Common Mistakes in Google Ad Campaigns

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Starting a new Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Strategy and Google Ad Campaign can be intimidating for beginners and even experienced PPC Specialists can find themselves falling prey to common mistakes that could cause them to waste ad budget and target the wrong audience. As a team experienced in SEM, we’ve taken over underperforming Google Ad accounts and identified consistent issues. These issues aren’t always immediately apparent, but they can be costly and detrimental in the long term, which is why we believe it’s imperative to address them head-on. Some of them include setting unrealistic goals, not targeting the right audience, failing to create persuasive ad copy, and inefficient use of budget. With our insights, you too can avoid these common pitfalls and create a successful SEM campaign that can drive growth and leads for your business.

What are Google Ads?

In the fast-paced digital world we live in, businesses need to be innovative and strategic in their advertising to get ahead of the competition. That’s where Google Ads can be a game-changer. Google Ads is a flexible online advertising platform that provides businesses with a cost-effective way to reach potential customers who are already searching for products or services similar to theirs. In addition to the Google Search Engine, Google Ads serves ads on Google’s search partners which can increase brand exposure to a broader audience. With the vast number of people searching on Google every day, Google Ads can give businesses the edge they need to stand out in a highly competitive market. By creating engaging ads and targeting the right audience, businesses can increase traffic to their website and ultimately drive sales. The beauty of Google Ads is that businesses can set their budget, track their results, and adjust their campaigns accordingly to optimize their return on investment. In summary, Google Ads are a powerful tool for businesses looking to increase their online visibility and reach their target audience with precision.

How Can Google Ads Help You Advance Your Business Goals?

Businesses seeking to connect with a wider audience can benefit from using Google Ads. This advertising service provides companies with access to Google’s massive user base, allowing them to reach potential customers on a larger scale. Google Ads can be especially useful for businesses that face challenges with search engine optimization, as the platform provides an alternate route to increasing visibility. This is particularly useful for startups or organizations with limited content and a weak online presence. By investing in Google Ads, businesses can generate traffic to their sites and build brand awareness, driving growth and success over time.

Common Mistakes in Google Ads and How to Resolve Them

1. Define Your Ad Objective

One common mistake users make when creating Google ad campaigns is failing to define clear campaign objectives. Without a clear understanding of what they want to achieve, users may struggle to create targeted and effective ad content. By not defining their objectives, they miss the opportunity to tailor their messaging, ad placements, and targeting strategies to reach their desired audience. Without a clear goal, it becomes challenging to measure the success or failure of a campaign and make informed decisions for optimization. Therefore, it is crucial for users to clearly define their campaign objectives from the outset, enabling them to create focused and results-driven Google ad campaigns.

2. Keyword Intent in Your Bidding Strategy

It is very tempting to target any keyword that relates to your business, but choosing keywords that don’t have a strong intent can lead to overspending and attracting searches who have something else in mind other than your business. Make sure to use long tail keywords with stronger intent. For example, if you were a moving company you wouldn’t want to bid on the term “moving” as those searches may be looking for anything related to moving such as homes, realtors, packing tips, etc. Instead, using longtail keywords or multiple keyword phrases can better target potential customers that need a mover such as “moving company” or “moving company near me”. There are many keyword tools available including Google’s own, but a place to start is to simply put yourself in your customers shoes and consider what you would type into a search engine to find your business.
Additionally, make sure when implementing your keywords you are using the best keyword match type. For example, during the learning phase of your ad campaign, you may want to restrict your keywords to an exact match as your bidding strategy. This helps lessen the keywords you may have to pay for and add to your negative keyword list.

3. Monitoring Keywords

After implementing your target keywords it is incredibly important to monitor those keywords at least daily for the first few weeks of your campaign going live. The first few weeks are critical as this is when Google’s algorithm is learning and no matter how restrictive your keywords are Google will experiment with showing your ads for keywords you did not chose to bid on. This is where monitoring and using the negative keyword tool is leveraged. Check your searched terms daily to see what keywords Google shows your ad for and if you don’t feel it has the correct keyword intent add these keywords to your negative keyword list so that you don’t continue to pay for keywords that aren’t targeting your customers and which won’t result in new business for you.

4. Search Area

You can Geo target your ads to only show in certain areas. You may be targeting the entire country you live in, a single state or province or perhaps a small radius around a brick and mortar location. However, after you choose your target make sure to click on “location options” as here you will see further options on if you want to show your ads to searches in your location or those who have searched your location. This choice is hidden by default and if you aren’t careful missing this choice can lead to showing ads to users outside your target area. This mistake can lead to maxing out both your daily or monthly ad budget depending on when this mistake is caught.
Google Ad Location Targeting

5. Google Recommendations

Within Google Ads, there is a tab for recommendations from Google. This is an important area to monitor as it can provide incredibly helpful information on how to further optimize your ads, however make sure to review and consider each recommendation before you accept the change. Not all of the recommendations will make sense for your business. The more information you give Google the better your ads perform so review these recommendations often, but be critical in what you implement or dismiss.
Google Ads can be an incredibly important marketing tool for your business, but it is easy to make costly mistakes so make sure if you are running your ads, have a staff member running them or if you are using a 3rd party agency to manage them that you understand the strategy and that you are also participating and monitoring the progress of your ads. Investing in this time will only improve your marketing strategy.

6. Testing Your Ads

In their rush to launch campaigns, users often neglect to experiment with different ad variations, missing out on valuable opportunities to optimize their campaigns for maximum performance. Ad testing allows users to identify which ad elements, such as headlines, images, or calls-to-action, resonate best with their target audience. By conducting A/B testing or multivariate testing, users can gather data-driven insights and make informed decisions about their ad creatives. Testing different variations helps uncover what works best, allowing users to refine their messaging, improve click-through rates, increase conversions, and ultimately enhance the overall effectiveness of their Google ad campaigns. Ignoring ad testing can leave users with suboptimal ads and missed potential for achieving their desired advertising goals.  Of course, budget needs to be considered and allocated for proper A/B testing.

7. Budgeting

improper budget allocation is a common pitfall when it comes to creating Google ad campaigns. Users often make the mistake of either overestimating or underestimating their budget, which can have significant consequences on the effectiveness of their campaigns. Allocating too little budget may result in limited ad impressions and reduced visibility, restricting the reach and potential success of the campaign. Conversely, allocating too much budget without a proper strategy in place can lead to wasteful spending and inefficient use of resources. It is crucial for users to carefully assess their advertising goals, target audience, and market competition to determine an appropriate budget that allows for effective ad distribution and optimization. Proper budget allocation ensures that campaigns have the necessary resources to reach the intended audience, generate meaningful engagement, and maximize return on investment.

How to Create a Google Ads Budget

Creating a budget for Google Ads requires careful consideration and planning. To start, users should define their campaign objectives and determine the maximum amount they are willing to spend on advertising. Next, they should research and analyze their target audience, competition, and industry benchmarks to gain insights into the average cost-per-click (CPC) and click-through rates (CTR) in their niche. Based on this information, users can estimate the number of clicks they aim to generate and calculate their budget accordingly. It is essential to set a realistic budget that aligns with the campaign goals and allows for meaningful ad exposure. Users should also consider factors such as seasonality, market trends, and the desired ad positioning (top placements tend to have higher costs). Regular monitoring and optimization of the budget are necessary to ensure it is allocated effectively and adjusted as needed based on campaign performance. By setting a well-informed budget, users can maximize their ad spend, reach their target audience, and achieve their advertising objectives in Google Ads.

Tools to Use to Gather CPC and CTR Data

To gather CPC and CTR data and create realistic budgets for Google Ads, users can utilize various tools and platforms. Google Ads itself provides valuable insights through its reporting and analytics features. Users can access data on average CPC and CTR for specific keywords and ad placements within their campaign. Additionally, Google Keyword Planner helps users estimate keyword performance and provides historical search data, including average CPCs. Third-party keyword research tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz offer competitive analysis and keyword performance metrics, including estimated CPCs and search volumes. Industry reports, market research, and case studies can also provide valuable benchmarks for CPC and CTR in specific sectors. By leveraging these tools and data sources, users can make informed decisions, estimate costs, and set realistic budgets that align with their advertising goals in Google Ads.

Need help with starting your Google Ad Strategy? Point of Action has a variety of services to help support you from full ad management to providing audits and training. Contact us for a free consultation if you are interested in learning more.

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