How to Slash Your Adwords PPC Costs – and Stop Boosting Google’s Stock price!

I’ve looked into several Google Adwords accounts recently and it only took few minutes to see where a client was pouring money down the drain – and perhaps why Google’s stock is so high.

My pet theory on Google’s stock price? I’ll bet 80% of its value comes from underperforming keywords! Yes, keywords which never convert to sales yet still run, month after month, unchecked.

So here are a couple of ways to cut your PPC costs today 1. Turn off your non-performing keywords – fast!

  • First, go into your Adwords account and run the Keyword/placement report. Run this for the last 90 days. Be sure to click on ‘Add or Remove Columns” and in that section, click on “Conversions (1-click)” and Cost/Conversion (1-click).
  • Download the report into Excel and sort by the number of conversions.
  • Now identify the keywords that have had zero conversions in the last 90 days, and add up the cost. Chances are you’re in for a shock!
The reason I go for 90 days is that it’s enough time for the keywords to get clicks – if they are going to get any. 30 days is often too short a timeframe.
I like to see 50-100 clicks before I pause a non-performer, but if that amount hasn’t been reached after 90 days, I pause the keyword.
2. How Broad Match terms migh be costing you a fortune
While you are in the Excel file, sort it by match type and subtotal (or count) by match type. I want you to see how many Exact, Phrase, and Broad terms you have.
I came across two Adwords accounts recently where 97% of the keywords were Broad. There’s no way that should be happening. But I saw it twice in two months. (Wonder what the stock price did in that timeframe!)
If you have a large percentage of Broad terms you can do one of the following:
  • For the terms that are converting well, turn them into a Phrase or Exact match, and pause the Broad
  • For terms that are not converting, or whose CPA is too high, then if the ad has a high position, consider lowering the bid and seeing what happens.
  • If neither of the above are the case, then pause the keyword
3. Discover the sites on the content network that are killing your PPC costs
  • The final tip is to look at conversions from the content network (assuming you are running there.) Run a Placement Performance report and look to see which sites are not bringing you conversions. Then exclude them…it’s that easy. One account I just looked into spent $10K over three months on the content network. Over $8,000 was spent on sites that never converted, but the account owner was completely unaware this was happening. Needless to say, the non-performing sites were excluded the next day!
So there you have three easy ways to cut Adwords spending today. What to do with the money you save? You could always invest it in a certain stock!
Frank Coyle About the author
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