Running a profitable and conversion producing Google ads (used to be Adwords) campaigns can be complicated at times. There are many options inside it that factor in increasing Google ads cost.
In this article, we are exploring through nine different fails that commonly increase google ads cost for anyone who is not careful.
Our goal is to make you discover common patterns that make it super easy to waste thousands on ads without even realizing it.
Taking these fails into action will make you spend less on Google ads, or give you the ability to scale profitably going forward.
Learn more about Google Ads and Search Engine Marketing.
1. Not Using Negative Keywords
There’s a subtle difference when trying to understand keywords and search terms from each other.
A keyword is a chosen word in Google Ads, that is used to target the ads.
A search term, on the other hand, is the actual phrase that users enter into search engines to receive matching queries. These search terms then trigger your bid on a keyword.
A search term, in most cases, is a long-tail keyword meaning they have over three words.
For example, in your ad group, there’s a keyword Red Designer Dress, and the goal is sales in an online store.
But the ad might be triggered by a search term that doesn’t include purchase intent by the customer.
For example, a search term like this would be: “How to make a DIY red designer dress look-a-like.”
The term does include the keyword, but the intent is missing, therefore, leading to misclicks that will only increase the Google ads cost.
Before launching a set of ads, take care to consider at least the most common negative keywords.
A negative keyword list should always be kept updated.
It’s hard to recognize user patterns in such a plan, before launching. Remember to optimize negative keywords from time-to-time for the best results and lowest costs.
Next time when conducting a keyword plan, try to figure out the most common negative words.
2. Not Using The Search Term Report As Often
The search term report in Google Ads is the method to find search terms that have triggered your ads.
Search terms are a means to understand your customers in a better way.
To find your search term report, you have to enter the Keywords tab and look for it on the menu.
Here, you will find all the search terms that activated your ads, and their results (Clicks, impressions, conversions, CTR, cost)
If you have a lot of accumulated terms in the list, try to handle the data with excel or Google Sheets.
I’d recommend starting searching search terms that have cost the most in a given period. Searching for those first will save you the most if you find negative words that are bringing your results down.
From there on, try to look for outliers of any kind. For example, utilize the initial negative keyword list to find similar ones from the spreadsheet.
Searching through the search term report can give you opportunities for keywords to invest in more, as well.
Look for phrases that have converted above average when comparing to your best-performing ones. Take into consideration, if a search term has done well, look first that is also had some clicks to have a more sustainable conversion rate.
Nevertheless, you can run tests to find out if those new phrases would become useful for the overall campaign.
3. Forgotten and Unoptimized Bidding Strategies
While automated bidding strategies have their place in Google Ads, they do have some faults that could potentially cost you a lot.
The problem arises if not analyzed properly. An automated bidding strategy that is forgotten will be costly in the long-run.
The issue could multiply when especially keywords are not set accurately.
Imagine paying a premium price for a click that has no potential of converting.
When budgets are large, and there’s not enough time to manage them, and automated bidding strategy can kick start a campaign fast. Google will measure cost per clicks to match the competition but regularly analyze results if the bidding options are profitable for you.
Test with different manual bidding strategies and utilize past data to make better decisions and get more clicks and results.
Manual bidding strategies can affect the visibility of the ads if they are set too low, but it’s more effective to go from bottom to top.
Bidding settings can be found under Settings of a campaign.
4. Applying Excessively Many Keywords In an Ad Group
Created ads have to match search intent, and too many keywords will make it harder. Not having ads match search intents will increase Google Ads’ cost.
Break similar keywords into their ad groups to create ads that match them properly.
Serving the right content to the right search query will increase conversions across campaigns.
You can search for individual clickthrough rates (CTR) to see how the ads have been received by the users. A low CTR indicates that users are not resonating with ads well.
For example, if your ad copy doesn’t include the keywords of an ad group, it’s time to make some changes.
It might seem troublesome to have a large number of ad groups in the campaign, but it will make managing them easier later on as they are grouped efficiently.
5. Consistency Between Ads, Landing pages, and Keywords
The best method to avoid creeping up the Google ads cost is to have clear consistency across ads, keywords, and landing pages.
When these three factors are matching, it will lead to lower costs, better targeting, more clicks, more conversions, and engagement on the landing page.
How to increase matching:
- Choose keywords that match products and services
- Include keywords in the ad copy itself
- Include keywords and have a similar ad copy style in the perspective landing page(s)
The matching process is best done before launching any campaigns as the process itself, will guide you to make better campaigns.
In many cases, you are starting with a landing page you want to promote. Start by reading your page and imitate its text for ad copies and keywords.
If lacking a landing page, start matching keywords with services and products. Then create ad copy around those chosen keywords and build a landing page to tie everything up.
Google Ads will notify in the overview in most cases if your ads have low consistency. It might tell you the following:
- Ad relevancy: Below Average
- Landing Page Experience: Below Average
- Expected CTR: Below Average
The notification is a telltale sign to make some changes as soon as possible. Your ads are still showing, but their quality scores will be lower, thus increasing prices and leaving the opportunity for competition to get ahead in the ads.
Relevancy improves results, and increasing the relevancy of profitable keywords is a must.
6. Lack of dedicated Landing Pages
Utilizing landing pages in Google Ads increases their relevancy, as mentioned before, and increases conversions.
A landing page is a page that is made for a single purpose goal. Focusing on only one goal at a time will make your ads more appealing by increasing the end-experience.
You want your landing page to be as distraction-free as possible and only include information required to achieve the goal.
By not using landing pages, you are increasing your Google ads costs.
Sending traffic to a general home page or a service page might sound like a good strategy if they are matching the copy and keywords. To increase conversions, you must use specific and relevant landing pages.
You could only send traffic to a page on your site, which matches the keywords, but it will restrict your possibilities. You will need a more extensive set of keywords to grow your ad campaigns.
Previous data could also inform you that your keywords are not performing well enough, and to be restricted to use them only, will become a problem.
Landing pages nowadays are a fairly simple process to make, and many services on the web can help to produce landing pages on a scale. For example, Instapage or LeadPages are services that might help.
7. Not Tracking Data Outside of Google Ads
While Google ads provide a lot of metrics to understand how your campaign is doing, it’s not telling you key behavioral metrics that could be affecting results.
Campaigns that might seem to be doing well, at first glance, might still not provide results in the backend.
Start by connecting Google ads account to your Google Analytics account to see the behavioral metrics of your ad campaigns. Connecting accounts is also required to collect data from website-based conversions.
It’s important to understand how are your selected keyword, ad, and landing page combination, working in reality.
You might find that a certain combination works on the backend better than it might have seemed. You might be finding that some landing pages are working better than others and investing more in them, and that could become a google ads cost decreaser.
Keep an eye out for:
- Bounce rates
- Returning vs. new users
- Average session duration
- Conversion rates
8. Not Testing Enough
It’s easy to feel comfortable when campaigns are doing well and producing a set amount of conversions. It’s crucial to be aware that things can change on a whim, and being prepared for changes is key.
Google ads cost can vary from time-to-time and finding solutions and combinations that are cheaper, yet converting, is important.
Always test fresh ideas to boost your results. Implement a strong practice of A/B testing to test every variable in your campaigns to find the best keywords that convert the most for a lesser price.
Relying on only a couple of winning campaigns will lead to their cost eventual rise and not having a proper backup, will lose you money.
9. Not Monitoring Campaign Results Regularly
To have the best result of any ad campaign is its continuing optimization. Only through optimization with new data, can we lower google ads cost, make more money through conversions and get more visibility to our brand.
After setting everything up, comes the monitoring phase, and the goal is to optimize.
Every day that is not optimized is a wasted opportunity that will increase the Google ads cost.
At the very least, monitor the following:
- Unproductive search terms
- Low conversion rates in ad groups and campaigns
- Click-through rate trends
- Unconverting keywords
- Cost per Click trends
- Google Ads updates
- % of daily budget spends
- and many more.
When enough data has been collected within ad campaigns, you can optimize on the fly.
- Boost bids for converting keywords
- Separating keywords into their separate ad groups
- Adding negative keywords from the search term report
- Increasing relevancy across campaigns
- Research for fresh keyword opportunities
- Improving conversion rates on the landing page
- Preparing for scaling
Utilize all of the nine tips above to decrease your Google ads cost. These were one of the most common ways to lose money on google ads, but keep an eye out for new changes and innovative methods that may come, always keep improving through data.
Engaio Digital helps companies in their quest for profitable PPC campaigns. Contact us if you would like help in your campaigns or looking for PPC management.