5 Simple Ways to Stretch Your Google AdWords Budget

A board member was on Google last night and he e-mailed your boss to complain that none of your company’s search ads are showing up. Your West Coast sales rep is complaining that she’s getting fewer leads than her East Coast counterpart because Google ads go dark after 4:00 PM PDT.

Sound familiar? Both are symptoms of one thing: you’re exceeding your Google AdWords budget. But before you simply pump more money into the program, consider these alternative fixes as ways to get more bang for the buck from your AdWords campaign:

1. Turn off the content network.

Left unchecked, ads on Google’s content network can quickly climb to a significant percentage of your overall spend. Chances are, however, that those clicks are converting to leads at a much lower rate, and that what leads do result are less qualified.

2. Use dayparting.

Dayparting gives you the capability to run your campaign only during certain times of the day, or certain times of the week. If you only run your campaign from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on weekdays, you’ll minimize consumer traffic and other unqualified clicks that cost you money for little or no return.

3. Set up separate campaigns for different sales territories.

If you divide your campaign into two duplicate programs, one that runs from 8-6 East Coast time, and one that runs from 8-6 West Coast time, each with its own separate budget, you’ll ensure that no West Coast sales rep gets shortchanged because Eastern territories have already eaten up the budget by mid-afternoon.

4. Use negative keywords.

Unqualified clicks – people who click on your ad but aren’t a fit for your product or service – cost money. If you utilize negative keywords, you’ll help eliminate that wasted spend by minimizing the number of clearly unqualified prospects. For example, if you register “free” as a negative keyword, you’ll eliminate prospects who may be interested in your product category, but who are only looking for freeware or shareware. Negative keywords are a critical tactic for B2B companies who need to minimize consumer traffic.

5. Set up conversion tracking.

It may sound basic to those of you who already do it, but the number of companies who spend thousands of dollars each month with Google and yet have no idea which keywords, ad groups, etc. are generating the lowest cost per lead is astonishing. Only by setting up conversion tracking (utilizing either Google conversion tracking codes or Google Analytics) do you truly know how your campaign is performing, and only conversion tracking enables you to eliminate those elements of your campaign that are burning through your budget with little or no reward.

For more detail on how to improve the performance of your AdWords program, download a free copy of our white paper: “Top 10 B2B Paid Search Mistakes: Why Your Google Campaign Isn’t Working And What To Do About It.”

One thought on “5 Simple Ways to Stretch Your Google AdWords Budget

  1. Mark Wilson

    Simple, yet effective. While your thoughts were specific to Google (and Google does provide many great tools for marketers), the last tip you provided on adding conversion tracking reminded me of an article I came across on visitor tracking and a simple way to easily mark URLs for tracking from site entry to sale. Here is an excerpt:

    “It is possible to track ROI on pay-per-click campaigns to a limited degree from the reports available on your paid inclusion service of choice. However, these reports only show you how many people clicked on your ad for each keyphrase – they can’t follow visitors through your website.”

    Visitor Tracking: Your Ticket to Better Website ROI, Erin Walker, April 3, 2007.

    The article is brief and explains how to implement URL striping:
    http://www.searchengineguide.com/erin-walker/visitor-tracking-your-ticket-t.php

    Keep up the good work!

    Mark

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