A lot of advertisers think their Google Ads are set up perfectly. They’re using keywords, they’ve got a great creative team… they’re all set. But unfortunately, there are a number of pitfalls advertisers are falling into over and over again—and it’s likely costing them a lot of money. But don’t worry, we’re here to share the 6 most common Google Ads mistakes you should avoid to take your campaign performance to the next level.
1. Removing Negative Keywords
We’re starting off with a big mistake so many advertisers are guilty of: not using negative keywords. These keywords are basically a filter for non-relevant search terms, allowing you to exclude certain words that aren’t a good match for your product or service. This prevents your ads from being served to people who simply aren’t interested in what you’re offering. They’re the easiest way to reach more targeted customers, lower your costs, and boost your ROI. Negative keywords also help you increase your Google Ads quality score—the higher your score, the lower your cost per conversion since it shows Google that you’re meeting the needs of your customers.
A few additional pro tips: don’t use too many negative keywords or the results will become more difficult to track. Make sure you customize your keywords for each ad within your campaign—copy and pasting is not a good practice. And we recommend using a spreadsheet to keep track of all your keywords and corresponding negative keywords for more efficient reporting.
2. Using Broad Match Keywords
Ok, this one is really big too (this is the top 6 afterall). Let’s face it; you’re not psychic, so that’s why keyword research is SO important. Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner can help you find the most relevant and accurate keywords for your campaign. But that’s not all—you also want to select the right match type for your keywords. For example, Broad Match is typically something you want to avoid as its targeting has the widest spectrum. Here’s a simple breakdown:
- Exact Match. Looks Like: [grocery store]
Targets only the exact keyword as it appears or close variants.
- Phrase Match. Looks Like: “grocery store”
Targets any keyword that contains “grocery store” in that word order.
- Broad Match Modified. Looks Like: +grocery +store
Targets keywords that include “grocery” or “store” in any word order, ie. Where is the closest Grocery Store?
- Broad Match. Looks Like: Grocery Store
Targets any term that Google’s algorithm deems related to grocery store, but doesn’t necessarily need to include those words exactly.
3. Poor Landing Page Experience
A poor landing page is another great way to waste a lot of money. The user experience beyond the ad is just as important as the ad itself. So what qualifies as a poor landing page exactly? Here are a few key factors to consider:
- Loading Speeds – slow loading pages are like instant user repellent. No one likes to wait.
- Mobile Optimization – most users are searching on their phones, so make sure your landing page facilitates this experience
- Clear Call-To-Actions (CTAs) – don’t make the next step too difficult! Have your CTA easily visible post-ad click.
- Aesthetic Content – a good-looking site is key for helping users find information and make quicker decisions—like buying your product.
And make sure your landing page is relevant! Imagine if you clicked on an ad for ‘chocolate chip cookies’ and were taken to a landing page all about ‘oatmeal raisin cookies.’ Not cool. You won’t only lose the user’s trust in your ads, but you can also say goodbye to a good ad quality score.
4. Creating Only One Ad Variation
If you only have one ad per ad group, you’re missing a big opportunity. It’s really important to have a couple different ads with slight variations for you to test and discover which converts the best. You can do this by simply tweaking headlines and descriptions or post-click landing pages, and once you discover the winning combination, you can continue split testing with even slighter variations of the top-performing ad for ultimate optimization. This testing and fine-tuning is your ticket to a much higher conversion rate and significantly lower costs than simply betting on one ad.
5. No Conversion Tracking
Don’t let your hard work go to waste. Conversion tracking is crucial to the success of your current campaigns—and your future campaigns. For example, when someone comes to your site through a pay per click ad, fills out their contact info, and makes a purchase, these actions all help you understand the behavior of your customers and what content is working and what’s not. It’s really difficult to gauge this success and more effectively plan for future ads without it, which leads to wasted money on keywords and other targeting that you don’t realize isn’t working.
If you really want to make the most of your Google Ads campaigns, we’ll admit it takes a little extra work. The good news is building and launching successful campaigns is our specialty. So if you’re looking for more helpful insights or want to start creating a strategy to maximize your ROI, contact Assemble today.