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How To Reduce Your Google Ads CPC

Reducing your Google Ads Cost Per Click (CPC) costs is one of the most important actions you could take in your account to improve performance. And that’s mainly because it also reduces your overall spend and means you need to have less budget to achieve the campaign goals you’ve set.


To do this effectively requires taking specific actions to make sure you’re on your way to a good CPC rate. Some actions will be easier than others and some will require you to wait longer to see the results. So, how you go about it will depend on the bid strategies you’re using and what campaigns you’re running.


In this article I show you how to reduce your Google Ads CPC rates while helping you to achieve your goals. I’m a Google Ads consultant and I have a lot of experience setting up and managing bid strategies and I show you some of the key actions I’ve found to be effective.



Lower keyword bids


One of the quickest ways to reduce your Google Ads CPC rates is to lower your bids. Lowering your bids means you will have a cap on how much you’ll pay for each click that you get to your ads.


How you reduce your CPC bids depends on the bid strategy that you’re currently using. For example, if you’re using Manual CPC bidding you can change the maximum CPC bid limit at the ad group or keyword levels.


Manual CPC Bid Strategy


Just remember that if you’re using Enhanced CPC (ECPC) bidding with your manual bidding you may still pay above the limit sometimes. That’s because ECPC will bid higher if the system has determined that you’re likely to get a conversion, or bid lower if you’re not likely to get a conversion.


If you’re using an automated bid strategy like Maximise Clicks, you can add a bid cap limit or reduce it if you have one. That means the system will now bid lower, but that may have an impact on the performance of your ads. So, it’s worth testing this as you run your ads.


Maximise Clicks Bidding Strategy


Add negative keywords


Adding negative keywords in your campaigns and ad groups helps you to block searches that are not relevant for your business. It also helps you to block searches that have high CPC rates and are not performing very well and costing you much.


Add Negative Keyword List


It’s far more important to check your CPCs at the search term level and not just the keyword level. That’s because some searches will have high CPCs while some will have low ones, so looking at it at the keyword level does not give you much information about what is happening at the search level.


You can add negative keywords at the campaign or ad group levels. Or you can add them to a negative keyword list at the account level and then apply them to multiple campaigns.



Change bidding strategy


Changing your bid strategy is one effective way to reduce your Google Ads Cost Per Click (CPC). For example, if you’ve been using an automated bid strategy, changing to a manual one will help you to have more control over your bids. And you’ll then reduce your bids and that will help to reduce your CPCs.

Google Ads Bid Strategies


As mentioned above, Manual CPC allows you to set bids at the keyword and ad group levels. And you’ll set a maximum CPC limit to prevent the system from bidding higher than that and that will help you to control the CPCs.


The actual CPC you pay is what is minimally required to clear the Ad Rank thresholds, and beat the Ad Rank of the advertiser below you. If there are no other advertisers you only pay a reserve price which tends to be very low.


Also, using an automated bid strategy like Maximise Clicks allows you to put a bid cap to prevent the system from bidding higher.


Improve quality scores


A long term approach to reducing your Google Ads CPC costs that reaps lasting results is to improve your keyword quality scores. Good quality scores means you will pay less to achieve higher ad positions. So, if you have scores like 8 to 10, you’ll see lower costs than scores that are below 4 for example.


Quality Score Columns


Poor quality scores mean you have to bid higher to appear in higher positions relative to competitors. So, work on your landing page experience, ad relevance and expected click through rate to improve your quality scores.


Some actions that help include checking your website speed with PageSpeed Insights and following the guidelines there to fix it. Also, make sure your ads are highly relevant to your keywords and search terms.



Find long tail keywords


Adding long tail keywords helps you to target keywords that are less competitive. And less competitive always means you’ll pay less for each click and will reduce the average CPC across your campaign.


That’s because long tail keywords target long tail searches that are highly specific and are often ignored by many other advertisers.


You can look for long tail keywords by carrying out keyword research with the Keyword Planner tool. As you carry out this research, look for keywords with four words or more. They won’t be that many so, you’ll need to keep searching. But the few that you find that are relevant, you can add to your campaign and bid on them.


Keyword Planner Tool


A great place to find long tail keywords is in the search terms report. And when you see any relevant searches there, click and add them to your ad groups and if you’re using manual bidding, set a maximum CPC bid for them.


Use broad match type keywords


Adding broad match type keywords will send you a wide range of searches. Some of these will be less competitive and will lead to a drop in the average Google Ads CPC in your campaigns.


However, there are some problems associated with adding broad match keywords. The first is that you’re likely to get some searches that are not relevant for your business. And that could waste some of your budget. So, you’ll need to add them as negative keywords to make sure they don’t appear again.


Adding broad match keywords also sends long tail searches as described above. Long tail searches usually have lower CPCs than short tail ones and they have higher conversions too, on average, because they are very specific.




Finally, as outlined in this blog post, there are many benefits to reducing your Google Ads CPC rates including the most important which is to reduce advertising spend. To do this successfully will take some time and effort and ideally should not be a one-off event but an ongoing part of your campaign management. So, it’s important to work on your bids from the time you launch your ads and throughout your advertising efforts in Google Ads.


Get in Touch


Still need help on how to reduce your Google Ads costs and improve the performance of your campaigns? Get in touch with me to discuss your requirements and to find out how I can help you run an Exceptional Campaign in Google Ads.


    I'm a Certified Google Ads Expert and Marketing Author and in this blog I share my latest tips and secrets on how to promote your business successfully on the web and increase customer loyalty, retention and advocacy on Google Ads.

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