Google AdWords is one of the most used digital marketing tools today. Even though its use is widespread, optimization is still difficult for some. Creating a successful AdWords campaign is time-consuming and takes detailed, exhaustive work. It may be demanding, but when carried out properly, these campaigns have the possibility to bring in a mass of sales and business opportunities. Not to mention the inverse can be scary for marketers: spending too much on an underperforming campaign. The average small business spends $9,000 and $10,000 on Google paid search campaigns. With marketers allocating so much budget to AdWords campaigns, it’s essential to know how to effectively use them, and to be aware of the mistakes to avoid.
5 Most Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them:
Irrelevant Keywords or Wrong Match Type
Keywords irrelevant to your ad copy or that have low search volume can cause your ads to have low quality scores. Along with using irrelevant keywords, you might be using too many. While you want to try to show up in as many searches as possible, you want to make sure they’re relevant to your product or service. Bidding on too many or irrelevant keywords will immediately drain your ad spend and could leave you conversion-less, especially if you’re using broad-match type. This match type allows ads to be triggered on a broad range of variations of your keywords, such as synonyms, possible misspellings, plural and singular forms, related searches, etc.
The match mistake is an easy fix, as you can quickly go into the campaign settings to change it. First you should do your research on which type would be best for your particular campaign and target audience, such as phrase or exact match. Choosing the right keyword set can be a tedious task. It takes a lot of analysis, as well as trial and error. It’s important to choose keywords that are also used on your landing page, as that will increase your quality score. But it’s even more important to be aware of what your customers are actually searching. Users are much more likely to click on ads that include words and phrases that match exactly the query they typed in. Getting your list of keywords as tight and relevant as possible will help to drive conversions at the lowest possible cost.
Not Utilizing Negative Keywords
Even after you have a solid list of keywords, there’s still a possibility of your ads getting shown for irrelevant or even negative searches. For example, you’re selling Axe deodorant and you’re bidding on the word “axe.” Someone could search “tree axe,” and your ad could fire. So you would want to apply “tree” as a negative keyword to ensure Google doesn’t trigger your ad for any searches involving that word. AdWords automatically gives you a list of suggested negative keywords to get started, but you shouldn’t leave it at that. Consistently watch your search terms report. Consider adding any keywords that come in for irrelevant queries, as well as expensive CPCs. If there’s a keyword that’s costing you high clicks and isn’t converting, you may want to pull it.
Minimal Use of Ad Extensions
Most users of Google AdWords are aware of ad extensions, but not of the full plethora or impact they can have. Ad extensions allow you to get more space on the results page, include more valuable information to your ad copy, send users directly where you want, give them the option to call you directly, and more. They can even have a factor in your overall ad rank. Google reported that adding a new ad extension typically increases click-through rates by 10-15%. Finding the right combination of relevant ad extensions can increase click through rates, lower cost per click, and improve positioning. Consider these popular extensions and their benefits:
- Callouts: Allow you to include specific attributes about your business, products, and services. This is an area where you can include more keywords and pitch-heavy content.
- Sitelinks: These can build the content of your ad by offering additional information and links to more specific pages on your site, allowing users to get directly where they need to.
- Structured Snippets: Allow your ad to highlight specific aspects of your products and services. The layout is a mix between a callout and a sitelink. Each snippet contains a header and list of features you choose to highlight. This extension can hurt your click-through rates if your content isn’t carefully thought out, because the design can be complicated and hard to read.
Not Using Landing Pages
Sending PPC traffic to a homepage is a huge mistake that some marketers are still unaware of. Most people that are performing searches are looking for an immediate solution to a problem. Sending them to your homepage means they will have to spend even more time searching through your site for what they actually want. If they don’t immediately find it, they’ll likely bounce and search elsewhere. If a user already went as far as clicking on your ad, make it easy as possible for them to actually convert. With that being said, you also need to make sure they’re being directed to appropriate landing pages. If you can, try to create a designated landing page for each keyword set that answer the same user intent, and make sure there is a clear call-to-action on each. You can learn more about creating high converting landing pages here.
Not Testing Ads or AdCopy
Testing is widely underutilized when it comes to AdWords campaigns. It is often dismissed as time-consuming and unnecessary, but you really don’t know how an ad is performing unless you can compare it to another. Create ads with various headings, keywords, body copy, placements, landing pages, etc. To get the best results from A/B testing remember to:
- Only change one factor per test.
- Have a clear hypothesis.
- Perform the test long enough to gain accurate results.
Every marketer makes mistakes, but being proactive can help you to avoid the simple ones. All these mistakes are easy to make, but they’re also relatively quick fixes and easy to learn from. Running AdWords campaigns can be tedious, but when carried out correctly the results can be monumental. That’s why it can be beneficial to outsource for your paid search needs. At Onimod Global we are experts in SEM. As a Google Partner, we are a digital marketing company, trusted by Google to excel with their products. We are experts in paid search on major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, as well as in social advertising across all platforms. We work as your own in-house digital marketing team.