Your AdWords campaign can quickly become a very costly exercise if you do not carefully track the campaign and manage costs. There a number of strategies that can be implemented in your AdWords account in order to reduce click costs:
1. Opt out of the Content Network – unless you are actively targeting specific sites through a placement targeted campaign, opt out of the network as you may receive a large number of clicks that are irrelevant and costly.
It is possible to see in the Google Analytics data what percentage of total clicks are being ‘stolen’ by the content network.
2. Select Long-Tail keywords – do not focus solely on the most competitive keywords, instead, utilise your analytics data in order to see what types of long-tail keyword variations have resulted in clicks and/or conversions. The more specific the search query the closer the searcher is to the purchase decision.
3. Create keyword focused Ad Groups – do not bundle hundreds of keywords into one ad group that is then driven by a couple of ad variations. In order to optimise you AdWords campaign, set up separate ad groups for specific keyword sets.
Create a “relevancy chain” that can be linked from the search query to the keyword triggered ad variation to the landing page. The tighter the chain, the higher your Quality Score will be and the higher the number of conversions you will receive from your AdWords campaign.
4. Manually control budgets – by implementing ‘Budget Optimizer’ you are giving Google complete control over how your AdWords budget will be spent. Given it is in Google’s best interest to make more money, you can be certain that the terms will not be in your favour.
5. Manually reduce your maximum bids – this is one of the simplest ways in which to reduce AdWords costs. It may be time consuming across many keywords and ad groups but once your campaign Quality Score starts to rise along with your click through rate (CTR), you will no longer be required to bid as high as you originally did to maintain top positions.
Gradually reduce maximum bids and carefully track the results. Even a few cents taken off each keyword will have a large cumulative effect.
6. Track and control Quality Score – as your Quality Score decreases on particular keywords or ad groups it is necessary to implement the required damage control to prevent your click costs from rising. Remove redundant keywords or those that are driving your overall Quality Score down.
7. Use negative keywords – cut out completely the keywords that are not relevant to your campaign to reduce wasteful clicks.