A solid Google Ads Strategy is great for boosting leads and sales. With transparent and instantaneous results, the benefits can be plentiful.
This is a digital marketing strategy that can bring great results with patience and care. That’s why Google Ads should be an important part of your marketing strategy.
But before you rush into a Google Ads Strategy, let’s explore the common mistakes that risk damaging your business rather than helping it.
Fear not. These mistakes are easily avoidable. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to ensure you’re getting the most out of your Google Ads Strategy without wasting time and money.
So, read on for 10 Google Ads Strategy mistakes that will put you out of business (and how to fix them).
What Exactly are Google Ads?
Before looking at some of the common Google Ads mistakes businesses make, let’s ensure we understand what Google Ads are.
Google Ads is a pay-per-click advertising platform that lets you place ads on Google’s search engine results page. These ads hope to increase sales and revenue by boosting visibility and traffic to your website.
So, if you want to take advantage of the 3.5 billion daily Google searches and quickly grab the attention of potential customers, there’s no better way to begin than by setting up a Google Ads Strategy now!
The benefits of Google Ads are plentiful and include:
Luckily, most of the mistakes made with Google Ads can be easily avoided. And with 63% of people claiming they click on paid Ads in Google’s search results, it’s clear why these mistakes need fixing.
So, let’s jump into 10 Google Ads Strategy mistakes that will put you out of business (and how to fix them).
1. Not separating your display network and search network
When you begin a new Google Ads campaign, the software automatically places your search campaigns into the display network to expand reach.
The problem is, display ads result in a lot more ad impressions but lower clicks, usually because the reader is viewing other content on the page. Therefore, this type of advertising results in a low click-through rate (CTR), and if this is combined with your search ads, it will lower your overall ad campaign CTR and affect quality scores.
To avoid this, create a campaign for search only and another for display. This will improve your ad’s performance. It also means you can better tailor your ads for each platform.
2. Lack of negative keywords
Negative keywords allow you to exclude search terms from your campaigns to focus only on keywords that matter to your target audience.
Better targeting will put your ad in front of those who are interested and increase your ROI. In other words, achieving a highly targeted campaign involves choosing what not to target.
Not utilizing negative keywords in your Google Ads campaign could be fatal. Here’s an example:
Let’s say you’re targeting “dessert ideas” for a food company. You don’t want Google to associate this with ideas on what to do in the Sahara Desert. Hence, we use negative keywords to prevent non-targeted clicks:
Use Google suggestions to see what people are searching for. Your list of negative keywords is your friend. It will allow you to gain more qualified leads and discredit those that are unlikely to convert. If you search “definition bounce rate,” you can discover how to check if it has lowered in Google Ads.
In turn, this will prevent you from wasting money on your Google Ads Strategy.
3. Failing to optimize for conversion testing
You’d be amazed at how many Google Ads campaigns fail to have conversion testing in place.
Without it, there’s no way to definitively work out your costs, which keywords are working (and which ones are not), etc. So, to get the most out of your ads and boost revenue, you need to optimize your campaign for conversions.
To do this, click “Settings,” then “Measurement,” then “Conversions.” Now make sure to add every possible conversion action people may take on your platform. Conversion actions could include:
- A sale
- A newsletter sign-up
- A call
- An email
- Downloading a freebie or trial
- A form submission
- A new subscriber from outbound lead generation
The whole point of Google Ads is to generate new leads and drive sales. If you fail to optimize your campaign for conversions, then expect to fall short.
4. Only using a single ad variation
Producing several ad variations for each ad group is key if you want to increase conversions and reduce costs.
Having a number of ad variations lets you test what works best. If you’re selling an ebook on how to implement a BYOD policy, have the phrase “what is byod” in one variation, but try “bring your own device” for another.
From here, you can proceed with split testing and hone in on what variation drives the most traffic. Many businesses waste their time only producing one ad, but this doesn’t give enough scope for improvement.
You won’t get it right the first time. Enjoy the process of tweaking your ad variations. Aim for around three ad variations per ad group.
5. Weak keyword research
Poor keyword research is the downfall of many Google Ads campaigns.
You can’t guess keywords. There are plenty of keyword tools available online to help you find exactly what people are searching for.
Going beyond keywords, make sure to choose the best match type for your chosen words. Stay away from the “broad match” option. While this may seem lucrative, broad match keyword variations will simply lower CTR traffic from irrelevant sources.
For example, if you needed advice for improving the customer support of your automotive business, simply having “methods of customer service” could throw up results on how to work a job as a waiter or waitress. Broad match types will both increase costs and decrease your score.
Keyword match types are vital for mastering Google Ads. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
6. Not testing your bids
Your bid sets out the X amount you will pay per click/customer/percentage of revenue.
If you set your bids too high, you may rank higher, but your budget will disappear quickly. It’s expensive!
But set your bids too low, and although you may gain a better ROI, you won’t generate as many new leads. It’s a bit of a balancing act that requires some know-how.
Two bid strategies to consider are “target click-per-action” and “target return-on-assets.” These strategies will help you bid in line with your perfect cost-per-action or return on ad spend.
In simpler terms, this will enable you to spend just the ideal amount to obtain your ROI and maximize your investments.
Remember, though, many bid strategies exist. Research what works best for you.
7. Not utilizing the ‘search terms report’ feature
This tip is less of a common mistake but more of a hidden bonus!
Often unused, perhaps unknown, but extremely valuable, the “search terms report” displays exactly which search phrases are bringing traffic to your website. For example, let’s say the phrase “google ads API” is bringing traffic to your website. You could add these add keywords directly to the ad group. You can also set an exact negative match on phrases you decide are irrelevant.
Using this feature is important for saving money and time on clicks that won’t convert. Sometimes, turning the fortunes of a failing ad campaign simply involves fixing a lack of negative keywords that are joined with too many broad matches.
Hopefully, Google will make the search terms report feature more visible in future versions of Google Ads.
8. Not checking in on your ads enough
Now that your ad is live, don’t just neglect it and expect things to work out like influencer whitelisting.
You need to regularly check in on your ads to optimize their performance. As trends change and new websites are created, you’ll need to keep up with this by tweaking your ad to suit.
Whether you opt for daily or weekly, make sure you log in to your Google Ads account and check on your ad’s performance. Pay attention to metrics such as:
- Keyword click-throughs
- Quality scores
Doing this will give you the advantage over any competitors who don’t regularly update their ads. So, check on your ads now and rank higher on Google.
9. Check your links
Far too often, a clicked Google Ad takes you to a broken or incorrect page. This will lower your ranking dramatically.
Do your links work? Do they take users to the most suitable page?
If the user searched “LinkedIn headline” to find LinkedIn profile tips, link them to a free ebook download rather than a generic home page. Remember, it’s all about those keywords.
10. Not paying attention to regional trends
While a restaurant may target their ads towards their local area, a larger-scale business might test a larger area for their ads. This could be as small as a city or as large as the world.
Ultimately, whatever your size and expectations, paying attention to regional trends in your results will enable you to harvest data to work out the places with the best cost-to-conversion.
You could then reduce focus in these places or try to improve your efforts to gain traction.
A good Google Ads Strategy requires patience and commitment. Get it right, and reap the rewards of a cost-effective and long-term marketing strategy that boosts leads and conversions.
Get it wrong, however, and risk severe consequences for your business.
Hopefully, this guide has better equipped you to avoid some of the most common mistakes regarding Google Ads Strategies.