If you have a successful Google PPC ad, it usually means that you have a high enough click-through rate (CTR) and a low enough cost-per-click (CPC), right?
Those are the two metrics everyone always wants to improve. You want to get the best quality leads for the least amount of money.
It's easier said than done.
There are so many factors that decrease CPC on Google Ads, but you have to play a strategic game. Do too much, and you'll screw up your entire campaign, do too little, and you won't experience the growth you're looking for.
Here are some simple but effective ways to decrease CPC on Google Ads.
1. Using Manual Bidding
Automated bidding is the way to go if you are pressed for time. Google is excellent at giving you "good enough" traffic. You might be overpaying, but you are not going in completely blind. You might not have the right level of experience to play around with manual bidding, so you leave it alone and hope that everything is fine. Just keep in mind that Google's focus and yours are very likely different. Theirs is to make money for themselves, and yours is to make your company money.
This strategy works until you're ready to scale and grow your ads. If you want to lower your cost per conversion, you will eventually need to open up that can of worms and learn how to control your bidding price.
Lowering your bids provides Google with a smaller budget to spend per click, which means you might drop a bit in your average position, but you will reduce your average CPC.
The magic happens when you lower your bids for underperforming keywords and raise your bids for the winning keywords.
Now you're spending all your money in the right places, and you're not wasting any on the "budget soakers" as I like to call them.
When you're adjusting everything to manual bidding, you want to ensure a smooth transition, so don't take on too much at one time. Focus on a single campaign at a time and make sure you get each one right.
Keep in mind, while you may have dropped a few positions on the keywords that you lowered your bid for, those were your underperforming keywords. In the meantime, you're raising the bid on your successful keywords and increasing your position for those. It's a brilliant but straightforward process when you implement it properly.
2. Hyper-Focus on Relevancy and Keywords
First, let's start talking about keywords. If you're experiencing a high CPC, you might want to change up some of the keywords to improve the relevance of the audience you're reaching. Look for new keyword variations using the many keyword tools that are out there.
The goal is to choose keywords with the least competition but the highest amount of search volume. When you're using these tools, you want to look for the suggested bid area that tells you how much your competition is willing to pay for a click. You want to find the lowest suggested bid so you can afford to outbid them and ultimately outrank them in the search engine.
Find Long-tail keywords
The best way to increase your traffic without having to compete with the heavy spenders is by using a series of long-tail keywords. These are sentences of three or four words or more that have a substantial amount of search traffic, but they are low in competition.
For example, trying to rank for the phrase "RV Covers" would be difficult because the competition might be fierce. Ranking for "Best RV Snow Covers" would be more focused and it might still yield a considerable amount of traffic. You would want to find a few of those long-tail keywords and rank for those instead of trying to go for the one high competitive keyword.
Those long tails would have a lower average bid, and they usually have higher quality scores as well because the keywords are more specific. When you target "Best RV Snow Covers" it's cut and dry who your audience is and if they search that phrase, you know they're looking to buy.
Keep Adding Negative keywords
I could never forget negative keywords. When you're trying to narrow down your relevancy and lower your CPC, you want your ads to reach the most specific audience possible. One way to improve this is with negative keywords. By including these in your campaigns, you'll no longer have to pay for keywords you are confident will never yield a return.
Focus on Landing Pages, Increase Relevancy
When it comes to having the best possible quality score, I've always believed that landing pages were the most crucial aspect of that. Landing pages play a huge role in your conversion rate because if they're not what the customer is looking for, you might as well light your money on fire.
Landing page experience is a significant consideration for the quality score by Google. At the end of the day, though, it is the opinion of the people that land on the page.
If you're having a hard time converting leads, but you're seeing that a lot of them click through to the page and bounce, it might be a problem with your landing page and not your ad.
The best thing you can do is test a variety of different landing pages to the same ads and keywords and find which one works the best. Once you find the best converting landing page, you'll also have a better quality score and a lower CPC.
3. Don't Forget Days and Times (and Location)
Keywords are not everything, although many people think they are. To lower your CPC as much as possible, you want to consider every factor at your disposal. Google provides us with plenty of metrics, targeting, and different ways to reduce our costs so we must use them!
Take a look at the days of the week when you're sending the most traffic through. Look at the time of the day when you experience the highest conversion rates. What location does most of your high-quality traffic come from?
Here are a few steps to take:
- Stop running ads on low performing days
- Increase your bids on high performing days
- Stop displaying your ad to low-quality locations
- Increase your bids in high-quality locations
It sounds incredibly simple. It's because it is, but we need to dive into the data and make sense of it. Once you have a plan, then it's all about systematically taking action to achieve a lower CPC. Make sure you take it slow when making these changes and nothing is set in stone. If something doesn't work out, you can always reverse it.
4. Retargeting is Not Optional for A Lower CPC
The truth is, 96% of visitors are not ready to buy on the first visit. All of these steps I've highlighted above can lower your CPC gradually. The most significant gains, however, will be seen when you utilize retargeting.
If someone clicked on your ad and didn't purchase from you, it might not mean that you did something wrong. They might not be ready to buy or maybe whatever you're selling is not an impulse buy product or service.
Maybe it's something they need to think about first.
If that's the case, you want them to see you again. Why not cater to them specifically by creating a specialized ad calling them out directly.
We've seen it all over Facebook.
"Hey, you! I saw that you were on my website looking through some of my products, but you left [insert product here] in your cart. Slide on back for a 10% discount on it so I can stop sending you these silly ads!"
How many times have you seen something like that?
Retargeting is essential because visitors are 70% more likely to convert after seeing a retargeting ad.
As I said, they may not have a problem with you or your ad; they might need another push.
There are so many different ways to change and monitor your Google PPC ads that it can seem confusing and challenging unless you have a lot of experience. Take all the tips and tricks outlined in this article, and use them to your advantage. You have the power and the control to lower your CPC and increase your income!