In this article, I’ll help you find ways to prevent overspending on your Google Ads Budget with adjustments you and your team can make to reduce wasting your ad spend.
Over the course of my 20-year career with Google Ads (formally Google Adwords), I have had the opportunity to review hundreds of Google search campaigns from companies and business owners who have attempted to get the most from their paid search campaigns.
Whether you are just starting with Google Ads or are looking to save on your marketing budget, here are some of the common missteps I have seen and tips to prevent Google Ads from overspending.
Budgeting For Your Google Ads Account
Google Ads may be one of the most popular and useful online advertising platforms in the world right now with multiple features that allow you to advertise your products effectively in Google Search engines and Google-partnered sites. Despite this, if your account is not properly managed, Google will potentially expand the reach of your ads, ignoring their relevance to the premiere target audience and ultimately costing you more while resulting in a poor ROI. Since Google Ads operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis, Google has no problem wasting your advertising budget on useless clicks or impressions. So, to avoid this happening to you, here are 5 effective ways to help you stay within your Google Ads budget and to make sure that your ads are shown to the correct people.
1. Reduce the Amount of Broad Match Terms
The default setting for search terms in Google AdWords is called the broad match, which sounds exactly like you think it does. With broad match, Google will further expand the scope of your keywords to ensure that your ads receive impressions on terms that are somewhat relevant to your keywords. This will ultimately result in you receiving a lot of clicks and impressions on your ads, but they may be from a completely irrelevant audience meaning that you are wasting your budget using a broad match. To ensure precision targeting for your AdWords account, stick to using phrase match and exact match. This may reduce your overall impressions and clicks, but at least the clicks and impressions you’ll have will be from a relevant target audience.
2. Review Your Search Terms Report Weekly
I’m not exaggerating when I say that your search terms report is the Robin to your Batman, without it, Gotham would be in jeopardy. But all jokes aside, the review of your search terms report is essential to your success with Google AdWords. It provides you with an analysis of the terms that your ads are showing up for in Google. Therefore, if there are any irrelevant terms that you are showing for you can simply add them to your negative keywords list and make your accounts as precise as needed. To optimize this even further, combine the analysis of your search terms report with an analysis of the keyword data query in the Google Search Console. This will display all the terms that your business is showing up for organically so therefore if there are any irrelevant terms you can simply add them to your negative keywords list to fine-tune your campaigns even more and save you money on irrelevant clicks moving forward. This review needs to be done at least once a week mainly because it’s almost impossible to know every term that you do not want to be shown for when you are creating your campaigns. By having an initial list of terms, you know you do not want your ads to show for is a great start, but once you begin expanding your negative keyword list over time you’ll notice a drastic change in the precision of your campaigns meaning that you will not be spending money on wasted clicks.
3. Utilize Geo-Targeting for Your Campaigns
This may seem very straightforward, but make sure that your ads are targeted at the correct geographic audience. Google’s geo-targeting is very precise, allowing you to target based on a Country, Province/State, City/Town, or even a postal code. Once you have your geo-targeting set, make sure you analyze how each geographic segment is performing. If there is one area that just does not respond to your ads or even just a location that is not performing to your initial standards, adjust your bid to make sure that your ad is not showing as much in that specific location and then reallocate your bid percentage from the poor performing area to a better performing geographic area.
4. Readjust Your Device Segmentation
Like geo-targeting, your device segmentation can be adjusted as well to ensure that your ads are shown on prominent devices; desktop, mobile, and tablets. Once you have an initial review, you can observe what your target audience is responding to the best and then reallocate the focus of your ads to the best-performing device while reducing the impressions on other devices. This will not only save you money, but it should also ensure that your conversions are still being met by focusing your ads on the most prominent device.
5. Google Ads Scheduling (Dayparting Optimization)
Ad scheduling is important for Google Ads account setup because it allows you to control when your ads are displayed to potential customers. Optimizing your Google Ads scheduling is especially important and beneficial if you have a limited budget, as you want your ads to be shown during peak hours.
For example, if you run a restaurant and your ads are displaying late at night when your restaurant is closed, you may be wasting money on clicks from people who are looking for a place to eat right away. This is why it’s important to set up an ad schedule for the hours that you are open.
Here are a couple more reasons to set up your Google Ads Scheduling:
– You can use a bid adjustment to pay less during non-peak hours or pay more during peak hours to improve the visibility of your ads.
– Scheduling your ads to run later in the day or evening will help you lower your cost per click as other advertisers may have spent their daily budget.
For those who are already familiar with the basics, consider using Google’s machine learning features to optimize bids. This can be a game-changer in terms of maximizing your ROI.
Common Pitfalls to Avoid
- Ignoring Quality Score: Your Quality Score is a crucial factor in how much you pay per click. Make sure to optimize your landing pages, ad copy, and keyword relevance to improve your Quality Score.
- Not Updating Negative Keywords: Always keep your negative keywords list updated. This is an ongoing process and should be part of your weekly routine.
Over the years, I’ve reviewed so many accounts that don’t have this in place. As a result, they are wasting their budget and not getting the results they expect from their investment.
Ad scheduling isn’t a “set it and forget it” tactic. You’ll need to monitor your campaign’s performance regularly to make sure that your ad schedule is still effective. For example, if you notice that your ads aren’t performing well during a specific time of day, you may need to adjust your ad schedule to exclude those hours.
If you’re setting up a Google Ads account, investing a few additional minutes in configuring your ad scheduling can help make your campaigns more successful. By controlling when your ads are displayed, you can maximize your budget and reach your target audience at the right time.
At a minimum try to set up an ad schedule for the hours that you are open. Especially if taking inbound phone calls is important for your business.
I hope you found this tip helpful to stop your Google Ads from overspending.
Need help managing your Google Ads? Learn how I can help grow your business to manage your google ads.
Need to upgrade your Google Ads knowledge, I also provide Google Ads Training and Google Ads Coaching
Q: How often should I review my Google Ads account?
A: At least once a week to make sure you’re not overspending and to update your negative keywords list.
Q: Can I do this myself or should I hire a professional?
A: While these tips can certainly be implemented by anyone, hiring a professional can save you time and potentially increase your ROI even further.