How to lower your cost of advertising on Google Search: Advice for contractors

google search Sep 13, 2020

I speak to many contractors and everyone seems to be complaining about the same thing: Our advertising costs are going up , but the quality of our results are not improving.

It seems that we need to keep spending more and more on ads just to achieve the same results. I understand as I have also encountered these difficulties with Google Search Ads.

If you want to lower your cost of advertising, you need to understand how ad costs are determined. The main factor is this thing called the quality score. I won’t go into much detail here, but there are excellent resources online like this one here that explains how quality score is determined.

I have come up with a few tips for my fellow contractors that should a) help you lower your advertising spend, which b) will lead to an improved quality score, thus c) bringing down your cost per click

1) Don’t always bid to get the No1 spot in search results. Some contractors are always seeking to outbid their competitors so that they always land on the no 1 spot on Google Search. You should know that there is a hefty premium price for landing on the no 1 spot. Furthermore search results on the no.1 spot tends to attract more random clicks from clickwasters - Basically the people who don’t quite know what they are looking for. By lowering your maximum bid, you may get a small drop in impressions but that should not cost you much. Sometimes by being positioned on the 2 or 3 spot on Google you may get better quality leads because these people have spent more time searching and thinking about their choice.

2) Always be testing. Always run tests against two different ads. Test which is getting a higher click through rate. Get rid of the poorly performing ads and create new ads always trying to beat the control ad. You want your ads to have better click through rates than your competitors. Google will reward your by showing your ads more often and charging you less

3) Narrow down the Keywords. Google reps and ad agencies are always telling you to expand your keywords so you can ‘expand your reach’. This is horrible advice designed to get you to spend more money (and fill their pockets). You need to narrow down your keywords. Do not ever run keywords on broad match since Google will be showing your ads to unrelated search terms. Only run phrase and exact match keywords. Regularly see which keywords are bringing in the clicks and the leads. Get rid of poorly performing keywords that are eating up your budget.

4) Check your website visitor/s engagement. When someone lands on your page, Google checks to see if these people took action. Did they browse around? Did they fill in a form? How long did they spend on your site? People who land and then bounce 4 seconds later are a red flag for Google. Remember your landing page needs to be better than your competitors. This is how you get better quality scores, lower costs, but most impotantly people picking up the phone and calling you!

If you want to learn more about bringing down your advertising costs, I invite you to have a look at our E-book that we have developed for contractors. For a small price of just $27 you will get access to dozens of great tips on how to improve your digital marketing.