6 Steps to Find AdWords Budget Waste

Updated: Sep 19

In this study Disruptive has audited over 2,000 Google Ads accounts and found that approximately 76% of budget spent on these accounts was wasted on keywords that never converted!


This 6 steps guide will help you understand how much of your budget is spent with little to no results.


Google Ads - 101

As mentioned above, there are many moving pieces in Search Ads. One of them, and perhaps the most important one is keywords.

In a nutshell, the way the system works - you select keywords that are relevant to your business and to your landing page, you select proper match types and add negative keywords. This way when a user searches for a keyword the system makes a bid on your behalf and your ad gets an impression. User clicks, converts and now you have a lead.

In this article we will go over a popular scenario where budget is partially wasted on keywords that never convert.

Read a case study where we helped our client save over $25,000 a month using analysis described in this article.


Audit Your Google Ads Account

Step 1 - Login to AdWords (Google Ads)

Step 2 - Click on Keywords

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Step 3 - Select Search Terms

In the dropdown menu click on Search Terms

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Step 4 - Select data for the past year - it’s up to you to decide how much data you need, but when it comes to data - the more the merrier.

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Step 5

Click “Filter” as shown on a screenshot below.

A dropdown menu will appear, select “Conversions”, then “Conversions” again

And set the filter to lower than 1

3. Click “Apply”

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Step 6

Scroll to the bottom of the page

You will see a row “Total Filtered Search Terms” and right under it - “Total: Account” row

Divide “Cost” in “Total Filtered Search Terms” by cost in the “Total: Account” row

The result is a percentage of spend that did not deliver any leads

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Account shown above has 62% budget wasted on keywords that don’t convert!! This means thousands of dollars that are wasted!

Now, don’t get me wrong, you can’t have all the keywords to convert all the time. However, you need to make sure that search terms that consistently don’t convert are added as negative keywords.

Step 7

Compare the keywords you are running right now with keywords from your analysis.

If many of

This will allow you to reduce budget waste.


Hope this guide was helped you to estimate the amount of money you can potentially save on Google Ads without losing results! In case you need help, check out this listing of Small Business Digital Marketing agencies!

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