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When you think of running ads in Google Adwords, what are the first words that pop into your head? For many it’ll be words like “expensive”, “waste”, and “increasing costs”.

It’s a common theme, with advertisers increasingly complaining as AdWords cost continue to rise. In this article, I’ll briefly explain why costs are increasing, as well as providing a few tactics to reduce your cost per click over time from AdWords.

Whats going on with AdWords?

Google are getting a bit of a reputation as a bloodsucking corporation, happy to suck more and more money out of businesses through their ad platform.

In reality, it’s quite natural that your cost-per-click will increase if you’re not proactively managing your AdWords efforts.

Pay per click advertising on Google is one big, complicated auction. The more people bidding on the same keywords, the higher prices are going to be – and with more and more advertisers signing up for Google AdWords every day, competition is only going to get fiercer (and prices higher).

So what’s a business to do?

PPC is a crucial channel for acquiring new customers and reaching your target audience, and stopping your activity altogether due to spiralling costs isn’t the best approach, but is the way that some businesses feel forced into. Below, we’ll examine a few key ways to reduce your cost per click and make AdWords spend sustainable for your business once more.

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Follow Best Practice For Optimisation

Even without being an AdWords expert, there are a number of really simple changes that you should be making to your account every week in order to keep costs down.

In basic terms, the amount you pay on AdWords is calculated by your ad rank (Bid x quality score. If you want to read more here here). Your ad extensions and other elements are also now factored in to this score, but the main area you can optimise is the quality score.

Weekly changes to make to reduce costs:

  1. Look at each of your ads in each ad group in turn. Make sure you have at least 3 ads per ad group, and then each week pause the ad with the lowest clickthrough rate or conversion rate, and create a new ad which is an improved version of the best performing ad. By doing this every week (or month if your traffic from ads is quite low) you’ll continually improve your clickthrough rate, and impact positively upon your quality score.
  2. Check the quality score of all of your keywords regularly. If you have low quality keywords due to relevance issues then consider removing these from the account of placing them in their own ad group away from other terms.
  3. Regularly review your search terms – these are the terms that are actually matching the terms you’re bidding on. Use this list of terms to add in new negative keywords if not relevant, or to add exact keywords to improve quality score if certain phrases are being consistently searched for.

Keep On Top of Performance

With AdWords generally being expensive, it’s crucial that you keep on top of your performance. PPC is too expensive to just leave your account and hope for the best. On top of the basic weekly tips above, you should be measuring your overall performance regularly. For instance, not checking and realising that one ad is costing you £10 more per conversion, or £0.50 more per click can end up costing you a lot of money in a short period of time. Keep on top of your results, and know what success looks like so you can make sure your campaign costs don’t get away from you.

Know What To Expect

Use the Google keyword planner, talk to those with more experience, benchmark against your historical campaigns, and know what success looks like in terms of your cost per acquisition costs so that you know what to expect when it comes to your performance.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what your cost per click is or how expensive AdWords is if the cost of a sale isn’t increasingly, or if you’re getting higher quality leads.

Track your performance the whole way from ad click spend through to the value that gives to your business to get a true view of the cost of AdWords.

Following the above tips will help you reduce your cost per click on AdWords over time, but remember there’s no instant fix (other than perhaps targeting just your brand term and very uncompetitive keywords!).

The tips here are basic enough that anyone should be able to implement them in their own AdWords campaigns, but there are a whole host of strategies that can be employed to increase performance when working with an agency.

If you’d like to talk AdWords, drop us a message and we can advise you as to the best way forward.

Dean Lynn

Dean is the Founder of Trusted Media and has over fifteen years experience of commercial business marketing. If you ever meet Dean, you'll quickly realise how honest and straight to the point he is; something his clients love about his marketing approach. When Dean's not at Trusted Media providing marketing consultancy to clients, he can be found at home with his daughter, who loves creating (breaking) things. Dean never sits still, enjoys eating food (part-time #instafoodie), and finds his happy place in the kitchen baking or in the garden.

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