6 Simple Tricks to Halve your Google AdWords Budget

halve budget

After working for years on many small business’ Google AdWords campaigns I’ve come to notice six common problem areas that when improved, easily halve a budget and attract higher quality leads.

Try these six easy tricks to double your campaign’s effectiveness.

1. Do Not Use Broad Match type for your Keywords

The worst mistake every new advertiser makes is using the broad match option for keywords. A broad match keyword has no punctuation defining when your ad will show and will result in wildly irrelevant keywords triggering your ads.

Here’s a real example from an online towel retailers’ campaign of a broad match keyword option for the phrase pool towels:

pool towels broad matched

This broad match phrase triggered the client’s ads to show for irrelevant phrases such as “towel racks” and “pool chairs” which the client didn’t sell and wasted the budget. Adding quotation marks “ “ to the keyword means your ad will only show for your exact keywords in order plus any words either side of it.

For example the phrase matched keyword “Pool Towels” will show for “Pool Towels on sale”, “Pool towels online” and “where to buy pool towels”. Here’s what it looks like in the account:

pool towels phrase matched

This simple step makes your ads so much more relevant, targeted and effective.

How to change to Phrase Match Keywords:

Simply click on your keyword to edit it and select phrase match from the drop down menu to add the quote marks ” “ to the keyword and hit save.

phrase match

2. Use Separate Ad Landing Pages for distinct Products and Services

Don’t send everybody who clicks on your ads to your homepage.

If you’re advertising a specific product or service then direct your ads straight to that page on your website. For example, if you’re an online store selling Brother Ink Cartridges, then make sure the user is taken directly to the Brother Ink Cartridge page rather than the homepage showing all ink brands.

This provides the following benefits:

  • Your visitor will find the product or service you offer far more easily than if they were directed to your homepage and made to navigate your site.
  • Google will increase your keyword’s quality score and reward you by ranking your ad higher for the same budget.

To do this you will need to create separate ad groups for your keywords.

How to Direct your Ads to Separate Landing Pages:

After creating separate Ad Groups for your various products or services, navigate to your Ads tab and create a new ad. Click on any of your ads to edit it.

When the editing screen is open (see below) make sure the destination URL in your ads points directly to the product or service described in your ad.

In the fictional example below, my ad is for “Dry Dog Food” from an online pet food store. Rather than direct the user to my homepage, I want to send them directly to the page which sells the dry dog food, so I enter that URL in the field at the bottom – as highlighted below.

landing page

3. Define the Geographic Area your ads will show in

I often see campaigns that haven’t properly defined the physical locations in which their ads should show. I recently fixed a campaign for a dentist located in Western Sydney whose ads were showing in London. Quite a waste of money.

How to define your Geographic Advertising Area:

To properly define your advertising area make sure in your Campaign settings you have All features selected in your campaign type:

4. area all features

Then scroll down to edit the Locations -> Advanced Search:

locations options advanced search

Then select Radius targeting to set a circular area on the map of where you want your ads to show:

radius targetting

A big tip: Google targets this area using user’s IP address information and its fairly inaccurate. As a general rule of thumb you’ll want to at least double the intended area where you want your ads to display to make sure you’ve got your actual intended area covered.

4. Use Negative Keywords

An absolute must for every campaign is to use a long list of negative keywords. A negative keyword is a word that you DON’T want your ad to show for. For example, I noticed in a chiropractor’s campaign that their ads were triggering for the phrase “chiropractor pillows”, which wasn’t relevant to the client, so we added “pillows” as a negative keyword.

How to add Negative Keywords:

To create your negative keyword list, go to the Keywords tab, scroll to the bottom until you see the +Negative keywords link:

negative keywords link

Then click on the Add tab and Add keywords link in the drop down at the Campaign level:

negative keywords

As a start, almost every business can use the following list of negative keywords to immediately start saving on their budget and attract more relevant clicks:


Notice I’ve used the phrase match option for the negative keyword list.

5. Bid more for your Keywords

This may seem like an odd tip if you’re trying to reduce your AdWords spend, however I’ve seen that increasing your bid will increase your campaign’s effectiveness and here’s why; generally, the higher you bid the higher your keyword will rank which means you’ll attract a better quality lead.

For example, if you’re ad is ranking in the 5th position on Google and you receive an enquiry, chances are that that enquirer has already contacted the four businesses ranked above your ad for quotes, i.e. they are a tyre kicker. People who only click the first or second result on Google are not as price sensitive and these are the people you want to attract!

How to Bid more for your Keywords:

Click on the Keywords tab, scroll down to see your keywords and across to the Max. CPC column, click on the price you see listed, change it and press save.

increase bid

6. Match your Ad Text to your Keywords

Often a business will create a campaign with only one ad group with a long list of keywords set to trigger just one ad. For example, a dentist’s campaign I looked at recently had one ad that showed for keywords as diverse as “snap on teeth” and “pulp capping”. These keywords should have been broken up into separate ad groups with ads written specifically for those services. This provides the following benefits:

  • Because your ad is more relevant to the keyword it’s triggered by it will receive more clicks, or a higher ‘click through rate’ (CTR), and more relevant enquiries to your business.
  • Because your CTR is higher Google will reward you by ranking your ad higher on the page for the same budget.

How to Create a new Ad Group:

Click on the Ad Groups tab then click the red +AD GROUP button:

ad groups 1

Select the campaign you wish the ad group to appear in then select continue:

ad groups 2

The next page is simply a repeat of how you created your original ad group – creating an ad then choosing keywords to trigger that ad. Hit the Save ad Group button at the bottom of the screen and you’re done.

If you have any questions on improving your AdWords campaign feel free to email me at mail@yarraweb.com.

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