Many advertisers are losing money or significantly hindering their performance when it comes to using Adwords, leading some companies to abandon Adwords completely. An Adwords account can be tough to manage but there are here are a few ways to keep your campaigns profitable and the cash rolling in. Here are ten ways to cut costs and quickly get back up and making money.
1) Focus only on relevant keywords
When advertisers first start in Adwords they are told to do keyword research and bid on every term that could potentially result in a sale. This is a good strategy when you have a bigger budget and can afford to test a large set of keywords but if you’re a budget conscious advertiser you will first want to focus strictly on highly relevant keywords and leave out anything you’re not sure about, even if it has potential. Once your highly relevant keywords are converting and making money then you can go back and expand your list and add all the keywords that you weren’t sure about.
If your account has a massive amount of keywords already then consider going back and pausing anything that you don’t think is 100% relevant to your product or service.
2) Start with phrase and exact keywords at first
The default bid type in Adwords is broad and very few advertisers bid using phrase and exact match types. Ideally you will bid on all three match types and make the appropriate adjustments as you gather impression and click data. But if you’re on a tight budget it’s best to first start by only bidding on phrase and exact match types and leave out broad.
If you can’t make your phrase and exact match types profitable then its unlikely broad keywords will make any profit.
3) Proper use of negative keywords
Even if you’re only using phrase and exact keywords (suggested above) you will still want to include negative keywords in your campaigns.
Negative keywords will only apply to broad and phrase match types and can be added as either broad, phrase or exact negatives.
Some common negative keywords to think about adding are: free, picture, sample, video and other variations of these keywords. Your negative keywords will vary depending on the industry your in. Brainstorm any negatives and add them to your campaigns.
When adding negative keywords try to use phrase and exact match types. Sometimes a keyword can convert in one context but not in another, this is why adding all negative keywords in the default broad match type is not always a good idea. You can avoid excluding potential profitable variations by using phrase and exact negative keywords.
4) Prequalify your ad copy
Don’t get overly creative with your ad copy, stay true to your product/service. You may want to prequalify your ad by adding in the price of your product/service or by directly targeting the demographic in your ad. Always try to add a call to action.
The idea is to create a high CTR ad without misleading the visitor. This is why adding the price or demographic can exclude those not interested that would otherwise click and waste your money.
5) Maintain a quality score of 7 or higher
Quickly open up Adwords Editor and download your account. Browse through your quality score using the keyword tab and find anything with a quality score of less than 7. Separate those keywords out into their own ad groups and write ad copy that focuses on those keywords then set the destination URL to the most relevant page. This should improve your quality scores up to 7 or higher.
Keep in mind that anything below 7/10 (quality score) can end up costing you significantly more then your competitors. Keep an eye on low quality score keywords. If you can’t improve them then it may be a good idea to pause them.
6) Bid on your brand and company name
Even if your already ranking number 1 for your own product/service or company name it is still a good idea to bid on these keywords. These terms will cost next to nothing and it never hurts to have more than one ad pointing to your site.
In fact, if you do not do this, you risk losing the number 1 ad space to competitors that are bidding on your branded terms and redirecting potential converting traffic to their own sites.
7) Do not ignore the content network
If you’re struggling with search then the last thing you’re probably thinking about is running ads on the content network, but the truth is that the content network has a lot of potential.
It has also been greatly improved by giving advertisers more control over where their ads appear. The networks tab allows you to remove sites that perform poorly and target sites that perform well with much greater ease then ever before.
If you’re already running ads on the content network make sure your removing poorly performing sites by excluding them from your campaigns. It is also a good idea to get rid of websites that have low CTR with a large amount of impressions. This is usually the result of a non relevant listing on the content network and it also improves your quality score by improving overall CTR in the campaign.
If you’re not running the content network then test it out. Make sure that you separate your search campaigns from your content campaigns.
8) Use testimonials
Your landing page plays a major role in conversions and one of the best ways to improve conversions on any product or service is to include user submitted testimonials on your landing page. These can be written, voice recorded or even displayed as a video.
If you’re not using testimonials on your landing page then you need to be. If you don’t have any testimonials then start following up with your customers and start gathering their feedback.
9) Use incentives, discounts and coupons
Everyone likes getting a good deal and this is why using incentives, discounts and coupons has proven to drive up sales. Incentives can include free shipping on multiple orders or order over a certain amount, 2 for 1 deals and more. Discounting prices works great as well. Let your customers know they are getting a discount and let them know how much it is. Also consider using coupons that your customers can enter to get a discount. Coupon related search terms are skyrocketing lately.
Obviously discounts, coupons and incentives cut into profit but they don’t have to be over the top and the extra volume you will push due to these implementations should make up for a slightly lower margin per order.
10) Keep an eye on your competitors
It’s always important to watch what your competition is doing but even more so when it comes to paid advertising. When doing your research keep a close eye on the small guy who seems to be thriving on the first page of results.
Sometimes a large company can afford to lose money bidding number 1 for many years but the small guy can’t so if you see a small/medium sized company up there with the giants on a consistent basis then closely examine their ads and landing pages.
The things you learn from your competitors can then be applied to your own ads and landing pages and used to help drive more sales.