How to Fix a High Cost Per Click

High Cost-Per-Click

Is Your Average Cost Per Click High?

Here’s How to Fix It.

Pay-per-click advertising is centered around the ability to lower CPC (cost-per-click) costs.


In other words, if you’re able to pay less for a click, then your cost per conversion will also be less, right?


The answer is definitely yes.


But as PPC gets increasingly competitive, niches that were once relatively uncompetitive have become insupportable for advertisers with rising costs per click.


In this post, we’ll look at four things you can do to try to reduce those Google Ads costs per click beyond simply lowering your bid.

  1. Create Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGS)


The best PPC agency campaigns are the ones that are the most relevant. Each of your ad groups should have one keyword with three different match types: broad match modified, phrase match, and exact match (despite the fact that Google suggests upwards of 10 to 20 keywords).


SKAGS ensure that your landing pages and text ads can be keyword specific in order to enhance your quality score. When quality scores are high, you pay less for clicks.


The keywords should then have specific landing pages for that keyword and those ads. Your goal is to keep the messaging in the ad consistent with the messaging on the landing page.



  1. Check Your Quality Score


Fortunately, relevant landing pages, keywords, and messaging naturally lead to a higher quality score. Google determines quality score from your click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page relevance.


When all of those areas are above average (7-10 is best), you pay less per click.


Why does it matter beyond paying less?


Here’s the ad rank formula for the Google Search Network:


Ad Rank = CPC bid x Quality Score


Here’s the ad rank formula for keyword-targeted ads:


Ad Rank = Display Network bid x Quality Score


And here’s the ad formula for placement-targeted ads on the Google Display Network:


Ad Rank = Bid x Quality Score


Ultimately, Quality Score affects your account health and success across the board.


In campaigns that are targeted on Google Search, each keyword has a Quality Score. But it’s hidden by default. Here’s how to show it:


  1. Click the “keywords” tab in your Google Ads account.

  2. Click “Columns” then “Modify columns.”

  3. In the section that opens up, choose “Quality Score.”

  4. Select “Quality Score” in the list of options.

  5. Click “Apply” to save.


You should now have a Quality Score column in your data. A 7/10 Quality Score is the recommended number and is sufficient. Going above 7 is great but not always achievable and may not be worth the effort. Anything below 7 is a sign that something is wrong and should be worked on immediately.



  1. Strategically Adjust Keywords

Negative keywords probably aren’t the first things you think of when you begin running a PPC campaign. In fact, they may be the very subject you avoid.


But, as per the Google definition, a negative keyword prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase.


For example, when you add “free” as a negative keyword to your campaign or ad group, you are telling Google Ads not to show your ad for any search containing the term “free.”


Why would you not want to show up for every search?


If, for example, you own a landscape supply company seeking to sell inventory, then you want to make sure you don’t get clicks from people who are searching for rentals. You don’t want to rent the equipment, you want to sell it.


Fortunately, you can compile a list of negative keywords fairly easily by opening your account, clicking on the Keywords tab and clicking “Search terms.” This should pull up a list of search terms people have entered that triggered your ads during your specified time period.


In this example, add the word “rental” to your negative keywords list, and you’ll be on your way to making your clicks more relevant. This will increase click-through rates and improve quality scores.


  1. Adjust Bids Beyond Keywords: Locations, Devices, and Ad Schedule


Of course, bids go beyond keywords. They take into consideration other factors such as the user’s location, the device they use, and the prime hours for more traffic and leads.


Some questions to consider in order to lower your Cost Per Click:


  • Which days drive the most traffic and leads?

  • Which time of the day results in the most conversions?

  • What device do users search on the most?

  • Which location drives higher-quality traffic?


If you find that one day of the week is generating clicks without resulting sales, you can pause or stop your ads running on that date or day of the week.


On the other hand, you can increase your bid on days that generate both targeted clicks and sales in order to become more visible and raise your conversion rate.


You can take similar measures to target users’ devices, but keep in mind that mobile phones have increasingly dominated the overall digital industry for years.

Want more insights? Contact our digital marketing experts at RLC Media to start growing your online business today.

Cost Per Click

5 Ad Ranking Questions Everyone Has For Google

Ad Ranking Questions

 5 Ad Ranking Questions Everyone Has For Google

Paid search. Google Ads. Ad Ranking. You have questions, and we’ve got answers.

Ad ranking is simple in nature, but finding ways to improve your ad rank is not. What moves, edits, or selections will improve your position, and which ones could potentially harm your ranking?


Here’s everything you need to know about ad ranking, why it matters, and how you can improve it fast.  


  1. What Is Ad Ranking? 


Google defines ad rank as “a value that’s used to determine your ad position (where ads are shown on a page relative to other ads) and whether your ads will show at all. 


If your ad shows up third, your ad rank for that given search is number three. This means that your position is the result of any given paid search auction against your competitors. 


  1. How Does Google Calculate Ad Ranking? 


Your bid amount, ad quality, and ad rank threshold get passed into Google’s system. The specific keyword search is then analyzed using machine learning to determine exactly what that user is most likely looking for in light of previous searches. 


This means that an ad for one of your keywords may show up in position #1 at the top of the page for one user’s search and in a different position for another’s. 


According to Google, these are the key factors contributing to your ad rank: 


  • Bid amount and ad rank thresholds: This refers to the minimum amount you need to bid to be in a specific position. For example, you can’t bid 20 cents and rank first for a term that costs $2.


  • Ad quality: This refers to both the relevance of your ad to a search as well as your Quality Score (i.e. relevancy of keywords within an ad group, ad copy, and landing page). 


  • The context of search: Depending on which device a user searches on, the time of day, and the keywords/terms used to make a search query, your ad may or may not be the most relevant. 


  • Ad extension impact: This means that you’ve enabled site-link extensions to internal pages on your website, call extensions, and location extensions within your ad. 


Again, ad rank is recalculated each time an ad is eligible for and competes in an auction, which means your position may change accordingly.


  1. Does the Highest Bidder Always Rank Higher? 


Because you’re bidding in an auction-style competition for keywords and search terms, people often assume that simply bidding higher is what lands the highest position.  


But that’s not necessarily true when it comes to ad rank. 


Paid search results function much like organic search results. Google want to provide searchers with highly relevant information that quickly solves their problem. 


If you have a high quality score and your keyword and ad copy are highly relevant, you can still achieve the best ad rank in an auction while bidding less than your competitors. 


  1. Can a Higher Quality Score Improve Ad Ranking? 


Yes! Your keyword quality score is one factor that determines ad rank for a specific auction, but your ad rank does not directly impact quality score as a result of that auction. 


This means that improving your quality score should be a top priority, and one way to do that is to utilize more specific ad groups. If you use generic or overly generalized ad groups, you run the risk of producing ads that underperform on expected click-through rates (CTRs). 


For instance, if a retailer sells several different types of shoes, they wouldn’t want to have “high heels” and “running shoes” in the same ad group. They’d want to write distinct ad copy for each of those products. 


They’ll also want people who search for “high heels” to land on a page of high heels and people who search for “running shoes” to land on a page featuring the running shoes they offer. 


Quality score is determined in part by your expected CTR, which takes into account your historical CTR trend. Because it’s common for ads at the top of the search engine results page to acquire a higher CTR, that can improve your quality score and directly impact your ad rank for future auctions. 


  1. How Do I Improve Ad Ranking? 


The simplest way to answer this question is by addressing the factors that Google lists (as addressed in question #2): 


  • Increase your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bids and meet the ad thresholds ascribed to a keyword. While higher bidding isn’t the final word on ad rank, it naturally makes you more competitive in the auction. 


  • Improve your quality score by creating more specific ad groups, writing specific ad copy and providing highly relevant landing pages. 


  • Make sure your keywords and text ads are highly relevant to your intended audience and search query since ad rank is recalculated each time an ad is eligible for and competes in an auction. 


  • Enable and optimize ad extensions and use as many as are relevant. 


When looking to increase the rankings of your ad, do you head straight to your bid adjustments? If you do, first consider whether you’ve exhausted all other options to create ads that prioritize relevance and user search queries. Only then should you consider using a higher bid to reach the top positions for your keywords. 

Want more insights? Contact our digital marketing experts at RLC Media to start growing your online business today.