How to Maximize Your Google Adwords Budget

Alyssa Hilstad, Owner of Crusader Group

April 30th 2019

Adwords can be tricky and exhausting. With all the factors that go into how your ads are ranked on Google it can easily lead to a failed attempt at something that seems impossible to overcome.

Let’s shift our focus from EVERYTHING that should be done onto the few most important things that can make a huge impact on your ad campaign. On Google your goal should be to create a campaign that gets high clicks at a low cost per click and is within your ultimate goal of conversions via sales, leads, or awareness. How much less can you pay for a click than your competitors?

Here are the most important factors to ensure that you pay less and maximize your Adwords budget:


#1 Quality Score

#2 CTR

#3 Ad Relevancy

#4 Bounce Rate

#1 Focus: Quality Score

If you navigate to your keywords or ads in the Adwords Dashboard you can add a column called “Quality Score”. This number is very important, each keyword/ads will be ranked between 1-10, 10 being the best. The Quality Score is Googles ranking of your Ads relevancy and quality, this greatly impacts your CPC (cost per click). When you think about your Quality Score just remember — higher score, lower cost per click. Your goal score for every keyword and ad in your campaign should be between 8 and 10.

So how do we get a better Quality Score? Glad you asked.

#2 Focus: CTR (Click Through Rate)

Your CTR is the bread and butter of your campaign and the greatest impactor of your Quality Score. This simple metric will either cause you to pay too much for your clicks, or pay much less than your competition. Almost all the metrics on Adwords are a reflection of your CTR and can impact it. Even though everything does work together, your CTR will greatly impact how much you pay per click. It’s important to remember that you are competing with others to reach a certain audience, but your audience is also Googles audience, and they want to ensure that their customers are happy with their search results.

This is why your CTR matters:

  • A better CTR means you pay less per click because Google knows your content/product/ad is valuable to their audience. You may have a competitor paying .50cents per click rather than the .90cents you pay just because they have a better CTR (and ultimately their quality score) than you.
  • A better CTR in your Google Analytics actually improves your organic results. Not only will you do better through paid advertising, but you will get more free traffic!

#3 Focus: Ad Relevancy

Is the wording in your ads relevant to the person searching? In the Adwords dashboard, you can add the “Ad Relevancy Score” column to see how Google is currently ranking your keywords. Rather than numbers, Google uses “average, below average and above average” as a ranking. To improve your Ad Relevancy follow this list:

  • Run text ad tests to see if adjusting the wording impacts your clicks.
  • Always create at least 3 different ads per ad group.
  • Ensure that keywords are placed within ad groups correctly. You only want to add a keyword to an ad group that is 100% relevant. For example, if I sold cheese I would NOT create an ad group called “cheese” and put the keywords “Gouda, Havarti, Parmesan” under that ad group. Each type of cheese needs it’s own group and the keywords within those groups can then be expanded to “Gouda in Michigan”, “best Gouda online”, buy Gouda online”, “where to buy Gouda”, etc.
  • Ensure that all info boxes are filled when making an Ad, and that extensions are created correctly. Google does not like it when users do not utilize all their available fields.
  • Ensure that the keyword is in the Ad. Ideally, the searched keyword should be in the first description of the ad.
  • Search every month for new and trending keywords relevant to your industry.

#4 Focus: Bounce Rate

How long do people stay on your site and “look around”? Your bounce rate will impact your Quality Score, CTR, and Ad Relevancy. In an Adwords campaign if you have a high bounce rate then you are definitely paying for it — and at a high cost. Typically a high bounce rate means one of the following to the user:

  • Your site is not relevant to what they were looking for
  • Your site took too long to load
  • Your site did not provide the answer they were looking for fast enough
  • Your site appears bad to the viewer and they are uninterested

The bounce rate is something to always be working on, you can never get this low enough. Set small, achievable goals for yourself to bring it down by 2%, 5% or 10% each month. Here are some practical ways to start lowering your bounce rate:

  • Increase the ad relevancy on your campaigns to improve your paid search bounce rate.
  • Improve the speed on your website (helps with paid and organic bounce rate).
  • Improve the landing page experience for users after they click on your ads.