Decrease overall advertising spend without reducing conversions.
Long tail keywords are highly specific, and typically cheaper than general keywords because there is less user traffic. Due to their specificity, there will be fewer search queries on the keyword, decreasing its competitiveness. This allows you to bid on the keyword for a lower CPC and reach a targeted audience likelier to convert. For example, the keyword antique writing desk is much more specific than desk, and could be $1 per click as opposed to $3 per click.
Some keywords are essential to your campaign, and are worth increasing their bids to appear higher on the search page. If a keyword that is important to your campaign currently is in the fifth position, consider increasing your bid slightly to appear at least in the third or fourth position to ensure you’re capturing as much traffic as possible.
Decrease bids on keywords that aren’t as important to your campaign or that you may be overbidding on. If you are spending a high amount on a keyword, but are not receiving much traffic from that keyword, consider lowering the bid. Or, if you are bidding $7 on a keyword, but it is only $4 to appear in the first position on the search result’s page, you can decrease the bid to the minimum amount to still appear in the first position to pay less per click.
Add negative keywords to filter out irrelevant or unwanted search queries that have a poor performance history.
Adding negative keywords ensures that users who search for topics that don’t relate to your campaign, product, or service will not see or potentially click on your ad. Keyword lists that are properly researched and set up can easily stretch into thousands of keywords. Don’t neglect implementing purposeful negative keywords, as they can significantly impact the quality of search queries your ad appears in and ensure you’re not spending budget unnecessarily on clicks from users likely not looking for what you offer.
For example, if you only sell desks and have office furniture as a keyword, there’s a good chance your ad could show up if someone searched for office chair. Adding negative keywords like office chair or desk lamp would help exclude your ad from these search queries.
Use the Google Keyword Planner within the Google Ads platform to incorporate different keyword variations.
Input a keyword that is important to one of your ad groups. The Keyword Planner will then create a list of keywords that may be useful. One way to find keywords that relate to your original keyword, but that may be cheaper, is to filter the list for the average CPC and then sort the resulting keywords from low to high. This gives you keywords related to the one you initially input at a lower bid cost.
For example, rather than home office desk, the Google Keyword Planner may suggest the variation adjustable standing desk for home office. This long-tail keyword is longer, more specific, and will have low traffic. If you offer a product that suits that description, you can choose to add this keyword to your ad group and secure a non-competitive keyword at a low CPC.
Improve your Quality Score, or the rating the Google Ads algorithm awards your ads, by creating a positive and relevant user experience from your ads linking to your company’s landing pages.
Your Quality Score determines whether your ad and keywords are a good fit for those searching for the product or service you offer. As a result, a higher Quality Score is rewarded with lower CPC. Ways to optimize your Quality Score include:
- Create ads that are specific to the keywords you assign. This will ensure that your ads are relevant to the user’s search queries and lead to a higher CTR. Higher CTR results in a higher Quality Score.
- Optimize user experience on landing pages. If users find what they are looking for from your ad, this will result in a higher Quality Score. If they don’t, your website will have a high bounce rate which will decrease your Quality Score.
- Include keywords related to your product or service. Bidding on keywords that don’t pertain to your business to get more views will result in a decreased Quality Score. Only include keywords that are highly specific to what you are offering.
Note that lowering your CPC won’t always lower CPL or CPA. Optimize your campaign so that you don’t overpay on CPC, but ensure that you are still bidding high enough based on Google’s Keyword Planner to secure the users who will find your ad helpful.
Geotarget your campaigns for countries, cities, metropolitan areas, or zip codes if you run a local or regional business.
You can also choose to exclude and include locations to reach an audience in your most important areas or to exclude users from areas where your service or product is not offered, so that you are not spending budget on clicks that will not lead to a conversion.
For example, if you only offer a service on the east coast, but your ads are showing all over the country, then you are losing money on clicks from those who can’t utilize your business. Additionally, this will lower your Quality Score as it will increase your website’s bounce rate. Use the location parameters to only include users on the east coast.
Create specific ad group themes so that all keywords, ads, and landing pages are relevant and closely linked.
Ensure that your ad groups are specific to a central theme and contain keywords and ad materials that relate to that theme. The more specific you can make your ad groups, the better user experience and thus, Quality Score each ad will receive.
Specific keywords and ads live within ad group settings, not campaign settings, so you can tailor your keywords and ad materials such as copy, headlines, links, and images. This helps the user find exactly what they are looking for, rather than seeing a generic ad that they may not realize can provide them with what they are looking for.
If you have run Google Ad campaigns in the past, use historical data to develop insight on how to improve CPC.
Use previous campaign data to understand your users and their habits when pertaining to your ads, and use this information to set up your new campaign. You can view data from the campaign level, ad group level, or ad level:
- Campaign level data helps identify the overall performance of the campaign and if settings like your budget, location targeting, and demographic targeting details are working.
- Ad group level data helps identify if the keywords being used in each ad group are working well within each ad group by looking at CTR. You can also choose to look at keyword data more granularly from the ad group level in the Keyword tab so see which keywords worked well, which didn’t, and if there are opportunities to improve keyword, negative keywords, or bids.
- Ad level data helps identify which ads are resonating with the audience. By looking at these details, you can determine the types of ads and what about them helped to drive conversions to incorporate into your new campaign. Alternatively, it can also highlight which ads didn’t perform well and therefore what can be improved upon.