The 7 most common errors in Google ads

worried woman

Are you getting the best possible results with your Google Ads campaigns, or are you missing out on conversion opportunities?

Whether you are new to Google Ads or have been setting up PPC campaigns for several years, there are small mistakes that accumulate over time. As a result, your campaigns can underperform, costing your business and advertising dollars.

In this article, we will cover:

  1. The differences between Search Network and Display Network
  2. Consequences of using the wrong keyword matches
  3. Negative keywords
  4. Ad extensions
  5. Retargeting
  6. Wrong bidding
  7. Outdated, incorrect, or non-existent conversions

 

1. Search Network vs Display Network

When you create a campaign in Google Ads, you can choose whether you want to create a Search Network or Display Network campaign – at least in theory. In reality, when you’re setting up a Search Network campaign, Google Ads also places your ads on the Display Network by default.

It doesn’t even sound bad at all, right? That is until you realize that the Display Network conversion rate is significantly lower than Search Network ads. If you follow the default search campaign settings, you could waste money on Display Network ads and show absolutely nothing!

To avoid this, choose your Google Ads network carefully. It is best to combine campaign types and networks, keeping search and display ad campaigns separated!

2. The impact of incorrect use of keyword matches

It’s easy to assume that as long as your keywords are correctly targeted and bid high enough, your ads will be displayed on relevant searches. However, this isn’t always the case, especially if you use the wrong type of keyword match.

If you combine keywords with very vague search terms, your ad may be displayed in unrelated searches.

To optimize your search network ads, you need to do thorough keyword research and have a thorough understanding of your target audience’s search intent. Knowing the difference between these types of keyword matches also helps:

  • Broad Match: it segments searches related to your keyword.
  • Phrase Match: it shows ads in searches that express the meaning of your keyword.
  • Exact Match: This match shows ads in searches that mean the same as your keyword.

3. Ignoring the negative keywords

We have mentioned this in more detail in another article, which you can read here!

Even if you are thorough in the type of keyword matching, your Google ads may still be displayed on irrelevant searches. If these searches generate a lot of clicks, you could end up wasting a lot on advertising for nothing.

Fortunately, you can exclude search terms by adding negative keywords. Remember that Google offers three types of negative keywords – broad match, phrase match, and exact match – so it’s important to understand what they mean and choose wisely. After all, adding the wrong negative keyword match type can prevent your ads from being displayed in the searches you want to target.

4. Skipping ad extensions

Ad extensions are clickable elements that you can add to any Google ad. These can display information such as your business phone number, the price of a product or service from your business.

Technically, ad extensions are optional. Google states that they provide up to 15% higher click-through rates (CTR), so it’s in your best interest to use ad extensions wherever possible. Google recommends adding at least four types of extension:

  • Sitelink
  • Highlights
  • Structured snippets
  • Image
  • Callout
  • Lead forms extension
  • Location
  • Affiliate Location
  • Price
  • App
  • Promotion

5. Forgetting about re-targeting

Reaching new audiences is important, but you shouldn’t forget about the people who have already interacted with your company or visited your website.

There are people who are already familiar with your brand, and they are more likely to trust your business and pay more attention to your ads.

Re-targeting always helps to:

  • Encourage potential customers who have already interacted with your website.
  • Encourage repeat purchases (customer retention).
  • Maimize your CPC by narrowing the targeting to the most interested visitors who have not yet converted.

6. Using a wrong bidding strategy

Google Ads automatically recommends a smart bidding strategy based on the goal of your campaign. For example, it might suggest Maximise Clicks if you choose to target traffic to your website. Sometimes, and not being able to substantiate your choices due to lack of data, default options are automatically accepted. Be aware that not testing different options, or worse, not taking advantage of the data and optimizing a bid strategy, can be a costly mistake.

Once you’ve gathered enough PPC data to know how much you should pay for clicks and purchases, you can start optimizing results with a manual cost-per-click (CPC) or desired cost-per-action (CPA) bidding strategy.

Alternatively, you can also use a return on ad spend (ROAS) bidding strategy to ensure your campaigns are delivering the expected value.

7. Outdated, incorrect or non-existent conversions

The crassest of all mistakes, the one that makes our soul ache, the one that differentiates good practice from lazy and meaningless work.

If you want to leverage your business with SEM and effectively, you need to track conversions.

Google Ads makes it easy to track conversions from your website, app, phone number, or property in Google Analytics. It’s important to remember that conversions are not static. After initial setup, these require regular updates and reconsideration.

When reviewing a Google Ads conversion, first make sure it’s active and tracking correctly. Second, confirm that the assigned value and conversion window are still accurate. Third, it’s also useful to review the attribution model so that Google Ads credits each conversion action properly.

Over time, your business will evolve naturally, which will also mean a conversion for you. If a conversion is no longer relevant, you can simply remove it from your account. This way, you can always effectively track conversions and accurately assess the impact of your Google Ads campaigns.

Summing up

PPC allows you to connect your business to people at the exact moment they are actively searching for what your company offers.

It’s a great opportunity for businesses, but also one that can be missed if PPC campaigns are not set up for success.

The good news is that this type of marketing can be very successful and offer a high return on investment when executed correctly. By avoiding the mistakes above, you’ll be setting up your PPC campaigns with the right foundations for success!