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Top 10 Google AdWords Mistakes

Top 10 Google AdWords Mistakes

The Google AdWords platform enables UK advertisers to reach a wide audience of potential customers. But plenty of businesses struggle to get a positive impact from the advertising campaigns.

Having examined thousands of AdWords accounts over the years, here are the 10 mistakes that we see occurring again and again:

1. Targeting too broadly

It can be tempting to imagine that the key to success is placing your ads in front of as many pairs of eyes as possible. Surely, it makes sense to increase your target audience in this way? Unfortunately, broad targeting is one of the most commonly repeated mistakes that we see.

Many advertisers end up with campaigns that are being shown to a huge audience, but unfortunately only manage to target a small percentage of individuals who are likely to become paying customers. This is a great way to waste budget, but it’s hugely ineffective. The biggest cause of this problem often relates to the use of broad match keyword selections, which should generally be avoided.


2. High bids

“We want to be top of Google’s results for our chosen keywords”. That’s a phrase that we hear a lot. In reality, the aim is to gain the optimum positioning, allowing a positive return on your investment to be produced. Simply bidding high, in order to achieve seemingly great positioning, is likely to result in you burning through that advertising budget.

3. Failure to track what’s going on

What sort of results are you getting from your AdWords campaigns? Do you know exactly which ad groups, keywords and specific ad variations are leading to sales? If not, you don’t have enough information available to you to enable your campaigns to be properly monitored and optimised. You need to have that tracking data in place.


4. Uncontrolled use of the Display Network

There are some great reasons for using Google’s Display Network, including for building brand awareness. If you’re looking to generate direct sales, however, then are you sure that it’s delivering results for you? With less refined targeting than is available via Standard Search, it’s easy to fall into the trap of showering money on Display campaigns, without seeing the results that you should be achieving.

5. Using Google’s default settings

What do Google want to achieve from your advertising campaigns? Broadly, they are looking for you to spend as much money as possible.

What do you want to achieve? In most cases, you’ll want to secure as many leads or sales as possible, while spending as little money as you can.

As you can see, your aims and those of Google don’t necessarily align. Be very wary of using default settings within your AdWords account because such settings may be designed to extract money from your business, rather than seeking to enhance results.

6. Not creating the best landing pages

Getting visitors on to your website is only half the battle. What are you going to do once they get there? You’ll want to encourage them to make contact, using strong calls to action. The landing page needs to do that job, providing a highly relevant and effective user experience.

If you’re not getting the results that you want, then have you considered that the problem might be with your landing page selections? We’re able to benchmark your performance against other businesses within the same sector, offering an insight into whether there is scope for improvements in this area.


7. Poor quality ad copy

Ad copy that isn’t up to scratch results in lower Click Through Rates (CTRs), lower Quality Scores and, ultimately, higher costs. Your ad copy should be relevant and you should be looking to experiment on an ongoing basis. There is always room for modifications that will produce an uplift in results and there is no “one size fits all” answer when it comes to writing the best ad copy. Experiment all the time: you’ll want to have those ads refined, enhancing your campaign.

8. Ignoring advanced features

Do your competitors have ads that seem to stand out from the crowd? Do you suspect that they are receiving more targeted traffic than you are? It may well be that they have a great digital marketing agency working with them, enabling the use of advanced AdWords features. The AdWords platform was, when it was originally launched, seen as a self-service advertising system. As that system has become more complex over the years, however, it has increasingly become the domain of advertising specialists.

It can be very difficult for the average use to handle the complexities associated with more advanced features. But without using the full selection of AdWords options, your own efforts will inevitably be limited.


9. Google Shopping campaigns with a single ad group

Google Shopping campaigns can produce fantastic results for retailers. You may not think so, but it’s true. However, those who simply attempt to manage all of their products within a single ad group (which is something that we see again and again) will always struggle to produce decent results. As with all other campaigns, you need to target properly and to optimise your approach to Google Shopping.

10. Forgetting about Remarketing

You’ll discover that some people won’t purchase on their first visit to your website. They may do so on a return visit, which is good news. But how are you going to ensure that they make a return? This is where Remarketing is such a useful tool. Quite simply: you need to be using it.

Do some of the above mistakes seem all too familiar to you? If there’s room for improvement within your Google AdWords account, then you may wish to take advantage of our free audit service – we’ll provide a comprehensive audit of your AdWords account (with a value of up to £600), identifying changes that would transform the results that you are seeing. In the last 12 months alone. we’ve identified in excess of £2 million of waste within existing Google AdWords account. Get your free audit today.

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