7 Common Ways to Kill Your Google AdWords Campaigns

When used correctly, AdWords is a powerful, efficient advertising platform that brings scores of visitors to your business. However, campaigns are doomed to underwhelm when not properly optimized — and folks who are new to AdWords often make the same mistakes.

Self-inflicted wounds in Google AdWords can lead to frustration, fewer customers and less money — not good things.

When used correctly, AdWords is a powerful, efficient advertising platform that brings scores of visitors to your business. However, campaigns are doomed to underwhelm when not properly optimized — and folks who are new to AdWords often make the same mistakes.

In this article, we’ll review seven of the most common errors that can kill your Google AdWords campaign. As you’ll see, these easily made mistakes are luckily also fairly simple to fix.

Mistake 1: Not Using Keywords in Your Ad Copy

People who search for products and services online are much more likely to click on your ad if it contains the exact phrase they were looking for.

Make sure at least one of the ads in your ad groups include your top performing keyword phrase. This will lead to a higher click-through rate (CTR), which means more potential leads and sales.

Mistake 2: Not Creating New Ad Groups for Different Keywords

Novice AdWords users often rush to set up campaigns. Rather than create ad groups for the different aspects of their businesses, they just throw all of their ads and keywords into a single ad group. This is a huge mistake!

The solution is to create different ad groups for all of the different keyword phrases you find during your keyword research. This allows you to write more targeted ads that will boost your CTR. Also, each of your ads can contain their most relevant keyword terms as we discussed above.

Mistake 3: Ignoring Negative Keywords

Not only do you pay for every click on your ad, but in a sense you’re also paying for folks who don’t click on your ad. Low CTRs lead to low quality scores, and low quality scores lead to higher costs. So you really want to make sure your ads are being seen by people who are most likely to click.

Negative keywords can help here.

By adding a negative keyword, you’re instructing AdWords to not show your ads when a search query includes that keyword. How is this helpful? Imagine you own a garage door repair business, and you realize you’re getting an extremely low CTR from people who are searching for “garage door openers.” Most of those folks would have no interest in getting their garage doors repaired — they just need new door remotes. So why market to that crowd? Adding “openers” as a negative keyword solves the problem.

Mistake 4: You’re Not Advertising to Relevant Locations

Online advertising is amazing because people around the world can see your ads – but that is a double edge sword…

Top 10 Google AdWords Mistakes to Avoid

Google AdWords is a powerful tool for driving sales and reaching new customers — but when used incorrectly, it can quickly become a huge waste of money.

Google AdWords logoGoogle AdWords is a powerful tool for driving sales and reaching new customers — but when used incorrectly, AdWords mistakes can quickly become a huge waste of money.

An ad campaign not properly configured may be shown to the wrong shoppers. Or, a campaign that isn’t compelling enough may simply get lost among the competition. Regardless of the mistake, the end result can be spending a lot of money to get very little return on investment. Fortunately, most of the mistakes made by business owners and online marketers are easily preventable.

Read on to see the top 10 errors to avoid when setting up new campaigns in AdWords.

1. Targeting Search and Display
When setting up new campaigns, Google urges advertisers to run their ads on both the Search and Display networks. Google’s reasoning for this is to put your ad in front of as many eyes as possible.

Don’t do it.

People interact differently with each network. Ads on the Search Network are presented to relevant customers who are searching for your product, while display ads appear on relevant blogs and websites to people who are likely not even shopping.

Rather than run single campaigns on both networks, you’re far better off creating separate search and display campaigns. Then you can optimize each campaign for different target audiences.

2. Wrong Keyword Match Types
Always start your campaigns with exact- and phrase-match keywords. It’s tempting to start with broad-match keywords, which are more likely to drive higher volumes of traffic to your ads. However, the traffic from broad-match searches is less likely to be relevant to whatever it is you’re selling, meaning you’ll end up paying for visitors who don’t convert.

Also, your ads will get higher clickthrough rates by using exact- and phrase-match keywords, and higher CTRs means better quality scores. And that can result in cheaper costs per click!

3. Missing Negative Keywords
Negative keywords let you block your ads from being shown when searches include certain words.

Why is this useful?

Imagine that you’re using AdWords to attract new customers to your auto mechanic shop. Unless you set “school” as a negative keyword, then your ad may be shown to scores of people who are searching for “auto mechanic schools.” This can sink your CTR, lower your quality scores and ultimately bring lots of non-converting traffic to your site. Always set negative keywords to preemptively exclude non-converting visitors.

4. Not Segmenting by Devices
Newly created campaigns in AdWords default to showing ads on all devices. This might seem advantageous in terms of sheer traffic volume, but people tend to behave differently online depending on whether they’re using desktop PCs, tablets or smartphones. Also, some landing pages aren’t designed to display or function properly on mobile devices, which can cause obvious problems.

The safe bet here is creating separate ads and landing pages for desktop and mobile users. Then, you can optimize your campaigns to get the best conversions from each type of traffic. And if your website isn’t mobile friendly, then you’re better off blocking mobile traffic completely.