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How to Avoid the Pain of Overpaying Google for Your Adwords Campaign

Updated October 19, 2019. We no longer support link building. Ask about our Pay-Per-Lead SEO program by calling or clicking the link above. 

Google Adwords is a paid advertising platform that allows you to be seen by your customers whenever they search for the things you offer.

The platform utilizes the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) system, which means you only pay when someone clicks your ad to visit your website or call your office.

Adwords is essentially a round-the-clock keyword auction, where the cost of each click is influenced by the amounts all advertisers – not just you – are willing to pay.

To get prominent placement on Google Search Results Pages (SERPs), you are told to bid as high as possible. The amount you bid is based on the Cost Per Click (CPC) of the keyword you are bidding for.

But buyer beware. You might risk spending far too much for the ads you create, and Google will have no problem fleecing you if you aren’t familiar with the various ways to run a successful campaign.

While the Adwords platform is designed to be user-friendly, like all Google products, there is some advanced functionality that you should familiarize yourself with. This will help you avoid many common pitfalls, mainly overspending.

By understanding how the platform works and by learning from the mistakes of all the advertisers who came before you, you can minimize your ad spend, increase your ROI and keep your ads performing long into the future.

How Adwords Works

When you create an ad in Adwords, you will bid against other advertisers for ad placement. The higher your bid, the more prominent your ad will be displayed.

For example, according to the Google Keyword Planner, the keyword phrase Cosmetic Dentist NYC is searched for approximately 590 times per month and the suggested bid is $28.14. That means that you will need to bid over that amount to get your ad to show up when Google users search for that keyword term.

The catch is that some advertisers are bidding too high for ads that have little chance of returning a profit.

Here are some reasons why.

Quality Score

Google has devised a way to determine which advertisers are creating campaigns that get results. This is known as Quality Score. The higher your score, the lower you will have to pay for prominent ad placement. In this way, Google incentivizes you to target your ads and provide a useful search experience for its users.

To maximize your Quality Score, your ads will need to be targeted, you will want to have several ad groups in your campaigns with no more than 10-20 keywords in each (more on this later), and your landing pages should be relevant to the ads you are using to drive visitors to them.

Let’s look at a few ways to improve your Quality Score so that you are not overspending on the ads you are bidding for.

Match Type

When you bid for an ad that includes a particular keyword, you are offered a variety of match options. Pay close attention to the differences mentioned, as they can mean the difference between your ads being seen and having them slink into obscurity.

Exact Match: This is the option that will display your ad when a query is made for your keyword in the exact order it is written with no other words included. To use Exact Match, enter your keywords with brackets around them, like this: [Keywords]. For example, if your keyword is [Root Canal Cleveland], then your ads will show up for someone who types that exact phrase into Google. Conversely, your ads will not show up if you choose Exact match and someone types Cleveland Root Canals.

Phrase Match: With Phrase Match, your ad will show up if Google users make a query using your keywords in the exact order they are written. To select Phrase Match, insert your keywords surrounded by quotes, like this: “Keyword Phrase”. For example, if the user types in Root Canals in the Cleveland Area, your ad for “Root Canals Cleveland” could still show up.

Broad Match: This is where things get tricky. Broad Match is Google’s default keyword modifier. So if you don’t put brackets or quotes around your keywords when you enter them into Adwords, you really have no idea what you will end up with. With broad match, Google will display your ads for queries that are relevant to your keyword term. What trips many advertisers up is the fact that Google’s idea of relevance and your idea of relevance may be totally different.

For instance, you don’t want your ad for Root Canals showing up for the query Tree Root Removal in Canal City, just to give an example.

To keep this from happening, Google allows you to insert Negative Keyword terms into your campaigns. A negative keyword of Tree Root Removal in Canal City will eliminate your ads showing up for that term. To use negative keywords, list them with a minus sign in front of them (no spaces) like this when prompted: -Tree -Removal, and so on.

Broad match can be useful for testing purposes. By running broad match for some of your keywords, you can determine what search queries become paired with your ads, providing you with ideas for more targeted campaigns in the future.

Broad Match Modifier: This option is a mix between Broad and Phrase match, where you tell Google that each keyword must be in the search query, no matter what order the keywords are written.

So a search for Cleveland Root Canals would still display your ads for the keyword Root Canals Cleveland.

Too many advertisers choose broad match for all of their keywords, leading to a massive targeting problem. As a result, they end up overpaying Google for irrelevant inquiries.

To use Broad Match Modifier, insert your modifying keywords with a plus sign in front of them (no spaces), like this: +Cleveland.

To ensure you choose the right option, you will want to run daily and weekly campaign audits to check that your ads are laser focused and performing as desired.

As a Pro Tip, you are encouraged to use a mixture of Exact and Broad Match Modifier. When in doubt, use Exact match and monitor closely.

Keyword Usage

Earlier we mentioned that you should choose many different ad groups with a single keyword in each.

Google allows you to place hundreds of keywords in a single ad group. This will only cause your Quality Score to plummet as you cannot possibly create a targeted ad using so many keyword phrases.

For an ultra-targeted Adwords campaign, you will want to structure your keywords into tightly related ad groups.

For example, instead of having the ad group Dental Services, you could create ad groups for Root Canals, Dentures, and so on. Then, each ad group would have no more than 10-20 tightly related keywords, ensuring that it will be targeted for the search queries associated with it.

For instance, a single ad group for Dentures might have the keywords Cleveland Dentures, Dentures Cleveland, Best Cleveland Dentures, and so on.

Make Your Ads Clickable

To create an ad that begs to be clicked, heed the following tips:

  • A headline that includes a specific message or offer. For example, “25% Off Dental Exam.”
  • Use your keyword somewhere in your ad copy.
  • Use a persuasive call-to-action, such as “Schedule Today!” Many advertisers automatically assume that the CTA should go at the end. However, I have seen a lot of success with ads that lead with a CTA. This technique can be very effective.

Targeted Landing Pages

As a general rule, your landing pages should match the ads that are driving visitors to them. For example, if your ad is for Cosmetic Dentistry, the landing page should have a headline that reads: Get the Beautiful Smile You’ve Always Wanted.

If your landing page is incongruous or confuses your audience, that can lead to poor conversions, which will effectively lower your Quality Score.

Split Testing

If after auditing your campaigns, you notice that some ads are underperforming or not performing at all, you will want to conduct a few split tests.

Also known as A/B testing, this is where you test two variations of the same ad or two types of the same landing page to determine which one performs better. This is an essential step to ensure that all of your ads perform across the board.

When split testing, don’t just focus on click-through rates (CTRs). Just because someone clicks your ad and visits your landing page, doesn’t mean they are actually converting. To convert means to take a specific type of action, such as making an inquiry on your website.

To determine the effectiveness of your campaigns, focus on impressions (the number of times your ad is displayed), clicks and CTR combined.

You will also want to gauge your Cost Per Acquisition, which focuses on how much your business pays to trigger conversions.

Don’t Go It Alone

As you can see, there is a lot to take in when it comes to managing a successful PPC (Adwords) campaign.

Google will try to make you believe that you can succeed at PPC marketing with Adwords all by yourself.

They will tell you that it is easy (and even fun) to spend money bidding on ads while expecting a return on your investment. And if you need help, the Google Adwords team is there to help.

The Ever-Helpful Adwords Team

Call the Adwords support line and you will be greeted by a friendly man or woman who is more than ready to help you succeed with Adwords. These friendly ad experts will even set up and manage your ads for you.

However, these team members have one goal: To increase Google’s ad revenue at the expense of small business owners who may not know any better.

You may have even called one of these team members yourself. But think of it like this: What if a department store offered to help manage your Christmas list for you? Wouldn’t that be a conflict of interest?

Of course it would.

I have personally seen many companies waste thousands of dollars each month on Google ads without reaping any benefit from their efforts. This only leads to wasted time and lots of wasted money.

To increase the effectiveness of your campaigns and to avoid overpaying when bidding for keywords, we encourage you to choose Millionairium to manage your Adwords campaigns for you.

How to Succeed With Adwords

When you choose Millionairium as your Adwords advocates, you receive several benefits.

The biggest one is that we charge a fraction of what Google will unjustly take from you. We also take the headache of managing your campaign from you because we do it all:

  • Set up and manage your campaigns so that they are targeted and performing (increasing your Quality Score, which lowers the amount you have to bid for prominent ad placement).
  • Geo-target your ads so that they are seen and clicked by patients within a 10-20 mile radius.
  • Most importantly, we ensure that only interested searchers find and click through to your landing pages, not just random Internet searchers.

To get the most out of Adwords, choose the experts at Millionairium. Our team will take an honest approach to building out your campaigns, reducing your ad spend while maximizing ROI.

Consult with us before spending any money on Google Adwords. To learn more about PPC advertising and how we can help you, call (310) 299-2799  or fill out our contact form.

How to Avoid the Pain of Overpaying Google for Your Adwords Campaign was last modified: October 19th, 2019 by Ali Husayni
  • Thanks, it is very informative

    Kristine 6 years ago
  • Great article Jason, it\’s definitely better to invest on SEO than the Adwords.

    Adnan 7 years ago
  • thanks. It\’s useful

    Romi 8 years ago
  • I think due to lack of experience usually after a while people realize that AdWords is a waste of money, and they stop using it. But if they use experts\’ advice they would get better results.

    Neda 8 years ago
    • I agree. You can waste a lot of money with Adwords if you don\’t know what you\’re doing. Having an expert show you the way is always the best move. Thanks for reading.

      Jason Little 8 years ago
  • It was very interesting.
    Thanks Jason.

    Sotoodeh 8 years ago
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