Ask anyone working in a digital marketing agency and they’ll tell you the same: Google Ads is the cornerstone of some of the most successful PPC marketing campaigns out there. And while it can be a powerful tool for businesses to increase their visibility and drive traffic to their websites, it can also be costly when not managed properly.
In this blog we will briefly touch upon what Google Ads is, then discuss some of the most common Google Ads mistakes that can have a negative impact on your campaign’s performance. By avoiding these and following the best practices discussed, you can maximize your ad budget and achieve better results for your business.
So, what exactly is Google Ads?
Google Ads is a powerful online advertising platform that allows businesses to create and run ads on Google’s search engine and partner websites. With Google Ads, businesses can target specific audiences based on factors such as keywords, location, device type, and more.
Google Ads works on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, where advertisers only pay when someone clicks on their ad. This makes it a highly cost-effective advertising solution for businesses of all sizes. Google Ads can help businesses increase their online visibility, drive traffic to their website, and ultimately, generate more leads and sales.
And what can go wrong with it?
A lot, actually.
While Google Ads can be a powerful tool for businesses to advertise online, there are several mistakes that can lead to poor campaign performance and drain your ad spend. These are just a few examples, as well as a few best practices to follow to avoid them having a negative impact on your Google Ads campaigns:
1. Failing to Define Clear Goals and Target Audience
When running Google Ads campaigns, one of the most common mistakes marketers make is fail to define clear goals and target audience. Without a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and who your target audience is, it’s easy to waste ad spend on irrelevant clicks and impressions.
Defining your goals is as simple as just that; asking yourself what you want to achieve with your Google Ads campaign. Do you want to increase website traffic, generate more leads, or boost sales?
Defining your target audience can be a bit trickier, but it’s crucial for the success of any Google Ads campaign. Your goal is to use your understanding of your audience’s demographics, interests, and search behavior to finetune your Google Ads campaign’s targeting. Use targeting options such as location, age, gender, and interests to narrow down your audience and reach the right people without wasting ad spend on irrelevant clicks and impressions.
2. Using Broad Match Keywords
In Google Ads, broad match keywords are a type of keyword match type that allows your ads to appear for searches that include variations of your keywords to increase the visibility of your ads. Many marketers make the mistake of using broad match keywords without having done proper keyword research. As a result, they end up spending a chunk of their ad spend on irrelevant clicks.
For example, if you own a pet store and use the broad match keyword “pet food,” your ad may appear for searches such as “pet food allergies” or “pet food recall”. Those, however, are not relevant to your product. Clicks resulting from them will probably lower your campaign’s click-through rate (CTR), as they’ll probably be from users who are not interested in your products.
What you should do instead is use keyword match types that are more specific and relevant to your products or services, like phrase match, exact match, and broad match modifier. This will allow you to control which searches trigger your ads, ensuring that your ads are shown to users who are more likely to be interested in your products.
Of course, it’s also vital to conduct proper keyword research to identify the most relevant and effective keywords for your campaign. By using the right keywords and match types, you can increase the relevancy of your ads and achieve a higher CTR, resulting in better performance and ROI for your Google Ads campaign.
3. Ignoring Negative Keywords
As far as common mistakes in Google Ads campaigns go, ignoring begative keywords is another big one. Negative keywords allow you to exclude searches that are not relevant to your products or services. Adding them to your campaigns can prevent your ads from showing to users who are not interested in your products, which can help you save money on wasted clicks and improve the overall performance of your campaign.
Following the same logic as explained above in the broad match keywords example, if you own a flower shop and use the broad match keyword “flowers,” your ad may appear for searches such as “flower wallpaper” or “flower delivery jobs,” which are not relevant to your business. By adding “wallpaper” and “jobs” as negative keywords, you can prevent your ads from showing for these irrelevant searches.
Including negative keywords in your strategy can prevent you from needlessly wasting ad spend and lowering ROI, as your ads may appear for irrelevant searches that do not convert into sales or leads.
4. Not A/B Testing Ad Copy
Top-quality, high-converting ad copy is a must for every successful Google Ads campaign, and there’s no better way to optimize it than A/B testing. Still, many marketers do not pay enough attention to it. Failing to conduct A/B testing for your ad copy can result in missed opportunities to improve your campaign’s performance.
Conducting A/B testing is a relatively straightforward practice. First, you must create two or more versions of your ad copy that differ in one or more elements, such as the headline, description, or call-to-action. Then you must run the ads simultaneously for a period and measure the performance of each ad version, such as the click-through rate, conversion rate, or cost per conversion.
The ad version that performs better based on the results of the A/B test is the one you should use in your campaign, and also as the control for future testing. To further improve the performance of your campaign, continue to test new variations of your ad copy.
4+1. Failing to Monitor and Optimize Campaigns
Last but certainly not least, failing to monitor and optimize your Google Ads campaigns can lead to wasted ad spend and suboptimal performance. It’s important to regularly keep an eye on your campaigns and look for opportunities to optimize them and ensure that they are delivering the best results possible.
Monitoring your campaigns involves tracking key metrics such as click-through rate, conversion rate, cost per click, and cost per conversion. By understanding these metrics, you can identify areas for improvement and take action to optimize your campaigns for performance and ROI.
Not monitoring your campaigns, on the other hand, means you’re practically leaving money on the table.
Some tips for monitoring and optimizing your campaigns include:
- Regularly review your campaign performance and adjust your bid strategy and targeting as needed.
- A/B test your ad copy and landing pages to identify the most effective messaging and design.
- Use negative keywords to exclude irrelevant searches and improve the relevancy of your ads.
- Continuously refine your targeting to reach your ideal audience and reduce wasted ad spend.
- Use data-driven insights to make informed decisions about your campaign optimization strategies.
Use Google Ads to its fullest to reach new customers and drive sales – starting today!
Google Ads can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to reach new customers and drive sales. However, if you’re not careful, mistakes in your ad campaigns can quickly drain your ad spend and lower your ROI.
To avoid these mistakes, it’s important to:
- define clear goals and target audience
- use the right match type and negative keywords
- A/B test your ad copy
- monitor and optimize your campaigns regularly.
By following these best practices, you can improve the performance of your Google Ads campaigns and achieve a better ROI. These common Google Ads mistakes can drain your ad spend and hurt your business growth. It’s important to take the time to create effective campaigns and monitor them regularly to achieve the best results possible.
If you’re struggling to manage your Google Ads campaigns or simply need a Google Ads agency to help optimize them for better performance, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll do our best to help you create effective campaigns, optimize them for success, achieve a better ROI, and drive more sales for your business.