The official Google Adwords blog is always a useful resource for keeping up to date with new innovations and general tips and tricks for the platform.

A new post entitled “Three ways to control your AdWords costs” caught our interest and offers the following video explaining how to ‘control’ your advertising costs:


Whilst all three approaches that are discussed are indeed methods to control your costs, we find it fairly amusing that the first two techniques are actually going to increase costs rather than reduce them – an interesting take on the concept of ‘cost control’. Great for Google, perhaps less so for the advertiser…

Google encourages us to ‘increase daily budget for maximum exposure’ and ‘raise your CPC bids for your best performing keywords’, both sound strategies in many situations, but interesting to be included in a cost control video?

Perhaps more alarming is the reliance that it places on the traffic estimator tool, which the video suggests should be used for both daily budgets and CPC bids.

Anyone who has any experience of the tool will know that it is useful but plagued with the same innacuracy that afflicts all keyword tools. There are a number of factors that can inflate the keyword volumes (notably bid management / rank checking software) and we would never recommend that you place too much faith in the data that it shows.

The best aspect of the video, without doubt, is the last section on the quality score. This is where you can really make a difference when managing AdWords campaigns – the structure of the account and the quality of the ad groups will ultimately make a lot more difference than the amount you bid for any keyword and is the real ‘secret’ to managing AdWords campaigns successfully.

You can’t blame Google for producing the video but it is important to consider their motivation (increasing revenue) and the motivation of the advertiser (maximising ROI, which includes minimising spend). Whilst Google will want you to ‘control’ costs upwards, most advertisers will want a more traditional form of cost control.