Every Google Ads account has only a small selection of keywords that carry the majority of the positive results. Many marketers refer to this as the 80-20 ratio, where 80% of results come from only 20% of your efforts. This is normal and can lead to a successful PPC strategy.
That said, there is some risk involved because this ratio also suggests that a whopping 80% of your efforts are only going to return minimal results. This majority can also detract from your positive results, if you aren’t carefully monitoring for wasted spend.
In this respect, optimization is not only about making your account more successful, it’s also avoiding the tactics that will potentially hurt your performance.
This discussion will highlight several key strategies you can implement to reduce wasted spend in Google Ads.
Obsess Over Quality Scores
Quality scores are arguably one of the best indicators of potential wasted spend for two reasons. First, a poor quality score will signal a larger issue that needs to be addressed, such as irrelevant ad copy, a low clickthrough rate or a problem with the resulting landing page.
Secondly, improving quality scores results in lower cost-per-click amounts. That’s one of the unique benefits of advertising with Google Ads. It isn’t just the advertisers with the fattest wallets that win ad placements. Instead, Google rewards the best ad experiences with lower costs.
The better your ads, the less you pay, which leads to less waste.
Tighten Your Match Types
With Google Ads, you can select a variety of keyword match types that range from broad to exact. If you’re utilizing a lot of broad match keywords, it can create a lot of irrelevant traffic. Sure, all those clicks look nice, but they are also costing you a pretty penny and with not much to show in return!
When it comes to match types, it is best to steer away from the very broad match types, unless you have extra money in the budget that you don’t mind burning. Otherwise, aim for modified broad, phrase or exact match types. This will lead to more qualified, relevant traffic that will produce a more cost-effective conversion rate.
Optimize Locations, Devices And Timing
A lot of wasted spend comes from bad timing and location/device targeting. Once your campaigns have been running for a few months, you’ll build a healthy volume of data. You can use this information to find the times (times of day and days of the week/month) and places where your ads perform the best and worst.
You may find particular regions that produce lots of clicks, but almost no conversions. Or, a time-of-day when your ad messages experience weak performance and high wasted spend. Then, you can adjust your campaigns to only display ads at the times and places where prospective customers are most likely to convert, thereby creating more positive returns and trimming your waste.
Expand Your Negative Keyword List
Negative keywords are another common and costly source of wasted spend in Google Ads. If you’re using broader keyword matches, it is essential that you devise a healthy negative keyword list. A negative keyword is a term that looks like it fits with your business, but is actually irrelevant. Typically, it is a term relating to a product type or brand that you don’t sell.
Your negative keyword list will be used to filter out searches for these irrelevant or low-performing terms. This will save your campaign from wasting money on clicks from searches that don’t actually relate to your business and offerings.
Enhance Your Landing Page Experience
Your landing page experience needs to be exceptional. Prospects only reach this page after they’ve clicked your ad message. This means that you’ve paid your cost-per-click amount. If your landing page can’t turn that click into revenue at a consistent rate, then it is wasting your ad budget!
Your landing page needs to:
- Load very quickly, almost instantly
- Relate to the keywords and offers included in the ad message
- Add information and details about those offers
- Avoid overwhelming elements that distract from conversions
- Utilize as few steps as possible to complete the conversion action
If you have campaigns or ad groups that experience high clicks but low conversions, it may be a sign that you need to review your landing page experience and check the above criteria.
Utilize Remarketing Campaigns
Users often need to interact with your brand several times before they complete a conversion activity, especially in the Digital Age. When a user clicks your ad, but fails to convert, it is not the end of the road. With a remarketing campaign, you can re-engage them again and again and encourage an additional click. The more a user engages with your brand, the higher the chance that they convert.
To create a remarketing campaign, you need to attach a code snippet that tracks visitors once they’ve left your site. This allows you to retarget them with additional ad messages that facilitate the conversion process.
Ignore Advertising In Apps
Apps are one of the most wasteful channels to advertise on. If you’re still running ad messages inside apps, take a serious look at the performance of these campaigns. There are several reasons why advertising inside of apps is damaging to your wasted spend.
- Most clicks happen by accident
- Ads inside of apps can be disruptive to users and turn them off from your brand
- People aren’t likely to exit their app to visit your page
Due to these reasons, it is extremely rare that advertising inside of apps yields good performance. Not only are you likely wasting ad budget, but you also may be jeopardizing your brand image and reputation.
With these 7 strategies, you can begin trimming your wasted spend in Google Ads. A well-optimized PPC campaign capitalizes on its best opportunities, while also mitigating its biggest risks.
Reducing wasted spend in Google Ads is about achieving the latter. By removing sources of high, risky spend, you have more budget to allocate towards those 20% of strategies that create 80% of your returns.