How I never lose money on Google Adwords

October 18, 2021

Here’s a simple way I’ve discovered to help maximise your chances of success with AdWords, with minimum effort – using the 80/20 principle.

Google AdWords is getting more and more complicated. It’s like an aircraft cockpit. So many options. It can put your head in a spin.

But here’s a method I’ve found to apply the 80/20 principle to AdWords. (80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. This is a universal principal and it applies to AdWords.)

I use this approach when setting up most of my AdWords campaigns. It’s still the best way I know of ensuring you don’t lost money on irrelevant and over-expensive clicks.

I have to admit, when I first started using AdWords to advertise my web design services back in 2008, my credit card took a real hammering. I actually gave up for a while, thinking this is just too hard.

But thankfully, I came back and gave AdWords another go. This time, I did some more serious study into the basics of AdWords. And now, I have many highly profitable AdWords campaigns ticking over almost on auto-pilot, bringing in a steady supply of enquiries, leads and sales for my clients.

The foundation of a successful AdWords campaign is keyword research, so you are targeting the best keywords to attract your target buyer. That is a separate topic in itself. But what I want to focus on in this article, is a couple of secrets that will help you not to lose money when actually running your AdWords campaigns.

Create a separate ad group for each keyword

Secret one, is to use only a very small number of keywords in each Ad group. Sometimes, I will create a separate Ad group for each keyword. The reason is, it’s easier to see quickly which keywords are performing well, and which are not.

For example, take a florist advertising in Auckland, New Zealand. They would create an ad group with the following keywords:

+florist +auckland

“florist auckland”

[florist auckland]

So, it’s the same keywords, but the first is what is known as ‘modified broad match’, the second is ‘phrase match’ and the third is ‘exact match’.

Write 3 different ads for each keyword

My second secret is to write three different ads for each Ad group. Google rotates these ads, so after a while you can see which one is getting the best click-through rate. Then I delete the worst performing ad, and write another one to replace it. And so it goes on, until I find the best-performing ad for that ad group.

Meanwhile, I am looking at the click-through rates for each of the three keywords and also the conversion rate. (For a florist, the conversion rate is when someone buys flowers from the website. For another business it might be when someone fills in an enquiry form on the website).

Generally, I have found the exact match i.e.[florist auckland] gives the most cost-effective results. Sometimes is is the modified broad match. Less often, the phrase match. But you need to test to be sure, then ruthlessly prune away any keywords that are not performing.

When you have just one set of keywords in each Ad group, it is a heck of a lot easier to prune away the poor performers – compared with what most novice AdWords advertisers do – just bung all their keywords into one big Ad group.

My method requires more work at the outset. If you have 50 keywords, that means 50 Ad groups and 3 different ads for each – so a total of 150 different Ads. Most people are too lazy to do this. But if you actually do it, and carefully test and tweak according the results, you will reap the rewards.

1 thought on “How I never lose money on Google Adwords”

  1. I found this while doing research on targeted Adwords campaigns. I have actually used this strategy in the past and found it to be most cost effective. When I have implemented this method I’ve used three to five keywords each . Is this something that might be better off?

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