Did you realise that not every business pays the same cost per click for Google Adwords? In some situations your competitors will be paying significantly less than you to appear above you in the search results. So why are you paying too much for Adwords?
Google uses a fairly complex system to determine which adverts appear where and how much you pay. It’s not simply a case of being prepared to pay more to appear higher in the search network, thanks mainly to a little number known as the Quality Score. If you haven’t heard of it, then chances are you are paying more than you should for your advertising.
The Quality Score is a ranking system applied by Google that means that two ads that have the same bid (the amount you are prepared to pay for a click), but differing quality scores will show in different places for a relevant search. I’ll explain how the Quality Score affects your ads placement and how Google determines this.
Your ad is only shown to users for relevant searches based on your keywords and the content of your ad. When a user enters a search term using Google, relevant ads are placed on the search results page based upon a calculation made on the relevance to the user’s search term and the adverts bid and quality score. The ad that ranks the highest for that search is placed in first position and the rest are followed by ranking.
Here’s an example. If you are prepared to pay $1.20 per click and your Quality Score is 5/10, but a competitor is prepared to pay $1 and has a quality score of 7/10 they will appear above you.
So on that basis there are two ways to appear higher – pay more or optimise your ad campaign so your quality score increases. When we review a new client’s AdWords account, the most common mistake we see is a high bid amount set to compensate for adverts that have a low quality score. It takes more work to increase your quality score, but the long term benefits are much greater.
Not only will your cost per click be less, you will also get better quality traffic to your site. When you are in this situation you can decide to spend less per month on Adwords (and pocket the savings) or increase your spending with the confidence of knowing that you will receive more quality traffic to your site which should result in increased business.
As I said, improving the Quality Score takes more work than increasing your bid amount. Typically you must choose specific and relevant keywords for your campaign, create ad groups containing similar keywords, write a number of different ad variations with keywords that match your keyword list, and ensure that the landing page is also optimised for those keywords.
Your website homepage is not always the best place to send your visitors from Adwords, especially if you are advertising specific products or services that aren’t clearly mentioned on your homepage. Google checks to see that there is a relationship between your keyword, your advert, and landing page. If all three don’t have a strong match, you will pay more than a competitor that has done a better job of aligning all these factors.
When it comes to setting up Adwords you can do it yourself. It’s simple enough to select a few keywords, write some adverts and set a budget. Google even have Adwords Representatives who will assist you with your campaign for free. While their people are generally honest and provide good support, we do see that there is always a drive to increase your monthly ad spend rather than looking at ways to spend the same amount of money in a much more effective way.
Stop paying too much for Adwords
If you really want to stop paying too much for Adwords and get better value from what you are spending, it’s essential that your campaigns are set up in a highly organised manner and that you don’t set them up and forget them. Best results are always achieved when you take a hands-on approach, continually testing and adjusting the campaign to get the best performance out of every keyword, and every advert.
While this type of Adwords management service isn’t free, the savings gained from having it professionally managed with normally cover this expense and more.