The Hidden AdWords Options Most Marketers Miss Out

Setting up effective Adwords campaigns is no easy task. You have to look at several factors like demographics, keyword bids, competition, etc to come up with a campaign that uses the least budget, yet gives the best conversions.

There are some often overlooked features of Adwords that can give you an edge over competitors if you take time to understand and implement them. Here, I've put together a few such options in Adwords that you should definitely consider when creating your next ad campaign.

1. Household Income Targeting

​A tactic unused by many marketers is targeting by household income. This feature is hidden inside the ‘Location Group’ option while setting the demographics of your ad. What this does, as the name suggests, is allow you to target ads based on the household income of potential customers.


Image by Joshua Earle via Unspalsh

This is currently only applicable to the US market since it uses public data available from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Using the option, you can select a household income tier ranging from top 10% to lower 50% in a specific geographical location. This enables you to target ads only to specific people who may be in a financial position to consider your product for purchase.

For example, if you are selling luxury watches in Boston, then it is a no-brainer that your adverts be shown only to people who have the income for it. Displaying such ads to people who cannot afford it will only result in the ads being clicked, but no product being sold, or ignored altogether. So, when you setup the campaign for your luxury watch, set the location to Boston, and then choose the option “Top 10%” from the “Select household income tier” drop down menu.

2. Callout Extension

A simple way to add more detail about your product/service to the ad is by using Callout Extensions. Many marketers, especially newer ones, often overlook this feature. What Callout Extensions allow you to do is to add an extra line of information just below the ad for free.

So, if you have an ad content which says “Get the best, tailored suits in New York,” you can add a Callout Extension that says “100% money back guarantee” or “Free delivery in 12 hours” or something else that is relevant to the offer.  With this extra info, your ad ‘real estate’ increases and so does the chance of people actually clicking on the ad and arriving on your landing page.

3. N-Gram

A more recent addition to Adwords, an N-Gram view shows the impressions received by a particular word within a search term, the number of clicks it has received and its conversions.

For example, for a query like “buy cheap locks now,” an N-Gram view might show that the word “cheap” has received 700 impressions, 40 clicks and 1.0 conversions, while the word “now” has received 150 impressions, 15 clicks and 1.0 conversions. By looking at the data, you will easily deduce that the inclusion of the word “now” in your ad campaign offers your ads the most clicks and conversions.

This is the power of the N-Gram view. The feature essentially allows you, with a high level of detail, to pick out words that offer the highest conversions at the cheapest cost. ​You can then use the word in your ad campaigns more frequently.

4. Call Bid Adjustments

Click-to-call ads have been available to Adwords users for some time now. And they have been proven to have high conversions. In fact, Google itself claims that click-to-call ads convert three times more than the usual website click ads.

And with the addition of call bid adjustments, users will now have the power to determine how much of their ads will show a call option. So, if you want the call ads to appear 70% of the time, then Adwords will adjust the bids accordingly, effectively ensuring that more users will see your call ads.

​This essentially gives you the power to use both channels, website clicks and calls, to drive traffic to your business. So, if you think an ad campaign has a greater chance of receiving more calls, then using call bid adjustments is definitely something you should consider.

5. Negative Keywords

One of the most important things that make an ad campaign profitable is to ensure that the keywords that you bid actually converts. And one way to make sure this happens is to identify and exclude all negative keywords that might hog your clicks.

Lets say you sell wine glasses exclusively and bid for keywords like “latest wine glasses.” Google might go ahead and display your ad to people who simply type in “latest drinking glasses.” And when they click on your ad, your budget gets depleted without you never having a chance of making a sale since the person might just be searching for a simple drinking glass and not a wine glass.

This issue can be resolved by adding a list of negative keywords. Research all the keywords that can trigger your ad, find out those which may attract people who are not your target customers and then include all the identified keywords in the negative keyword list of your ad campaign. Now, the ads will never be shown to people who type in such irrelevant words.

So, when you include “latest drinking glasses” to your negative keyword list, your ads will not be seen by people who type in those keywords. As a result, your ad budget is used more efficiently.

6. Ad Customizers


Image by Jens Kreuter via Unspalsh

If you run ad campaigns where the ads differ slightly depending on certain parameters, it can become quite complex to handle the multiple ads. However, with Ad Customizers, you simply have to manage one ad while adding in the conditions to trigger the variation of the ad. This simplifies the entire process of ad campaign management.

For example, you want an ad to display in two different ways on mobiles and desktops. In the usual circumstance, you may create two ads to target the two different devices. But with Ad Customizers, you only have to manage a single ad, and you can trigger the variations depending on whether it is displayed on mobile or desktop. 

Another useful way to make use of Ad Customizers is in countdown offers. When you are providing a time-limited offer, then the countdown feature is of immense benefit to get the message across to prospective customers in an impactful way. Once you set it up, a running countdown will be displayed near the ad which shows the users how many days, hours or minutes are left before the offer expires.

This can create a sense of urgency in the minds of the prospective customer and lead them on to take a positive action. For example, the ad can display that there are “15 hours before prices double,” which will eventually go down to “3 hours before prices double” when the customer is served the same ad 12 hours later.

7. Remarketing

Still underutilized by the majority of marketers, remarketing is a powerful concept that displays ads at people who have displayed an interest in your business and are therefore likelier to make a purchase.


This is done using a piece of code that is found in your Adwords account. Just copy and add it to your website to start remarketing. Now, every time someone visits the specific page, a cookie is downloaded on their device. This helps in delivering targeted and customized ads later on. 

Remarketing can be used in many ways. The simplest method is to show ads to people who have visited your website. An e-commerce website can benefit immensely from the high level of customization offered by Google’s remarketing functions.

For example, suppose a user has visited a product page displaying iPhone 7. Using Google remarketing, you can deliver ads featuring iPhone 7 to that specific customer no matter which website they visit. And if they later check out the black colored iPhone 7 product page, you can then show the customer ads featuring a black iPhone 7.

This targeted advertising takes advantage of a customer’s interest in a specific product and therefore has a higher chance of converting into a sale rather than normal ad campaigns which are just randomly aimed at all types of visitors.

A shrewder way of using Google remarketing is to target people who have added a product to the cart but stopped short of checking out and completing the purchase. You can deliver ads to such people with discounts specifically targeted for them.

For example, suppose a person added a PlayStation 4 to their cart but did not complete the shopping. Using remarketing, you can show them an ad offering “15% discount for purchases made before Feb 25” or something similar.

​So, try to incorporate the above tactics in your next Adwords campaign and you are sure to see some positive changes. But as always, the effectiveness will vary depending on many factors. As such, make sure to keep testing and rotating campaigns for your target market before you scale up the bids.

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