Avoiding excessive google ads costs

By : Forum Member
Published 12th October 2021 |
Read latest comment - 23rd October 2021

I am sure many of you find google ads complicated and frustrating to use. We have all learnt / Learned the hard way.

(I am an older Brit so I say Learnt, but I know that many people now don't like the old burnt meant learnt etc words) 

Things to avoid 

1. never leave a campaign running without checking the cost daily or at least two or three times a week. Reason if your ad gets better you might get more and more clicks  but no conversions. This means you will reach your daily ad spend every day for as long as the ad in active. This equals big cost at end of month or payment cycle or reaching the payment to be billed freehold long before the end of the month.

2. If you can avoid say £50.00 per month = £50 over 30 days. When you first run an ad campaign you will not reach the £50.00 in a month assuming you set limit at fifty pound per month. But if you constantly adjust the campaign and it improves you can end up reaching a £50.00 spend on x hundreds or thousands of clicks after only one week. Your ad will be stopped because you reached your spend limit. But you will not know thinking ad is still running and then you get bigger bill than expect for no return.

3. Think carefully about accepting every recommendation or keyword from google. You don't want people to click on bargain holiday if you run a luxury cruise liner. Remove negative keywords from google and from your site.

4. Avoid a scatter gun approach and as soon as possible after setting up a campaign set areas you do not want to be found in 

A good example would be with place names that appear in America also, as well as the in UK if you run a shop in Greenwich market London, you will need to stop people in Greenwich or Soho or Chelsea in New York America finding you and clicking, every silly click costs you money. Navigate to the map area and exclude any country town city or area you do not operate in, also add the same places name to the negative keyword list. If you are trying to attract American visitors to Greenwich market in London then this is fine. But if you are wanting more local or national visitors immediately it's expensive and wasteful to attract clicks from Greenwich In new York America, for a shop in Greenwich London. Exclude are via the map option and add New York "greenwich New York" as a negative keyword.

Google ads cost small businesses a heck of a lot of money during the learning process. 

So if trying google ads for first time first thing to do is run campaign for a short test time only with a low affordable spend. 

There are re other easier advertising channels available to small start up businesses. 

If new to google ads run your first campaign "a test campaign" for maximum one month have affordable daily spend. You will not reach this daily spend initially unless you do a wasteful scatter gun approach. Calculate how much a month will it actually cost if you reach your daily spend, if you can afford that mount then fine. Go ahead but check your results every day or more than once a wok do not hesitate to halt campaign as soon as it appears to be going off track.

The majority of global internet searches come from America, if you don't want Americans to click on your ads and cost you money every time they click probably by accident. EXCLUDE AMERICA if you run a local UK only business.  Without making Adjustments Google Facebook and others will have you getting over 75% of visits from America.

Although there may not be anything wrong with Americans performing majority of Internet searches. A small UK business can not afford to pay for wasteful visits and costly clicks.


As a long time user (from when it started!), I'm still a fan of PPC, but my enthusiasm has waned over recent years. 

Originally you had an account manager that was keen to help you get the best from the platform, offering sensible advice and helping you navigate around what became an increasingly complicated tool. But once a campaign was tuned, it needed only occasionally tweaks and minor adjustments and always gave a good return.

In recent years, the returns have gone down, quality of advice has exited stage right with an overwhelming desire to get you to try untested strategies using more of your precious budget. Successive account managers then try and repeat mistakes of predecessors with clearly no account notes or handover, leaving you to having to advise them on what does or doesn't work 

Then more recently, Google algorithms have been quick to trigger false positives, leading to our account being incorrectly suspended, with me eventually getting it reinstated.

So I'm slowly winding down from PPC spend, it still gives a semi-decent return, but I spend about 10% of what I used to, and basically ignore most account reviews. The platform in my view is now very unwieldy and overly complicated for what it is trying to achieve. But you can still navigate your way round with perseverance and I would stay clear of any professional PPC companies unless you have a monthly budget of £2,000+. £250 - £350 of that will be just admin fees.

I still think you can teach yourself from scratch if you set a £10 budget, with a £2 a day limit and experiment with your adverts and keywords, as long as you have time to spare, and time is money.

Good advice about blocking the USA, but if I remember rightly, I think you can set the UK as a regional option.

I still think it is great for instant marketing if you want to experiment with new content/product/keyword and you need instant feedback. You can react on the fly and see realtime results. But that can be expensive, so it depends on your circumstances and budget.

Steve Richardson
Gaffer of My Local Services
My Local Services | Me on LinkedIn

Seems your experience matches mine. Gone are the days when you could talk to someone on the phone at google. 

The dashboard and the constant not required changes make it hard to learn or to  remember how to navigate. Yes you can set your country but I recently learnt you also have to do it elsewhere in a part of the dashboard where you see a map and then either select or deselect that area after typing in the area inside a search box.  Computers always default to America without other countries users being aware.  I think many UK and other countries users are getting visitors from America with knowing about it. 

My facebook page has been battering me with ads about not using Google ads but to use some software that stops bots etc from fake clicks ... Don't know if any of you have seen them, if you have what do you think as if they are any good I may try 1 as I got fed up paying loads of cash for pence back. I now only use the free options on both google and Bing


Andy-C | Pewter World

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