SEO/SEM Save Your Dough

Published on May 13th, 2013 | by Barney Garcia

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Don’t Waste Your Dough! 5 Secrets to Maximizing Google AdWords

Did you know that when managing your Google Adwords pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, it’s pretty easy to waste big bucks without even knowing it? That dough down the drain could be put to good use, especially for a small business. So what’s the secret to eliminating this wasted spend? Being as efficient as possible is key to getting the most bang for your PPC bucks, so we’ve spilled the beans in the 5 top areas to maximize that’ll get your dollars to deliver:

Choosing the Right Keywords

When selecting keyword or phrases, adding any word or phrase that’s relevant to your business may sound like a good idea. Wouldn’t you want to receive the most traffic possible to your site? In theory, yes, but none of us have an infinite amount of marketing dollars to spend. Keyword selection is a critical process that requires you to look at the keywords that will ultimately result in sales, or conversions. By focusing on keywords that are too general, or broad can result in increased PPC costs.

For example, using keywords that are too general may target potential customers who aren’t ready to buy yet. Say you’re a small car dealership bidding on a keyword like, “used car information.” Although the phrase is relevant, it may actually target people who’re still in the “research or information” stage, while a customer searching for “used Hondas for sale,” is closer to a buying stage than just searching for information. When you focus on keywords that target users at the right stage, you should have a greater return on investment on your PPC campaigns.

Understanding and Using Match Types

Not fully understanding or using targeted match types, can cause you to waste money by inadvertently targeting irrelevant search queries, and may cause you to pay more than you need to for certain keywords. In short, each match type gives you more granularity into targeting.

Broad Match – Broach match is called “broad” for a reason. Broad match allows your ad to show for searches on similar phrases and variations. This includes misspellings, synonyms, and other relevant variations. For example, if you were to bid on “running shoes” on a broad match, you’ll also show up for results for “running sneakers,” which is generally a good thing. The problem lies in that you would also show up for “running shoe cleaner.” If you don’t sell shoe cleaner, this would be an example of a phrase that could be wasting your money. If you were to bid on “green sneakers” and “green shoes” separately on an exact match instead, you could actually end up paying a less expensive CPC (cost-per-click) for each of those keywords, as well as limit the amount of irrelevant traffic.

Phrase Match – Phrase match will show your ads only for searches that include the exact keyword phrase you’ve selected, as well as some close variations. If we use the same example, “running shoes” but in a phrase match, your ad would also show for “cheap running shoes” because that phrase is contained within the search. If the search was for “running orthopedic shoes” your ad wouldn’t show.

Exact Match – Exact match allows you to show only for searches that match exactly the keyword or phrase you’re bidding on. Using the same example, your ad would show only when “running shoes” is the search. This limits the amount of traffic, but is also the most targeted and is generally less expensive than bidding on broad and phrase matches.

Google Match Tyoes

Negative keywords

Negative keywords are a great way to reduce the amount of unqualified traffic. By automatically ruling out words like “jobs, contacts, etc.” it’ll cut down on people who aren’t looking to make a purchase. Ruling out words that may be used in conjunction with your keyword, but aren’t relevant to your offering are also good keywords to add as negative keywords. Combined with proper match types and keyword choices; this can really help maximize your PPC spend.

Geo/Day/Device Targeting

Google Adwords allows you to target and segment your target audience in multiple ways including, Geographical, Day, and Device Targeting. Geographical targeting allows you to target specific locations, regions, cities, states, countries, etc. Device targeting allows you focus more on specific devices, which may be worth more to your business. Lastly, Day Parting allows you to adjust keyword bids between different days or hours of the days in order to spend your marketing dollars when you are most profitable. For a more in- depth look at these targeting options, check out our previous blog post, 5 Google Adwords Tips for a Small Budget. Also, with Google Adwords newest changes around Enhanced Campaigns, maximizing these different targeting options will be even easier.

Making Good Use of Google Reporting

Google Adwords offers a variety of insightful reports to help you determine where problems may lie in your account and provide you with valuable information into where efficiencies can be made. For example, a Search Terms Report provides you with a list of all the search queries that resulted in your ad being shown. This report is helpful determining irrelevant keywords as well as opportunities for new keywords. After you determine which keywords or phrases you do and don’t want triggering your ads, you can add them as new or negative keywords.

Another essential report is the Campaign Report. This report can be sliced and diced in different ways and can provide great insight into where you should be focusing your PPC efforts. If you break it down by day or hour of the day, it can help you to determine when most of your conversions are occurring so that you can shift your budget to those most profitable times. If you look at it on a geographical basis, you can see where most of your conversions are coming from and exclude certain areas that aren’t your target audience or simply don’t perform well. These are only a few of the many reports Google Adwords offers.

By maximizing these five areas, you can make the most of your PPC mula. Pay-Per-Click PC world also offers more insight into other PPC mistakes you might be making.

How will you use these tips to make the most of your marketing bucks? Share away?

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About the Author

Barney Garcia

Barney Garcia is a Paid Media Marketing Manager for VerticalResponse.



2 Responses to Don’t Waste Your Dough! 5 Secrets to Maximizing Google AdWords

  1. Pingback: Use Mobile Ads to Bring Customers to Your Door

  2. Jim says:

    Solid post. I’d also mention the importance of testing ad copy. The more tests, controlled for everything else, the better :)

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