Man holding tablet pc and credit card indoor, Shopping onlineAdWords is a great way to raise the visibility of your brand and attract new customers. But it can also be a time-consuming process to manage, especially if you are hanging on to junk keywords.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry, you are not alone. It’s a perfectly natural thing for us to horde data we have used already. We seem to have this built-in sensibility that prevents us from discarding anything, “just in case we need it one day.”

So let’s try and ditch that mentality shall we and ditch keywords you don’t need. And if you have done a lot of testing in AdWords, you probably have a sizeable store of old keywords you no longer use.

Which keywords shall I dump?

Of all the keywords stored in your AdWords account, you are at best using just two per cent. However, that does not mean you should dump all 98 per cent of the other keywords, although the majority of them can go.

The first to go can be the deliberately misspelt keywords you were testing about 10 years ago. Now Google has brought in spell check the exact match philosophy can be dropped.

Long Tail searches do not matter either like they used to. It’s all head terms these days. So you may as well get rid of the expensive head term ads as well if they are out your budget or not working for you.

The number of keywords you use has no significance on your Quality Score anymore, so shaving them from your paid search marketing strategy will not have any negative effect.

On the contrary, the redundant keywords weighing you down could be more damaging to your Quality Score if they are preventing you from trying out new extensions. Consider whether it’s worth your while moving on.

Concentrate of targeting

You stand a better chance of bumping up your conversion rate by leveraging your marketing and creating ad copy that captures attention. Put more time and energy into targeting an audience rather than managing a crowded dashboard.

You may still be in the testing stages of your AdWords campaign, and whilst there is nothing wrong with expanding your list of keywords to monitor impressions, clear some space to make room for the new start.

There are hidden costs involved in managing a complex AdWords account. It is time-consuming to manage, reporting is complicated and you could duplicate work. You can avoid all this by ditching junk keywords that do not work and keeping a clean, tidy account that does not zap all your energy.