How To Save Money On AdWords… Right Now

We show you 9 areas you can improve in your AdWords account to save money right now.

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Video Transcription

[00:00:02] Yes saving money on AdWords…. it’s fantastic. And I’m going to teach you how to do it. Let’s go.

[00:00:13] The first way to save money on AdWords is to make sure you are targeting the right keywords. Most people when they start an Adwords campaign if they don’t really know what they’re doing is they’ll jump in and just start typing in words like this that they think they want to target, like doctor because they’re a doctor.

[00:00:29] This is actually on broad match. Google’s going to pull in or show the ad whenever someone searches for the term doctor. So as you can imagine that’s incredibly wasteful because the word doctor could be used for all sorts of different search terms. It has nothing to do with what you offer.

[00:00:44] So the types of keyword match type you want to use are exact match, phrase match, broad match modified and you definitely don’t want to use broad match which is these types of keywords. The reason you don’t want to do that is because it pulls in all sorts of junk like this sort of term. That sort of term.

[00:01:05] Questions like this. That person is not very likely to get in touch. Junk. As you can see there’s all sorts of junk.

[00:01:13] So. First cab off the rank if you are trying to save money on an AdWords account you set up yourself, is make sure that you’re using the right keyword match types to minimize the amount of wasted budget through your ads being shown for irrelevant search terms like all these ones that are you are. I have a video on the different keyword match types in AdWords and in which case to use them so check out the YouTube channel for that.

[00:01:39] The next way to save money in AdWords is to make sure you are using negative keywords really well. Negative keywords allow you to tell Google that you don’t want your ads to show if a certain word is used in the search term the user is searching.

[00:01:56] So all accounts should have, by default, a bunch of negative keywords in place for the sorts of keywords that you would never want your ad to show for. So to show you what that looks like I’m going to jump in the Shared Library here in AdWords and go down to campaign negative keywords.

[00:02:12] You can see I’ve created a shared negative keyword list which is 148 different keywords that I don’t ever want my ads to show for and I’ve applied it to campaigns here.

[00:02:23] If you click into that you can see here that I’ve got all sorts of different terms here like bargain, book, books, class, classes, cheap. Definitely most of the time I don’t want people searching the word cheap and won’t be paying for click. College, colleges, courses. No people looking to learn stuff unless you actually are an educational institution, you don’t want people searching that stuff. Discount, employer. Anything to do with jobs. Handmade, DIY. Anything to do with that type of stuff. Inexpensive, info, internships. Nude, naked, porn, all that sort of stuff. There’s just a good sort of always on, I like to call them, negative keywords that wvery account should have in place.

[00:03:04] So what you would want to do, if you don’t have them, is to jump into your shared library and add it in this way. Or you can go to your campaign itself. Click on the keywords tab here. Click on the negative keywords tab and you can then add them in as well at either the campaign level so you could say, this whole campaign here, you don’t want these search terms to ever trigger ads.

[00:03:33] Or you can do it at the ad group level. So all of these different ad groups within a campaign, you can set negative keywords at the ad group level as well.

[00:03:42] The reason I’ve done it here in the shared library is because I want these negative keywords added to every single campaign in the account and it’s just easy to create it once as a list and then apply it to all of the campaigns.

[00:03:54] So if you want to save money on AdWords I’d recommend doing a search, there’d be tons of Google articles out there on good ideas for negative keywords to use. Just making sure you have as many different ones in there as possible to reduce waste budget. And I like to put them in, as you can see here, on broad match. So this means that if this word is used anywhere in the search term your ad won’t show. So this is one of the rare occasions where pure Broad match is a good thing, on the negative keyword side of things. So definitely negative keywords is the second most important thing when it comes to saving money on your AdWords account.

[00:04:32] The third way to save money on your AdWords account right now is to make sure you’re running ad schedules. Ad schedules will ensure that your ads show at the times that a.) your customers are most likely to convert and b.) you’re around to answer those inquiries and give yourself the best chance of turning it into new business.

[00:04:51] So I’m going to show you where ad schedules live in AdWords. If you jump into a campaign and click on the settings. You then click on… well first of all, before we do that, let’s have a look here. You can see that there’s a whole bunch of paused campaigns here and a couple that are running and in the past these campaigns are running all days from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Some other campaigns are running 7 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Now that we’re working on the account, these old campaigns were run by another agency, now that we’re working on the account, we run these ads from Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

[00:05:28] Because we’ve identified that that’s when the customers are the most active and that’s pretty much when the business is able to facilitate these leads. So, to set up an ad schedule you click on settings once you’re in a campaign, click on settings, then click on ad schedule. And if you click Plus there you select whichever campaign you want to add it to and then you can just go through and select your dates. So Monday to Friday makes it nice and easy you will automatically select that. Then you just put your time. It’s very easy.

[00:06:02] You can do all sorts of different combinations. You can have it not running on Tuesdays if you identify that your campaigns just have a horrible conversion rate on Tuesdays for whatever reason. So to help you identify when you should be setting ad schedules to, you can use the dimensions tab here and then go down to time and then hour of day and day of week.

[00:06:26] If we go by day of week, sort by conversions highest to lowest, we can see that Tuesday converts best, Wednesday is equal, Fridays converted once, Monday Thursday nothing, Sunday Saturday and nothing. We’re running the schedule so Sunday and Saturday wouldn’t be. But, in this case, Monday hasn’t done too well. But it’s only for the first few days of the month. But if you went and set a big date range, this is any new account so we can’t do that, but if we set a big date range, you’d be able to get a lot of data here and identify trends as to which days work and which days don’t. And then you can feed that into your schedule.

[00:07:07] You can also go by hour of the day. You can see here at 1 o’clock, in the hour between 1:00 and 2:00 o’clock, it’s been three conversions, now between 11:00 a.m. and midday two conversions. So you can feed that into your ad schedule as well. So you should take notes in Notepad or something as you look in the dimensions tab. You get a feel for what days work, what times of the days work and then put that into your ad schedule.

[00:07:39] That way you’re going to focus your AdWords spend to the times of day that people have already shown that they’re most likely to convert. And then in addition to just looking at the dimensions you should also look at, you know when are your staff in the office, when can they answer the phones and make sure that your ads are showing then and you’re not wasting money at 8:00 p.m. at night when no one’s there to answer the call or respond to a you know an e-mail inquiry really quickly.

[00:08:05] So the third way to save money on AdWords is to use Ad Schedules.

[00:08:10] The next way to save money on words is to make sure that those sneaky people at Google aren’t ripping you off, essentially. They have a little setting that they like to have on by default, in all accounts. It’s called Search Network with Display Select.

[00:08:28] So in your settings for a campaign, so you click on a campaign, click settings, click all settings and then down here under type, by default when you create a campaign in AdWords it will default to Search Network with Display Select.

[00:08:45] What this does is not only does it show your ads on Google, when someone is searching in a search term, but it will also show those ads on a whole network of web sites that Google has a relationship with. And the problem with that is that there is just way less intent there, you know, if someone is on a website reading news and they see an ad for your product offer on a little banner space on the site, they’re not interested in that and they might click it if it does pique their curiosity, but they’re very unlikely to get in touch.

[00:09:13] Whereas on the search network if someone specifically typing something in and your ad shows for it and it is really relevant then you’ve got a much better chance of turning that click into a conversion. So, to save money, make sure that you select Search Network only on your campaigns and straight off the bat, if you’ve got Search Network with Display Select showing, you’re going to save a lot of wasted budget.

[00:09:36] So that’s a cool little trick that will make a little bit of a, well not even a little bit, a good, decent impact on your AdWords profitability.

[00:09:46] The next way to save money on your AdWords account is to track conversions and then use that information to optimize your campaigns. So with AdWords, you can either set up conversion tracking from within the platform or you can import goals from Analytics and report on them as conversions. And it gives you amazing levels of insight into what’s going on with your account.

[00:10:09] So by conversion I mean a user taking an action that you want them to. So that could be them making a phone call to your business, it could be them filling out contact form on your website, it could be them downloading a brochure or an e-book or something off your website. You can track that stuff and have it report in AdWords and then you can make decisions on the back of it.

[00:10:29] So here we can see I’ve got some columns set up here for the number of conversions that are generated for these campaigns. You can see what each conversion costs you and what the conversion rate is.

[00:10:41] So if you know that, you know, in this case this campaign is converting, a.) it’s converting much better at 50 percent b.) it’s converting at a way lower cost per conversion. So it may be the case that you want to double down on this campaign and really sort of drive more traffic to it.

[00:10:59] This one is quite expensive per conversion so you might want to scale back budget there. So if you’re tracking conversions you can make decisions about where you are allocating your budget each month.

[00:11:12] So to do that, the way I like to do it is via importing goals from Analytics. And to do that you just have to go to Tools, Conversions in the AdWords interface and then over here on the left. Select Google Analytics and then you can import it all in. I’m not going to show you how to do that because I’ve got a specific video on how to import analytics goals into Adwords, but if you want to really maximize your AdWords budget you always, always, always have to be tracking conversions and seeing which campaigns work, which keywords work, which ad groups work, which ads work and improving on that each month.

[00:11:54] So, if you want to save money on your AdWords account now and you don’t have conversion tracking in place get it in place. Watch my video on how to import Analytics goals into words and then start making some decisions on which campaigns stay, which campaigns go, where your budget goes and all that good nerdy stuff.

[00:12:10] This is another quick and easy tactic you can use to save money on your AdWords account and it comes back to setting up your campaigns right away. So here I have jumped into the settings for a campaign, I’ve clicked the campaign here, I’ve clicked settings. And if you scroll down to location options under the targeting settings, you can select one of three targeting options here.

[00:12:35] By default it will go to “people in searching for or who show interest in my targeted location”. And we just find that there is a lot of waste in this because it can show ads to people that were in that location weeks ago but who might have gone back to their home city for example and would have no interest in what you offer. Whereas if you go for “people in my target location” it just really sort of narrows it down so that the ads are showing for people that are physically located in this area.

[00:13:06] So for all of our lead gen campaigns we will have a target location. In this case, its a radius around a certain suburb and then we make sure that we’re targeting people in that specific location. So that’s a cool way of saving money on AdWords and it’s quick and easy to set up really.

[00:13:26] A big part of saving money on AdWords is making sure that your ads are sending traffic to pages that are most likely to convert that click into an inquiry.

[00:13:35] So this is an example of a landing page for Local Digital which is the parent company of a PPC Pro. And this is for our AdWords management AdWords campaign. So we’re advertising on AdWords to get AdWords clients and we send our AdWords campaign client to this AdWords landing page.

[00:13:57] So when I say a landing page I’m essentially referring to the page that traffic goes to from an ad. But it’s more than that. You know there’s a Web site which is you know if you think of a typical web site that has the about page, services, contact all that sort of stuff, a landing page sort of works independently of a web site. And a landing page is really focussed towards really a customer into an inquiry and not distracting them with all that other stuff that a website normally have.

[00:14:26] So here is an example of our landing page. I’m going to point out why it converts well. First of all the phone number is prominent in the header. Here we have a contact form where it makes it very easy for someone to get in touch if they’re interested in what we offer. We have this live chat option down the bottom here so that if someone has questions they can get on there and get in touch with us. It has that nice headline and then supporting text here which talks about enterprise experience, we don’t outsource, we work with small and big brands, some of your key selling points. We have some brands that we work with here to build a bit of trust and authority with someone that lands on the page. They can see that we’ve worked with well-known brands before. We have photos of some of the staff at the company which humanizes the page a bit more. Then we have, again, supporting content here which really reinforces all of the reasons why our AdWords management services are good. And again more sporting content which shows all the different sort of benefits and features of our service. Then we have results, increases in revenue, ROI, we have testimonials from these big brands here. We have an anchored thing back here to take you back to the contact form.

[00:15:43] So the whole purpose of this page is to try and convert someone from just clicking an ad into getting in touch with us. And when you’re paying for clicks on AdWords and it’s very expensive especially in this space where we could be paying between 20 to 40 dollars per click you want to give yourself the very best chance of turning that click into an inquiry.

[00:16:06] What a lot of people do when they start their AdWords account is they’ll send it to a page that looks like this. So I’ve just done a random search for “electrician balmain” and went to one of the pages and this was one that was showing up. What a lot of people will do is they will set their ads up and just send it to the home page. And in this case if you look at this page it’s all over the place. You know it’s got this sort of image that doesn’t do anything it doesn’t have a contact form here. Got a phone number. Good. Someone you know can see that. But are they likely to get in touch? I don’t think so because this page doesn’t really explain why these guys are the best option. Doesn’t show any features or benefits really, it’s got this sort of big list here of the different types of electrical installations they can do. But for a consumer, they’re probably interested in “emergency electrician” you know can they be there in an hour because their power has gone out. Can they help them there and then. What service area do they focus on? Or maybe they’re price driven. Are these guys the cheapest?

[00:17:09] I don’t know really what the unique selling proposition for this company is. So if I have clicked on an AdWords ad and landed on this page. But three other competitors I clicked on have a landing pad that was more like this. That made it really easy to get in touch and really made it clear what the benefits of this company were. I’d get in touch with those three and I wouldn’t get in touch with this guy and this guy would have wasted his click.

[00:17:35] So. Really have a good look at where your AdWords ads are sending their traffic to. Don’t send it straight to the home page. Always try and break your campaigns down to a relevant landing page. If your website is well set up with a phone number in the header and contact forms and live chat, you might be able to send it to the different category pages on your site but if not then you should get a custom landing page done that has all of these different conversion elements and sales focus, direct response copywriting and all the stuff I spoke about before. That will ensure that you have the best chance of converting the click into inquiry.

[00:18:16] The next way to save money on AdWords is making sure that you focus your spend towards the devices that are most likely to lead to a conversion. So it’s no secret that mobile devices have just exploded in popularity. You know there are more people accessing Google and the Internet essentially on mobile devices than there is on desktops and tablets.

[00:18:36] But, that doesn’t always mean you should be targeting all of those devices. Quite often we will find that although a mobile device might have a lot of traffic, due to the way client site is set up or all sorts of different reasons, a mobile device might not convert as well as a desktop device. And if you only have a limited budget for AdWords clicks then you should focus those clicks towards the devices that convert the best.

[00:18:59] I’m going to show you an example of this at play. This is a Google Shopping campaign we’re running but the principles here are the same for just a normal AdWords search campaign. This campaign we started running and we were trying to work towards a certain return on ad spend goal and we were having trouble hitting that. And we did a bit of digging and we noticed that mobile devices just weren’t converting as well as desktop.

[00:19:25] So to work that out. Just jump in to, well here I am having a look at all the campaigns that are running. If you click segment here and then click by device, it will break each campaign out by computers, mobile devices, and tablets. I set the date range here for all time. Just to illustrate my point. But you’ll see here for this all products campaign, desktop computers have converted at, where is the conversion rate. Alright conversion rates not here. Let’s just chuck that in.

[00:20:00] Right. So, desktop computers converted at one point eight percent mobile devices converted at zero point seven percent. So computers convert at more than double the rate of mobile devices. So, essentially, if you were sending all the traffic that you were sending to this mobile campaign to computers you would double your revenue.

[00:20:27] If you jump down to the spirits campaign here, you can see that computers converted at one point three or four percent mobile converted at zero point four nine. If you have a look at some of these paused campaigns here, computers one point six seven mobile zreo point three two, here one point five nine for desktop. Zero point four nine for mobile. So it’s a pretty clear pattern here that desktop computers converted really well for this client, mobile did not.

[00:20:54] The reason mobile didn’t is because of a few issues with the client site in terms of the mobile checkout and all that sort of stuff. That is outside of our control. You know, developers have to get involved in that sort of stuff. But what we can control is whether we show our ads to people on mobile devices or not.

[00:21:12] So what we did was just get rid of mobile traffic altogether. And let me just jump in to last month. So you can see mobile devices are gone from this campaign, they’re gone from this campaign and you can see that the computers are generating decent amounts of revenue at a much healthier cost per conversion or value per conversion.

[00:21:38] So the way we did this is by setting up mobile device bid adjustments. Very easy to do, it’s got a bit of a tongue twister as a title, but essentially to do it you can jump into your campaign here. Click on settings then click on devices. And here you can tell Google to either bid down or up depending on the device.

[00:22:02] So what we’ve done is, for mobile, if you just click into this box you can say decrease by 100 percent. So, in this case, a ten dollar bid will become zero dollars. So if you’re bidding zero dollars your ads won’t show because Google is not going to give you a free click.

[00:22:17] So for all of these campaigns we jumped into settings then devices and added a negative 100 percent bid adjustment for both mobile and tablets because they weren’t converting. We’ve just left computers, desktop just standard. So whatever the bid is in the ad group or the product that’s what it stays as.

[00:22:40] So if you want to save money on AdWords and if you have a limited budget, you should be looking at your conversion data for mobile devices, you should be looking in Analytics and seeing how mobile devices convert in there and if they’re not converting well, get rid of them.

[00:22:56] And conversely, if mobile does really well and desktop doesn’t, scale back on desktop and double down on mobile. The great thing about AdWords and digital marketing is that you can track everything and you can make informed decisions like this based on the data that you’re seeing.

[00:23:11] My last tip for improving your AdWords profitability right now is working on your quality scores. So quality score is a rating Google gives your keywords out of 10. 1 being very bad 10 being great. And if you have a great quality score it means that you can pay less for a click than other advertisers.

[00:23:34] So the way quality score is calculated is Google will look at the relevance of your ad compared to the users search term. It will look at the quality of your landing page and how relevant it is to the search term again and how well it is likely to convert and a whole bunch of factors like that. And then it also looks at the expected click through rate on your ads. Are your ads resonating with the users or are they not?

[00:23:58] If you can get all three of those things really well optimized and in order, you will have a much higher quality score which reduces your cost per click which then means you get more traffic for the same amount of money, more opportunity to get leads. So it just proves the profitability of your account if you can have good quality scores.

[00:24:18] So to check your quality scores, if you jump in to the keywords in any campaign or ad group. You can then go to columns and click modify columns and down here there is a section for quality score and if you click that, I always like to select the overall quality score and then here it gives you a breakdown of each of those three areas I spoke about and what your, I guess, standing is for them.

[00:24:44] So if you apply those columns, you’ll see they are over here now. I’ve sorted in descending order. Anything from seven down you probably want to start doing a bit of work on. And the good thing is with these columns here you can see what you need to work on.

[00:24:58] So, for example, this keyword has a quality score of five out of 10 and it does seem that the relevance is below average and the expected click through rate is below average. So what that is telling me is that we could, for that keyword, test some different ads in that ad group so that we can try and improve this expected CTR and improve the ad relevance.

[00:25:24] In the case of this keyword, the landing page experience, AdWords is telling us is below average. So we could do some optimization on the landing page and maybe work this keyword into the page more so that Google’s crawler will see that keyword featuring there and think that that page is more relevant.

[00:25:41] Quality scores are a bit of a dark art. You know AdWords, you sort of scratch your head sometimes how they come up with these quality scores. But the general principle of optimizing your landing page, making sure your ads are relevant and trying to get high click through rates and sort of getting rid of ads that don’t have good click through rates, will over time increase your quality scores, which can have a big impact on the profitability of your AdWords accounts.