5 Biggest Google Ads Mistakes that will ruin your campaigns

5 Biggest Google Ads Mistakes that will ruin your campaigns

Google Ads is a game-changer in how businesses advertise on the internet. Google Ads is a powerful platform that can lead to high conversions if you play your cards right. If you’re not yet ready to outsource to a Google Ads Management team, and you are just getting started on setting up an ad campaign, here are 5 Google Ads mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

Top 5 Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Using the wrong keyword matches
  2. Ignoring region-specific targeting
  3. Not implementing call tracking and conversion tracking
  4. Auto-applying recommendations
  5. Neglecting negative keywords

1. Using the wrong keyword matches

Google Ads run on keywords, so it is crucial to know the types of matches that are involved in the advertising process. Broadly, there are three types of keyword matches – broad, phrase, and exact.

Broad match 

Selecting a broad match lets Google show your ads to people if they contain your keywords regardless of where and in which order they are in the search string. 

For instance, if your keyword is “best shoes,” 

Your ad might still be visible for people who look for “best shoes for football,” “best shoes for ballroom dancing,” and “shoes for best posture.”

Phrase match 

If you pick a phrase match, Google will show your ads to people only if their search string has the target keyword in the exact same order. 

If your keyword is “best football shoes,” 

Your ads will be visible only if people look for strings like “best football shoes for women” and not “best shoes for football.”

Exact match 

Exact match keywords mean that Google will show your ads only when people search for the exact keyword. 

In the “best shoes” keyword example

People will be able to see your ad only if they search for “best shoes” and not when they search for “best shoes for old people.”

Why does this matter?

Knowing what each type of keyword match does can make or break your ad performance. If you have long-form keywords in a niche market, you might benefit from exact keyword match. If you have a diverse range of products and services, you might benefit from the larger reach of a broad or phrase match. Note that phrase and exact match are usually associated with a higher conversion rate, while a broad match is great for reach and engagement.

Image of Google search showing google ads mistakes

If you know your client’s search for a very specific keyword, like “plumber south melbourne” or “plumbing company south melbourne,” then it makes sense to use an exact match keyword because you already know your audience. This also saves money as you don’t waste your ad budget – this is great if you have a small budget. However, a successful campaign here depends on how good your keywords are. 

If you have a larger budget, you will want to use phrase match for these keywords so that you can reach a larger audience with variation. This gives you better reach and engagement. 

Broad match is useful if you have a larger budget, and are looking to find new, high-converting keywords. Our experts advise using broad match with a professional Google Ads manager, as they can monitor, control, and optimise search criteria before spending gets out of hand.  This is one of the biggest Google Ads mistakes we see!

2. Ignoring region specific targeting

Another common Google Ads mistake, Regardless of the type of business you own, not keeping track of regional trends can cost you dearly. If you own a small business, it is better to focus on local areas within a tight geographical limit. Not changing location targeting settings can cost you a lot of money, as you are reaching users who will never become customers, as they are simply not in your service area. Remember, Google Ads is Pay Per Click, so each click costs you money, make sure you are reaching those in your service area!

On the flip side, if you own a large firm with branches in many cities, you would want to target each of those areas and also the surrounding locations.

If you service quite a large geographical area, and you are struggling to figure out which area works best for you with Google Ads, experiment with a larger area for a couple of weeks. Once you have some data to work with, you can figure out which regions have a higher conversion rate. This can help you adjust your campaigns accordingly.

3. Not implementing call tracking and conversion tracking

Conversion tracking refers to the practice of keeping count of how a user interacts with your advertisement, be it clicking on the ad, calling the number associated with it, installing an application, or making a purchase. This helps you monitor how good each ad is doing. In particular, call tracking is an important metric to keep track of, especially for local businesses. 

You should always track form fills, email link clicks and any other primary conversion point, including implementing call tracking.

Example image of call tracking statistics in wildjar

Call tracking is a way to track phone calls made to your business as a result of Google Ads, usually by linking unique phone numbers to different advertisement templates. Our preferred call tracking partner Wildjar does this best by accurately measuring which ad group or keyword leads to maximum conversion. Identifying the source, medium, and keywords that drive maximum revenue by enabling call tracking allows you to direct your ad budget in the right direction.

4. Auto-applying recommendations

When you use Google for your advertising needs, it routinely shows you a list of recommendations for your campaign. While these suggestions are worth a review, it is not recommended to auto-apply all these changes. This is because the suggestions that Google gives are an aggregate account of best practices across a range of ad profiles, and not just yours. What works for others may not work for you, and you risk the chance of losing money unnecessarily. To avoid this, review Google suggestions before applying them, and pick only those that are relevant to you.

5. Neglecting negative keywords

Even if you pay careful attention to your matching strategy, you are bound to match searches that are not relevant to your business. In this case, negative keywords are your saving grace. Paula Glynn from Pixelstorm remarks, “When you add negative keywords to your campaign, you tell Google not to show your ads to users who search for said keywords. When you exclude irrelevant searches, you save money and resources so that you can show your ads to people who are more likely to convert.”

For instance, if your keyword is “best shoes” but you don’t sell sports shoes, adding “sports shoes” as a negative keyword will save you money by not showing your ads to people looking for sports shoes.

Avoid these Google Ads mistakes!

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, Google Ads can help you effectively promote your services and grow your business. Staying clear of these five mistakes can help you refine your campaign and get a higher ROI. Want a professional review of your ad campaign with expert advice? Reach out to us today!