5 Quick Tips to Reduce AdWords Spend

Home > Articles & Guides > 5 Quick Tips to Reduce AdWords Spend

5 Quick Tips to Reduce AdWords Spend

How to Optimise AdWords to make your budget work harder for you

Updated: 6th February 2018 | Level: Introductory

So you are running AdWords and have been for some time, when suddenly you notice (or worse your boss notices) that your spend has started to creep up. How do you get control of your account to make sure you are getting the most out of your budget?

Tips to Reduce AdWords Spend and Optimise Campaigns

Our team have come up with the top 5 things to check on your account to keep that spending down but before we get into that…

You may be thinking what's going to change since I set it up? Well plenty, and many of these things may not necessarily be within your control. New competitors with similar products or services may enter your space, your keywords may be left behind as new search terms trends surface and of course Google likes to keep us on our toes with changes to the way things are done, particularly around spend.

Of these it's the last which has caught people out.  If you’re looking at daily overspend when you last viewed your account then don’t panic. Since October last year Google has changed the way it handles budget:

“Up to 2 times your campaign's daily budget can be used to show your ads on certain days of the week or certain times of the month based on fluctuations in traffic – but not more than you spend on your campaigns each month."

This new approach may or may not be ok for you, depending on your campaign strategy and how actively you manage your account.  Once you have an understanding of what can happen in spend it's time to review how you can impact it, positively.

Now for the 5 quick tips…

1. Review Spend Regularly

How often is regularly? At least weekly to start with then, then monthly when you are happy with your spend. This is our number one tip, as if you don't check how your campaigns are performing you may not realise how much you are spending and on what until it is TOO LATE!

Make time to check your total spend and make sure that you are spending most in the areas that make you most money or help you to achieve your main goals.

At the end of the day you want to be throwing money away because you have too much not due to waste..

Monitoring your keywords and quality scores at regular intervals, is also a good habit. Try weekly initially until your campaign is nicely tuned to a level you are happy with. Following this, an hour spent once a month is time well spent.

Tip: Remember making one change at a time will help you to see the impact of the individual changes.

2. Improve Quality Score

This is a biggie! Google is continually driving towards improved ad relevance. They want to make sure that people are seeing ads that most relate to their searches. The way Google does this is by giving advertiser's keywords a Quality Score, influenced by 3 factors: Expected CTR, Landing Page Experience and Ad Relevance.

And how does this relate to spend? The amount you pay for your clicks is directly influenced by Keyword Quality Score as shown here by Wordstream.

Assuming your campaigns are well structured with ad groups that focus on specific areas, here are some simple suggestions to get your Quality Scores above the magic 7/10:

Expected Click through rate

"Predicts whether your keyword is likely to lead to a click on your ads" (Google). This is based on historic performance and click through rate of your ads. This can be improved following the same advice as recommended under 'Ad Relevance' below

Ad Relevance

"Measures how closely related your keyword is to your ads" (Google) so ensuring your keywords or phrases are mentioned exactly in your ad copy can immediately improve your Ad Relevance.

Landing Page Experience

Explains "how relevant and useful your website's landing page will be to people who click your ad" (Google). Landing pages that mention your keywords including in titles and headers as well as in the main copy will score better. If this status is showing as 'below average' then your website might need a few amends.

3. Add Negative Keywords

It is vital to ensure that you have included negative keywords in your campaign, as without them you can waste your budget very quickly.

Negative Keywords allow you to exclude certain terms in searches for which your ad(s) will show.

You may want to consider words that are commonly linked to a word in your product name but which is irrelevant to your particular product. For example you may sell dog collars for pets but may want to exclude “vicar”.

Competitor terms may also be worth adding as a negative and consider jobseeking or advice seeking search terms e.g. "jobs", "how can" - unless of course these are part of what you are advertising!

There are two approaches to adding negative keywords: firstly re-actively by checking your search terms regularly (as in the screenshot above) and adding terms that are unrelated to your products/services to your negative keyword list(s).

Secondly you could consider using a negative keyword tool, such as that provided by Wordstream: www.wordstream.com/negative-keywords

Tip: Negative Keyword lists can be added to share across multiple campaigns, saving you time editing individual ad groups. Add as usual but tick the Save to new or existing list box.

You can add negative keywords at either ad group or campaign level, individually or as lists.

To add negative keywords:

> Keywords  > Negative Keywords  > +

4. Check your Targeting

Occasionally when setting up a new campaign, for some settings you may think I'll come back to that later, when I have some data. This can be a good strategy but do remember to go back and review your data and make the appropriate changes.

Time/Scheduling
Making sure your ads are only showing when it's most appropriate, is key. Whether this is when your business is open, when you are able to respond or answer the phone or simply when people are likely to search, having the right scheduling in place can immediately reduce unwanted clicks and save your budget.

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If you have no schedule in place, using the dimensions tab, take a look at your results by day of week and hour of day to see when your ad is impressing most (and therefore being searched for most). You can then add a schedule to suit your needs.

To add a schedule:

> Campaign > Ad Schedule > Edit Ad Schedule > Select days & times > Add > Save

Once you have added schedules, you can choose to bid up or down during certain periods of the day or on certain days, using bid adjustments.

To bid adjust by time:

> Settings > Ad Schedule > Bid adjust. (for relevant device)

Location
For location if you only want to target a specific area, make sure this has been selected. You can choose to add towns, cities, counties or countries. You can also, by selecting 'nearby', choose to target a radius around a certain location e.g. within 10 miles of Coventry.

Another consideration here is whether you would like to target people who are physically located in the location or those searching for the location, this can be specified in Location Options (advanced).

To add a location:

> Settings > Locations > Enter location name in box

Devices
For some campaigns you may want to target specific device types, you can choose from Computers (including Desktops & Laptops), Tablet or Mobile.  For example you might be asking people to complete a lengthy form - this can be very fiddly on mobile so you can adjust bids down for this device type. Or you may want to target people specifically when they are on the move so should increase bids for mobile and decrease for Computers. This targeting will help to ensure you won't waste money on the 'wrong' clicks.

To bid adjust by device:

> Settings > Devices > Change devices bid adjustment > Bid adjust. (by device)

5. Set Up Conversion Tracking

A click itself is unlikely to be the objective of your campaign. Knowing what happens after the click; Did they buy your product? Did they download your app? Did they complete your form? - is essential in ascertaining which clicks you want more of and which are not relevant.

These actions are referred to as "Conversions" - you can choose to track conversions from different sources: your website, app, phone calls or imported data (e.g. offline sales). For website and some apps this involves adding a snippet of code or tracking tag which tells Google when a specified action has taken place. For calls from call extensions or call only ads and for apps in Google Play this is done automatically.

Once your conversion tracking is set up this can be reviewed easily at all levels by adding the conversions column to your table view. This data can then be used to decide which keywords or ads or time or location, etc to bid more or less for.

So to sum up...

By the time you have worked through these 5 tips your AdWords spend should be just where you want it, now it's up to you to keep it there. Remember tip number one!

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AdWords Glossary: Key Terms & Definitions
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Google AdWords Glossary : Key Terms & Definitions

Home > Articles & Guides > Google AdWords Glossary

Google AdWords Glossary:
Key Terms & Definitions

[GLOSSARY] 44 definitions you need to know to get the most out of AdWords

Updated: 10th January 2018 | Level: Introductory

 
 

All the abbreviations and specialist terms in Google AdWords can be tricky to get your head around. So you don’t get caught out, here is a simple glossary including common PPC terms you are most likely to come across.

Ad Group: A set of ads targeting shared keywords.

Ad Position: Where your ad appears on the page (Position 1 = top, position 7 = bottom of 1st page).

Ad Rank: A value used to determine ad position, calculated from bid amount, components of Quality Score (see below) and the expected impact of extensions/ad formats, etc.

Affiliate Location Extension: Links to nearby stores that sell your product/service.

App Extension: Shows a link to your mobile or tablet app below your ad.

Bid Adjustments: Using % increase or decrease, these allow you to bid more or less according to certain targeting criteria e.g. location, time, device.

Call Extension: Allows you to add buttons with your phone number to your ads, which people can tap or click on to call your business directly.

Call-only Ad: These only appear on devices which can make calls. Clicks directly make a call.

Call-out Extension: Adds extra information/promotions to your ad e.g. free shipping or 24hr customer service.

Campaign: A set of Ad Groups that share a budget, bidding strategy and targeting settings. These are often set up to reflect different products/services or business goals.

Conversion: An action a website visitor performs such as viewing a specific page or completing a form where that action has been defined by the website owner as being one of business value.  more

Conversion Rate: The number of conversions divided by the number of clicks. A useful piece of data to compare which ad, keyword, etc performs best.

Conversion Tracking: A Google tool which shows you what happens after a customer clicks e.g. completes a form, buys a product, called your business, etc.

Cost/Conv: How much each conversion costs, calculated by dividing total cost of clicks for that campaign, ad grp, keyword by the number of conversions.

CPA (Cost per Acquisition): Bids based on how much you are willing to pay for a conversion. Requires conversion tracking to be enabled.

Cross-device Conversion: is when a user clicks on your ad on one device then converts on another.

CTR (Click Through Rate): The number of clicks divided by the number of impressions.

Display URL: Shows your website address including your Final URL and text from the path fields.

Dynamic Search Ad: Uses content from your website (all or specific pages) to target your ads to searches. When someone searches, AdWords uses the terms plus your chosen pages to choose a URL and create relevant ad text.

Eligible Impressions: Are estimated using various factors including targeting, status, quality, etc.

Enhanced CPC (ECPC): Automatically adjusts your manual bids up or down for clicks that seem more or less likely to convert. Requires conversion tracking to be enabled.

Extensions: Feature additional information to accompany your ad, appearing below your text.

Final URL/Destination URL: The URL address of the web page that people arrive at when they click on your ad.

Google Display Network/GDN/“Display Network”: A range of websites on which your Google Ads can appear using different methods of targeting.

Impression Share: The percentage of impressions that your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions that available. Impression share = impressions / total eligible impressions.

Invalid Clicks: Google’s identification of illegitimate clicks including unintentional clicks, clicks from bots, etc.

Keywords: Words or phrases which describe your product/service. These determine where and when your ads will appear.

Landing Page: The web page people arrive at when they click on your ad.

Location Extension: Shows your address with your ad, this can include a map to your location or the distance to your business which can also link to your location page.

Manual CPC (Cost per Click):  Lets you set your own maximum cost per click (CPC) for your ads giving you control over how much you pay for a click.

Match Types: Control how broad or narrow you want the audience for your ads. Types include broad, exact & phrase match.

Message Extension: Allows people to click on your ad and contact you directly by text message, for example to book an appointment or request a service.

Negative Keywords: Terms that you want to exclude from your campaigns. These can be words that are commonly associated with your keywords but not relevant to your campaign. E.g. you offer fencing classes (sport) so may want to exclude “garden”, “wooden”, etc.

Path: Gives a better understanding of where on your site the click will take them to. E.g. www.example.com/kitchen_utensils/forks.

PPC (Pay-per-click): An internet advertising model in which advertisers pay each time one of their ads is clicked. Also known as paid advertising. more

Price Extension: Shows as a list below the main ad copy, offering advertisers the opportunity to show pricing information for multiple products and services.

Quality Score: Estimates the quality of your ad based on expected click-through-rate, ad relevance & landing page experience.

Review Extension: Allows you to include a quoted or paraphrased review. Note you must include the source.

Search Network: A group of search related websites where your ads can appear based on keywords chosen by you and used by the ‘searcher’.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): Activity attempting to improve search engine rankings in organic/unpaid results.

Sitelink Extension: A link to other pages on your website for example other related products, opening hours, etc.

Structured Snippet Extension: Show beneath your text ad and include a header and list of values (e.g. Books: children’s, fiction, non-fiction).

Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend): Allows you to bid based on a target return on ad spend (ROAS). Bids are automatically optimized at auction-time, so you can tailor bids for each auction.

Text Ads: The simplest online ads that Google Adwords offers. They are made up of two headlines (30 characters each), a description (80 characters) and a display URL.

Universal App Campaign: Automatically designs ads based on text ideas plus image and/or video assets that you provide. They can appear on all Google properties (Search Network, Display Network, Play, YouTube).

View Through Conversions: When customers see your ad (but don’t click), then later complete a conversion on your site.

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Benefits of Web Analytics for Small Businesses

Home > Articles & Guides > Benefits of Web Analytics for Small Businesses

Benefits of Web Analytics for Small Business

How getting informed could help you get ahead of your competitors

Updated: 18th October 2017 | Level: Introductory

Think website analytics is just for big business and global brands? think again. If you're spending previous pounds on SEO, PPC or Facebook Ads and you're regularly reviewing your analytics data. You could be missing out.

benefits of web analytics for small business

What is Web Analytics?

Before we jump into the benefits lets look at the definition:

Web Analytics is the process of collecting, analysing and reporting website traffic data for the purposes of aiding decision making and optimising your website to meet your business goals.

Crucial in this definition is the phrase 'business goals' - more on this later but for now here our top 5 benefits of using web analytics.

Benefit #1 - Understand Visitors Numbers

You want to know how many people visit your site each day/week/month.  You want to know what times of the day they visit and their geographic location.  Hopefully, if you're a bit more curious you'll want to know what type of device your site visitors are using such as an iPad, a mobile phone or desktop computer.

understand-website-visitors

Understanding visitor traffic is fundamental to understanding the opportunity you have to inform or influence them.

How it benefits you

If your website traffic is consistently low (say less that 50 visitors a day) then you may want to review promotional activities.

Locate in Google Analytics: Acquisition > Overview

Benefit #2 - Monitor Onsite Behaviour

What do people do when they arrive at your site? Do they bounce without doing anything, or do they look around? Do they navigate a couple of pages or several? Is there a common theme to the content they browse? Are there pages where visitors spend a lot of time and equally are there pages that have a high exit rate?  How many people add products to their shopping basket or cart? what proportion of shoppers abandon their basket before completing checkout?  Are they searching for other products and pages? What are the top search terms used?

understand-onsite-behaviour

Answering these questions will help you to focus attention on the areas hurting your sites performance and customer journey.

Benefit #3 Measure Conversions

Conversions are actions you want visitors to take on your site or paths you want visitors to follow during their visit.  Conversions are crucial to measuring how successful (or otherwise!) your site is at meeting your goals (see 'Considerations' above).  For instance are visitors watching your explainer video? Do they download that article or eBook you spent so much time building? Are they following the conversion path you have designed, leading them towards completing a contact form or signing up to your email newsletter?

measure-conversionsVisual Editor

Measuring conversions allows you to track your websites contribution to your business objectives, commonly represented by performance indicators.

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Benefit #4 - Assess Campaign Performance

Chances are you are spending money on advertising or marketing campaigns to raise brand awareness or generate new customer leads.  These campaigns could be SEO activity or pay-per-click Ads, links from affiliate or partner sites, social media or even offline media such as magazines or conferences.   Whichever channels you use you want will likely want to know how effective these various campaigns are at generating traffic to your site, specifically the right traffic to your site.

Benefit #5 - Improve & Optimise Your Website

If you don't measure performance you can't improve or optimise your website. You'll likely make decisions around what marketing activity to undertake based on previous experience and gut feelings and perhaps worse, just because others are doing so and you feel like you should (e.g. social media).  Web Analytics will provide you with the data to analyse return on investment for campaigns, perform attribution modelling, segment your customers and review product/service fit.

Considerations

These are just our Top 5, there are plenty more but at this point it's worth considering a couple of things.  Implementing web analytics will give you a lot of data, even for a small business with relatively low website traffic.  Before you jump in it's worth considering:

  1. Whether you have sufficient time and skills available in your business (or in a trusted third-party) to perform the necessary data analysis.  Going much deeper that overall site statistics will likely require a level of analysis.
  2. How clear you are about the objectives of your website, i.e. it's reason for existing.  Having clear objectives will greatly reduce the time it takes to get at useful data, i.e. data off which you can make decisions. Ideally these objectives will directly support your overall business strategy.

Is Web Analytics For You?

Web analytics offers a number of benefits to small businesses whose website represents an important part of their business model.  As consumers increasingly search for products and services online it's more important than ever to understand how they find your business and interact with you.  Web Analytics can help you to make more informed decisions about where to invest your marketing budget and where to make changes to design or content to optimise your site and meet your business goals.

Get Started

The free platforms from Google and Yahoo have become increasingly powerful and flexible in recent years, now offering capabilities previously the preserve of larger enterprise systems.   Today the standard Google offer is deployed across the websites of small and medium-sized businesses across the UK, providing both consumer and business-to-business services.

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