PPC Wastage on Ad words-what to do about it?

PPC Wastage on Ad words-what to do about it?

Wastage – An introduction

Wastage is an accepted part of any advertising campaign be that traditional or online. You will be hard pressed to find every penny of your advertising budget no matter what type of advertising being specifically targeted at your perfect customer 100%. The beauty about AdWords is that we can minimise this wastage by following Googles rules and creating well structured, highly targeted campaigns that will significantly reduce this waste.

There are numerous things that can be done to help reduce your wastage and below are some suggestions on how this can be achieved.

Paying for clicks outside your target location

One of the simplest and most obvious ways of wasting money is targeting your ads to a broader region than you want to reach. This is needlessly wasting money! There is no valid reason for selecting "All Countries and Territories". If you need to run your ads across multiple countries/regions then I would recommend creating a separate campaign for each.

If targeting in the UK in local areas then a good method to use is to target a radius around your primary city/town. If you have the exact postcode areas you wish to target, another effective method to use would be to find out which areas these postcodes lie within and target these specific areas directly.

Paying for clicks from irrelevant search terms

An example of a common PPC wastage is when someone has clicked on your ad when their search query was not relevant at all to the products/services your company provides. If these search terms are irrelevant to your company, the products and services that you offer then you are wasting money.

The two most common reasons this occurs is due to broad searches and not enough negative keywords.

Every time Google runs a search query, it looks at whether it should run one of your adverts. It looks at your keywords and keyword match types. Google has four match types it looks at to decide how specific your targeting is. These match types include:

  • [Exact Match]- Only get a match if your search query matches up exactly to your keyword.
  • “Phrase Match” (“String Match”)- Only matches if the users search query includes the keyword phrase in that exact order and without word in between.
  • Broad+Match+Modifier- allows your ads to show up if the keywords are the search query, it does not matter which order they are in or if there are words in between.
  • Broad Match- allows your ad to show up going by what Google considers to be similar phrases and variations to your keyword. E.g. Digital Oyster to Internet Oyster (Digital and internet are following a similar theme).

This is completely up to you on what match type you wish to use. If you want maximum accuracy Exact Match is the way to go however, if you wish to gain the greatest reach then select Broad Match. Note: the broader your reach the more the accuracy of your targeting will be reduced.

Negative Keywords

Simply put, negative keywords are the keywords that you wish to exclude from search queries that you feel are irrelevant to you. When you add a negative keyword you are telling Google that you never want your ads to appear if the search query entered has that word in it.  It is good practice to have an extensive database of negative keywords to help keep your campaigns targeted.

Poor Quality Score

Having a poor quality score can affect your ad words campaigns greatly and cost you money. It is important to make sure that the impressions that you are receiving are from users that have been provided links to a relevant landing page with relevant content. This is crucial in building your quality score, reducing bounce rates and saving money.

Keep those keywords relevant

The algorithm Google uses for AdWords for determining advert positioning and CPC is really complex. This being said, something that has been a theme throughout this post but is extremely important is to keep it relevant! Making sure your keywords are relevant means you will pay less for each click and save money. The more relevant the better really.


To sum up the types of wastage include paying for clicks outside your target location, paying for clicks for irrelevant search terms, not using enough negative keywords, having a poor quality score and irrelevant keywords.  These are all fairly easy to remedy or amend and are a great way to save you money. There are many more techniques that can be used however, this post covers some of the main ones to get you started.

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