How to Reduce your AdWords Cost in Australia

Jun 17 by Shaun Shatkovsky

AdWords can be an extremely valuable tool to any business of any scale, but it does require a bit of investment. Knowing how much to spend on anything business related can be difficult, so we’re here to help you answer one question: how can you reduce your AdWords cost in Australia? Getting your head around AdWords and its associated costs can seem complex, but it’s definitely possible to optimize your Google AdWords account in order to get the most out of your online budget.

Australia is home to a thriving digital and online market, with the average person spending 23.3 hours a week on the internet. This includes surfing the web for entertainment, browsing products, and looking for services. Most Australian businesses spend a solid amount of their income on marketing and advertising, especially online. Hype Creations are experts on the Brisbane digital marketing landscape, so here are our tips for reducing AdWords expenditure while still getting great referrals to your website.

Monitor your AdWords Account

First and foremost, having an AdWords account that isn’t monitored is pretty useless. It is possible to outsource this monitoring, but if that’s the route you plan on taking, make sure you understand exactly what you’re paying for! The intricacies of Google AdWords can be tricky to understand at first, but even a basic grasp of the process will empower you to make better decisions about your campaigns.

The average business owner should ask questions like:

  • What is my daily budget?
  • Have we set a Maximum bid per visitor?
  • What locations are we targeting?
  • How many keywords are we trying to rank for?
  • Are we using the Search network, display network, or both?
  • Are we trying to minimize our bids for each keyword?

Understanding Google’s ‘Modified Broad Match’ tool

‘Modified Broad Match’ (MBM) is new, important and useful AdWords feature. MBM is a simple tool that lets you make sure the keywords you’re ranking for are actually related to your keyword choices. Adding a plus sign (+) to any keyword will ensure that your business only appears for searches that match your chosen keywords exactly.

Here’s an example. Let’s say your business sells cars in Brisbane, and you select “buy cars Brisbane” as one of your key phrases. Using MBM to include plus signs in your keywords (to make the phrase “+buy +cars +Brisbane”), means your webpage would only appear for searches made using that exact phrase. It wouldn’t rank for related terms like “sell cars in Brisbane”. Using MBM is a great way to whittle down your spending by making sure you only appear for highly relevant search terms, and you’ll also improve the click-through and conversion rates on your AdWords campaigns.

Setting individual keyword bids

Google AdWords offers you the chance to set your bid strategy to ‘Manual CPC’, meaning Manual ‘Cost-Per-Click’. Manual CPC allows you to set a maximum cost-per-click for your whole ad group, then manually set separate bids for specific keywords. So, if you’re paying more than you’d like to for a certain keyword, or you’re already ranking well for that keyword, you can adjust your settings to a lower bid. While you may rank slightly lower in Google search results, you could be saving money in the long run. If you’re saving, say, $0.50 on every visitor based on that particular keyword, and your search result ranking has only slipped a little, you’ll be getting almost the same amount of traffic for a fair bit less. Over time, that 50 cent per visitor saving can really add up!

Understand your Location Settings

Another way to reduce your AdWords cost is by using ‘Location Targeting.’ Within your AdWords settings, the ‘locations’ section allows you to narrow down the geographic area your campaigns show up in. These settings should be carefully tailored to match any region you wish to target. For example, a small business that primarily services Brisbane doesn’t need to be paying to show results in Melbourne. On the other hand, an online store that has the capacity to send their goods anywhere in Australia would benefit from using their location settings to target the entire country.

Creating a Negative keywords list

In the same way you create a list of keywords you would like to target, AdWords also lets you create a list of keywords you don’t want to target. This concept is known as “Negative Keywords”, and it’s another great way to save money. If, for example, you were selling whole cars in Brisbane, but you did not want to be shown for anything related to ‘car spare parts’, you can simply add ‘spare parts’ to your negative keywords list. Doing so makes sure you aren’t paying to show up in front of audiences you don’t want.

Removing Poor preforming keywords

After you’ve selected your target keywords and let them run for a few weeks, it’s important to analyse their performance. Google ranks your web domain and assigns a ‘Quality Score’ to each keyword relevant to your domain. Your quality score is calculated based on several factors, including your landing page quality, click-through rates and the general relevance of your site. You should always review your keyword list by checking your quality score and removing any keywords that show poor conversion rates. In general, it’s better to have a few good keywords than a long list of low ranking ones.

Improve your Website Content

Every time someone does a Google search, search result ads are placed according to ‘AdRank’, which is a combination of two things:

  • The actual bid made for a particular keyword
  • The quality score Google have assigned for your keyword

Fortunately, you have control over both those factors! If your quality score is low, we have to increase our bids to rank higher for a certain keyword. However, if your quality score is high, you might be able to retain your search ranking for a lower price.

This is why it is important to try and improve your quality score: you can save money by ensuring your web pages are relevant to the keywords you’re targeting. Here are some ways to improve our quality score:

  • Create great content relevant to your business and audience
  • Make sure your content is highly relevant to the keywords you’re targeting
  • Make your ad content similar to your Web page titles.
  • Add blogs, services or product information to your website and relate them to your ad
  • Create Ad groups that match sub-pages in your website

Success using AdWords

Any business that puts some real thought into their online campaigns will reap the rewards of using AdWords. The easiest way for any business to keep track of its AdWords account is to simply view its reports: analyse your clicks, impressions, quality scores, and click through rate (the ratio of users who click on an advert to the number of total users who view it). These metrics will point you in the right direction, and give you the information you need to determine the effectiveness of your campaigns. By following these tips, you should be able to reduce your AdWords spend whilst still getting significant online traffic.