5 Simple Ways To Stop Wasting Money in Google AdWords

If you’re a business owner, you probably have already heard of or know about Google Adwords and what a great marketing method it is to drive targeted web traffic to your site.

However, this can be not as easy as it sounds!

According to Google, the typical ROI for businesses earn an average of £2 revenue for every £1 spent in Adwords. So, if you are getting a return less than that, there is something wrong with your advertising strategy or the way you are managing your AdWords account.

Over the past 2 years, we’ve audited more than 100 accounts at Hasan Kara SEO&PPC Marketing Agency in Brighton.

We’ve looked at over 675K in ad spend, 2 million impressions, 990K clicks, and more than 3K keywords in various of industries in the UK and across EU.

Amongst all that data, we’ve made some important discoveries.

So, if you’re making some of the following mistakes, then you’re going to be losing much more money than you’re making. However, use the advice below to identify your mistakes and instead be one of the many success stories about Adwords instead of one of the nightmares.

1. Forgetting or Not Using Enough Negative Keywords

It is almost shocking that many business owners are not even aware of ‘negative keywords’ and let alone ‘how to use them correctly?’.

Basically, by using a negative keyword, you can exclude keywords that aren’t a good match for your product or services. Adding negative keywords to your campaigns can lower your cost and increase your revenue.

Many Google advertisers make the mistake of ignoring the importance of compiling a negative keyword list and then wonder why their ads aren’t converting the way that they’re supposed to.

Let’s say, you are an E-commerce business selling ‘shoes online’. For instance, if you are targeting ‘cheap sports shoes’ Google will show your ads to users who search for this term. However, you will also get clicks from the search queries such as ‘cheap sports shoes amazon’, ‘cheap sports shoes in India’ or ‘cheap sports shoes Nike’ even you don’t sell any Nike brand shoes!

Frustrating, isn’t it?

But, here is the good news: You can stop showing your ads with these sort of unrelated search terms. The simple answer to this; ‘using negative keywords’. You can add negative keywords at ad group level, campaign or an account level by using shared lists. To find out more how to add negative keywords check the relevant help pages on Google AdWords.

2. Incorrect Use of Location Targeting Settings

Setting up location settings properly sounds so simple that we shouldn’t even need to mention it.

But you’d be surprised how many accounts totally neglect this and pay for it in wasted ad budget.

As far as location settings go, you’ll want to make sure your ads only appear in regions that your business serves. If you’re a local business that only serves specific areas, you’ll want to select “people in my targeted location” in the campaign settings and choose the regions you service. However choosing ‘Reach people in, searching for, or who show an interest in your targeted location’ will change the whole picture, which is Google AdWords’ default and recommended option!

Over the years, we came across so many Adwords accounts which meant to run ads locally but showing up in the entire UK or even in abroad.

If you’re a nation-wide seller, it’s unlikely that every single city across the country is equal in terms of customers and customer value. By evaluating those low converting states and eliminating or decreasing spend in those areas, advertisers can save budget or spend those extra savings in geographic regions where your business is most popular.

On the other hand, if you’re a local retailer with a small customer base, ensure your ads are only set to show within the geographic regions you can actually service or ship to.

3. Bidding on Expensive Generic Keywords

When you’re trying to reduce your spend on keywords, you need to be sure the quality of the leads you generate doesn’t suffer.

So the first place to start is by targeting more specific user intents that suggest people are close to buying.

If we take the same example of ‘cheap sport shoes’ from the above; it’s great if your ads are seen for those generic terms, but these users could be looking for all kinds of things such as ‘cheap sport shoes without shoelaces’, ‘cheap sport shoes in red’ or ‘cheap sport shoes for women’ etc.

Now, comparing their cost per click (CPC) rates with the generic term “cheap sports shoes”, it’s a no-brainer to find out that the niche keywords will be the less competitive, less expensive and they are the ones have the highest conversion rate comparison the generic keywords.

So, check your ‘Search Queries Report’ to identify those long-tail keywords and target them instead the generic keywords to reduce your cost.

4. Not Optimising Your Campaigns for the Mobile Users

This is one of the common mistakes that many people make is forgetting to optimize their campaigns for mobile users.

Understanding how your visitors convert at the device level, it’s probable that mobile traffic from paid search converts at different rate and cost per acquisition level than PPC visitors searching on a desktop or laptop computer.

Also in some cases (for instance in some B2B industries), mobile visitors convert at a poorer rate than someone on a laptop, decreasing the campaign mobile bids will help your account spend less on searchers using a mobile device.

You should also consider creating a separate campaign for mobile users. Since more searches than ever are being conducted on mobile devices today, it makes sense that you would need to make use of an ad campaign that is optimized for mobiles.

5. Not Using Time Scheduling

Did you know whether any users clicking your ads at 3 am in the morning and you were getting some conversions/leads or sales out of those clicks?

If your answer is ‘-Yes’ then we must congratulate you that you are on the right track!

However, if your answer is ‘-No!’ then here is some bad news for you:

‘You have been losing money on those clicks.’

Time schedule can only be optimized at the campaign level. Simply put, your ads won’t run during times outside the range you specify. Ad time scheduling runs on a weekly basis, you can set which days of the week you want to run your ads and start/stop times for each day. And, you can even set up multiple ad schedules for each day, e.g. Monday 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM and Monday 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Furthermore, you can set bid adjustments for each individual time block you create.

Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

AdWords’ time scheduling might sound like a “set it and forget it” part of your paid search campaigns, but it is actually a key part of an effective advertising strategy. If you aren’t regularly optimizing your ad scheduling, you can easily end up spending too much on the wrong clicks…and too little on the right ones.

Last But Not The Least

Even using PPC advertising such as Google AdWords is a good idea, but you could be wasting money on it. If you don’t set it up right and don’t optimize your campaigns for the conversions, then you will be sending users to a website that does nothing for you.

Measuring the success of your online marketing and advertising efforts allows you to understand if your AdWords campaigns work, and what works for you.

The main purpose of using Google AdWords or any PPC platform should not be about delivering traffic to your website, it should be about delivering more ideal customers to the right landing pages that have a high conversion rate so you can get more high quality leads that ultimately turn into customers.

AdWords management can be a very complex task, especially for business owners that are wearing multiple hats and attempting to manage the campaign in their spare time. In order to get the best performance from the PPC campaign and avoid problems such as wasted ad spend it requires full-time attention.

If you don’t have the time to dedicate to managing the AdWords account or if you are having trouble identifying wasted spend then you might want to consider having a PPC Advertising Management Agency handle your Google AdWords campaigns. With doing that, not only your account will benefit from the professional experience and this will also free up your time so you can focus on running your business.

So, stop wasting your money and time with AdWords, contact us to get lucky on Google! 🙂




Brighton UK based Freelance Digital Marketing Specialist with over 10 years experience (working in-house & in agency as an SEO & PPC Consultant) in building up thriving online brands, creating sales and increasing revenue for small & enterprise companies via using SEO and paid search advertising methods.

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