed. While Google Ads will show you which campaigns generate the most clicks, it’s always helpful to have as much detail as possible. UTM codes can help with that.

UTM codes are small snippets of text that you can add to any link to create more tracking information in Google Analytics. In addition to seeing what clicks each campaign sends you, you can see additional information, such as which campaign sends you the traffic that spends the most time on your site, what pages they are viewing, etc.

While all of this probably sounds a bit complicated, it’s actually easier than you think. You can start with Google’s URL builder, a free tool that allows you to add UTM parameters to a link. Enter the landing page you are sending traffic to and then the name of the campaign that takes people there. Make sure your campaign name in the builder matches the exact name of the campaign you are running in Google Ads to make them easier to track.

The most important fields to complete here will be the website URL, the campaign source, the campaign name and the campaign terms (aka keywords) that you will use to send traffic through this campaign to this site.

Once you have created your campaign, you will see an extended link that goes beyond the specific site address of your landing page. You will use this as the landing page address of the site you are sending traffic to.

If you want more detail, you can create separate links with separate UTM codes for each separate campaign you make.

5. Keep keyword groups tight

It’s tempting to pack a single campaign with as many relevant keywords as possible, thinking that the wider the net, the more fish you’ll catch. However, this can work against you when it comes to Google Ads because quality trumps quantity. It doesn’t matter if your ad gets ten thousand placements if they can only get a few clicks because the search relevance for the ad isn’t really accurate.

Smaller ad groups with fewer keywords are always the way to go. It gives you more control and can create much more relevant ad copy that resonates with the people who see your ad. Ideally, keyword groups should consider search intent, stage of the sales funnel (if possible) and the products and services the audience is looking for.

If Disruptive Advertising ran an ad campaign targeting all the keywords relevant to our business but only had a copy that talked about site audits and not PPC management, we would probably lose a lot of interested users. The ad quality score would also want to go down because the ad and the landing page we sent users to didn’t match all the keywords well, which has a significant negative impact on our campaigns.

To counter this, ad extensions can give you more space to attract more keywords, but you still want to keep them on target for more keywords, as seen in the example below.

Keyword and ad relevance are so crucial that some advertisers even implement single keyword ad groups, which are precisely what they sound like. Target a keyword and create a focused campaign with that keyword included in the ad copy.

Want to create more relevant campaigns but make things easier to manage? Dynamic keyword insertion campaigns are a good option, as they ensure that the exact keyword that triggered the ad placement will appear in the ad. 

6. Keep an eye out for keywords that actually convert

Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error before you can fine-tune your campaigns. An example of this is choosing your keywords early on and adjusting them as your campaign progresses.

After all, it’s not uncommon to find a keyword that you’re sure will actually be a success. It has all the signs of potential success, and your competitor may even get excellent placements with it or bid heavily on it. But sometimes, those keywords fail.

When you review your campaigns, you can see which specific keywords generate successful traffic and conversions and which are not.

Take a look at what people are searching for and see if you can find new keywords that can help generate great results. Eliminate the keywords that aren’t working and go for the ones that are.

Many people get so overwhelmed trying to create new campaigns that they forget that tweaking what they already have can be a great way to stand out in the long run.

7. Do a keyword research about your competitors to see the keyword gap

If your competitors are targeting relevant keywords and receiving traffic from them, then it is likely that they are also highly relevant to your business.

Competitor keyword analysis is the process of finding valuable keywords that your competitors are ranking for, but you are not.

The process of competitor keyword analysis is pretty much the same as when you are looking for new topics to cover or gaps in your existing content. To explain what it is, we’ll look at the SEMrush platform.

Find competitors

First, we’ll let SEMrush identify who our competitors are. To do this, log into your SEMrush account, click on ‘Domain Overview‘ and type in your website URL. Click on ‘Search‘ and then scroll down and click on the ‘Competitive Positioning Map‘. The Competitive Positioning Map will show you the sites that SEMrush thinks are your main competitors. You should verify that these are, in fact, your natural competitors.

If you already know who your main competitors are, simply type their own URLs in the four competition fields (step 2). 

Use a content gap tool.

Once you have selected your competitors, the next step is to click on keyword gap. Fill in each box with a competitor and then click ‘Compare‘. SEMrush will now show you seven keyword categories, according to the competitor analysis. The two categories we are interested in are ‘missing’ and ‘untapped’:

  1. Missing: keywords for which your domain does not rank, but all other competitors entered do
  2. Untapped: keywords for which the You domain has no rankings, but at least one of the other competitors does.

Use filters to find keywords that are easy to rank for.

It is not always easy to rank for the same things as your competitors. To do this we must filter by keyword difficulty, by result number (that number will depend on the type of niche or industry you operate in) and also look at the percentage of traffic per keyword.


Using the Google Ads tricks discussed above can help you consistently elevate your campaigns to differentiate yourself from the competition, regardless of your basic performance or strategy.

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