9 Common Google Ads Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
Google Ads is one of the top advertising platforms in the world of search engine optimization. It provides users with numerous ways they can customize their Google Ads campaign so that they can reach new customers.
Companies are aware of this and are investing more in using the platform for their ad campaigns. In fact, Statista claims that Google generated close to $62 billion in revenue back in 2021 and is expected to reach $81 billion by 2024.
The array of options available in Google Ads allows users to accomplish their desired objectives the way they want.
Unfortunately, the amount of detail can also be overwhelming, leading to the implementation of subpar Google search strategies.
If your advertising campaigns aren’t generating the results you’re looking for, perhaps there are some issues that are hindering them from providing their full potential.
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If left unattended, these problems can lead to lost business leads and conversions.
That’s why it’s important to analyze your campaigns to identify these errors and resolve them immediately. Let’s take a look at the top nine Google Ads mistakes to avoid.
Table of Contents
Mistake #1: Using Default Campaign Targeting
One of the biggest Google Ads mistakes you want to avoid is keeping the campaign targeting options at their default settings.
As you create your Google search network campaigns, you’ll be presented with the option of choosing either the Search Network, Display Network, or both of them. It’s also possible to incorporate Google search partners as part of the two networks.
Lead generation plays a crucial role in search campaigns, which is why you should choose only the Search Network. The main reason for this is that keeping it at the default Display Network will lead to a significantly reduced conversion rate of clicks.
This will also increase the cost per acquisition (CPA) without providing any advantages.
Selecting Search Network only allows your target keyword to show up exclusively on Google and its relevant search partners.
When you include Display Network in your selection, the Google algorithm will place your ad on relevant sites, but your ad will not show up on the search engine results page (SERP) for users actually searching for you.
What to Do
That’s why it’s best to deselect the default campaign targeting settings since choosing Display Network won’t provide the traffic you’re looking for.
Mistake #2: Skipping Negative Keywords
Another common mistake that people make when using Google Ads is not using negative keywords relevant to their niche.
What to Do
On the platform, it’s vital to expand on your list of key terms, even if it means using negative ones based on your analytics reports.
Many tools can help you identify these terms, and you should start by creating a list of them. When you have these keywords included in your campaign, you can help save on costs as such terms can still bring in qualified leads while discouraging searches that aren’t designed to convert.
You want to gather around 50 to 100 negative keywords in your list. Make sure to keep updating this list regularly based on the search data that you get.
Mistake #3: Failing To Optimize for Conversion Testing
The third most common mistake people make on the Google Ads platform is failing to optimize for conversion testing. It can be surprising to know that there are still many who aren’t leveraging this feature.
When you don’t optimize for conversion testing, it’s impossible to know how much each lead or sale you get in your campaign actually costs.
You also won’t know which terms are working for you and those that aren’t.
When you optimize your campaign for conversions, you can increase the returns on your investments in the long run. Some examples of conversion action to consider include sales, form submissions, phone calls, and newsletter signups.
What to Do
You can set up your conversion actions by heading over to Settings > Measurements > Conversions. Be sure to include as many of them as possible to effectively optimize your ad campaign for conversions.
Mistake #4: Not Performing Keyword Research Thoroughly
Many Google Ads users also fail to do their keyword research thoroughly. Although this may seem like a minor mistake, it actually does more damage to your campaign than others in the long run.
One can’t simply believe they are using the right terms without doing their research. They need to use one of the many reliable keyword planning tools available online to identify the relevant keywords that match their offerings.
But keyword research isn’t the only thing you should focus on; you should also make sure that you’re choosing the right types of keywords for your brand.
You should avoid using the broad match option since this will only provide you with countless irrelevant traffic that only increases one’s click-through rate without leading to results.
Being knowledgeable about keyword match types plays an important role in the success of your campaign in Google Ads.
What to Do
The best option is to identify 10 to 15 primary keywords and use them in your broad match modifier, phrase match, and exact match variants. Doing so will allow you to have 3 close variations that are still relevant to the main term.
Additionally, you should aim to set up specific ad groups. These groups will help you focus on certain landing pages while having their own set of terms.
You want to spread your keywords into different ad groups to maximize your chances of success.
Mistake #5: Continuing To Use Untested Bidding Strategies
There are countless strategies when it comes to CPC bidding, and it can be difficult to choose the appropriate one for your pay-per-click needs.
That’s why smart advertisers always test their strategies first to identify the right one for them.
More advanced users will prefer using the manual approach of cost per click (CPC). Meanwhile, there are others who depend on maximizing conversions or enhancing CPC.
The advantage of manual CPC is that you’ll have more long-term control of your bids. But, if you plan to just test your campaign for a few weeks, you might want to go for maximizing clicks or enhanced CPC. Such methods allow you to set the Google algorithm to provide you with the most clicks at the best rates.
However, there are two bid strategies you’ll need to prioritize: focusing on return on ad spend (ROAS) and cost per action (CPA). Following these two methods will allow you to invest the right amount in ads while getting decent returns.
Mistake #6: Using Only a Single Ad Variation
Prioritizing only a single ad variation is another prevalent Google Ads mistake to avoid. Many users become satisfied with just one ad per ad group or a single ad within a variation.
If you’re looking to improve your conversion rates while keeping your costs at a minimum, it’s best to set up an array of ad variations for each of your ad groups.
You don’t need to have different headlines and descriptions as having variations to test is more important. This will allow you to find out which one provides the best results.
After identifying a winning ad, you can stop publishing the others and create variations of the one that’s proven to be most effective. You can then continue with your split testing to obtain more results.
What to Do
Testing is quite important in Google Ads since this will allow you to find the variant that performs best.
This also means that you’ll most likely spend more time with your campaign before you can find the sweet spot.
Mistake #7: Not Taking Advantage of Extensions
Extensions also play an essential role in the ads you use on Google. The search engine giant has allowed users to create their well-optimized ads easily and to bring in more qualified leads thanks to these extensions.
Having the ability to incorporate additional bits of details into ads can increase their chances of being noticed.
In fact, many users have found that leveraging these ad extensions is an excellent way to improve quality scores and clicks.
Some examples of extensions include:
- Sitelink extensions: These show various links to your site and will send visitors to relevant pages.
- Callout extensions: These extensions allow you to show your unique selling points.
- Call or message extensions: These extensions allow mobile users to call or send you a message directly from their mobile devices.
A thing to keep in mind concerning ad extensions is that you don’t have control over how they are going to show up. Ultimately, it’s Google’s decision on the extensions that will appear for your ads.
For Google Ads users, it’s best to visit the extensions tab once in a while to identify the extensions that will help their ads convert better.
You can always stop those that aren’t producing results and replace them with ones that will lead to better ROI.
You want to set up as many ad extensions as you can simply because the more your ads stand out, the higher your click-through rates will be.
Mistake #8: Disregarding the Importance of Regional Trends
When using Google Ads to promote your brand, it’s only reasonable to first consider the area you cover.
For instance, local businesses will want to run their ads within the city they operate or in a new one where they are trying to reach out to a new market. Meanwhile, businesses that focus on a larger area will want to test the waters on a larger scope as well.
The main advantage of this method is that obtaining data on regional trends will allow you to assess the performance of your ad based on the town or city you operate in.
For instance, you might learn that the cost for conversions for one city is better than the other, allowing you to change your budgeting to focus more on the one that’s producing the higher results.
You can even apply the same approach when you’re analyzing the KPIs based on the devices that are used in clicking your ads.
This will allow you to turn them up or down depending on what you learn.
The primary goal here is to test various locations so that you can find out which one is giving you the most cost-effective leads and conversions.
Mistake #9: Not Using the Experiments Feature
Google Ads has one of the best hidden features that many users don’t know about: the Experiments feature.
Basically, this setting lets you activate split tests so that you’ll learn which variable works best for you. There are different tests you can make for landing pages, keyword match types, keywords, ad copies, and more.
It’s even possible to choose the amount of traffic that you want to include in each experiment. This is important since it will allow you to minimize risks while finding a way to achieve your goals.
Many users have given the Experiments feature a try and have significantly improved their bottom line in the long run.
There are many benefits to leveraging Google Ads today, but the platform can be quite complex to use as well, especially for beginners.
Being overwhelmed with the countless options available can easily lead to making sub-optimal strategies that will lead to losses down the road.
The common Google Ads mistakes mentioned above are the primary ones advertisers should keep an eye on if they want to succeed in using the platform.
By following the tips we’ve provided, you should be on your way to creating ad campaigns that are both effective and efficient in achieving your goals.