Use Filters to Reduce AdWords Costs

Google Ads (formerly AdWords) is a great way that you can precisely target prospective customers. Google Ads can be cost-effective, assuming you understand your customer and how AdWords works. Lacking this understanding can be very costly.

I hardly ever recommend contracting your Ads campaigns to an outside agency. In most cases, your Ads person needs an intimate understanding of your product, profit margins, business rules and practices, and customer personas. Without this detailed knowledge, most agencies are not cost-effective.

Filters can help you find where you are wasting your budget on low ROI and poorly performing keywords and advertisements. One example is a client who had previously used at least three different agencies (over several years) to manage their Ads campaigns before hiring me full-time to reduce their costs. At the same time, their previous efforts yielded mixed results and were extremely expensive in terms of cost per conversion and total spend. The good news was that I could use an enormous wealth of data. So my first action was (yes, you guessed it) to apply filters.

Here are a few filters you can use and modify:
Adjust the parameter values as needed according to your needs and circumstance.

Cost without Conversions
Objective: Save money by eliminating keywords that do not convert and have low-quality scores.
Cost > $1:00
Conversions <1
Status: Eligible, Eligible-limited

Low Quality with Cost
Objective: Save money by eliminating keywords that do not convert and have low-quality scores. Low-quality scores increase your bid costs.
Cost > $1:00
Conversion <1
Status: Eligible
Eligible-limited
Quality Score <=5

Keywords that do not show up on the first page of results
Objective: To find words that have unrealized potential.
Average Position > 8  Note: 8 is chosen since it is usually the number of ads displayed.

You may wish to review these words and their ads to determine why they are underperforming. Then, add the Quality Score parameter to the filter and see if the advertisement needs adjusting.

Non-Productive Ads
This filter merely weans out ads that never converted.
Impressions = 0
Interactions = 0
Conversions < 1
Time: All time

I also recommend setting filters based on cost per conversion based on your profit margins. You don't want to spend more money to acquire a customer than what is reasonable based on the sale's profit. Yes, it can happen.

See this Google AdWords support article to learn more about filters and how to create your own.

About the Author
Certified by HubSpot in the areas of Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, and Email Marketing, Neal has been involved in Internet Marketing since the mid-Nineties. He also is Google Analytics certified and loves SEO.