How to easily waste your Google Ads budget

By Alex Mitchell
March 2019
How to easily waste your Google Ads budget

You want to be appearing on the first page of Google and you want to get there quickly; doesn’t everyone?

Well Google Ads can help you there. It can also help you to throw all your marketing budget away, or if you properly optimise your campaigns, you could see a healthy return on ad spend.


Or this:

Your choice…

Set Meaningful Conversions

Setting conversions is a good start to any campaign. Setting meaningful conversions is an even better start. Do you want to know how many customers have visited your contact page and report that you have a 65% conversion rate, or would you rather know exactly how many people have contacted your business and the cost for each of these enquiries?

Negative Keywords

Your company sells men’s clothes, so you bid on the phrase “men’s clothes” and you’re bound to get relevant web traffic, right? No, not at all. This will have your ads showing for a whole host of search terms, such as “men’s clothes store jobs”, “how to wash men’s clothes” or “why am I being delivered men’s clothes”. Yep, we see a lot of unusual search terms when using broad match or phrase match, that’s why it’s essential to create a negative keyword list and monitor search terms on a regular basis to keep this list updated.

Ad Schedule

With accurate reporting and goals set up, you should be able to tell when people are converting on your website. By observing this data, you can set bid adjustments at particular times of day, or just stop them showing altogether if you don’t think people are likely to fill in your six-page enquiry form at 3am on a Monday morning. This click budget may be better spent that evening.

Google’s Default Settings

When setting up a new Google Ads campaign, you may gloss over some of Google’s default settings, but some of them can be extremely harmful to your budget. It’s almost like Google wants to take your money off you.

  1. Display Network in Search Campaign – deselect this option and keep your display campaigns completely separate from search campaigns. It is likely to rapidly deplete your daily budget.

  2. Include Search Partners – deselect this option to prevent a dip in CTR, Quality Score and an increase in low-quality traffic, non-converting traffic.

  3. People in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location – You want to be targeting people in your desired location, not people who have previously shown an interest in your location but live 3,000 miles away, right? Well, change this option to ‘people in your targeted locations’ and stop throwing your budget away.

  4. Display Campaigns showing on apps – There’s nothing more annoying than an ad-blocking the screen on your free version of Candy Crush and the anger of trying to cross them off will often result in an accidental click. Showing ads on apps can eat up your budget, so exclude them right away.

Hopefully, these simple tips will stop you from throwing money away. If you’d like us to help you optimise your PPC campaigns, or get you set up and running, we’d love to hear from you.