Your Cost per Click (CPC) in Google Ads is the price you’re paying for each visitor to your website.
It is one of the most fundamental metrics of an Ads campaign and can play a huge role in whether your work is a success or not.
CPCs can vary greatly depending on your Ad Rank. Your Ad Rank score is based on your bid, the auction time, competitiveness of the auction, Quality Score, ad formats and the expected impact of your Ad Extensions.
Here are various ways to help reduce your CPC this year:
Improve Your Quality Score
Google determines where your Ad shows based on your Ad Rank. Your Ad Rank is the sum of your maximum bid x Quality Score. Your Quality Score is based on a scale of 1-10 and compromises of the following three factors:
- Ad Relevance
- Expected Click-Through Rate
- Landing Page Experience
To score as high as possible in each of these areas you’ll need to make your ad as relevant as possible to the keyword you are bidding on, ie include it in the Headlines, Ad Copy and Display Path where possible. The history of your campaign has a role in your Expected CTR, which can be improved by making sure you have as many Ad Extensions as possible and that they are increasing your CTR. Finally, making your landing pages relevant to your keywords, easy to navigate and friendly to your users will help improve your score.
Play around with your ads, extensions and landing pages as much as possible to increase your Quality Score as this has a huge impact on your cost-per-click.
The most obvious way to reduce your cost-per-click is to reduce your max bid, or set a maximum CPC if you’re using automated bidding. If you bid too low then you simply won’t get any impressions, but bidding higher than you need also means you’ll be paying over the odds for clicks.
Unless you have the budget and want to appear 100% of the time then you may wish to bid high, but if you want better value for money then set your max bid to a price where you can spend your daily budget and keep the average CPC down. You’ll need to play around with this to find an optimum bid.
Not only do negative keywords help reduce your CPC but they also prevent your ads from appearing for irrelevant search terms and therefore wasting your budget.
Even if your ads aren’t being clicked on for irrelevant searches they are going to reduce your CTR, which in turn lowers your Quality Score.
It’s recommend that you run a Search Terms report on a weekly basis, even more frequently on new campaigns so you can see which terms are triggering your ads and add them to your negative lists as necessary.
In short, negative keywords prevent your ad appearing from irrelevant searches to help increase your CTR, and therefore reduce your CPC.
Long Tail Keywords
These are the keywords that have a low search volume but are relevant to your product or service.
Where the more generic a keyword is, the more of your competitors that bid on it, the higher the CPC. Long tail keywords are more specific, don’t require much of your budget in comparison, and often much less competition.
As well as Google’s Keyword Planner, your Search Term reports and even Google Search Console are places you can find Long Tail Keywords for your Google Ads campaign.
Tightly-themed Ad Groups
As mentioned earlier, the more relevant your ads and landing pages are to your keywords, the higher your Quality Score will be, which reduced your cost-per-click.
One recommendation to make your ads as relevant to your keywords as possible is to create tightly-themed ad groups. Putting closely-related keywords in the same ad group allows you to include them in the Headlines, Descriptions and Display Paths of the ads.
Different Match Types
If you have a limited budget to work with to begin with then you’ll want to keep your keywords as tight as possible.
It’s rarely recommended to use Broad Match type, regardless of your budget, whereas using just Exact Match may prevent you from spending all of your budget, though give you the highest conversion rate.
Adding Broad Match Modifier and/or Phrase Match keywords to your ad groups will pick up broader but relevant keywords, likely to be cheaper than the exact phrase.
A thorough negative keyword list and regular search term reports should be run when using BMM and Phrase match keywords.
You can increase or decrease your bids based on the users’ device, location or time of day. Based on your reports you may see that certain keywords are more costly between 17:00-22:00 Monday-Friday and decide to reduce your bids by 25% during this time to make them more profitable.
Similarly, your website may be converting much better on Desktop devices and therefore you decide to increase your bids by 15% here to produce more sales.
There may be certain locations in the country you’re targeting or countries in the world that drive higher-quality traffic that you can increase your focus on, and reduce your bids in other regions.