Reaching the top of search results organically is a massive challenge considering the competition out there. Where SEO struggles to get you there, Google AdWords can serve quick and effective results. This paid form of advertising can take your website to the top sooner than you expect. However, the major concern is that burning money on AdWords is equally easy. This is because you tend to focus on maximizing your reach to get the highest possible number of clicks.

But you may end up adding those click costs very fast by casting a wide net since a majority of them may be irrelevant. Simply speaking, the number of people clicking your ads increases but a majority of them are not qualified leads. Considering this contradictory behavior of AdWords, you need to look for a strategy that gets you the best results while minimizing irrelevant clicks that cause ad spend wastage.  Here are some tips that can help.

Target specific audiences

The worst mistake that a PPC marketer can make is aiming too broadly. By targeting a broader audience, you may be able to reach a greater number of people. But only a small percentage of the targeted audience is likely to convert. Conversely, your campaign should target specific audiences who are more likely to convert. With this approach, you spend less and still get a higher proportion of conversions with more qualified leads clicking your ads.

Opt for modified broad match keywords

Another good idea to filter out unwanted clicks is to opt for modified broad match keywords. With the default broad match setting, your ads will appear for all the searches which are related to your keywords, not specifically the precise ones. This means that you may get more impressions but they will probably be less targeted. Inevitably, you will end up paying for clicks from the users who are least likely to convert. The solution lies in modifying your broad match keywords by appending more keywords that are likely to match the buyer intent.

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Use negative keywords as well

Choosing what not to target is another smart way to curb costs and curtail wastage on your AdWords spend. A negative keyword is essentially the opposite of a regular keyword that you would want to focus on. With negative keywords, you tell Google about the specific words for which you do not want your ad to be served when they are a part of the search query. This strategy lets you eliminate the unwanted traffic and avoid worthless clicks, thus bringing down your ad spend to a considerable extent.

Track and tweak

Though you need to be bang on while targeting your audience and keywords, it won’t be enough. Keeping track of your campaign is equally important. The idea is to track its performance so that you can identify the flaws and tweak the campaign to address them. Tools such as Google Ads Cost Calculator can be of great help. This smart tool lets you know about the money being wasted on non-converting activities. At the same time, it also provides the CPA aggressiveness score for the campaign. With clear numbers, you have a picture of wasteful activities and can easily come up with a plan to reduce them.

Leverage geographic targeting

Not using geographic targeting is another reason why you may be wasting your ad spend. What if you are shipping only to a particular location but running your ads for the whole world? Obviously, you will be getting irrelevant clicks with very little conversions. The best approach is to set geographic targeting preferences for your campaign so that your ad reaches the customers at the right locations. Reaching them at the right times location-wise is equally important. These customers are the ones who can yield conversions and make your AdWords campaign more profitable as well.

Optimize for mobile

And how can you forget optimizing your AdWords campaign for mobile searches! If you are bidding on mobile searches (which you surely should consider the number of people who use these devices), having mobile optimized ads does not remain a choice. These are the ones that are tailored to deliver seamless user experiences for mobile users. Ideally, these ads should have mobile-specific CTAs so that users can easily click them. Further, they should also have corresponding mobile-optimized landing pages.

Undoubtedly, PPC acts as a catalyst for boosting a brand because it can get you on top of SERP rankings with lesser effort. However, it can be a big financial burden for your business if you fail to achieve a positive ROI with your campaign. Only the right mindset and approach can help in this context. While maximizing the clicks is one side of the picture, everything boils down to the relevance of these clicks. These strategies can definitely help you get the best benefits from your AdWords campaign while minimizing the wastage of your ad spend.

Posted by Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized marketing plans depending on the industry and competition.

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