The Most Common Google Ads Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Want to drive sales and generate leads to your website? Google Ads is one of the most effective marketing tools for providing value to your business. It offers the ability to target potential customers actively looking for the product or service they are selling. Investing in these ads is relatively straight forward, however, its many customisations and targeting features can sometimes lead to costly errors. The last thing you will want to do as a marketer or business owner is to overspend on an underperforming ad campaign. There are several reasons why your ad may be underperforming. We are going to run through the top common mistakes made with Google Ads, and how to avoid them.

Mistake 1: Only Using Broad Match Keywords

One of the most common mistakes made is not utilising the many keyword match options available in Google Ads. The four matching options are:

  • Broad Match (reaches the widest audience)
  • Broad Match Modifier (similar to Broad Match, however, you can specify the important words that you want to closely match by adding a plus sign i.e. +women’s +shoes)
  • Phrase Match (show on searches that include the phrase with additional words before or after, by adding quotation marks i.e. “women’s shoes”)
  • Exact Match (show on searches with the exact phrase your ad by adding brackets i.e. [women’s shoes]

Broad Match, the default match type, allows ads to be triggered by a wide range of keyword variations. This includes any synonyms, related searches, relevant variations and plural and singular forms. By setting your keywords as a Broad Match, you are inviting a large volume of irrelevant traffic to your website.

When it comes to targeting the right audience with your ads, it is best to focus on quality and not quantity. We suggest making sure your keywords are a combination of exact match, phrase match and broad match modified.

Mistake 2: Only One Ad Per Ad Group

It’s all about testing and finding the right ad variations with Google Ads. If you only have one ad per ad group, you are likely missing out on opportunities to optimise your performance and find the best message that resonates with your audience.

Every ad group should have at least three high quality ads. That way, the Google Ads system can display the most relevant ad to those searching on Google. By avoiding ad repetition, a potential customer is unlikely to see the same ad every single time they run their search. You may find that certain ads perform better on certain days or during certain times. Your multiple ads will be able to cover these time variations.

Try creating specific ad groups, for instance, one campaign could be ‘women’s shoes’, and your three ad groups could be ‘sneakers’, ‘high heels’, and ‘sandals’, each with three distinct ads.

Mistake 3: Not Utilising Ad Extensions

When creating ads, there is a limited amount of space to include all the vital information. Ad extensions are the perfect way to cover additional business information within your ad. If you are not utilising the extensions available in Google Ads, you may be losing valuable clicks and user interactions.

There are many ad extensions to choose from, including:

  • Sitelink extensions (additional links in your ad to various site specific pages on your website)
  • Callout extensions (additional descriptive text for highlighting specific features and benefits of your product/service i.e. ‘Free Delivery’)
  • Call extensions (for users to call your business directly from search results)
  • Review extensions (display star-rating from customer reviews)
  • Location extensions (for users to see your store or office location nearby)

To give your potential customers as much information as possible, and drive more qualified traffic to your website, we highly recommend utilising these ad extensions.

Mistake 4: Poor Landing Page

Of course, the focus of Google Ads is to create high performing ads however, many marketers and business owners forget about the rest of the user experience, the landing page. The most common landing page mistake is to direct users to a page on your website that is irrelevant to the ad. For instance, you would not want to direct your users to the homepage of your women's shoe business if your ad is specific to ‘high heels’. Even though this page can be navigated from the home page, this choice of landing page can damage your quality score and your conversion rate.

It is always best to link your ads to a specific page that is directly relevant to the ad. However, if you want to give the user options, be general in your landing page choice, for instance, making the landing page ‘high heels’ rather than a specific style of high heel. We also recommend making sure the landing page loads quickly, whether that is on a mobile device or a computer.

Mistake 5: Not Utilising Negative Keywords

Negative keywords play a crucial role in reding ad costs and return-on-investment, and yet, many people forget to use them. Adding negative keywords is a great way to make sure certain keywords and phrases are not triggered by your ad. They are also ideal if you want to avoid irrelevant search queries.

To add negative keywords, you can either add them to individual ad groups or use them for an entire campaign. You can find negative keywords through either the Keyword Planner or the Search Terms Report. This report shows you search queries that people have typed into Google to trigger your ads. An example of a negative keyword is ‘golf shoes’ if the ad is targeting ‘high heels’.

Does Your Business Need Help with Google Ads?

Google Ads can take some time to wrap your head around. Need help? Our team of digital marketing experts can assist you with your campaign strategy. We also offer a wide variety of other services including social media advertising, SEO and web design. Give us a call - we’d be more than happy discuss your business needs and devise a personalised digital marketing approach for you.

By Alex Valentine | 26th July, 2019

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