Google AdWords is a great advertising platform because it has the potential to reach millions and millions of users. The problem is if you’re not targeted, this can end up causing you to waste important budget dollars by showing your ads to the wrong customers. Here are 10 ways to optimize AdWords budgets that will help you target the right consumers and save money.
1. Use Bid Simulator on Best Keywords
Not all keywords are created equal. Do you know which one of your keywords converts the best? If you don’t, it is imperative that you find that out. Why would you pay the same amount for a keyword that brings in consistent conversions compared to one that has never converted? It seems obvious, but using the bid simulator to set an enhanced max CPC for individual keywords is often overlooked because it can often be appear to be tedious. The reality is that this practice can help maximize your budget big time.
2. Adjust Mobile Bid
Not all campaigns perform the same on every device. Luckily, AdWords just announced a new feature called the mobile bid adjustment simulator. This tool predicts the impact on cost, clicks, and impressions that raising or lowering your bid on mobile devices will have. Now that there is officially more search traffic on mobile than on desktop, mobile-specific performance cannot be overlooked.
3. Use Ad Scheduling
This is an easy way to cut back on spending that is not driving any return. There may be certain times of the day where you may be getting clicks but few conversions. Often times this is late in the evening when people are browsing the web without intent to purchase anything. If you are a B2B company, it may make sense to show your ads only around work hours when people are looking for solutions and are in the appropriate time and place to act on that solution.
4. Try Location Targeting
Do you like to throw money away? I’m guessing your reaction to that question is a bit like Michael Scott’s; however, little did you know, you could be doing that by showing ads to specific geographic locations that are irrelevant to your company. AdWords allows you to do various kinds of geographic targeting by specific criteria such as city, zip code, or radius. Especially in retail, it can pay to be granular with this targeting because this can narrow down your audience to consumers who are actually in a position to make a purchase.
5. Stay on Top of Placements
Some websites lead to many display ad clicks but rarely any actions past that. Regularly check to see the performance of your display ad placements. If you do find any sites that are costing you a significant amount but never drive a conversion, add them as an exclusion so that your ad does not show there anymore.
6. Look at Search Queries
Similar to tip #5, you may be wasting money on certain search queries that do not relate to your company or product and yet are causing your search ad to show. Look into search queries to see if any terms are unrelated and wasting your money. On the flip side, look to see if there are any search terms that you are missing out on that are driving conversions. Then, go ahead and add these to a related ad group.
7. Break Out Ad Groups Into Campaigns
Speaking of ad groups…sometimes it is best to break one out into its own campaign. If the ad group does not correlate with the campaign, then making it into its own campaign will increase the quality score of the keywords and therefore drive the CPC down. Another benefit to this practice is that it gives you more control over the daily budget of that specific set of keywords. In other words, you can ensure that you are allocating your budget to better performing keywords.
8. Be Aware of Bid Estimates
An advertiser should always be aware of what the first page bid estimate is. If you are bidding lower than that, you could be missing out on a lot of great clicks. It doesn’t stop there, however. On November 9, AdWords released a tool that shows the first place bid estimate. According to Google, the benefit to having this is information is that it gives advertisers the ability to “maximize impressions for their brand keywords, or other high-priority keywords.”
9. Know Search Lost Impression Share
This tool is important because it shows you the percent of impressions that you are missing due to either a low budget or rank. Add both of these, Search Lost IS (Budget) and Search Lost IS (Rank), as columns to keep an eye on where you are losing out on impressions and what you need to change (daily budget, max cpc, etc.,) in order to maximize your reach.
10. Never Stop Testing
Last but not least, never stop testing your ads. Do not grow complacent with the ads that you created when the campaign was first launched. Whether it is the ad copy, headline, display URL, punctuation, or a number of different elements, A/B testing will continually help to improve the CTR and optimize your ads. If you need some inspiration to keep testing just look to Shia Labeouf.
Have more budgeting tips that have helped you get the most out of your account or have any questions? Continue the conversation below or on Google+.