Struggling with a high Cost Per Click (CPC) across your Google Ads? Not sure what you should do to lower it? Stick with us because in this blog post we’re breaking down eight different tactics that can help lower your Google Ads CPC. Let’s dive in!
1. Change your bidding strategy
When you’re generating a decent amount of conversions, we recommend choosing the Target CPA (cost per acquisition) bidding strategy. This is an automated, smart bidding strategy so you don’t need to make any manual bid adjustments. Simply set a target cost per conversion, and let Google adjusts bids to generate as many conversions as possible at that CPA. Why do we recommend this bidding strategy, you ask?
With manual bidding, you can make adjustments based on demographics, location, gender, device, etc. But when it comes to automated, smart bidding strategies Google’s algorithm can certainly make more accurate projections about your campaigns, taking into consideration all your browsing history.
The thing with target CPA though is that the algorithm needs to have a decent amount of conversion data to be able to make smart decisions. So if you’re just starting out, or you don’t have a big enough conversion volume, we recommend going for “Maximize conversions”. In this case, Google will automatically run your bidding for you in order to get you the most conversions for your budget.
Types of automated bid strategies
|Goal||Bid strategy||How it works|
|Increase site visits||Maximize Clicks||Automatically sets your bids to help get as many clicks as possible within your budget.|
|Increase visibility||Target Impression Share||Automatically sets bids with the goal of showing your ad on the absolute top of the page, on the top of the page, or anywhere on the page of Google search results.|
|Get more conversions with your target CPA||Target CPA||Automatically sets Search or Display bids to help get as many conversions as possible at the target cost-per-action (CPA) you set.|
|Meet a target return on ad spend (ROAS) when you value each conversion differently.||Target ROAS||Automatically sets bids to help get as much conversion value as possible at the target return on ad spend (ROAS) you set.|
|Get more conversions while spending your budget.||Maximize conversions||Automatically sets bids to help you get the most conversions for your campaign while spending your budget.|
|Get more conversion value while spending your budget.||Maximize conversion value||Automatically sets bids to help you get the most conversion value for your campaign while spending your budget.|
2. Create a negative keyword list
Another way to not only lower your CPC but also improve the CR is to use negative keywords. Negative keywords allow you to exclude irrelevant keywords from search terms and search queries.
In order to understand which keywords should be added to your negative keyword list, you got to check your search terms report. The search terms report is a list of search terms that a significant number of people have used, and that resulted in your ad being shown.
If a search term isn’t relevant enough to the products or services you offer, add it to your negative keyword list. This will ensure your ad doesn’t show up to people who are looking for something you don’t sell.
You can add negative keywords both at the campaign and ad group level. The main benefits of using them are:
- Exclusion of irrelevant traffic
- Avoidance of cross-campaign keyword matches
- Decrease of CPC and, consequently, improvement of ROI
- Improvement of overall CTR of the account, which will have a long-term positive impact on your Quality Score
3. Remove keywords with no conversions
Sometimes a single keyword can hurt the performance of your entire campaign. That’s why it’s crucial to pay attention to your keyword performance. If you’ve got keywords that have received a lot of impressions but didn’t generate any conversions, you should lower their bids, or simply remove them so that you can stop wasting your budget.
Also, if you have high-converting keywords, try increasing their bids.
Another thing we have to mention here is your keyword match types. Using keyword match types effectively with your Google Ads campaigns will give you more control over your bids as well as your ads.
Essentially allowing you to define how similar search queries should be to your keywords in order to trigger your ads. If you need to reduce your CPC, start using more specific exact match keywords. That way you’ll gain more control, and higher quality clicks.
4. Research new keywords
If you’re still not taking advantage of Google Keyword Planner, from now on, you definitely should. You can get started by finding keyword ideas or analyzing their search volume, as well as forecast how they might perform in the future. Other benefits include:
Discover new keywords
Get suggestions for keywords related to your products, services, or website.
Discover the competition for keywords
Find relevant keywords with low, medium or high competition.
See monthly searches
See estimates on the number of searches a keyword gets each month.
See the average cost for your ad to show on searches for a keyword.
See the average cost for your ad to show on searches for a keyword.
Create new campaigns
Use your keyword plan to create new campaigns centered on in-depth keyword research.
5. Include long-tail keywords
If you’re just starting out, and you don’t have a budget that allows you to bid on keywords with higher competition, start finding long-tail ones. Long-tail keywords are more specific keyword phrases that have a lower search volume. So when you bid on these keywords, your CPC is lower since there’s less competition for them.
In fact, the vast majority of Google searches are very specific and long-tail.
Also, long-tail keywords not only have a lower CPC but also a much higher CR (conversion rate). That’s simply because people that search for long-tail terms tend to have a much higher purchase intent than the ones that search for short-tail keywords.
But how do you find long-tail keywords?
There are several ways to find long-tail keywords. The easiest way is probably by looking at Google’s “searches related to…”. You can simply type in your primary search term in the Google search box and scroll down to the bottom of the search results. Then you’ll see a number of related searches that will make great long-tail keywords.
Google Trends is another keyword research tool that can help you find out whether the interest for a specific keyword is falling or growing. You’ll be able to see the interest for a keyword over time and find out which particular keywords are queried on a frequent basis.
If you’re interested in discovering other ways of finding long-tail keywords check out this guide.
6. Use all relevant ad extensions
Extensions expand your ad with additional information, making them more appealing and giving them greater visibility. As your ads offer more information, users are more likely to click on them.
Ultimately, this means you’re not only going to improve your CTR but also lower your CPC. For that reason, it’s a good practice to use all the extensions relevant to your business goals.
Here are common advertisers goals and the extensions that can support them:
Goal: Get customers to buy from your business location
Goal: Get customers to contact you
Goal: Get customers to convert on your website
Goal: Get people to download your app
7. Test multiple ads
To be able to understand which of your ads interact better with your audience, you have to keep testing. For a search campaign, we suggest running a combination of two expanded text ads and one responsive search ad.
Truth is, you will have to enter several headlines and description examples, but the more of them you enter, the more opportunities Google has to find the winning ad and serve it more closely to your potential customers’ search queries.
Actually, the Google Ads platform enables you to directly create and test variations of your ads, by using ad variations. To access Ad Variations, scroll down to “Drafts & Experiments” from the left sidebar and select “Ad Variations”.
Then you can choose to apply a variation to the entire account or only within particular campaigns. You can also filter by specific elements within ads. For instance, you may want to choose all ads that have a particular headline or description you’d like to test. Also, make sure to monitor the performance of your other high-level metrics, such as the CR (conversion rate), not just the CPC.
8. Improve your quality score
The Quality Score is Google’s rating of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Every time you enter an auction, Google looks at your quality score and your bid. More specifically, Google looks at these three quality score factors:
- the relevance of your ads
- your landing page experience
- your expected CTR
The higher the quality score and these three factors are, the lower you can bid for keywords in an auction. So if you have a high-quality score (8/10), Google is going to allow you to bid lower than your competition.
On the other hand, if you have a 5/10 quality score, you’re going to have to bid higher than your competitors to achieve the same ad positions. So the first thing you want to do is to start optimizing for these three quality score factors.
Now it is your turn! Apply some of these tips to your campaigns and let us know what your results were. If you have other tips on how to lower Google Ads CPC, feel free to share them in the comments section below!
For more blog posts about Google or Facebook ads, visit our blog.