Google Ads offers the best bang for your buck when it comes to reaching users organically at scale on a budget. For this reason, we have increased our Google Ads spending to account for 85-90% of our digital advertising budget. But with an ever-changing landscape and new advertisers coming in all the time, keeping the costs down is not easy.
We’ve found eight cost-cutting measures that have allowed us to stay profitable while spending less per user on Google Ads. Reducing your Google Ads budget can be scary, but if you plan correctly and monitor your performance regularly, it doesn’t have to be a scary proposition. Yes, you risk losing money by spending less on ads, but what other options do you have? If you’re spending too much money on ads without seeing results or breaking even fast enough, then reducing your ad spend is probably a good move.
1. Make sure you’re tracking the right metrics
There are several metrics to track when optimizing Google Ads campaigns. However, there are three metrics in particular that will allow you to gauge the effectiveness of your Google Ads budget. Those are CTR, CPA, and ROI. CTR is the click-through rate of your ads. It’s an indication of how enticing your ads are and how targeted your audience is. You want your CTR to be as high as possible, but it can fluctuate as Google learns more about your audience. If one of your ads has a low CTR but high CPL, it might be tempting to increase the budget on that ad.
But if you’re not tracking CPA closely, you may find yourself losing more money with that ad. CPA is the amount of money you’ll spend per acquisition, per visitor. It’s a great metric to track because if you break even on an ad, you can then use your CPA to calculate your ROI. For example, if you spend $100 on an ad that generates $150 of revenue, you’ve more than paid for it.
2. Reduce ad spend on underperforming ad formats and placements
You should have a clear idea of which products and services are generating the most revenue and which ones are performing the worst. Spend your ad dollars where they matter the most. If you have a product that’s generating a lot of revenue, but the ads associated with it aren’t performing, try eliminating that ad or changing the target audience. If one ad format is underperforming, consider switching to another ad format.
Depending on your industry, you may see better results with a carousel ad or a slideshow ad than a standard text ad. Ads in the right-hand side rail and top-of-page ads (TOP) are often less targeted than ads in the main feed. If you have an ad, product, or promotion that needs to reach as many people as possible, using a TOP ad may be a better choice than the main feed ad. You can also choose to run your ads in a less targeted format, like a carousel ad.
3. Don’t pay for brand awareness
Brand awareness is important for any business, but it’s not something that can be paid for directly. If you’re spending money on ads targeting users who aren’t interested in your products, don’t be surprised if they aren’t clicking through. If you’re paying for people to click through to your website, but they’re not converting, you’re spending too much.
The most effective strategy to increase brand awareness is to speak to consumers who are actively looking for your company's name, goods, or services. Consider making your advertising' targeting more broad if you want to connect with more people who are interested in your brand.
4. Use bidding strategies that don’t pay for ads shown
A lot of advertisers make the mistake of using the CPC bidding strategy. This is a dangerous way to spend your ad dollars because you’re paying for clicks. However, there are other bidding strategies that you can use to keep your costs down without negatively impacting your ad performance. The first strategy is to use the CPM bidding strategy. This bidding strategy will make you pay for each impression, not for clicks. This can help you save money if your ads are performing well.
However, you may have to increase your daily budget to make this work. The second strategy is to use the CPV bidding strategy. This bidding strategy will make you pay for each ad impression, but not clicks. If your ads are performing well but you’re not getting a lot of clicks, this bidding strategy may help lower your costs while keeping your ads running.
5. Use Google Ads diagnostics to find more efficient spots
The Diagnostics tab in Google Ads lets you see which search queries lead to your ads being shown. By clicking on the “Search terms” tab, you can see the search queries that triggered your ads to be displayed. You can also use the “Ad format” tab to see which ad format is showing up for which search terms. This data can help you determine which ad format is performing better than others, as well as which ad placement is more efficient than others.
This can help you decide where to put your ads to get the most bang for your buck. For example, you may notice that your slideshow ads are performing better than your carousel ads. You can then decide to place your slideshow ads in the main feed and your carousel ads on the right rail.
6. Test ad formats and target audience combinations yourself
If you’re not testing your ads and ad formats, you’re missing out on an opportunity to lower your costs. One way to test your ads is to only run one ad format at a time. This will allow you to focus on each ad format and get more accurate data on which one performs best. You can also try testing different audiences. Run ad campaigns that use different targeting, and then track the performance of each campaign.
This will allow you to determine which target audience performs best and then focus your main campaigns on those audiences. For example, you may find that one ad format performs better when you target a broad audience, and another performs better when you target a more specific audience, like people who recently visited your website.
7. Rotate ad formats and campaigns
If you run ads for several weeks or months on end without experimenting with different ad formats or audience targeting, you’ll never know which one is best for your campaign. You don’t have to test each ad for a month or longer. Instead, try rotating your ads every one or two weeks. This will allow you to keep certain ads running consistently and experiment with new ads for a short period of time. For example, you can run your slideshow ads for two weeks, carousel ads for two weeks, and then switch back to the slideshow ads. You can also rotate between two different audiences to see which one performs better.
8. Set a maximum CPC and stick to it
If you’re not setting a maximum CPC and sticking to it, you’ll end up paying more than necessary due to the fluctuations in the Google Ads auction. When you set a maximum CPC and stick to it, you’ll get less traffic than you would if you let the system decide what your CPC should be. However, the trade-off is that you may lose some business. If you see decreased performance from your ads, consider increasing your maximum CPC to get more traffic.
The best approach to reach a wide audience at scale is through Google Ads, but it's challenging to master. These eight suggestions will help you spend less on advertising while still connecting with your target market. To acquire the greatest conversions and sales, you ultimately want to spend the least amount of money possible. There are numerous techniques to reduce your Google Ads budget, but most of them are difficult to put into practice. Visit SYP.net to learn more strategies to help you cut your spending while still connecting with your target market.