How to Pay Less for your PPC Leads or Sales

by Jessica Ramesh Anicca Digital

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This article outlines the techniques you can use to reduce your cost per acquisition (CPA) and make savings of 20-50% on your pay per click (PPC) spend.

Quality Score
Every keyphrase in your AdWords account has a Quality Score – it is Google’s measure of relevancy. It influences the position of your ad and the amount you pay per click. So if you have a quality score of 4/10 and your competitor has 8/10; you will need to pay twice as much to achieve the same position.

The factors that influence Quality Score – Image 1

The most effective ways to improve your quality score, reduce costs and get more clicks for your budget, is by

  • Improving relevancy by creating specific ad groups with similar keyphrases and matching ad copy
  • improving the average click through rate (CTR) across the account

1) How to set-up your AdWords account

  • For each campaign, use the keyword tool(s) to add 1000’s of long-tail keyphrases (exact match) to an “Estimate ad group”
  • Clone exact match phrases to produce phrase and broad match
  • Use Google Editor to divide the “Estimate ad group” into specific ad groups with similar keyphrases
  • Create 2-3 ads per ad group, ensure that keyphrases are included in the title (or use Keyword insertion) and a “call for action” in the 2nd or 3rd line
  • Aim for initial quality scores of >7/10
  • Add negatives phrases and use the “See Search Terms” tool to add more (once the account is live)

a) Networks and geo-targeting
Use Editor to clone campaigns – with separate campaigns for the content network and/or geo-targeting:

  • Pause the content (and search networks) if they have lower conversion rates than Google search
  • Use Geo-targeting to target customers in specific locations – this should increase your relevancy, CTR and quality scores.

b) Conversion tracking and Analytics
PPC conversion tracking code added to your “thank you” page, allows you to measure the conversion rate of individual keyphrases (or ads). In addition by linking your AdWords and Analytics accounts, you can distinguish paid and non-paid traffic, as well as determining the ROI of ecommerce campaigns.

2) Optimisation of your account
Optimisation is a two-part process:

1) Getting the maximum clicks from your budget
2) Getting the maximum conversions from your clicks

a) Positions
Reduce your cost per click by aiming for positions 4-6 (”Goldilocks Zone”).

However, DO NOT:

  • use “position preference” or Google’s automated bidding tools
  • bid too low, as your positions and CTR’s will fall; affecting your quality scores.

RF Training case-study – CPC vs positions – Image 2
Click through rates vs ad positions – Image 3

b) Click through rates
Pause keyphrases (and ads) with <1% CTR, to raise the quality score of the whole account.

c) Optimise for conversions
Depending on your targets, pause the lower converting phrases (and ads) to focus your budget on the best performing phrases.

d) Effectiveness of your website
Test different landing pages, improve the bounce rates and/or the conversion rate of your site; in order to reduce the cost per conversion.

3) Agency Management fees
Companies managing their own accounts will often incur higher costs due to a lack of knowledge or training. Consequently, many companies will use an accredited agency to manage their AdWords. The Google AdWords Professional (GAP) accreditation has been replaced with a new scheme called AdWords Certified Partner.

Agencies charge in differing ways; including fixed fees or percentages of ad spend (typically 10-20%). It can be problematic paying an agency a percentage of your ad spends, without other performance or ROI targets; as the agency will receive lower fees if they save you money!

Ann Stanley
MD, Anicca Digital Solutions