Pay Per Click,
How to Stop Wasting AdWords Spend with Simple Tactics
July 31, 2014 Sarvesh Bagla
Online advertising is a staple for businesses these days. Everybody from a local startup, to behemoth globetrotting Fortune 500 companies spend on online advertising. A lion’s share of this advertising budget goes to Google AdWords, the market leader in online advertising. Since AdWords is probably the most easily accessible network with an impressive reach, it does bode well to start an online campaign there.
However, more often than not, businesses end up spending a lot of money on AdWords campaign, and manage to get only a little out of it. In the face of such troubles, some will continue with the same model, increase ad spending with the same results, or be tired and take the extreme step of cutting the advertising budget. If your returns from AdWords are not good enough, it is more of an indication that you need to optimize the way you run your ads.
Mostly, optimizing the ads and getting them up to a good score will take only a little effort and some simple tactics. Playing your cards right, you can actually reduce AdWords spend while getting better results.
Read here: How to get started with Pay Per Click Advertising [Infographic]
Identify the Wasted AdWords Spend
Before you set out to correct a problem, it is of course important to find the problem first. As a simple rule of thumb, if you are not converting visitors, you are wasting your AdWords budget. Irrelevant clicks and poor user experience are the usual suspects for such a scenario. If these are your problems, no amount of ad spending is going to give you an increased ROI.
Low quality score keywords are contagious. Their poor performance and higher minimum cpc lowers the quality score of the ad groups they are in and skews metrics.
– Chris Boulanger at Actonia
Irrelevant clicks often are a result of poorly written ads. Most likely, it is an irrelevant keyword that is being targeted, which takes the user to a landing page different from the message in your advertisement. For example, if the user clicks on an ad that is about formal shoes, and the landing page serves up a listing of hats, the user is extremely likely to leave. An abnormally high bounce rate is a good indication of a poor campaign.
Poor user experience is another marker of wasted advertising spend. An ad that leads the user to a goose chase for content on a landing page is as good as wasted. Broadly themed content where the user cannot easily find information relevant to the ad clicked, numerous calls to action, bad content, and the good old ugly page are the prime suspects here. The landing page should be concise and must lead the visitors to the desired information without requiring any intervention on part of the user.
Another problem area, though a not so prevalent one, is the ad that has a sentimental value to the advertiser. You loved the ad, you loved its presentation, but if it is just not working, it’s time to let go. Perhaps this ad was once a top earner; it does not matter now. If it’s not performing well, it’s time to pull the plug. Updating ads and keeping them relevant is important.
SEE HERE: PPC Packages Plan
Get Your Keywords Right
Using keywords right will help make your ad more targeted and better performing. This is especially important if you are going to use Broad Match. On the broad match platform, your ad might display even with vaguely related queries. Since you are using the broad match, you are going to get irrelevant clicks, but even then, it is advisable to narrow down the irrelevant clicks with better keywords.
Use keywords in the title of the ad, but also in the ad copy. So many ad copywriters forget to include the keyword phrase in the actual body of the ad text. Write clearly and provide relevant content for both users and the Google AdBot.
– Jon Rognerud at Entrepreneur
Keywords play an important part even for regular campaigns. They help narrow down your ad display to the best match, resulting in increased click through rate and better conversions. Get rid of poorly written ads and start with well-written ads that group keywords correctly. A well-managed ad should be relevant with the right keywords, and have a call to action.
Do not miss out on negative keywords. These help in keeping the ad more focused, and help in weeding out irrelevant categories that might otherwise show up. In the same vein, they help the ad keep focus on a particular category.
As an example, a keyword like Black Shoes is a broad match keyword. It will show up as a result for a query containing the words “shoes” and “black,” irrespective of any order. “Black Shoes” as a keyword works as a phrase. It will show up where these two words come in the same order, irrespective of any other words around, or between them. For an exact keyword, [Black Shoes] will display where the two are an exact match, with no other words between them. Adding a –loafers will stop the ad from showing where the query contains the word loafers. So the ad will show up if someone searches for Black Shoes, but it will not be displayed if the search is for Black Shoes and Loafers.
Spend Smart, and See Where You Are Spending
Getting a return on your investment in advertising is your primary goal. Keep a keen eye on the ROI, and see where things are headed. This of course, goes hand in hand with an optimized spend. The smarter you spend, the better your ROI.
An optimized approach will help improve AdWords cost for your campaign. Streamline and adjust your ads for only the required specifics. An ad about a service in San Francisco is useless when displayed in Denver. Geotargetting and location settings can be used to keep the ads specific to the location they are relevant for.
Similar settings can be put into operation for various devices as well. Optimize your bids and settings to target mobile devices where relevant. A taxi service for example, can get excellent results by targeting smartphones and similar mobile devices. In fact, considering the spread of smartphones and tablets, every business needs to optimize their ads for mobile devices.
Including prices with the ads is also an excellent technique. A user clicking through an ad that has the price of the service mentioned is likely to be an easier conversion.
Consider having the “conversion code” on your website absolutely necessary. Conversion Tracking is a free tool from AdWords that lets you see the visitor behavior on your site after clicking your ad. The tools can give you valuable insights with respect to your ROI and visitor behavior on your website
Read Here: The New Opportunities Tab: Get More Out of Your Adwords Campaign
As an added plus, the tool also lets you know the behavior of various keywords. Once you have the code on your landing pages, it is easier to see what is working and what isn’t. The knowledge makes it easier to stop wasting on the campaigns that are not working, and you get to hone the campaigns that are working. With better tracking of your ad and consumer behavior on your website, the tool provides great insights into your ROI.
Quality Score is Google’s internal rating and ranking of your PPC ad, and is critical for your campaign. The CPC of your ad, and its placement in the results is decided by the Quality Score. It is actually rewarding to keep a high Quality Score; the higher the score, the better placed the ad, and lower its CPC. It’s almost like Google paying you to do better with your ads! While Google has not made the rating system for Quality Score public, it is dependent on your ad CTR, relevance of your ad keywords and ad text, relevance and quality of the landing page, and your historic AdWords account performance.
Low AdWords Quality Scores are primarily the result of disconnect between keywords, ad groups, ad text, and landing page content. A high Quality Score comes naturally when an AdWords account contains organized keywords in appropriate keyword groups, ad text that corresponds with certain ad groups, and landing pages that connect with the ad text’s offer.
CTR is the highest weighted condition of the set. A high CTR is of course the product of better advertising that gets more clicks, and is an indication to Google that your ad is helpful and relevant to users.
This figure might very well determine your PPC success. It points towards a well made, a well executed ad, that will lower both, your CPC and the cost per conversion.
A higher Quality Score will allow you to lower your bids, without negatively affecting your ad placement. Start gradually to see the effects, and keep an eye on the average position of your ad to make sure it does not suffer.
Use AdWords Extensions and Tools
AdWords is a powerful service, and you need to make use of all it offers for best ROI, and lower spends. You could of course do several of these things yourself, or set them up in your account, but when there are tools available, it makes no sense to give up on the potential. The AdWords Editor will make it easier to handle your account and get more from it.
Sitelink Extension allows you to show the ad over a greater screen real estate, and that too with more links from your site. The Seller Rating Extension will look for reviews of your business in Google Product Search, and show potential customers your average rating out of five stars. This can be excellent in inspiring confidence in new customers.
Product Extension work excellent for our media rich world, and add an image to your text ad. Location Extension allows the user to locate your business on a map, and a call extension will show users your contact phone number, which can be exceptionally handy for mobile users.
Get list of Adwords Extension and their Benefits
It makes every sense to use these tools at your disposal to create stronger, better ad campaigns that encourage user interaction with your business. Conversion Rate Optimization is the gateway to a lovely ROI. A well executed ad will help lower your spend on AdWords, while taking conversions to a higher level.