5 Hacks to Stop Wasting Money on Google AdWords

Does it feel like the money you're putting into your Google AdWords (nowadays known as Google Ads) campaign is going down the drain with nothing to show for it? Try these 5 hacks (plus one bonus hack!) and your campaign will start to bring in actual paying customers, instead of random searches for cat videos.

How to Stop Wasting Money on Google Adwords

1. Avoid broad keywords

Broad keywords are generally very competitive, so the cost-per-click is more expensive. When choosing your keywords, think of ways to make them more precise, so they’re cheaper and more targeted to your ideal customer.

Here's an example:

  • A finance broker advertising on Google using broad keywords would be showing ads for keywords such as ‘finance broker’ or ‘car finance’.
  • The competition on keywords like these would be very high and the cost-per-click would be very expensive.
  • Consider what type of customers you want to attract to your website and structure your keywords with that customer in mind. What finance do your customers need? Where are they located?
  • New keyword: ‘car finance Brisbane’ or ‘business car finance Brisbane’

2. Run your search ads only on the search network

The default setting when creating a new Google AdWords campaign is to display your ads on both the search and display network.

Here's a brief explanation of the differences:

  • The display network is made up of websites that partner with Google. For example, ninemsn.com.au, news.com.au, or realestate.com.au.
  • Search ads are text ads that appear after typing your search into Google.

A sure-fire way to save money is changing your settings so your ads only show on search. The display network will help increase visibility for your ads, but as they are text-heavy, they'll likely just drop your click-through rate. That’s why, on a small budget, we recommend prioritising search ads.

3. Send your AdWords traffic to a landing page (not your homepage)

Your website is your online marketplace that showcases all your products or services. Your homepage is your overview. The traffic from Google AdWords comes to you for a specific reason, whether searching for a product or a solution to a problem your service solves.

In a nutshell, a landing page offers searchers everything they need to convert on one page. That’s why the page must reflect precisely what they were searching for. To get people to convert, your landing page should provide a quick and easy way to contact you or buy your products.

4. Add Negative Keywords

Adding negative keywords to your campaign tells Google not to show your ads to people searching for something you don’t want to show for.

Let's look at an example again.

If your keyword is 'mortgage broker' without negative keywords, your ad could show to people searching for 'mortgage broker jobs' or 'mortgage broker courses'. These people are clearly not potential customers, so you would add the searches to your negative keywords to exclude them. This way, you won’t pay for clicks from people who aren’t even looking for what you’re offering.

5. Use Conversion Tracking

With conversion tracking, you can identify what’s working in your Google Adwords campaign. This way, you know how to refine it for even better results.

Tracking can tell you whether...

  • You're targeting the right people
  • You're using the right keywords for your business
  • What keywords or ads turned into an enquiry, a sale or a phone call
  • And that's just the beginning!

Bonus Hack: Check your settings

If you already did, check them again. Trust us! One wrong setting can cause very different results.

Make sure to do a double check on all the settings one by one before you launch your campaign into Google.

Better yet, using a Google Adwords expert to set up and manage your campaign ensures you’re targeting relevant traffic, reducing your wastage spend and improving your conversion rate.

At Gordon Digital, we're certified by Google to manage AdWords campaigns and perform regular exams to maintain this certification. If you have any questions about Google Ads, contact our in-house Google Ads specialists and ask away!

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