If you have an active account with Google Ads then you will be spending money to make sure your advert and campaign is appearing to the most relevant audience and potential customers, but if you are not managing it correctly or you set it up in a rush and never looked at it again, you could be wasting quite a big chunk of your cash on a monthly basis.
Google Ads, like most online marketing platforms is only as good as the effort you put into setting it up correctly, as if you just roll with any old campaign then you are going to blow your budget, get no results and generally, be left despondent and slightly poorer. Even if you have your campaign working quite nicely then you should always spend the time reviewing the campaign and seeing if you can save a few pounds here and there, as the money you save in wasted spend can be allocated into the areas that really work.
So, if you want to save some money and improve your campaign, here are 5 simple ways to cut out wasted spend on Google Ads.
1 – Install Conversion Tracking
Without fuel, you cannot drive your car, without water, your body will no long function and without conversion tracking, you do not have clue if your campaign is working and where your success is coming from. In the grand scheme of things, making sure your car has petrol and you drink enough water is slightly more important than conversion tracking, but if you want to cut your spend you need to know what is working and more importantly, what is not.
You can analyse bounce rates, time on site and visitor flow funnels until the cows come home, but conversion tracking gives you solid information that your campaign is working and then which part of the campaign is working, which is why it is vital you have it installed (correctly). Then, using the conversion data you can make the successes work harder and you then have the choice to turn off the non-converting campaigns or tweak them to try to improve results, either way, conversion tracking data gives you power which you can use to make your spend work harder for you and your business.
2 – Review Your Keyword Searches
When you set up a campaign, unless you are using Exact match, you are going to get click throughs that are going to be a mixture of what you want and what you do not want, especially if you use Broad match and fail to think about negative keywords. Exact match does limit your traffic a bit, so this is why most campaigns run on Broad Match Modified or Phrase Match, which means that you put your stem keywords in and then Google will serve your adverts for searches surrounding these, rather than exactly these, which as the name would suggest, is what Exact would do. Therefore, you need to review the actual search terms that people are using to hit your site and you can do this by clicking the keywords tab and then the search terms tab underneath, which will tell you the exact search term visitors have come to your site with.
You should be reviewing this often, as you can eliminate search terms that are not relevant or just not likely to convert by adding them to your negative keywords list, which means over time you are really streamlining your searches to only deliver the very best and most relevant.
3 – Run An Ad Schedule
Once you have conversion tracking installed, within a month or so you can see at what time of the day and which day of the week really works for you, in terms of the hours of the day and the day of the week that brings the most sales and conversions. Once you know this, you can then either decrease your spend during the times that really do nothing for you, or even stop the adverts running, which then allows your budget to work harder during the hours that really do convert for you. I always recommend that most B2B campaigns turn off between 1am and 6am, as these hours are generally not utilised by businesses looking for a company to provide a service, which then allows your budget to work harder over the hours that the campaign is working.
I would recommend against assuming you know the best times to turn your campaigns off, as until you have data you should not be deciding this, but generally, cutting your adverts at the times that are just never going to convert not only helps you to save money, but it allows you to focus your spend on the times and days that will make a difference to your business.
4 – Adapt Your Targeting
A core error when setting up a local campaign (a campaign that wants business from a specific area) is that many people often either spread the net too far, or close it in too much, which in both cases is going to deliver issues. In terms of cutting the spend you should be reviewing where your visitors are coming from, which you can do in Dimensions and then User Locations and making sure you can see where your conversions are coming from and whether your campaign is reaching too many areas. If you are running a radius campaign then you can often set the coverage a bit too wide, as the radius works as the crow flies and does not take into account the many aspects that might stop your campaign working in a certain area, so always keep on top of this and set or tweak your targeting correctly to make sure you are not spending where you will get little results.
5 – Review Your Campaigns Success
Google Ads, as a general rule, is not a pick up, do and then leave for ever in the hope it will work one day, in fact, few platforms ever are, as the amount of work you put into your account and your campaign will often determine the results and the rewards you get from it. Although I have had cases where you hit the mark and get the money rolling in immediately, most campaigns take time, effort and hard work to get working, which is why once your campaign is live, you need to monitor the success, and then act accordingly.
You need to make sure that you have your Google Ads and Analytics account linked, so that you can split your traffic reports, otherwise all of your Google Ads traffic is going to end up in Organic and this will never allow you to see the core statistics of the campaign. Once you have the accounts linked you will then see a Cost Per Click traffic source, and you can then look at each campaign and see just how they are performing. You can get some good information from the Google Ads stats, but you can get even more from analytics, so always make sure you review the information in both and then base your future tweaks accordingly.