“The average small business wastes 25% of their AdWords PPC budget” – WordStream research
Many businesses don’t spend the necessary time optimising their accounts or don’t keep up-to-date with the latest developments. If any of the below apply to your business then you’re probably wasting at least some of your AdWords spend:
- You haven’t logged in to your account for over a month.
- You’ve never heard of “Ad Extensions”.
- The person in charge of your PPC account hasn’t had the necessary training.
If these apply to you then it is worth checking your AdWords account to make sure you are using the correct settings and everything is running well. Below are 7 things you can easily check and which could help you to make your account more efficient so that you can drive better results from your current level of spend. If someone is running your account on your behalf they should have implemented (or at least have tested) these settings/actions. You can see what has been tested by looking under Tools > Change History in AdWords or just ask! These are basic things which you could reasonably expect to have been setup or at least to be in your agency/freelancer’s plan.
1. Negative Keywords
Using broad match or phrase match Keywords increases the risk that your Ad will show up for unrelated search terms. To prevent this use tighter Keyword targeting such as Exact Match or add negative keywords. If you tick the box next to a keyword and click on ‘Search Terms’ then ‘Selected’ under ‘Details’ you’ll be able to see which search terms actually triggered your Ad.
Google AdWords Campaigns are now shown on all devices by default. If you’re sending mobile users to a non mobile friendly page chances are they’ll leave your site pretty quickly. You can bid down on Mobile devices by up to 100% with bid adjustments. If you do have a mobile friendly site look at your stats and see if mobile users convert or not.
3. Ad Extensions
Ad Extensions make your Ads more eye catching and result in a higher Ad Rank in AdWords. This helps you to rank higher for a lower Cost Per Click. Add as many Ad Extensions as you can. Sitelinks and Call Extensions are particularly useful.
4. Geographic Targeting
With AdWords you can easily geographically target areas as large as the UK or as small as a 1 mile radius. If your business operates in a small area then there is probably no reason for you to show Ads outside of that area. Exclude areas in your Campaign settings or if you’re feeling particularly advanced bid up or down on geographic areas.
5. Ad Schedule
With AdWords’ Ad Schedule settings you can set when you want your Ads to be shown either by day or by hour. For example, if you operate in a B2B industry you may decide that you’re best of only showing your Ads during the working day.
6. Landing Pages
It’s important that you send users to a relevant Landing Page with a clear call-to-action or next step. If you’re not doing this you’re paying to send people to your site and they might just leave straight away. A good first step is to review the Bounce Rate of PPC visitors by Landing Page – this shows you what percentage of users land on a page and then leave again without continuing to browse the site.
7. Account Structure
The best AdWords accounts use a careful structure with clearly defined Campaigns and Ad Groups arranged around defined topics. If you throw all of your Ads and Keywords into one Ad Group you won’t be able to properly optimise or achieve a high Quality Score. Avoid wasted spend by splitting out your account structure with as much granularity as you can and using separate budgets for different campaigns.
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