If you’re using Google Adwords (and, if you’re not, why not?), it is vital to make sure your money is being well spent. PPC is a very effective way of obtaining targeted traffic to your website which, hopefully, turns into sales leads. As with all marketing activity, it is extremely important to make sure you’re getting the maximum “bang for your buck”.
There are several ways to control spend without losing effectiveness.
One of the first tasks most of us do in PPC is set up our Keywords; very important. However, many people neglect or don’t understand the difference between match types. AdWords offers three variations – Broad Match, Phrase Match and Exact Match. It is important to understand how these work differently.
Many also fail to appreciate the importance of negative keywords. These are powerful terms which help to deter visitors who aren’t looking for what you sell. For instance, we have a client who manufactures and sells industrial workbenches but was getting visitors looking for children’s workbenches. By use of negative keywords, we have made sure his ads no longer appear to that search term.
It is also important to make sure that keywords are monitored and assessed for performance, identifying “greedy” keywords which take all the spend and poorly performing ones which can weaken the quality score of your ads.
Google AdWords scores your keywords and uses it to give each ad a “Quality Score”. A poor quality score leads to higher cost-per-click. It’s all about relevance.
“Greedy” keywords can spend a sizeable portion of the spend without improving response or conversions. Close analysis can weed these out and improve both CTR and the quality score.
Money can also be saved by careful setting of bids to avoid buying leads during times of poor conversion. Again, careful analysis and conversion monitoring are needed. When conversion rates are lower, reduce bids accordingly.
The positioning of your ad is important, but it is not all-important. If you find that being number 3 or even number 4 doesn’t adversely affect CTR or conversion, then why spend money trying to be number 1 or number 2? If you can maintain traffic at a lower cost, do it.
Remember, Google AdWords is a business and they want to make money; which they do quite successfully! It is up to us advertisers to make sure that the money we give Google is well spent, creating sales opportunities for us at the lowest possible cost.
As with all marketing activity, the important thing is to be sure you start with some SMART objectives for your PPC campaigns. And then, monitor, measure, analyse and amend.