A Dummy’s Guide to Google AdWords: 5 Cheapskate Hacks to Squeeze Your Budget
Running a Google AdWords campaign is tough.
From finding out how the campaign fits in your marketing strategy, to ensuring it helps your business grow, it’s a balancing act through and through.
Things can get especially rough if you’re going up against bigger businesses with seemingly unlimited budgets.
“Feels an awful lot like this, sometimes, doesn’t it?”
Thing is, you can’t, and shouldn’t, match your competitors’ budgets if it’s not profitable.
After all, at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about, right?
So with all that in mind, here are 5 hacks you can do to get more out of your AdWords budget.
Hack #1: Don’t gun for number one
Sure: Being in position one is great.
It means you’re in the most visible position in search, with the best chances of getting new leads.
But if first position has an exponentially higher cost per click than second or third position, your meagre advertising budget will run out faster.
And when your budget for the day’s run out, Google will stop showing your ads – no more leads, no more business.
So here’s where you weigh the pros and cons.
Is it worth it to have your daily budget run out earlier in the day, just so you can be in first position for a brief period?
Or do you settle for second or third position, and have your ads appear for a longer time during the day?
Remember: the longer your ads are visible for searchers, the higher your chances of getting clicks, calls, and leads.
Carefully consider the nature of your business and the behaviour of your market.
How urgently do they need your products and / or services?
Do they have time to check their options, review prices, and consider other unique selling points?
If so, you can afford to be in second or third position, without necessarily losing a big chunk of leads to a competitor in first position.
You can get a higher return on investment in second or third position than jousting for first position because the cost per click is lower and you’re spending less money to get leads.
“Much success, kiddo.”
Hack #2: Limit your scope
If you read our previous blog about the different factors that affect AdWords budgets, you’d know that competition can push your spending upwards or downwards, depending on the saturation of your market.
That’s why it’s important to limit the scope of your campaign to your target market.
If you’re running a new gents’ salon in Jumeirah, for example, you don’t need to advertise your place to the entire UAE, or even the whole of Dubai, for that matter.
The people in and around the community – that’s your market.
On the other hand, if you’re catering to startups in Dubai, you don’t have to advertise to the entire UAE.
Limit the reach of your AdWords campaign to searches within your target area – whether it’s a neighbourhood, a city, or a country.
Doing that allows your ads to appear for searchers in close proximity to your business, which increases the chances of converting leads into sales.
It’s a strategy perfectly encapsulated by this age-old phrase:
“Fish where the fish are.”
Hack #3: Understand your customers’ search habits
Do your target customers search during the weekdays or the weekends?
Do they look for your products and / or services while at home or during break hours at work?
Do they use their mobile devices or their desktop computers?
“Do they use their mobile devices or their desktop computers?”
Diving into the psyche of your target customer will help you refine your advertising strategy and maximise your budget.
Maybe you don’t need to keep your ads running the whole day. Maybe you can afford to stop advertising during the weekends.
Maybe you can put your campaign on pause during some holidays.
If you can run your ads when your customers are searching the most for them, you can get more exposure, more traffic, more clicks within a given period – getting maximum value for every dirham spent.
Hack #4: Do conversion tracking
If you’re running a business, you want to know which product or service is your main source of revenue.
Does your online store have a best seller? If you do, which one of your products is it?
Which is the superstar service that clients most want from you?
Doing conversion tracking gives you insight into data that matters most – conversions.
In other words, it lets you know which pages of your website turn leads into clients, enquiries into purchases.
Based on that information, you can shift your budget from one service to another, so you can get the most benefit from your AdWords campaign.
Don’t know how to implement conversion tracking? Marketing genius Neil Patel wrote a nifty guide that will help you set up shop in no time.
And if you want to know more about conversion tracking, best to go back to the source: Google.
Hack #5: Update your ads only when necessary
You don’t need to spend money redesigning your ads or refreshing your ad campaign every so often.
As long as your campaign is running, your ads will be visible to new potential clients, which means they will never go old or stale.
But there are some instances when your ads can benefit from a facelift.
“Refresh your campaign at the right time, and you can witness dramatic spikes in enquiries.”
For example, you might want to design new ads when you have a limited promotion going on, or if you want to push out a seasonal discount for your products / services.
Mark annual events, holidays, and seasonal celebrations on your marketing calendar, and create ads that feature why your products / services are the best buy for the occasion.
Refresh your campaign at the right time, and you can witness dramatic spikes in enquiries.
Hack #6: Optimise your website
There are three things that make up the PPC triangle: the website, the keyword, and the budget.
We’ve already talked about keywords and budgets.
Now, let’s tackle your website.
Google factors the search optimisation of your website in your “ad rank” – that is, where it places your ads in search results.
Is your website properly optimised for search? Does it load quickly? Is it mobile friendly? Do people take relevant action before leaving your site?
If Google recognises that your website checks out on all the important grading factors, it can lower the amount you would need to bid for a specific keyword.
That means, you can get more out of your advertising budget, without increasing it by a single dirham.
Have other brilliant AdWords hacks you want to share? Feel free to comment them below!