By: Tom Murray | Managing Director
We’ve audited over 100 accounts over the past few years, and time and time again we see similar things across accounts that are extremely wasteful. These are a few of the simple things to take a look at right now to ensure you are not wasting money on your active campaigns.
1. Location settings
On Facebook, you should almost always target “people who live in this location” instead of “everyone in this location”. If you keep the “everyone” default setting, then you will likely target tourists and people visiting countries who are likely not to be a converter for your product. Facebook is really good about knowing when you enter in a new country - which you can easily see because once you land in another country, you’ll start seeing ads in different languages immediately. However, the same is not said for when you leave a country. I still get ads in other languages for countries I was in last year even, so you can avoid this by ensuring you target people that only live in your desired location.
On Google, it is easy to serve impressions in other regions without even knowing it. We often see ads serving in countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, and others, and when we let potential clients know, they are completely surprised at how that was even possible. Make sure that your ads are only serving in the regions you want them to, or else you are wasting your money.
2. Retargeting budget
Retargeting budgets have a lot of waste, but it is “hidden waste” because often times you just see rising CPAs that still might be below your goal. It is kind of like someone stealing something from right under your nose. On your campaigns, check your retargeting frequencies. If it is high, you can likely lower your budget without losing any reach, just extra frequency. It is highly doubtful that retargeting impression 8 will drive a conversion if impression number 5 or 6 didn’t either (especially if you aren’t rotating in fresh creative constantly). Chances are you can lower your budget on retargeting and get the same amount of conversions, while then reinvesting those dollars on new customers.
3. Spending money on non / low converting campaigns
During our deep-dive audits, we look for a few things specifically to ensure there is no waste and one of them is to ensure budget is being spent on converting campaigns and keywords.
On search specifically, we know there will be some keywords that do not convert, and expect that 20% - 30% of queries won’t convert. However, often times we go in and see 50% - 75% of queries having no conversions attached to them. This is clear waste. We check query reports frequently, and create negative keyword lists for these non-converting queries.
On social campaigns, we check to ensure ad sets that are live and spending are actually driving results. Often times budgets are not touched over time and campaigns that are inefficient are let loose and run much further than they should. In addition, it is common to see ads with low CPAs have low spends and ads with the higher CPAs getting a higher lion's share of the spend. Manual optimizations are required in this case, so doing some “trimming of the fat” can ensure your campaigns are only running the top ads and targets.