From waste to win: watch how a simple change affects AdWords performance
Wasted ad spend can indicate issues with your AdWords account. Fortunately, as Jacob Baadsgaard reminds us, it's also under your control.
Over the past two years, we’ve audited more than 2,000 AdWords accounts at Disruptive Advertising.
I’ve written at length elsewhere about what we learned from all of these audits, but in this article, I want to explain how you can use our conclusions to directly improve account performance.
To begin, let’s take a look at where most ad spend goes wrong. Then, I’ll show you how controlling wasted ad spend directly improves account performance. Lastly, I’ll explain how to use your own account data to access the full potential of your AdWords budget.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Where’s your budget really going?
Ideally, your AdWords budget should be buying you clicks that are likely to convert — that’s the point, right?
Since paid search advertising is intent-based marketing, your ads should show up for internet searches that indicate a strong purchase intent. In other words, you want to be seen when people are looking to buy what you have to sell.
The question is, how do you know if your ads are showing up for high-intent searches?
Well, it’s fairly easy: just look at your Search Terms report. The Search Term report lets you see exactly what searches triggered your ad and how many impressions, clicks and conversions each search term produced.
If your campaigns are running effectively, your ads should show up when people are searching for what you have to offer. As a result, when they click on your ad, they should be taken to a landing page that meets their needs and convert.
In concept, it sounds great. In practice, though, it rarely works out that smoothly.
Across thousands of AdWords accounts, we discovered that the median AdWords account wastes 76 percent of its budget on search terms that never convert. That means the average AdWords account is wasting 76 percent of its budget.
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