4 Tips to Avoid Paying the Adwords "Stupid Tax"

October 7, 2008

  1. Campaigns are by default set to run on all three networks: Google, Google Search Partners, and Content Network. You should certainly disable content in your search campaigns because content can cost quite a lot of money, and if you aren't tracking conversions and placements, this could end up being a very costly "stupid tax".
  2. Always run at least two ads and rotate ads evenly. In your campaign settings, choose "rotate ads", not "optimize". If you are running only one ad per adgroup, bang, you are paying the google stupid tax, as you are missing a vital opportunity to test ad variations and find a better CTR and/or conversion rate, which also helps you reduce bids. Try refeshing your browser... see which advertiser ads change. Anyone who's ad doesn't change is paying "The Google Stupid Tax".
  3. Use your adgroup's highest traffic keywords somewhere in the Ad, preferably the headline. These keywords will be bolded and invite a much better response/CTR, awarding you with a lower cost per click, saving money. Don't do this and you are paying the "stupid tax".
  4. More campaign settings. The easiest way to pay the stupid tax is to ignore the campaign settings. Utilize adwords geotargeting to show your ads only in the city/area of your target market. This is probably the biggest stupid tax I've see. Language targeting... if your target market is only for Spanish speakers, use that setting. Show your ads in Spanish, use Spanish keywords and a Spanish landing page too. Try using ad scheduling... if you are a B2B, try showing your ads only during business hours. These campaign settings are the easiest method to avoid the Google stupid tax, hands down.
These are some of the tips that I thought of first, and there are many more. Your adwords manager should be using all the tips and tricks of the trade to avoid wasting clicks/money. The bottom line is a fine ROI, return on your advertising investment.

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Anonymous said...

@Dan / Elan -

Nice article and I love the branding of these tips as a "stupid tax". I think #1 deserves to be expounded upon, though.

Turning off content should always be the first thing someone does. And for a small diy account, it's probably best not to mess with it that much if the company isn't that sophisticated and can't devote the time needed for campaign optimization.

Having said that, things have changed enough over the past year that it no longer means an account should never use it. More sophisticated managers should set up a new campaign that's content only and start testing it out. I've seen some great results with it recently for several different clients.

Great work - enjoyed the post!

Rob Taylor said...

#5 not installing Analytics with real keyword filtering http://is.gd/16cb and using broad match for all your terms. That's got to put you in the highest bracket for stupid tax.

y2kjobs said...
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