9 Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid
The Google Ads platform provides many ways to tailor your ad campaigns to reach your target audience and optimize your campaigns. Here are the 9 Google Ads mistakes to avoid. These are the mistakes we see over and over again when we take over management of a Google Ads account and any of them can keep your campaign from succeeding.
1. Conversion tracking not set up or not working
2. Wrong goals set as campaign objectives
3. Enabling other search networks / display networks
4. Location options not set tight enough
5. Smart bidding turned on too early in the campaign
6. Budget is too low - underfunded campaigns
7. Using only broad match keywords
8. No / limited negative keywords
9. Not testing multiple ads / landing pages
Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid:
Conversion tracking not set up or not working:
We find issues all the time with Google Ads conversion tracking and that's probably because of our approach: We actually look at the leads we generate in our clients CRM. Then we try to match up those leads to the conversions logged in Google Ads. Our preferred method of tracking Google Ads conversions is to set it up within Google Ads and not analytics using tag manager. Before we do that, we have to check what goals are set in Google ads, inventory the landing pages being used and their corresponding thank you / redirect pages.
There is not point in even starting your Google ads campaign without conversion tracking set up. Google uses this data to determine who to show your ads to and without it, you're wasting your money.
Wrong goals set as campaign objectives:
One of the Google Ads mistakes to avoid when setting up your Google Ads account, is using the default goals for your campaigns. By default, Google sets up every possible goal, including phone calls, directions to your location and more. Obviously, most of these will have no bearing on a B2B lead generation campaign.
You can find the goals your campaign is using under settings. Since you want to generate leads, select form submission as your goal for any new campaigns set up. Whatever you do, don't leave phone calls on as a goal. Google will send you random phone calls from people that are not interested in what you offer and quickly burn through your budget.
Enabling Other Search Networks / Display Network
Set this to Google Search Network only during Google Ads set up. Other networks don't generally get the same results as Google's own website. It's better to have this set to just Google when your campaign is in "learning mode." Once you've fined tune your campaign, you're getting the results you want and you've maxed out your budget within Google's own search network, then you can expand to other networks.
It's never a good idea to combine search and display in one campaign.
Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid: Location Options
Another Google Ads mistakes to avoid is setting up your locations properly. Under settings, the locations set up seems straight forward. Simply select the locations you want to target, for example the United States. There's one more step though. Click on the location options link and select the option for "Presence: People in or regularly in your targeted locations." To an extent, this step will save you from getting junk leads.
Smart bidding turned on too early in the campaign
Google's smart bidding settings such as maximize conversions can be an effective way to optimize your campaign. Or they can be a complete waste of money: Google show's your ads to search terms that don't match your objectives.
Before you turn on maximize conversions or any other automated bidding strategy, make sure your conversion tracking is working. You'll need about 30 conversions per month in order for an automated bidding strategy to work. Once you turn on automated bidding, you'll lose some control over setting bids. We normally start our campaigns with an eCPC (enhanced Cost Per Click) bidding strategy so we can set a max bid amount. After generating 30 plus conversions within a 30 day period, then we'll turn on automated bidding.
Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid:
Budget is too low - underfunded campaigns
When setting your budget during your Google Ads set up, keep in mind your average CPC for the campaign. If clicks are costing you $10 each on average, then setting a budget of $60 per day is a recipe for failure. Assuming a conversion rate of 5%, you would need 20 clicks to generate 1 conversion. With a budget this low, right when Google starts to deliver your ads it has to stop each day because your budget runs out.
A better strategy is to run ads on fewer days and hours and increase your budget for the days that remain. So instead of running a $60 per day budget for 7 days, run a $140 budget for 3 days.
Using only broad match keywords
Google suggests you only use broad match keywords when setting up your campaigns and then let their machine learning / automated bidding do it's thing.
The only problem with this, especially for B2B campaigns is that most of the high intent keywords we want to target are very specific and very expensive. Letting Google spend your budget looking for conversions will eventually work, the only problem is my clients have budgets and they would like to see results before they run out of money.
You can add negative keywords to your campaign and that will help except, it will start maximize conversions "learning" process all over again. Also, Google's machine learning algorithm can come up with new, terrible search terms faster than you can negate them.
Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid:
No / limited negative keywords
Negative keywords are essential to your campaign. Google has loosened up their targeting parameters for years now. There used to be broad match, broad match modifier, phrase match and exact match. In reality, everything is pretty broad now, with even exact match showing your keywords to search terms that Google feels are close enough to your intent.
In addition, broader keywords, which can be less expensive than exact matches can work, but you'll need a big list of negative keywords and perhaps an audience overlay to get your targeting specific enough to have the campaign be effective.
One place to find negative keywords is to do a sample search for your search term in Google. The suggested searches will give you a good list of terms you probably don't want to target with your ads.
Not testing multiple ads / landing pages
ABT - always be testing. This is major Google Ads mistake to avoid. You should always have at least 2 responsive search ads going with different approaches, different calls to action, different headlines, and different descriptions. If you check in on your Google Ads manager and they only have one ad running that is a bad sign.
The other reason to run 2 ads, is to run 2 of the same ads to different landing pages to optimize your landing pages for conversions. The keys to optimization are to get the right message (your ad), to the right audience (your high intent keywords) with an offer that converts (your landing page).
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