3 Techniques To Help You Cut Out Wasted Spend In Your Google Ads Campaigns

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So your Google account is live and has been running for a while now. Things are going well, enquiry numbers are up and you’re looking to invest more money into the campaigns as a result but before you do that you need to establish whether or not you’re wasting spend anywhere in your campaigns at the moment.

Maybe you’re spending too much on each individual lead or your ROAS isn’t where it should be due to settings issues – either way, this blog is designed to help you identify some key areas that you can improve on today and help you because even more profitable than ever.

 

 

Use Bid Modifiers (Locations, Demographics, Ad Schedule & Devices)

Bid adjustments are a surefire way for you to improve key metrics in your Google ads accounts but not only that, it allows you to double down on locations, ages, times of day etc that suit your business needs and requirements optimally.

Maybe you’re running campaigns for lead generation and you’re happy to tolerate a slightly higher cost per leads in Worcestershire than the rest of the UK with the key age group for your business being 24 and above. Using big modifiers allows you to increase your bids in for this location and demographic, giving you complete control over where your budget is spent.

Taking advantage of when your ads show is also a fantastic way of controlling your spend and ensuring the maximum possibility of a healthy enquiry at the optimal time for your company. You’re a B2B company that needs phone calls during office hours? Increase bids 9am – 5pm. You’re a restaurant and want people to call for bookings earlier in the week? Increase bids on Mondays through to Wednesday. 

The beauty of paid marketing campaigns is it’s accountability and using bid adjustments further increases your control over your advertising spend.

 

 

Check your fundamental campaign settings

Possibly the most common but most important is the initial campaign settings you’re looking at running and ensuring they’re right for what you’re looking to achieve. Namely the Google search & display network being enabled in your Google ads campaigns. This feature can be highly profitable in some industries but if you’re looking to cut out any poor performance this is generally a real culprit and often business owners are oblivious to the fact they’re spending unprofitably here and likewise if you’ve never run a campaign before it’s advised you turn it off to begin with – it’s simply not worth the risk and although occasionally is profitable, it tends to be a money sink and your budget needs to be protected, it’s advised the display settings is disabled immediately, if not the search network along with it. 

Make sure both of the above networks are unchecked as a rule of thumb unless there’s a clear reason not to. 

Another key area of settings that you may be wasting budget in is in the location options setting. Targeting an area is all good and well but Google automatically shows ads to people within your location along with people who show an interest in it. Please see the screenshot below: 

People who “show interest in” means that if you’re a physiotherapist in Newcastle and are looking to get people in for one to one sessions having your ads show to people in London who have interests in Newcastle isn’t going to be profitable nor does it make any sense. This is a biggie – make sure you’ve got this setting locked down. 

There are also honourable mentions for just about every other setting. Automation is a massive thing for PPC campaigns and they come as standard now and some of them can really cripple your performance. Although automation is key to growth, it can slow down your growth substantially if used incorrectly and make sure you’re considering the correct approach for your business. 

 

 

Search query report analysis

We all know that there is incredibly vital information sitting in the search query report (if you don’t, you should) but it’s how you analyse that data and make changes of the back of it that contributes to a successful Google Ads campaign. 

The data available to use sometimes is really large, meaning that excel/spreadsheets can be used to analyse the data at scale but we’re going to stick with the interface options available to you for simplicity and what it is that you’re looking for. 

Navigate to keywords > search terms and then see how you’re keywords are delivering results back to you. There will be clear and obvious search terms that are unprofitable but I urge you to take a look at “pockets” of keywords. Try to find themes of search terms that may appear semi-regularly and then filter by the term you’ve identified – you may find that you can add these word themes as negative keywords and avoid £1000’s in wasted spend. Each individual search term may not seem like much of a saving on its own but when you see the search volume containing specific terms overall time, it can be pretty eye-opening. 

Tip: Informational search terms tend to be the most costly, try “what”, “why”, “where” as a starting point, of course, this depends on your industry. You may also find buzz words like “cost” and “cheap” effective if they’re not negative keywords already.

Moving on from this, always remember that filters are your friend. If you’re happy to tolerate say a £35 cost per enquiry then you can use the filters in the query report to target queries that have spent over £35 and never resulted in a conversion: 

This will allow you to see all of the “unprofitable” search queries for you to neg.

There are so many ways to optimised your campaigns but I hope that the above points can get you off on the right track and help you start optimising your campaigns more effectively. 

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Rebecca Walker
Rebecca Walker
Hi, I'm Rebecca! I work in the social media department. Alongside an extraordinary team, I help businesses of all sizes achieve their goals. I am looking forward to building strong relationships with my clients and developing their online presence.
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