Google AdWords budgets disappearing down black holes with no results is the biggest problem reported by potential digital marketing clients when we first meet them.


Of course, everyone can ‘do’ Google AdWords. The problem is that not so many people ‘do’ them well and achieve a strong ROI for their AdWords investment.


To get AdWords right, it helps to first understand Google’s business model – which is to generate as many clicks as possible to increase revenue. However, that’s not good for your business.


What you want from your Google AdWords campaign is genuine, potential customers clicking on your ad. These are people who fit your customer profile and have a real need for your product or services. By having this overall vision as your pay per click strategy, you will ensure every penny spent on clicks reaches the correct audience. This can help ensure clicks turn into sales and not money down the drain.


The best way to achieve this is to focus on two areas. The first is adding negative keywords and the second is choosing ‘top page bid’ over ‘first position bid’.


1. Use negative keywords to your PPC campaign


One activity to ensure your budget is not wasted is to add negative keywords to your campaign. You should already have your previously researched keywords compiled within each ad group in your campaign to ensure you have a high quality score.


Even with the best approach you may still get clicks from people who have no interest in buying from you. For example, if you are selling men’s shoes, you do not want people who are looking for men’s shoes on eBay or men’s shoes made in China. Those key searches will still bring up your ad and waste you clicks.

negative keywords

Enter negative keywords correctly

Enter the ‘search phrase tab’ within your keyword section and list all the words which you do not want your ad found for. Then add them as a negative keyword. Make sure add a ‘keyword’ and not a ‘keyword phrase’ as a negative keyword as doing the latter may block some of your quality traffic. This activity should be carried out daily at the beginning of the campaign and repeated each week. This alone could save your business up to 90% of their budget. Usually this will more than cover the cost of hiring expert marketers to manage the strategy for you.


2. Consider top page bid rather than first position bid


Choosing ‘top page bid’ over ‘first position bid’ will reduce the cost of your click by over 50% without diminishing its impact.

If unsure what this terminology means: Top page bid means you are bidding for a top three position on page one of Google. First position ensures your ad appears at the top of page one in Google results. You want your ad to appear at the top of the page but not necessarily in the first position. This will save you money but ensure your products or services are still easily seen.


Google has three prices for keywords. Those prices are based on bids and can change daily. ‘First page’ position is the lowest cost, e.g. 30p per click; ‘Top page’ position, is the middle of the road fee, e.g. 80p, whereas to be number one on the top of page one is usually a lot more expensive, e.g. £2. (These sample prices are for illustration purposes only). To view your page bid within your keyword display screen click ‘modify columns’, choose your position bids and click ‘save’ to view.

page bids in custom columns

A couple of different pricing strategies can be used here. For smaller campaigns it is beneficial to price manually which can be edited in the ‘campaign settings’ and edited in the ‘keyboard display’.


To conclude ensure these two activities are completed effectively and often to prevent your Google AdWords campaign budget being wasted.


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