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Google AdWords campaign cause unique problems for the marketers designing them. Most advertising campaigns are charged by the number of people you expect to see them. The bigger the newspaper or the more popular the show the more the advertiser has to pay. You want to pay to reach potential clients and not waste money by reaching people who will never buy your product. But if someone happens to see your ad it does not cost you extra money. The same is true with search results. You want to reach your target audience but if someone who is not a potential client clicks on your link it does not cost you anything.

In your Google AdWords campaign you are paying every time someone clicks on your ad. Anytime someone who has no potential to bring you any revenue clicks on your ad it is a waste of money. If you are running your ads on a limited budget, and unless your name is Amazon you are, any wasted click means one less potential customer will click on your ad. There are thankfully several things you can do to reduce the number of bad clicks you are getting.

Our tips for reducing the number of bad clicks your Google AdWords campaign receives:

1. Specific keywords- Try to be as specific as you can with your keywords. If you sell basketball shoes, use “basketball shoes” as a keyword phrase, and don’t use just “shoes”.

2. Use the correct Google keyword match type. Google has 3 different match types:

 Broad-Means the search term was close to your keyword.  We never use these because it will match a lot of searches that have little to do with your business.

 Phrase- Our favorite. The search terms must be close to your keyword but it does not have to match it exactly.

Exact- Great for reducing bad clicks. The problem can be that there will not be enough people searching for your exact keyword phrase. If you can get enough impressions and clicks with exact keywords then they are the best alternative.

3. Negative keywords- This is an underutilized and very important tools for avoiding bad clicks. A negative keyword tells Google not to show your ads if these terms are used in search. For example our ad campaign for a small architecture firm has the negative terms: schools, books, do it yourself , learn, how to. There is no value to them getting clicks from students looking for a good school to study architecture.

4. Ignore click through rates- Your goal is to maximize the number of good clicks not to get as many clicks as possible. 1 good click is a lot better than 2 bad ones.

5. Check search terms. Google provides you with a list of some of the search terms that lead your search ads to be shown.  These can provide you with ideas for new, more specific keywords but more importantly it will show you bad search terms that you need to be adding to your negative keywords. No matter how much time you spend on coming up with negative keywords someone will invariably use a search term you never thought of and end up wasting your money.

6. Use the demographic and geography settings in the campaign settings. Google lets you set where your ads will show. If you only deal with customers in the U.S. than make sure your ads only show in the United States. If you are a retail store or restaurant make sure your ads only show to people within driving distance of your place. You can also choose to not show ads to the different genders, age groups and income levels. If you sell women’s shoes than way pay to advertise to men. 

7. Write ads designed to encourage the right people to click on your ad. The more specific your ad copy the better the chance you will not get people clicking on your ads thinking it was something different. If you are trying to get trade show exhibitors to go to your site but not people attending trade fairs you need to use terms like exhibitors and booth prominently in your ad.

8. Use Google Analytics to analyze your results. You may be getting lots of clicks but if those people are going to your site and quickly leaving without doing what you want them to do it is a waste of money.

9. Have a well-designed webpage. The best AdWords campaign in the world will not help you reach your goals if the page you are sending people to is not optimized. 



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