Stop burning money with your Google AdWords campaigns: learn how to optimize them

Antoni Saurina

Written by Antoni Saurina

Earning money with Google AdWords is not easy, you have to establish the objectives of your website, plan the campaign strategy, implement them correctly and finally perform an infinite task of analysis and optimization. In the end, with effort and dedication you can obtain excellent results and even become one of the channels that brings in the most revenue and profitability.

Losing money with AdWords, on the other hand, is extremely easy. The platform is highly complex for certain types of campaigns, which, together with the multitude of existing options, makes it quite common to forget some details that make us squander our investment budget.

Losing money with Google AdWords is easy if we don’t know the platform or neglect certain configuration details.

Below we will discuss some of the most important points that anyone managing an AdWords account should check in order not to “burn” the investment budget.

Configuration of conversions

This is the basis for not losing money. Thanks to the configuration of conversions we will be able to measure the results of campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords, etc. With the analysis of these we will be able to know what works and what does not, being able to make the appropriate decisions to improve the campaigns.

Google AdWords conversions

The configuration of conversions is one of the keys to avoid wasting the investment budget.

Correct configuration of the geographic location

It often happens that not enough attention is paid to the specific geographic location of the users to whom the ads are going to be shown. It should be noted that even if you specify where you want the users to be, there is an advanced configuration that is usually hidden and varies its operation.

For example, we want our ads to appear in Spain, as we have an online store that only ships to this geographic location. We have configured the geographic segmentation of the campaign as Spain, as shown in the following image.

locations Google AdWords campaign management

After a while, we will visualize where the users who have clicked on the ads are located. Select the desired campaign, go to the “Dimensions” tab and select “User Locations”. And we see something similar to the following image.

user locations

The ads have been viewed by users who are in different countries to which we do not ship and who are therefore not interested in being shown the ads.

This behavior is due to the settings in the “Location Options (Advanced)”. In the “Targeting” section we specify whether we want the ads to appear only for users who are in the location we have defined or whether we are also interested in taking into account the user’s search intent or interests. For example, if we check any of the options that indicate the user’s search, the ad will be shown to a person located in Argentina looking for “shoes in Spain”, even though only Spain is defined as the location.Google AdWords campaign management advanced placement

It is important to configure the Location Options (Advanced) to adapt them to the objectives of the website to be advertised.

Searches that are relevant but do not convert

Among the list of search terms we will find a multitude of terms that we will add to the negative keyword lists. Among these terms, there will be some that are a priori relevant. For example, if we have a shoe store that sells ankle boots, the search “red ankle boots” may be interesting. However, whether or not a search is relevant depends on its results.

The following screenshot shows the data for three search terms.

google AdWords search terms

These searches, however relevant they may seem to us, have not had a single conversion, so we will analyze the clicks obtained, which together with the overall conversion rate of all terms, will help us to know whether to discard them or not. Another option before discarding them would be to analyze if the landing page offers the user what he is looking for, since it is possible that by optimizing this page the data may change radically.

Important search terms are those that bring profitable conversions or other business benefit.

Devices that convert differently

Something as obvious as the fact that a computer is not the same as a tablet or a cell phone can sometimes escape our analysis. Depending on the business and the web site, one or the other device may be more important and provide a greater

conversions per device in Google AdWords

The AdWords platform allows us to adjust bids for mobile devices. This can be added at both campaign and ad group level. It can be found in the “Configuration” tab by clicking on the “Devices” button.

With this configuration we can bid more or less for these devices depending on the result they give compared to computers. This adjustment can range from -100%, so that ads do not appear on mobile devices, to +300%.

To calculate the best fit we can use the following formula.

(Percentage of conversions on mobile / Percentage of conversions on desktop) – 1 = Mobile bid adjustment

For example, in the case of the previous screenshot we have

(1,02 / 3,62) – 1 = -0,7182 = -72%

We would therefore change the bid adjustment for mobile with a -72%.

The mobile bid adjustment helps us to optimize the bidding for these devices helping to improve the profitability of the campaign.

The solution to not lose money with Google AdWords

Hire a specialized agency. Although it seems like a “self-promoting” solution, it is not the intention, but we really know that it is the best solution to obtain the best results. As you have already seen the difficulty involved in the management and optimization of campaigns is quite high, so having professionals who are managing campaigns on a daily basis and are really specialists in managing them is crucial.

It should be noted that this solution entails the difficulty of finding truly specialized agencies. In order to facilitate the task, the following are indicators that these types of agencies usually have:

  • Google Partner Certification
  • To have specific professionals who only handle advertising campaigns.
  • To have certified professionals.
  • Years of experience managing campaigns
  • Number and variety of customers

Want to stop burning money with Google AdWords campaigns?


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Antoni Saurina
Antoni Saurina
Former Head of the Online Advertising Department at Human Level. Graduated in Technical Engineering in Computer Management. Specialist in web development and PPC/SEM with certification in Google AdWords and Bing Ads.

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