If your company is new to Google Adwords advertising and you're trying to go it alone, chances are you're looking for ways to maximize your ad spend. Rather than broadcasting your ad to the largest possible audience, I've prepared three suggestions to control your advertising spend beyond just setting a daily budget. These three tools are in the Google Adwords pro's arsenal, but aren't commonly-known by the Google Adwords newcomer.

1. Turn off the content network.
In your Google Adwords campaign settings for each campaign, you can disable the content network, which is enabled by default. The reason you want to do this is because if you're bidding $2 for a phrase on the search network, you're bidding $2 for the same phrase on the content network by default. Since your ad will be seen on the content network much more than on the search network, there's more of a chance that you'll deplete your budget on clicks that generally aren't as relevant.

2. Bid on more specific words and phrases.
When you bid on phrases and exact matches, you're limiting the word combinations that would trigger your ad. This not only helps you control costs, it also can make your campaign more relevant to the searcher because the phrases that trigger your ad are more specific.

In addition, bid on phrases containing two or more words.

Let's say I am bidding on the term "widgets" (without the quotes) with a broad match. Make this phrase more specific by adding qualifiers, and add quotes/brackets around the term. For example, rather than bidding on "widgets," I might bid on the following:

  • "red widgets"
  • [red widgets]
  • "buy new widgets"
  • [buy new widgets]

3. Use negative keyword matching.
Often times, the phrases that you want to match are similar to unrelated or irrelevant topics. For example, if you are bidding on "Peanuts," (the cartoon), you probably don't want your ad to show up when someone searches for "Planters peanuts." In this case, you could add "Planters" as a negative keyword to your keyword list, and your ad would not be shown when a person searches for "Planters peanuts." To include a negative keyword, simply put a hyphen before the word you want to designate as a negative keyword.

So how do you find potential negative keywords? Go to Google and search for a very broad term that relates to the products you sell. In the above example, search Google for "peanuts." You'll see that some sites are food-related while others are related to the Peanuts cartoon.

Hopefully, these tips will help the Google Adwords novice control ad spending while making the campaign more effective.