Google AdWords is like throwing your money into a black-hole!”

“ROI is unreachable due to soaring costs.”

“You’re advertising on Google? HAH! Say goodbye to your marketing budget!”

All right, pipe down! Yes, AdWords does cost money, and often when advertisers start out they might not allocate all of their marketing dollars to the right places, leaving them with a loss of faith in the platform. But it’s important to remember that all marketing channels cost money; the question is whether or not you’re getting a return on that investment. Before abandoning AdWords as a lost cause they should identify why it is costing so much.

All marketing channels cost money; the question is whether

or not you’re getting a return on that investment.

All marketing channels cost money; the question is whether

or not you’re getting return on that investment.

More often than not when we look at new client accounts, they have let their AdWords account run on auto-pilot or let an unqualified third-party run their account, and therefore, yes, they’re wasting a ton of money.

Here are a few things you can do to make AdWords less expensive and more profitable.

Learn how to use it: This is the number one reason people are usually wasting money — because they haven’t taken the time to learn AdWords. Unfortunately, it’s not a self-explanatory, easy-to-understand system. It takes time, studying, and experience to understand the ins and outs of paid search. Spend time reading, watching instructional webinars, understanding things like account structure, match types, negative keywords, bidding strategies, and if you’re super ambitious to get AdWords certified.Use more restrictive match types: Are all of your match types set to broad? Well, bingo, that’s why AdWords is so darn expensive! With broader match types your ads are more likely to be served to a much larger, and sometimes irrelevant audience, leading to wasted clicks. I’m not advising that you stop using broad match keywords, but make sure to set up negatives to block irrelevant searches, bid on phrase and exact keywords at higher bids to get more relevant clicks, and regularly monitor your Search Query report to get a sense if you’re bidding on the keywords people are actually searching for.

Set a realistic budget & bidding strategy: Determining budgets and bids can be a full-time job in itself but don’t over-complicate the process. Map out what you’re really able to spend on each campaign and set your daily budget accordingly. What about bidding? For budget-conscious advertisers, I always recommend bidding manually to have the most granular control over your account without letting Google run the show.

Make sure you’re not on Search with Display Select: Being on search and display can work great for the advertiser looking to get more visibility and build their brand, but often users blindly chose this option and end up confused as to how their daily budget was depleted so quickly. Well, the display network is taking your ads and showing them across the web rather than just in the search results. The intent is different when browsing the web compared to doing a search, so typically we recommend splitting these campaigns up and having separate strategies and budgets for each.

You need to be extremely active and review KPI’s and spend

on a daily basis, even if you set aside just 10 minutes per day.



Oh, do you now? What if we told you that study after study can back up the fact that paid search complements good SEO and increases overall profitability?

Bing Evangelist John Gagnon recently shared an interesting case study of an account that saw a 32% gain in brand clicks from bidding on their keywords rather just relying on SEO to get the top spots.

Yup, you should even be bidding on your own brand terms, because your competitors likely are doing so, and therefore you’ll want to steal these clicks from them. (It’s your OWN brand for heaven’s sake! Plus, these clicks tend to be very cheap.)

Further, when you want to target new keywords in organic search, it can take a long time for your content to rank — and sometimes, it just never does. But you can target new keywords with PPC right away, then determine very quickly if they’re worthwhile, profitable keywords for you.

Also, different types of keywords with different levels of intent drive different search behavior.

SEO is great for informational searches and top of the funnel traffic, but search queries with high commercial intent tend to deliver very different SERPs with a lot more ads — sometimes nothing but ads above the fold. And for those types of high-intent, high-converting keywords, ads are often stealing most of the clicks. People may never get to your organic result at the bottom of the page.

But you can target new keywords with PPC right away,

then determine very quickly if they’re worthwhile,

profitable keywords for you

Finally, the thing about great SEO is that it isn’t 100% reliable. You can follow all of the best practices, but top rankings aren’t guaranteed. Also, remember Penguin and Panda? No? Well, many marketers remember these Google algorithm updates clearly because their organic traffic plummeted overnight. With PPC the control is in your hands. But the real winning formula is optimizing your site and content for SEO purposes, while also implementing an effective paid search strategy.

Are you already doing both, but doubting the effectiveness? Just check out the paid and organic report in Google Analytics. It will help you fully understand the value of combining your SEO and paid efforts, and help you win bigger. “As a paid search marketer, you’ll be able to identify all the long-tailed queries for which organic is earning great performance and enhance your bid strategies accordingly,” says Thomas Stern, SVP of Clients Services at ZOG Digital. “To date, we haven’t found an account that doesn’t at least contain some top ranking keywords that we’ve proven should also be bid on with PPC.”