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How much money are you spending on Google Ads? Or the better question, how much money are you wasting on Google Ads? Google Ads is the largest online advertising platform, holding the largest share of total U.S. digital ad spend at 38.6%. There are two reasons why Google Ads dominates online advertising: 

1) Because it works (when managed right.) 

2) Because it’s extremely profitable for Google. 

“About 97% of Google’s total revenues come from advertising.” If you don’t know what you’re doing with Google Ads, it can be a very easy way to flush money down the toilet by not knowing what search queries you are actually spending money on. 

Reach Your Audience

Google Ads reach a staggering 80% of global internet users”, but it’s up to you to make sure your ads reach the right users. We’re going to share some tips with you on the actual keywords you want to target, how to directly control the audience you reach, and ultimately how to grow your revenue and ROAS (return on ad spend).

We like to compare the two approaches to ad spend to a rifle versus a shotgun. 

  • Rifle: a single bullet is your ad spend
  • Shotgun: each BB is your ad spend

Data-Driven Google Ads Targeting

With this metaphor in mind, we realize we would spend more money with the shotgun approach, while also being less targeted, than we would with the rifle approach (1 bullet vs. hundreds of BBs in one shotgun shell). 

As tour operators, we can narrow our target market down to a specific audience that shows intent to take part in the experience that we offer. Since we know our target, we want to use the rifle to hit this target, whereas the shotgun would spray BBs/money all around the target. 

The idea here is that we spend less, yet make more. 

 

Take Aim with Keyword Match Types

There are four types of keywords that can be used in Google Ads. 

  • Broad match
  • “Phrase match”
  • [Exact match]
  • +Modified +broad +match

Outside of geo-targeting, which we will discuss later in our blog series, this is where you choose the rifle or the shotgun. 

If you use broad match keywords (without quotations, brackets, or plus signs) you are subject to show up for anything Google deems relatable to your keyword. This is one of the ways that Google makes their money. If you are using broad match keywords, you are most likely spending money on search queries you don’t want to be spending money on. Instead, leverage data to narrow your keyword focus. 

 

Examine Your Accuracy w/ Search Terms Report

Your search terms report is your best friend. It will never lie to you or misconvey the truth. It is Google’s box of unspoken secrets, your direct answer to where your budget is actually going. 

In order to view your search terms report, 

  1. Select the campaign or ad group which you would like to explore, and go to the ‘keywords’ tab. 
  2. Select the ‘search terms’ tab at the top. 
  3. Voila. This will show you what users are actually typing into their search query and how many times it has triggered your ad. You can also see all of the other metrics for each search query such as cost per click, average position, click-through-rate, cost, conversions, etc. 

Google Ads Search Terms Report

If you are using broad match keywords, you will almost certainly find search terms in your report that you did not and do not want to continue spending money on. There are two immediate ways to combat this!

  1. Add negative keywords
  2. Optimize your existing keywords to use phrase, exact, and modified broad match 

These two things alone will save you tons of money and ensure that you are showing up for the search terms you actually want to spend money on!

So, in short, if you know your audience – shoot the rifle, use different keyword match types, utilize your search terms report, and significantly increase your ROAS! 

If you’re interested in making better sense of your Google Ads data, learn more about the TOMIS Marketing App!