Google AdWords can be a major driving force for your business, but only if it’s set-up correctly and continually optimized. These are common mistakes we come across when a new client comes our way. Luckily with AdWords, you can fix these mistakes with just a little TLC, but you won’t see the rewards overnight – it usually takes a few weeks to a few months for Google to take these better practices into account and see the benefits of the changes.

Keyword Selection & Match Types

Keywords are key! Getting the correct variety of keywords and using match types correctly can be tricky. Several accounts bid on too many keywords, majority far too broad which wastes spend and drives overall account health down because people either don’t click on your ad or bounce off your website and don’t convert; Google will give these keywords low quality score ratings hurting your account further. Another keyword mistake is focusing mainly on brand keywords – yes, having a campaign built around branded keywords is needed, but it shouldn’t be where most of your budget is spent. Find relevant general keywords that match your company and products, this is how you will get more reach and brand awareness.

Make sure you are using the right match types for your keywords. Broad match can bring in more of the unwanted clicks wasting budget which leads to you running more search query reports and adding negative keywords. Broad modified is a great way to eliminate those searches you don’t want but still get the broad searches your ads need to show up for. Another common mistake is narrowing to it down to just phrase or exact match, this leads to missing out on some broad searches you would want to show up for. Find that right mix of match types for your account to be sure you aren’t losing out on quality impressions, but not getting overexposed on too broad of searches.

Not Adding Negative Keywords

It’s ok to be a negative Nancy on Google AdWords! Adding negative keywords can do a lot for an account so adding them is just as important as the keywords you’re bidding on. If you are not adding negatives, your CPA’s will be higher than you would like to see, your budgets might continually be limited because you are spending money on irrelevant clicks, and you are wasting spend.

Ignoring Specific Metrics

Most businesses make the mistake of only paying attention to conversions and cost per conversion. Google cares about the overall health of your account which they take into consideration when your keywords are up for bid in a search. Other important AdWords metrics to pay close attention to are CTR, CPC, Impression Share, Average Position, and Quality Score. Optimizing your account to reach goals using these metrics can increase overall account health which can potentially drive more leads and at a lower CPA.

Poorly Structured Account

Think of your account like building a house, if you don’t have the right foundation, it’s not going to work and you won’t see a return on your investment. Accounts have come our way with all sorts of different structures, one campaign with too many adgroups, most adgroups with too many keywords, brand and non-brand keywords not separated, incorrect delivery method and ad rotation, plus more. Restructuring an account is not too difficult and highly recommended if it’s needed, but there can be some growing pains and take some time before you see the benefits.

Not Utilizing Ad Extensions

More the merrier lessons here – more real estate your ads can take up on Google, the better! Ad extensions do just that. Adding sitelinks, callouts, reviews, location, anything you are able to apply from the ad extensions will help give you more space on the search page.  More real estate among the search will help your ad standout, plus you are giving users more visibility into who your business is and more information about your products. 

Leaving Your Account on Autopilot

Don’t turn your back on your account, it thrives off your TLC, the only way you can improve is by continuous optimization. Always be updating…update your bids through either automated rules or manual bidding, add and pause keywords, run search query reports for new keywords or negatives, test new ads, create ad schedules, update bid adjustments based off devices, regroup adgroups based off keyword themes, and so much more. There are always things that can be done in Google AdWords accounts to improve them.

Not Adjusting/Optimizing when New Features Launch

Stay ahead and stay competitive! In order to do so, stay on top of Google’s changes. Google is always adding new features or making tweaks to their engine, and accounts need to stay on top of that to stay competitive. If you don’t take advantage to Google’s updates, assume your competition is so they are getting ahead of you on the platform and that’s just not cool. A few new features recently launched are Expanded Text Ads, bid adjustments based off all devices and not just mobile, and message extensions.

Are you making any of these mistakes? If you are unsure or need improvement suggestions, we can help with a free AdWords Scan to help you get on track. Paid search accounts need deep dive improvements and continuous improvements so if you can’t make the full commitment and give the attention your Google AdWords account needs, it might be time to find some experts.