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10 Common Google AdWords Mistakes

By December 19, 2016Pay Per Click, PPC

Unfortunately, many people believe AdWords is something they can learn and master without properly studying this advertising vertical.  Though difficult to understand, AdWords can be one of the best marketing avenues you can invest in.  AdWords gives you the ability to market nationwide or locally while giving you the ability to turn your campaign on and off whenever you like.  Unfortunately, it is very easy to make costly mistakes that will negatively impact your budget and ROI.  Here are 10 common mistakes people make when managing their AdWords campaign.

#1: Incorrectly Grouping Keywords
Inappropriately using ad groups or not using them at all is one of the biggest mistakes people make.  Segmenting ads into groups based on similar keywords is essential.  People often misplace keywords or lump them all into one ad group.  The problem with this strategy is that in order to have a good quality score and have your ad in one of the top positions, the ad being shown needs to match the keyword being searched.  The more your ad matches up with your keywords the more likely people are to click on your ad and hopefully convert into a client or sale.

By not breaking up your keywords into multiple ad groups you will wind up lumping everything into one ad.  This doesn’t allow you to customize your ad so it can show up for relevant searches from users.  The more ads you have with the correct targeted keywords the easier it will be to monitor and optimize your ad groups.

#2: Not Using the Right Keyword Matches
The next biggest mistake people make is not using all available keyword matches.  There are 3 different keyword matches offered by Google; broad match, phrase match, or exact match.

A broad match keyword means that your ad will show up for searches that use your keywords regardless of the order they are searched in.  For example, if your keyword is “Jordan Basketball Shoes” your ad will show up for searches like “where can I buy Jordan Basketball Shoes”.  Sometimes a broad match keyword can also hurt you because your broad keyword can show for searches like “Jordan Free Basketball Shoes”.

A phrase match keyword means the keyword needs to show up in the search in the correct order you entered your phrase in.  Using the example from above, when you enter “Jordan Basketball Shoes” as a phrase match, then your ad will show up for terms like “Need Jordan Basketball Shoes” and “Where Can I Buy Jordan Basketball Shoes”.

An exact match keyword is exactly as it sounds. The keywords being searched for must be exactly as you entered it.  Thus, your keyword “Jordan Basketball Shoes” will only show up in searches that exactly match that keyword and the order it is entered in and nothing else.

Using different match types matters because the match type you use will have a direct effect on improving your ads.  For example, a broad match will give your ad tons of impressions but will also show up for irrelevant searches and bring in negative traffic.  Phrase and exact match will bring in fewer impressions but will provide you with a higher conversion rate due to your ad being more specific.  In some markets, the number of people looking for your product or service can be low, so if you limit too much with exact match it may result in a low ROI and a lot of negative traffic.  Which is why ‘s best to tweak with your ads and their match types to find which solution works best for you.

#3: Not Using Negative Keywords
Another big mistake people make is not using negative keywords in their AdWords campaign.   AdWords allows you to use negative keywords to exclude certain keywords that are irrelevant and would not be a good match for your product or service.

For example, if you are a DUI lawyer who works exclusively in the Miami area then you would add “Jacksonville DUI Lawyer” as a negative keyword so you won’t get irrelevant clicks for people outside your target market.  Negative keywords can be added at the campaign and ad group level. This means you can exclude keywords for the entire campaign.  You can also exclude keywords for specific ad groups.  Adding negative keywords is a crucial step to running a successful campaign and will significantly help your campaign improve its conversion rate and your overall ROI by eliminating negative traffic.

#4: Not Researching Keywords Properly
Before setting up your campaign you must make sure you are doing your keyword research. You must target the most relevant keywords to your service or product to succeed in AdWords.  Keyword research can seem tedious at times, especially if you offer a lot of products or services.  Fortunately, there are a lot of tools out there that can help you with your research and make the process a lot easier.  For instance, Google’s Keyword Planner is an amazing tool that helps you upload your keywords to predict metrics like estimated average impressions, estimated clicks, and estimated conversion rate.  It can also predict your budget and how much you should bid to achieve the CPC you desire.  There are also tools that will help you compile a list of keywords automatically for you so you have somewhere to start.  As much as these tools make the process easier, do not just assume that they will do your job for you.  You still need to filter out the good keywords from the bad and make sure the keywords you plan to use will actually drive traffic to your website.

#5: Not Knowing Who You’re Competing Against
Another big mistake is not understanding who you are competing with and how they are running their campaigns.  You need to understand what ads your competitors are using, what keywords they are targeting, what their landing pages look like, and how much they are spending on AdWords.  This info is all extremely important when setting up your campaign.  You want to try to think like you are in your customer’s shoes and if you searched for the service or product your clients are looking for, which ad would they click on?  Which ad is most appealing? Does my website need improvement? Are my landing pages relevant?  Am I bidding enough on these keywords? By reviewing competitor’s ads, you can learn what they are doing right and wrong and optimize your ads accordingly.

#6: Not Bidding on Your Brand
To help drive conversions you need to bid on your brand.  Often, people or companies make the mistake of not bidding on their brand and allowing competitors to do so, stealing clients or sales in the process.  By bidding on your brand, you are preventing the competition from poaching your customers.  Suggested bids for your brand are generally low so it makes sense to bid on yourself/ your brand or you could be missing out on potential conversions.  Bidding on your brand will help dominate page one of the Google SERPs and ultimately build brand awareness and reputation.

#7: Sitting on Your AdWords Account
One of the easiest mistakes to make is setting up your account and not keeping up with it as much as you should.  Often people set up their accounts and optimize or check it once a week.  AdWords is something that must be checked on a frequent basis.  Don’t you want to know where your advertising budget is going?  What if your ads have low-quality scores and aren’t showing anymore? There are so many factors and nuances that come into play when running and AdWords campaign that you simply can’t afford to assume your campaigns are succeeding.  Double check on your ads once a day and optimize them accordingly, see if you need to bid more on a certain keyword, check if you need to change the match type of your keywords.  AdWords is a profitable advertising avenue that needs constant attention and optimization.

#8: Landing Pages Don’t Match Up
If your landing pages don’t match up with your ads and what they are offering, your most likely going to lose out on a conversion or sale.  How would you feel if you saw a promising ad with a good deal but come to find out that nothing you just read about is on the landing page you were brought too?  You probably would hit the back button and avoid that website next time you see an ad of theirs.

You also don’t want to have an ad that offers a product or service and then bring the user to a landing page that will then cause them to search and click on different links on your website to find what you are offering.  If your ad offers free shipping, then you should have free shipping on your landing page.  If your ad shows “Dui Attorney in Fort Lauderdale” it should not bring users to a “Domestic Violence Attorney in Fort Lauderdale”.  One of the biggest mistakes of is when people direct customers to their homepage instead of the appropriate product or service page. You must make sure the page people land on matches the ads that they clicked on or you could lose out on a potential customer or client.

#9: Missing Ad Extensions
Google offers Ad extensions that allows campaigns to provide links for addresses, phone numbers, site maps, and other pages on your website like a contact page. Research has shown that using these available ad extensions will increase your click-through rate and will give visitors more avenues to interact with your site. Unfortunately, too many advertisers ignore extensions, which is a big mistake.   Google offers these extensions for a reason.  You must try to use as many relative extensions as possible when creating new campaigns and ads if you want to have a successful experience using AdWords.

#10: No Conversion Tracking
Learning how to create a campaign is just one step in having a successful experience in AdWords.  Once campaigns are running, you must optimize them daily and that requires using data and analytics to decipher where the problems occur.  Conversion tracking is essential when trying to determine if your campaign is successful or not.  Conversion tracking allows you to see where your traffic is coming from and how these clicks are converting when brought to your landing page.  You can also set up call tracking so you can see how many people are calling from your AdWords campaign as well.  This information is crucial.  It allows you to know which ads are doing well and which ads are not performing as expected.  This information allows you to spend more money on ads that are converting and spend less money or optimize the ads that are not.

These mistakes, though easy to make, are also preventable if you hire a PPC expert to help you manage your account and budget.  Google AdWords can be tricky at times and you must keep up with your campaign as often as possible in order to achieve the highest ROI.  Fortunately, Next Level SEM is a Premier Google Partner who is certified in Google AdWords and Analytics.  Contact us today if you want to increase your leads, conversions, lower costs, and increase your ROI.  Call (954)-334-1077 today for a free audit of your campaign and website.