Return on Investment from Google AdWords? Stop Wasting Your Budget in the Settings

Are you happy with your return on investment from Google AdWords?

It’s true — Google AdWords can be a powerful way to build pay-per-click advertising into your search marketing strategy.

But, if you’re not careful with how you arrange certain setting during your campaign planning, you might be wasting a big portion of your PPC budget.

Keep reading. In this post, I’ll show you a few ways to tweak your settings in Google AdWords so that you can get the best return on investment from your pay-per-click advertising budget.

To get started, here’s an example to illustrate the impact of not turning off certain targeting options:

Google Adwords Results

The green line is how much money one of our clients was paying Google. The blue line is the conversion rate they were receiving from their budget.

Can you guess when our search marketing team came into the picture?

Correct – right in the middle of January when green spend line dropped significantly but the blue conversion rate line increased. With a few tweaks to their campaign settings, we were able to see a big increase our client’s return on investment for their pay-per-click advertising budget.

Sorry, Google.

Let’s not forgot — our friend Google is a business.

As a business, its goal is to make as much money from each and every advertiser who is using their pay-per-click advertising system.

That’s why many pay-per-click advertising budget-draining settings are turned on by default in your Google AdWords manager.

Google puts the responsibility on you to carefully consider each setting to determine if it’s appropriate for your business. If you believe me when I say that, tweet this:

” I believe @JonDulac when he tells me that Google AdWords default settings are designed to get more of my PPC budget ” – Click to Tweet

Here are three quick tips you can use right away to get more return on investment from your pay-per-click advertising budget on Google AdWords:

1) Understand broad match keywords

By default, when want your ad to display for a given phrase,  you type in a new keyword to your list. What you may not realize is that variations of the words you type will also trigger your ad. For example, by typing in ford mustang without using “quotes,”[brackets], or other advanced modifiers, your ad will also appear when synonyms and related phrases are searched for. This sounds fine until you look at your search terms report and see that Google considers ford mustang exhaust systems and ford trucks related phrases.

2) Understand the display network

Google claims that selecting both the search and display network offers the, “Best opportunity to reach the most customers.” While this may be true, what you may not realize is that the display network means your ads could appear in user’s Gmail accounts and on some pretty low quality sites that your potential customers probably don’t visit.

3) Always turn on “All Features” instead of “Standard”

Over the last few months AdWords has changed its interface to make it “easier” for novice users to set up new campaigns. In the process they’ve made it more difficult to access important settings to turn off unnecessary options such as having ads display at 3:00am on Saturday. To toggle the days and hours your ads can be triggered, be sure to turn on “All features” then under advanced settings you can open up the schedule section and edit the default “show ads all days and hours”

Google Adwords - pay-per-click-advertising

Go Forth and Conquer Your ROI!

Used wisely, Google AdWords can be a powerful tool for generating return on investment.

On the flip side, if you’re not careful with some of the smaller details, you will quickly waste a lot of your pay-per-click advertising budget.

Which one of the tips above surprised you?  What didn’t you know, and do you think knowing it now will help you get better Google AdWords results?

Let me know down in the comments and feel free to ask questions.

Certified in both Google AdWords and Analytics, Jon has a passion for all things web and shares that experience here on the blog. You’ll find him frequently talking e-commerce, digital strategy, pay-per-click, and more.

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