March 4, 2021

Within a matter of minutes I can tell if your ad campaigns are wasting you thousands of dollars each year.

There's no secret.

It always boils down to a few key reasons.

Bad ad quality, unoptimized landing pages, low conversion rates to name a few…

But one of the biggest reasons why Google ad campaigns fail is due to Improper Targeting.

This is why I focus so much on how to properly target your ideal audience.

And if you’ve already got your targeting down that’s great!

BUT there are small tweaks you can make to your targeting and ad placement that can significantly lower ad cost and greatly increase the amount of qualified leads clicking on your ads.

Here are 4 simple methods I’ve used to bring in more leads and drive down cost for my clients:

Switch from Automatic to Manual Bidding

If your priority is lowering cost and optimizing the effectiveness of your advertising campaign as much as possible, we recommend switching to manual bidding.

Manual bidding gives you control over how much you spend per click on each keyword, demographic group etc. allowing you to optimize your click to cost ratio while still bringing in highly qualified leads.

One thing to note: if you’ve just started a new campaign and need time to gather more data, it’s a good idea to run with automatic bidding for a short time.

As your ads run, Google will be able to gather data on what is performing well and what isn’t. All of this is important to know if you want to make analytics-based decisions that will have a positive impact on your ad campaign.

What You Can Do:

  • Display the Average Cost Per Click (CPC) Metric for Data Reports - This shows the average cost per click on whichever keyword you’re looking at. By knowing this number, you can get a good idea of how much your bidding amount should be set to.
  • Decrease Bidding for Low Performance Metrics – Important metrics such as keyword performance and demographics should be looked at. Pay close attention to which ones are receiving a lot of impressions and clicks, but aren’t showing any conversions. If you see this, you should either take out that keyword or demographics group, or lower how much you’re bidding on it. Stop wasting money on areas that aren’t converting!
  • Increase Bidding for High Performance Metrics- If you have a few keywords or demographic groups that have high conversion rates, increase the bidding on those so your ad shows on the top of the search results for the people most likely to convert.

Optimize Bidding Based on Analytics and Trends

After you’ve switched to manual bidding, the next area to look at for reducing cost while still maintaining or increasing conversion rates is to look at your analytics.

When someone clicks your ad, Google records important analytics such as their:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Location
  • Keywords Used
  • Device Used
  • Day & Time Performance

As you can see, Google gives you some very important insights and trends into the people that show interest in your ad.

When deciding on what you should focus your ad budget on, factoring in these performance metrics will help you make more informed decisions that will have a powerful impact on the performance of your ad campaign.

What You Can Do:

  • Data Gathering - After you’ve run ads for long enough and acquired enough data, look into your analytics and take note of what is performing well and what’s underperforming. All metrics should be taken into account.
  • Optimize - After you’ve gathered enough data, it’s time to optimize your ad budget. Increase the max CPC for metrics that are performing well, and lower the max CPC or cut out entirely what is underperforming.

Example) If you see your ad converting well in age groups 25-34 and 35-44, you should increase the Max CPC you’re willing to pay for each click in that age group so your ad gets more exposure to those higher converting visitors. For the age groups that aren’t performing as well, you can either reduce the max bidding amount for those age groups, or cut them out entirely.

Use Remarketing Audience Lists

Did you know that retargeting visitors who clicked on your ad before but didn’t convert are over 40% more likely to convert if they click your ad again?

You should never give up on a visitor just because they clicked on your ad and backed out. The fact that your ad caught that person’s attention means they’re interested in what you’re offering.

By taking advantage of remarketing audiences, you can retarget people that showed an interest in your ad but never converted. Doing this not only helps save you money, it will also increase the overall performance of your ad campaign.

What You Can Do:

  • Create a Retargeting Audience List – Create a custom audience that is based on your website visitors and add it to the audiences list in your Ads campaign.
  • Create a Converted Audience List – Create an audience list of people that have already converted. If you only need visitors to convert once, you can exclude these converters so your ad doesn’t get shown again.
  • Lower Your Bounce Rate – If you notice a high bounce rate on your website, this usually means that whatever page they land on after clicking your ad isn’t speaking to them and catching their attention. You need to find out (split testing your headline, body text, pictures, positioning, testimonials, offer etc.) what it is that is keeping visitors off from staying on your site and make changes to improve performance. Lower bounce rate may also be related to slow load times.
  • Setup Automated Rules – This is a great way to help automate your optimization which can save you time while still giving you a good amount of control within the various settings of your campaign. In your audience list, click on ‘Audience > Create an automated Rule’. Using this allows you to automate actions based on the rules you set.

Example) If a certain audience has a conversion rate of over 10% (Condition), then increase the CPC bid by 15% (Action) between the times 8AM and 5PM (Frequency).

Search Networks vs. Display Networks

When deciding on where your ads should display, Google gives you two different networks you can choose from:

  1. Search Networks – Allows your ads to appear on the Google search results and other google sites when people search for terms that are relevant to your keywords (Can also include search engines such as Bing, Yahoo etc.)

One of the beautiful things with Google’s Search Network is that it allows you to show your ads to people who are actively searching for something RIGHT NOW.

This means ads displayed on search networks are much hotter leads that are more likely to convert.

  1. Display Networks – Allows your ads to appear on sites, videos and apps across the internet based on customer relevancy (demographics, interests and habits, what they’ve searched for in the past, etc. are taken into account)

Typically, people who see ads on display networks are just casually browsing the internet, not actively searching for a product or service to buy.

Although Display Networks can be a great way of reaching more people (especially when paired with retargeting audiences), the fact that they aren’t actively searching means click through rate and conversion rates will be much lower compared to the search network.

What You Can Do:

  • Choosing the Search Network – If you’re on a tight budget and need every click to have the highest chance of converting, this network will be your best bet because it targets people who are actively searching for something.
  • Choosing the Display Network – This is a great option if you want to focus on branding or retargeting website visitors that didn’t convert. By having your ads follow them while they browse the internet, your business will stay in their mind which means they’ll be more likely to buy from you when they make a purchasing decision.
  • Running Both Networks – If you have a big enough budget and decide to go this route, make sure you make separate campaigns for each network. Because you’re dealing with different types of traffic (hot/cold/warm) on each network, your ads should be tailored accordingly. This will also keep your analytics separate from each other, which helps you make better analytics-based decisions.


Google not only gives you a great amount of control in where your ads appear and who your ads are shown to, it also shows you all the analytics you need in order to make the best decision for optimizing your campaigns.

By taking into account these analytics and utilizing the methods in this article, you’ll be on a fast track to optimizing your Google ad campaigns, squeezing out as many leads as you can from every dollar you spend.

Justin Salve

Justin specializes in ad lead generation and generating revenue through sales funnels. His journey into Digital Marketing began with Lean On Meals and STC Barbershop, first developing his skills in content marketing and paid advertising. He has then gone on to have great success with a variety of small businesses, implementing marketing strategies to generate leads and revenue for many of our clients.