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 very cost effective assuming you understand both 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 to have an intimate understanding of your product, profit margins, business rules and practices and your customer personas. Without this detailed knowledge, most agencies are not cost-effective.

Using filters can help you find where you are wasting 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 the course of several years) to manage their Ads campaigns before hiring me full-time to reduce their costs. While their previous efforts yielded mixed results and was extremely expensive in terms of cost per conversion and total spend. The good news was there was an enormous wealth of data that I could use. 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
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 usually the number of ads displayed.
You may wish to review these words and their ads to determine why they are underperforming. Add the Quality Score parameter to the filter and see if the advertisement needs adjusting.

Non-Productive Ads
This 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 profit of the sale. Yes, it can happen.

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


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.