Google Ads is the largest and most widely used online advertising network in the world, which makes it one of the most effective methods to connect with new customers and grow your business.

Mastering intricacies of the platform can result in an impressive return-on-advertising-spend (ROAS). Still, many people run into issues when dealing with the confusing interface, misconceptions about how Google Ads work, and some are plain ol' errors due to Google Ads having a few sneaky, difficult to find settings.

Fortunately, these Google Ads mistakes can easily be avoided once you have the know-how, which is why I've put together the following list to help you get a better understanding of which common missteps to steer clear of.

Let's not waste any more time and learn about the five most common, and harmful, Google Ads mistakes that we can avoid.


1.Conversion Tracking 📉🕵🏻‍♀️


Conversion should be the first element of your Google Ads count that is reviewed. While metrics like the number of clicks, click-through-rates (CTRs), and quality scores are important, the most important metric to keep an eye on is the number of websites visitors from Google Ads that are converting. Otherwise, it can be difficult to understand how successful your campaign really is.

To address your Google Ads goals, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are you tracking?
  • What counts as an actual conversion?
  • How is the tracking implemented?
  • Is there anything left that is no longer relevant and can be removed?


2.Duplicate Keywords 🆒🆒❌

Duplicate keywords often act as kryptonite to an account. It's also a very easy mistake to make. It can often be assumed that duplicate keywords are used because advertisers think it will be beneficial to bid on the same keyword more than once. This isn't actually the case. In fact, duplicating keywords can be pretty harmful to your campaign.

The reason for bidding on a keyword in the first place is to have it show up over a competitor's ad. If you are bidding more than once, or ever multiple times, on the same keyword, you are effectively competing against yourself. Google actively discourages this kind of activity and this mistake can lead to lower quality scores, and an increase in your cost-per-click (CPC).

To ensure you aren't duplicating any keywords in your campaign, use Google Ads Editor - a free tool that can help you identify any repeated keywords, as well a whole host of other features.

3.No Negative Keywords 🤔

Negative keywords are a key component of any Google Ad campaign, helping to get the right type of traffic based on the goals of a campaign. This is especially true if you use broad matching options to capture more traffic - a broad keyword triggers your ad to show whenever someone searches for that phrase, similar phrases, singular or plural forms, misspellings, synonyms, stemmings, related searches, and other relevant variations.

This can, in turn, lead to more irrelevant clicks and impressions (and uncontrolled ad spending). Google effectively picks the keyword a search term is matched to and won't always do this consistently. In fact, you can get some wacky keywords leading to your ad being delivered and a user clicking through.

While Keyword Planner is intended to solely help you find keywords to bid on, you can take a look at searches that are related to a keyword you've inputted, along with data on their search volume and competition. If you see terms in the list that you know don't apply to your business, consider adding them to your negative keyword list.

4.Not Bidding on Branded Terms 💁🏽‍♂️

Marketers who do not bid on their own brands keywords (brand name, brand abbreviations, etc.) usually offer two of the following reasons:

  • People aren't searching for my brand/the search volume for my brand keyword is low
  • We currently rank #1 right now organically, so there's no need to for ads

While these reasons may seem valid, the reasons for bidding on your branded terms are far more important.  

  • When you bid on your own brand, you're preventing competitors from poaching your business. You may continue to rank #1 in Google for your main branded keyword, but if your competitors poach your brand keyword, they can get ahead of you in the search engine results page (SERPs).
  • Users searching for branded keywords are usually intent-to-purchase (they've done some initial research and are now looking at brands to purchase from). Having your branded term in the top two positions is never a bad thing.
  • Brand keywords are affordable and effective, with a low CPC. Often campaigns that get 80% of sales through brand keywords at just 10% of campaign spend, so you can be confident your brand terms will drive a low CPA for your account
  • Branded term bidding allows you to direct consumers to specific pages or product offerings within your website.

6.Not Revisiting Ad Schedule Bid Modifiers or Not Using Them at All 🤭

Bid modifiers allow advertisers to keep account structures relatively simple by applying modifiers to increase or decrease bids for location, device, and time.

Why is this important? Not all searches are created equal. For example, a search from a desktop for a B2B company might be more valuable than a desktop search from a mobile device. With this in mind, Google Ads graciously provides us, marketers, the tools that equip us to adjust our strategy accordingly. Bid modifiers are an awesome way to optimize your account and eliminate wasteful spending.

In instances where bit modifiers have been set up, it can often be easy to forget about them. This can be potentially harmful. For example, performance during the time of day can change seasonally. Revisiting a time bid modifier at designated intervals when there are good data samples is crucial to making sure you can stay relevant during prime times of the day.

Conclusion 🧐

The beauty of online advertising is that you can react in real-time and adjust the performance of your campaigns depending on what you see. Continuously optimizing your account will allow you to increase your website's traffic, generate great quality leads, and increase sales.

The biggest mistake that someone can make with a Google Ads account is to simply leave it alone. Unsurprisingly, these mistakes tend to crop up in neglected accounts. By making sure that you are always engaging with your strategy, checking your account, and optimizing where necessary, you can keep an eye on your website's performance, reduce the cost per customer acquisition, and ultimately increase sales.

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