PPC Management

Making The Most Of Your Adwords Budget: 5 Key Things to Know

5 Essential Tips for AdWords Budgeting

Online advertising might be cheap, but if you do not know what you are doing, you can quickly exhaust your budget without seeing positive results. Google Adwords is one easy way that you can either generate incredible, consistent traffic to your website or spend a lot of money and see nothing for it. Making the most of your Adwords budget means knowing what you are doing when it comes to keywords. You do not need to take an extensive training course on Adwords in order to become more efficient at buying PPC ads. You can simply tighten your belt by focusing on five key areas in your advertising campaign. Here are the five places you can easily cut back on your ad spending.
[custom_frame_center]adword targeting[/custom_frame_center]

Avoid broad and competitive keywords

Many who are new to Adwords choose as many keywords as possible from broad categories. If your site sells black leather couches, you might think you should advertise for “leather couches” and similar keywords, but this is a waste of money. People could be searching for couches as inspiration for their dream home, to find out how to clean them, or to discover average pricing information. Keywords like “leather couches for sale” and “buy leather couches online” are far better choices as they are aimed at people who are in the purchasing stage of their decision rather than the information-gathering stage. Broad keywords are also extremely competitive. Sites with massive advertising budgets like Amazon can afford to place ads for entire categories, but unless you are willing to burn through a lot of money, you will not be able to compete. Instead, focus on more specific keywords like “black leather futon” or “buy a reclining leather couch” that are more likely to attract buyers, and that are a little too specific for big companies to invest their time into finding. They often try to go for plump category keywords, ripe for a broad market in order to keep up their good name, but they miss the low-hanging fruit – the keywords that require a human to comb through data, find, and profit from. Their loss is your gain!  

Don’t skip negative keywords

If you are often frustrated by buyers looking for something you do not sell, you probably need to use more keywords that are negative. People might be looking for leather couch repairs, cleaning advice, or slipcovers, for example. Look up negative keywords for your niche and use them generously! This eliminates the traffic that might otherwise immediately click away from your site. Are you stumped about what could be a negative keyword? Take a look at your product offering, expand your view, and include products that you have specifically chosen not to offer. If you have no pink leather couches, exclude the word “pink” to cut down on your bounce rate. You could also look at related keywords using the Google keyword tool, find the ones that have a relatively high search volume but are not related to your inventory, and exclude the negative keywords from these phrases

Use exact match bidding only

There are a few types of bids, including broad, phrase, and exact match. It seems easiest to go after broad match keywords, but your “buy leather couches online” ad might be displayed on “leather couch cleaner” ads which targets people who have already purchased their couches. In addition, you will probably pay more for broad matches than you would for an exact match keyword. The CPC, or cost per click, is highest for broad match, and phrase match, (which is similar but sticks more closely to the original keyword) which are still more expensive. The downside to this method is that you will need to do more research before starting your campaign. You will need to specify the exact keywords you are going after before you start, but you can very carefully control your campaign based on the keywords that work and the ones that do not. You can delete non-buyer keywords and focus on keywords that are related to the ones that work. You will not have the same volume of traffic until you have built up a fair database of good keywords, but the traffic you get will be targeted so your budget will be optimized. Proper keyword research will turn up long-tail keywords that, historically, do not generate very much traffic, but if you have great conversions and profit from every visitor, spending a few cents each to display a database of exact match long-tail keywords is usually worth more than displaying one or two broad match keywords.

Use reports to optimize your campaign

  Once your campaign is set up, that is when the fun begins because there is more to do. If you really want to make the most of your Adwords budget, you will need to periodically check on your ad performance, add, and remove keywords, and so on. At least once a month, preferably once a week, you should use the “Search Terms Report” to figure out what people have been searching for in order to find your ads. This will allow you to add new negative keywords, include phrases that you had not thought about before, and optimize your displayed ads. The Campaign Report will also help you to ascertain which are your best-converting days, and the best hours within those days, allowing you to benefit from day targeting.  You will see the geographical location of those who saw the ad so you can exclude or include specific areas, and you can even look up the devices people use to optimize your targeting strategy.  Remember… you may need to change your bid amounts in order to rank better if you have a competing website for a specific term. Staying on top of what the competition is doing is half the game.

Target your ad to a location, day, or device

Are you looking to find customers in your own city? Target your ad to the state or city where you live instead of advertising it to people on the other side of the country. You can do this through the Google Adwords Geographical Targeting options or even in the text of the ad, if it is important enough. This simple step can greatly reduce the amount of money and time you spend attracting people who are not even in your target market. Day and device targeting is also available, and once you have analyzed the reports to see what works best, you can use it. If you know what day of the week is most profitable, you can focus your spending on that day; similarly, if you want to target ads to a particular device (iPhone users, for instance), you can do this. If you do not yet have enough data, go back to your customer data to find out what devices they tend to use, what day of the week they might be searching for information, and so on. You can experiment to confirm your results. Making the most of your Adwords budget means carefully examining how you are doing in each of these areas so you can trim back unnecessary spending, target your ads more carefully, regularly check performance, and reach consumers who otherwise might have been skipped. PPC can be an expensive field, and if you find yourself spending more than you would like to spend on marketing, you are probably wasting money. Adjusting your PPC strategy can help ensure that every dollar you spend generates multiple dollars in return.   Co-writer – Lorraine Gray, small business Adwords consultant at broadband satellite Internet.