3 Simple ways to waste your Google Ads budget

There’s no denying Google Ads is the best all-round pay-per-click platform for businesses of all sizes right now. Whether it’s a local locksmith or a global brand. Businesses are making money with Google Ads, and not just a select few.

Google Ads aren’t a magic pill for sales, like anything in marketing, but they are a pretty reliable way of generating profitable online sales or leads for a business. Most of that’s down to the fact that customer intent is always higher while using search engines, but another reason they’re so successful for some businesses is that they’ve been set-up and managed properly.

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However, I know what it’s like. Not every business has the budget or maybe the profit margin to hire an agency like us to build profitable Google Ad campaigns, and we know that leaves a lot of small business owners at risk of wasting a lot of money in Google Ads.

At Brick we’ve encountered too many Google Ads accounts that have been running a loss, yet all they needed was some tweaking. Which is why I put together this list of the 3 simple ways you could be wasting your Ads budget right now! (and how to fix them)

1. Set-up and Ignore (Keywords)

‘We tried Google Ads, we set up some adverts and left them to run for a month but we didn’t get any calls so we switched them off’

That’s the most common thing I hear when speaking to people who’ve been ‘burnt’ by Google Ads.

Google Ads aren’t like a newspaper ad. You don’t set one up, put it in place and then wait till everyone gets their morning papers for the phones to start ringing. No matter whether you set-up simple text search ads, display ads, or shopping ads, they require regular work.

We’ll get onto how regularly you should be working on your ads in a moment, but first you need to understand that without experience in keyword research and keyword match types it’s unlikely that you’ll set-up a profitable campaign right off the bat. So leaving your ads unattended is one of the quickest ways to burn up your budget.

The fix

You need to keep an eye on the keywords that people are searching to trigger your ads. If during the set-up you entered the keyword plumbing as a phrase match keyword, then after leaving it a month you’ll have burnt through a fair amount of cash.

That’s because your ads have been showing in searches like how to fix plumbing leaks, and how to become a plumber. Which aren’t the type of clicks you want to be paying for if you’re a domestic plumber.

It’s crucial to your campaign success especially in the early days to keep checking up on it, possibly every other day. Checking the amount spent, the number of conversions, and the searches that are triggering your ads. Then using this information you can add negative keywords.


2. Location, Location, Location

This post was written with local businesses in mind like trades, estate agents, and dental surgeries. But location settings are so important in all Google Ads campaigns that we’ll cover off how to avoid wasting your budget for both local and national businesses.

When you set up a Google Ads campaign whether it’s search, shopping or display, you’ll be walked through the location settings at which point it will only offer broad selections like ‘United Kingdom’. Similarly to ignoring your ads once you finally send them live, if you ignore your location settings, especially as a local business, then you’ve opened the floodgates for your budget.

Without the right location settings, your ads will be shown to searchers across the country or world, driving clicks and costing you money. Which isn’t ideal if you’re a dental surgery in Surrey that’s paying for a click from someone searching for dentists in Edinburgh. Which is why this simple way of wasting budget made it on our list.

To avoid making this mistake and fixing the campaign from the outset you need to take a slightly different approach depending on your type of business.

Local, area-based businesses

As a business who offers a product or service within a certain area like plumbers, it’s pretty easy to prevent this wasted budget. You don’t want people outside of your serviceable area to see your ads and cost you money so you can exclude the wider location and only big for clicks when the people searching your keywords are within your target area.

National and E-commerce businesses

Any business looking to create a campaign to target customers across the country should consider hiring an agency as the risk of wasting budget is that much higher in this case. If you’re selling products or services across the country it might make sense at first to just leave the United Kingdom as your only location targetting.

However because of competition, demand, and a lot of other factors it doesn’t make sense to pay the same amount for a click whether it’s in Sheffield, or London. Deciding on which areas to target and bid more for will either come from your experience or is something you can find out as you run your campaign and analyse the location conversion rates in Google Analytics.

The fix

Head over to the ‘Campaigns’ tab in the right sidebar, then click on your newly created campaign.

From there click the locations tab and you’ll see a screen like this:

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Click the pencil symbol to open the box below and start entering your target locations.

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It’s all much easier from here as you can either exclude the entire UK and only include your county/city, or in our other case, you are able to increase or decrease bids for specific areas whilst keeping your bids steady for the wider target locations.

3. Google Search Partners

Google Search Partners are non-google sites that also include search engines of their own, where Google places your ads if the search term on the partner site is a match. Examples of these are sites like eBay, and Amazon among many others that are undisclosed by Google.

As a default all new campaigns you create in Google Ads will include showing your ads on Google Partner websites, so clearly they are not always a waste of your money. However the majority of the time they’re unlikely to bring you a good return on investment compared to only appearing on the Google search.

Through my own experiences with our Brick Digital ad campaigns and those of clients, we’ve noticed a few of things about the results you get from Google Search Partner ads which include lower click through rates, higher bounce rates, and sometimes non-existent conversion rates. All of which create a perfect path to blowing your budget fast!

The fix

Without going too deep into the analysis of Google Search Partner results, I always advise DIY business owners to totally exclude their ads from appearing on Google Partner sites.

Which is easy to do by visiting your campaign, going to settings, clicking the network and un-ticking the ‘Include Google Search Partners’ option.


Need a hand?

As you probably guessed, we at Brick are experts in the subject of search engines and pay-per-click advertising. If you’re thinking about expanding your business online with Google Ads why not get in contact to see how we could help you by building a profitable campaign from the word go. Already running Google Ads but can’t keep on top of them? We manage clients account on a monthly basis too, ensuring that your campaigns outperform your competition all the time.

Contact us below

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