Google AdWords is responsible for bringing in $66 billion worth of revenue for Google in 2014. Needless to say, it is one of the BIGGEST mediums of driving targeted traffic online.
One of the biggest misconceptions of small and medium businesses who start off with Google AdWords is that it is very competitive and hence, very expensive. With bids running up to $54.91 for the term “Insurance”, the logic seems justified.
Does that mean that you should not be running Google AdWords campaigns? Absolutely NOT! In fact, when done right- AdWords (Search) can probably be the MOST PROFITABLE source of online traffic.
Why, you ask?
It can be summed up in 2 words – USER INTENT
Attribution: Mykola Pechenizky, Eindohven University of Technology
Online traffic sources can largely be divided into permission-based and interruption based. While most of the other popular methods of driving traffic –say, PPV, media buying on independent sites or even the larger Social Media websites like Facebook and Twitter interrupt the users to display ads, Google (Search) AdWords traffic helps user feature relevant ads that users are interested in RIGHT NOW!
So, the question is – “How do you get this traffic for cheap?”
Here are Three sure-fire ways to help you:
Focus on the right Keyword Match Type
We have all heard of the Broad, Phrase and Exact Match Type. Here’s an introduction from the Google’s Official Support Desk.
If you’re on a shoestring budget (and at times even if you’re not), Broad Match type is the one you want to stay away from. Since, it matches keywords by variations, misspellings, synonyms and drill downs for the keyword you are targeting, chances are you’ll end up racking a huge bill in no time! Unless you have a team monitoring the account, this is probably not the route you’d want to start off with.
Here’s a table from the Google AdWords Support Page:
|Match type||Special symbol||Example keyword||Ads may show on searches that||Example searches|
|Broad match||none||women’s hats||include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations||buy ladies hats|
|Broad match modifier||+keyword||+women’s +hats||contain the modified term (or close variations, but not synonyms), in any order||hats for women|
|Phrase match||“keyword“||“women’s hats“||are a phrase, and close variations of that phrase||buy women’s hats|
|Exact match||[keyword]||[women’s hats]||are an exact term and close variations of that exact term||women’s hats|
|Negative match||–keyword||–women||are searches without the term||baseball hats|
The broad match is useful in one situations though – Brand Name/Trademark. If you’re not very confident that a search for your brand name will not return your website as the top listing; use the broad match to stay at the top.
The easiest way to reduce your costs would be by bidding on the Exact Match type; it has the highest relevance. However, there is a limitation to exact match – you get very little traffic. In fact, your ads get triggered ONLY when the user enters EXACTLY the search term.
For instance, if you’re targeting “Lenovo g series”, your ad will NOT show up for “Lenovo g series review” OR “Lenovo g series v/s z series”, and some of these terms can be the difference between a winning campaign and a losing one!
So, what’s the best way to proceed?
Phrase Match + Negative Keywords
Use the phrase match to spot the most relevant keywords. Drill down further and understand which keywords are not relevant to your offer and exclude them using the “Negative Keywords”. The match types exist for negative targeting just as well so, if you exclude -z series in broad, your ad will not trigger even for Lenovo g series! So, exclude –“z series” if you want your ad to show up for “Lenovo g series” and not for “Lenovo z series”.
One key thing to remember – you probably can’t get all the negative keywords in place right when you start. It’s an iterative process, and you can use the Search Query Report to find the keywords that you need to get rid of in the future.
Target Users Way Better
The next step is to understand how you can target user’s way better that will result in lower costs and better ROI. If you keep trying to reach as many users as you can, the chances are that you’ll run out of your budget pretty soon.
Ways to get Cheap Clicks on Google AdWords
Instead here are 3 targeting methods that you need to use to get even cheaper clicks:
1. Geo Targeting: This is probably one form of targeting that small businesses are extremely good at. However, you can get even better. If you have some form of analytics available, that lets you figure out where your best customers come from (say, Raleigh) – use this geography to start off.
If you’re an affiliate marketer, make sure you start off with a country where the offer converts at the most (This could be USA or UK). Make sure you don’t start off in lots of geographies, or you might end up bleeding money in no time!
2. Ad Scheduling: Once you have your campaigns running, you’ll have data on how much you’re bidding on which keywords at what time (you can even adjust bids for an hour in particular). You might find that some hours are very expensive (peak hours) -if they are not resulting in a higher conversion rate, you should get rid of them.
3. Device Targeting: If your website is not mobile-friendly, you should definitely not be running your campaign on mobile devices. You can turn it off as shown:
The queer thing about mobile traffic though is user intent. More often than not people will be browsing on their mobile to find local results. If you don’t offer local service, make sure you address this before running your campaign on mobile devices. In fact, it’s probably better to have separate campaigns!
I know this goes right against everything we have been discussing, right? WRONG!
You see, when you’re starting off on Google AdWords – Google assigns you a Quality Score. The QS definitely depends on the landing page quality, relevance and lots of other factors. BUT, the one thing that it depends on and that you can control is the Click Through Rate (CTR). If you have a higher CTR, Google assumes more relevance and hence, higher QS.
Once Google assigns QS on the account level, the chances are that they stay consistent for a long time. Now, for every auction that Google does, these QS are used to determine you Cost-Per-Click. The higher the QS, the lower the CPC.
So, to make sure that you have lower CPCs in the longer run, make sure you have higher CTRs initially. And where will you get higher CTRs? Think about it for a moment? Who do you think gets more clicks? The ads on top or the ads on the bottom?
The ads on the top, right?! And to get to the top, you need to bid higher INITIALLY! Once you have the QS in place, you’ll end up paying much less than your competition.
That’s all you need to know for Getting Cheap Clicks on Google AdWords. Now, go get it!