10 ways to pay less for your Adwords

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If you are investing in the keyword purchasing, this article may be a key factor in improving their profitability and performance. Our experience in managing Adwords campaigns has allowed us to determine several factors which could drastically reduce your cost per click (CPC).

Most of the strategies which we suggest in this article attempt to influence the quality score of your ads. According to Google, they will help you measure quality and relevance of your ads, determine your minimum CPC and your ad sorting when bidding. In effect, the better the quality of your quality score, the lower your CPCs. Several factors will influence this, including:

  • Keyword’s Click-through-rate
  • Ad’s relevance
  • Keyword’s relevance
  • Landing page’s relevance

Here are 10 ways to improve the quality of your Google results:

1.Organise your campaigns

Having a campaign that is broken down into different groups will give you a better chance of having well adapted advertising which generates a better click rate. It then becomes important to organise your keywords into themes and to insure that your ads reflect these themes. Also, each keyword should not appear in more than one ad group at a time. It is therefore important to make choices and to clearly define each group you create. If your campaign has already been created but is poorly structured, Google has created a tool called “keyword grouper” which can help you group your keywords.

2. Make good use of negative keywords

Negative keywords will prevent your ads from appearing in a search when someone uses this keyword in combination with yours. In this way, if you are a paint retailer you would want your ad to appear for the keyword “painting” but it would not be appropriate to appear in a search which includes the words “Van Gogh” or “gallery”. By restricting these keywords you will automatically get a better click rate and your clicks will be better quality.

3.Use “exact term” for your most important keywords

Google, by default, will display ads in broad mode, that is to say in combination with any other word. However, using groups of ads in “exact” mode usually results in more clicks. Ads for a campaign that we are managing right now get an average position of 2.0 in "exact" as compared to 3.7 in "broad" mode, with the same CPC. It would be crazy to ignore this!

4. Be creative… stand out from the competition

A potential customer who sees 9 identical ads and a tenth ad which stands out from the others is much more inclined to pay more attention the one which stands out. It is therefore very important to analyse your competitors’ advertising so that your ad is not buried in a bunch of ads which all look alike. The best example is the use of automatic keywords in the title of the ad. Many advertisers use automatic keywords for everything, which means we end up seeing 5 identical ads with the title “Buy iPod”. Don’t you think that an ad with a different title would be more convincing and would stand out from the rest?

5. Use automatic keywords… but not for just anything!

If you have been managing Adwords campaigns for any length of time you have probably used this function which lets you use the keyword being searched for in the title of your ad. As you can imagine, this strategy usually increases the click-through rate. However, it can be a problem in certain situations. Think about your competitors’ keyword campaigns. Do you really want the word “Whirlpool Refrigerator” in your ad if you work for Frigidaire? Along the same lines, if you buy keywords like “cheap restaurant”, is this really the best descriptive to sell to your potential customers?

6. Test, test and re-test

One of the beauties of buying keywords is that you can easily create several versions and very quickly discover which one generates the higher click-through rate. A lot of people stop after the first phase of testing thinking they have found the best word. But you have to continue to test and improve your ads to truly get the best results. This takes a little time, true, but an increase of only a few tenths of a percent in your click rate can make a major difference, both in your positioning and your CPC.

7. Optimise your landing page

Did you know that Google gives more weight to the page to which the customer is redirected when he clicks on your ad? That means that it is wise to spend some time to select these pages carefully to make sure that they correspond to the keywords being searched and to your advertisements. Once you have selected these pages, they should be optimised to make them as representative as possible of the keyword searches. If you are not sure if your page is representative, you can use the “Site-Related Keywords” tool which will tell you the keywords Goggle considers significant for a web page. You will find some possible optimisation techniques in the article “…”.

8. Determine your bid by keyword rather than by a group of ads.

This is a strategy which is often neglected because it is longer to implement. It should not, however, be underestimated. It is often worth while to bid differently for keywords which appear in the same ad group. The best example is the situation in which the keywords in a same group vary greatly in their levels of competition. By using the appropriate maximum CPC for each word your ads will certainly end up in a better position and a suitable CPC.

9. Start with the highest maximum bid

Not all campaign managers agree with this technique but we have often gotten good results with it. In aiming for a high maximum CPC your chances of obtaining a better position right from the start are much better than if you are timid in your bidding. You end up with a better click rate quickly and, therefore, a better quality score.

10. Make you “quality level” column visible

By default, the “quality level” column is not visible in Google; you have to check the box to have it appear. Even though the information this gives you is not very detailed, it nonetheless tells you which keywords are low so you can try something new to optimise them.

In using these strategies you will surely see an improvement in those factors which Google considers important. And after all, with all the money we give them… we can at least try to get the most out of it!

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