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Top 8 Adwords Campaign Mistakes

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Adwords can be a really valuable part of your marketing mix if you use it the right way. You probably heard that you can get instant results with it and there’s a chance you jumped right into it. Here are some of the most common mistakes that will help you understand how to use Google Adwords properly. Avoiding these can save you a lot of money in the long run, so let’s jump right into it:

Top 8 Adwords campaign mistakes

1. Determine your goals

First of all, you need to set the goals you want to achieve. Do you want more customers or subscribers? Do you want to get back to the leaving visitors with remarketing? Whatever your goal is you can find a method for that in Adwords. Just don’t feel the urge to use every method, model, and tool just because it’s there.

2. Missing conversion setup

Yee, your campaigns are up and running, let’s lay back and check them in a few days. Well, in this case, you won’t be able to tell how many percents of your users completed your goal, what is your Cost per Conversion, and whether it is  profitable or not? So be always aware of having the right conversion goals set up before you start advertising, at least in your web analytics tool.

3. Going too broad

Using a lot of broad keywords can burn your money quickly and usually brings you no consistent results. There are different opinions about this topic. Let me do a quick recap for you:

Biggest pros on the broad side:

  1. There is a huge amount of keywords every day that haven’t been searched before. With broad keywords, you can tap into them and get really valuable ideas.
  2. You can’t think of everything when doing keyword research. Broad match helps you close this gap.


  1. Burns your money fast and gets you fewer results.
  2. Since a good part of the keywords are getting into your broad bucket you can’t write really effective ads thus your click-through-rate (CTR) is going to suffer thus your quality score suffers, therefore, you end up paying more.
  3. You need to spend significantly more time adding negative keywords

There’s a slight chance you don’t have an infinite budget, so I recommend you to start with long tail keywords and explore which phrases are the most profitable.

4. How to use Google Adwords with thematic ad groups with focused ads

Have you ever cooked when you thought there’s nothing edible at home? Sometimes you end up with everything in the pot. With Adwords, you can do the same, but it won’t do anything good for your results. Basically, every keyword represents a different customer mindset, a different stage in the buying cycle. Keep the similar ones in the same ad group and write really focused ads for them.

If you do, you will get higher CTR and quality score, lower bid, more control and with a proper landing page higher conversion rate. This means significantly more work but also brings much better results.

5. No test ads

This one is a short one. Have 2-3 ads running at a time, all times. Don’t just test punctuation and capitalization, test completely different messages that resonate on the emotional level. If you have only one ad you don’t know how much potential you left on the table. If you have more ads then it may take too long to reach statistical significance and declare a winner.

6. No negatives

We have touched this at the going too broad part. If you use any match type except exact match then you should check the negatives regularly. Even one additional word to your keyword phrase can be a dealbreaker.

For example, you make pancakes. You add the “best banana pancake” phrase match keyword and you miss checking the negatives. You could have found “best banana pancake delivery” and since you don’t do delivery, it’s wasted money( or a potentially viable business opportunity.

7. Quality score

A bit attention to your quality score can help you rein your CPC, get higher positions and you’re also doing yourself a small SEO favor if you optimize your keywords on your landing page.

8. Don’t neglect to target

Having a good idea of your target audience’s demographics is great. Sometimes it is just that, an idea, that you think to be true. It’s possible that your main audience is not where you think they are.

For example, how to use Google Adwords for promoting your local business? You think that most of your customers come from the surrounding area nearby so you set up the targeting accordingly. Later, when you do a survey, it turns out that most of your customers are commuters and your ads never reached them. Oops, you’ve been pouring your money down the drain.

It really depends on the business, but most of the times you can have an educated guess by looking at your analytics tool or asking the customers themselves.

+1: The landing page

I’d like to say a few things about this because the relevance of your landing page is related to your quality score and conversion rate. Since your ad groups and ads are thematic, so should be your landing pages. In the world where anybody can( and will) talk to everybody, the markets are huge, people really appreciate when they see something tailored to their situation, needs and wants.

For example, you have 2 target audiences: one is families with 1-2 children, the other one is college students. If you have a common landing page for both of them, you are going to get higher bounce rate, lower engagement, less result.
You don’t use the same language and imagery for students who love to party and do crazy sh stuff 7/24 and for a family where the decision maker, in this case, is the mother who is trying to raise her child in the proper environment.

However, if you separate these 2 landing pages, both party is going to feel that you understand their needs and feel like you completely understand them. And I’m sure you do, it’s just close to impossible to resonate with everyone you want to resonate within a written material. I hope this helps you on your journey about how to use Google AdWords properly. Your comment is more than welcome!

Mate Hernadi

Mate Hernadi

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