This is the question that is asked time after time in forums across the world. Unfortunately it is a case of ‘when all else fails, read the user manual’. An old adage sure, but it is true.
It is amazing how many people throw words into a list, write an advert, and set it running. This almost always results in money being eaten faster than a donkey eats strawberries.
So to answer the question, you need to follow the basic steps. I intend drip feeding the various elements that are involved, and will be guided by user comments.
The easiest way to bleed money is by poor matching of your phrases. I have assumed that you have carried out proper keyword research, because keyword research is the King AND Queen of internet marketing. Get That wrong and you are back chasing rainbows.
Are you phrase and exact matching?
If you are targeting wedding photographers Edinburgh, an are putting those words in as your search phrases, then you could well show for any search that includes ANY of those 3 words. Someone searching for wedding photographers Llandeilo for example, could trigger your ads.
AH! You say, but people from mid Wales will know I am in Edinburgh, so will not click on my ad! TRUE! Apart from the fact that every impression you get that does not convert into a click through weakens your ad value in the eyes of Google, so you will be likely to appear further down the page. In AdWords, it is NOT ‘he who bids most goes top’. That was overture, and even they are trialling algorithmic ad placements
OK down to the meat.
You have 3 options in Google
a. broad matching e.g. wedding photographers Edinburgh
b. Phrase matching e.g. “wedding photographers Edinburgh”
c. Exact matching e.g. [wedding photographers Edinburgh]
I have explained A. So on to b. Phrase matching
you phrase match by wrapping the phrase in quotation marks either side like so “wedding photographers Edinburgh”. This is phrase matching and will result in your ad only showing when the search term includes the phrase as a phrase match
cheap wedding photographers Edinburgh will result in your ad showing.
cheap wedding photographers in Edinburgh will not trigger your ad, as the phrase is broken by the bolded word.
c. Exact matching is achieved so, [wedding photographers Edinburgh] this setting will only allow your ad to show when the search term is EXACTLY the term you are targeting IE. wedding photographers Edinburgh ANYTHING ELSE will not trigger it.
The key to success in AdWords is constant refinement. you should constantly be monitoring traffic from your broad and phrase matches, and adding them to exact and phrase (if they are not already there). This will allow you to bid lower on exact matches, and this will achieve 2 things.
First it will ensure your add is going to appear when the exact phrase is used, this will result in a far higher Click Through rate (CTR), which will give you a far betting Google quality Score.
Secondly it will mean your traffic is far more likely to convert (assuming you have the other required elements in place).
Thirdly, because of the above, you will be paying less per click, to appear in a higher position.
You are bidding a maximum of £0.21 per click,
the guy above you is paying £0.40.
His CTR is 1:10, yours is 2:10 .
Google will show your ad ABOVE his ad as for every 10 impressions, your ad generates £0.42, while his generates £0.40 So you will be paying around half as much as him for a better position.
The key to success in Google is relevance, NEVER forget that, in everything you do with Google in mind, ask yourself that simple question “how relevant is this?”