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5 Ways to Reduce Wasted Google Ads Spend

by Leandra Parks   |   Aug 16, 2016

Paid search management can be a convoluted topic to some, particularly with the process that goes into managing an account for success. If the base of an account is set up incorrectly, hundreds of dollars can easily be wasted. Whether you're a part of an in-house team or work for an agency, account audits are an essential aspect for the success of any PPC account.


Because audits uncover missed opportunities, red flags, or weaknesses in an account that are usually overlooked. I will reveal how auditing a PPC account for a potential client saved them $79,000 in wasted expenditures.


Recently, a national brand hired Workshop Digital to audit their Google Ads account. The client was concerned that the account was hitting diminishing returns and that it was inefficiently spending money. We were asked to identify opportunities in the account to reduce wasted spending. The team auditing the account consisted of two analysts, and the audit was done within a six-week timeframe.


We analyzed specific key areas within the Google Ads account, which consisted of the account structure, ad groups, bids, keywords, optimizations, and landing pages - to name a few. We analyzed each area, looking at the performance over a four-month period. It's always best when performing audits to evaluate months of performance to gather data trends.


The audit revealed $79,000 of wasted spend due to inadequate campaign management in areas that are often overlooked. Some of these issues included the lack of bid adjustments, impertinent display placements, high cost keywords, ineffective ad scheduling, and irrelevant geo-targeting. We uncovered the following inefficiencies, in more detail:

(1) High-cost keywords: In this section, we analyzed the performance of each keyword by match type. We discovered the account wasted a total of $39K on non-converting broad match terms, which was 49% of the budget.

(2) Irrelevant geo-targeting: We analyzed the performance of each location per campaign. We uncovered the account wasted a total of $19K in areas outside the client's targeted locations, which was 25% of the total budget.

(3) Ineffective ad scheduling: We extensively analyzed the performance of ads during various days and times of the week and by device type and network. We uncovered the account wasted a total of $1K due to ineffective ad scheduling, which was 2% of the total budget.

(4) Impertinent display placements: Here, we took a deep dive into the display network. We uncovered the account wasted a total of $5K on accidental clicks due to mobile app placements, which was 7% of the total budget.

(5) Lack of bid adjustments: In this section, we analyzed the performance of the account by device type. Due to the lack of bid adjustments, we uncovered the account wasted $13K on non-converting mobile clicks, which was 17% of the total budget.

The account spent a total of $79K inefficiently in the analyzed timeframe, which was 11% of the total budget. In other words, the previous structure of the account wasted an average of $19K a month over four months.

Are you concerned about your paid search results? Is your account hitting diminishing returns? If so, it's time for a paid search account audit. Contact us today to stop wasting money in your paid search account.

Portrait of Leandra Parks

Leandra Parks