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top adwords campaign mistakes
Top 8 Adwords Campaign Mistakes 1024 536 Mate Hernadi

Top 8 Adwords Campaign Mistakes

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!

adwords case study cover
340% revenue increase in 90 days – Adwords Case Study 1024 536 Mate Hernadi

340% revenue increase in 90 days – Adwords Case Study

This is an adwords case study of an ecommerce store where the 7Digits PPC team achieved a 340% growth in revenue solely by fine-tuning AdWords campaigns.

Background Story

In August 2016 a fairly large Hungarian wristwatch ecommerce store signed with 7Digits – the objective was to polish AdWords revenue as much as we could. We sat down to identify key KPIs, business model and main products – which was a challenge, since the store offers over six thousand different models. We were enthusiastic to see whether we could improve their adwords performance by a few percents.

That’s how it looked at the start

  • The account structure was pretty well thought out, the ad groups were sufficiently segmented – checkmark
  • All the campaigns had test ads and looking at the history it was obvious they were doing a pretty good job finding the best USPs for their customers, resulting in a whopping 15-25% CTR – little room for improvement here…
  • Ad extensions were up and running, all settings properly adjusted – damn, the previous guy knew the drill…
  • Quality score up in the clouds – barely found any keyword under 8 – pretty good job there too. – Sigh, I have seen easier jobs than an almost perfectly polished account.

Options left for us

  • They didn’t use broad match modifiers
  • They only had campaigns for a few selected watch brands
  • Their remarketing seemed to be overly broad

They were really, really close to get out the most of Adwords. It didn’t seem like the day of the big impact for our small agency.

First hesitant steps

We started with setting up a dynamic search ad for all the watches in stock by finding unique phrases on the product pages which were available without needing to wait for delivery. I’ve picked this strategy because it would’ve been a gruntload of time to gather the statistically significant number of conversions before we can pick a set of keywords and create it’s own campaign based on data.

Now here comes the detailed part:



Please feel free to skip this section if you’re not here for the technical details.

This is how to achieve this kind of growth

In this section of this Adwords case study, I’ll explain how to set up a Dynamic Search Ad campaign.


In our case we did it like this

We used the third option because it left us more control. This way you can choose specific URLs or even better, pages with specific content on it – how cool is that? Also, we browsed our site to find common patterns among the products we wanted to promote and excluded all the pages with the textual content “Out of inventory”:

adwords case study screenshot

Creating Ads

We were done with the settings, it was time to create some ads. You have two options here: creating simple text ads and/or dynamic ads. If you’ve split the site granularly enough you can use the expanded text ads to create specific copies. In other cases choose dynamic ads and profit from the power of dynamic headlines – but for a cost: you’re going to have less characters to operate with in the other parts of the ad.

If you’re ready with the ads, you’re pretty much all set, all other sections are the same. You can create ad extensions, RLSA audiences and more if you want.

We also added keywords with broad match modifier match type. That way we could catch more search queries and gain additional ideas for profitable ad groups to test.

Things went south again

To the top of all difficulties, dialogue with the store had to be suspended for a month due to some unfortunate external issues to focus on from their side. No other options left, we let the campaigns collecting the data. I didn’t have high hopes, but our team did whatever we could..

After a month of inactivity we finally got back on track in December – and we already had Christmas coming… The very limited time frame before the Holidays didn’t leave us much space to create heavenly creatives, but the company was one of our first clients; There was no plan B. We badly needed to pull this off.

Let’s go all-in then

I dug deep into analytics and compared the previous 3 years to see which campaigns brought the most revenue for the lowest cost per conversion in this pretty broad period. I also looked into the assisted conversions to make sure we don’t pause anything that has significant role in the conversion path. An action plan started to form. We took a deep breath, and

  • Reallocated our entire budget aligning the goals to the long-term insights.

  • Paused keywords and ad groups with no conversion or too high cost per conversions (something the previous PPC expert just didn’t dare to do before.)

  • Wrote new ads, then rephrased them again and again. Expanded text ads were new at that time and I thought maybe moving quickly could be a significant advantage for us – it turned out to be a colossal idea! We also set up a new remarketing campaign for cart abandoners leading them back to their cart.

A month later

After the end of January we looked like this, compared to the previous year:

adwords case study screenshotBetter, but not the kind of miracle our valued client was looking for…

Let’s take a quick look at assisted conversions:

Adwords case study assisted conversions januaryBetter – but it’s still not Nirvana. Hell, how will I write an adwords case study from this?

Good old optimization

So we started to optimize the campaigns: we adjusted bids, added some negative keywords, wrote even more ad copies, set up bid adjustments by device type and rewrote the ad extensions.

By February, it all came out to this:

adwords case study screenshot

adwords case study assisted conversions februaryAt the end, we managed to increase last click conversions value

340 %

plus the bonus in assisted conversions!

What’s next?

We still have a lot of room for improvement, we are testing new keyword groups, and writing even better ad copies. For the record: Some of the originals are working so well that we still couldn’t outperform them – at least not by doing the regular optimization.

Meanwhile, another squad of our team helped the client develop a 15 step guide to improve the shopping experience through influence psychology, while we, the geeks were focusing on further boosting conversion rates, and reducing bounce and cart abandonment rates.

“If you build it… you may still need Google AdWords.” – Jennifer Mesenbrink Click to Tweet

Key takeaways of this Adwords case study

  • Optimize for conversions and cost per conversion

  • Check assisted conversions before giving up on an ad group or campaign

  • Jumping at once on novel technologies – like Expanded text ads were back then – may have a huge result

  • A tiny bid modification here and adding some negative keywords there means the world!

Never stop optimizing! In this digital world, you can always do better – and better is more sales. If you had any experience when tiny mods had a huge impact, please don’t hesitate to add a comment. If you know a similar adwords case study, feel free to add it in comment. I’d also highly appreciate sharing this one.

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