The fact is, if you are spending money on Google Ads, you are wasting money on Google Ads. We all are. There are innumerable settings to be optimized, ad text to be tested, and new features constantly being rolled out by Google. If you’re not a professional who spends all their time in Google Ads, it’s hard to keep track of everything.
However, all hope is not lost! There are things you can do to change it. You probably will still spend money on Google Ads for people who will never become your customers, but you can always find ways to improve and reduce the amount of money you spend on people who won’t ever convert, and spend more money on those who are ready or will be ready in the future. Here are a few common mistakes that many people make when using Google Ads, and how you can correct them.
1. Not setting realistic expectations beforehand
Google Ads can seem like an easy path to tons of traffic. You will want to know what you are getting into before you get started because there are some limitations. Not everyone who sees your ad will click on it, and not everyone who goes to your site will buy from you. The important thing to focus on is that you are getting more money out of the platform than you are putting in, and then you will want to focus on improving your return over time. It may not happen right away, but you can make money off of Google Ads with realistic expectations.
2. Not using Negative Keywords
Negative Keywords are a way for you to exclude irrelevant, or poorly performing keywords. If you find that a keyword isn’t bringing any traffic, or the people who do search for it aren’t the kind of customers you are looking for, don’t waste your money! There are better customers out there for you.
3. Not bidding on your own brand
Why would you want to bid on your own brand terms? The main reason is that anyone can bid on your brand terms. If you aren’t bidding on them, any of your competitors can bid on those positions and take some of the clicks from people who would otherwise be looking for you. You want to use as many spots on the search results page, especially for people who are searching for you. You want to make sure that people who are searching for you actually end up on your page and not lose anyone to your competition.
4. Not using conversion tracking
Conversion tracking is a way to measure certain important actions that you want people to take once they reach your site. Examples of conversions can be purchases, filling out a lead form, making a phone call, or spending a certain amount of time on site. Conversions should be something that either makes money for your company or moves users in that direction. Tracking conversions allows you to see if your campaign is working more than just bringing people to your site. More knowledge about what is going on helps you optimize and make more money.
5. Not creating an effective landing page experience
The landing page is the first page that people will see once they get to your page. It’s the first impression people will have of you as a company. You want to make sure it is as targeted and relevant to the ad they saw as possible. What you don’t want to do is use the homepage of your site. If they saw an ad for women’s shoes, send them to the women’s shoe section. You want to make the entire experience as easy and frictionless as possible, and you don’t want to make people figure out what to do next.
6. Not grouping keywords correctly
Related to creating a good landing page experience is how you group your keywords into ad groups. You want to put keywords into tightly related sections for each ad group, so the landing page and the ad text can be the most relevant possible. You want the experience to be seamless. If you are offering plumbing services, make sure you are advertising on plumbing services related keywords, showing ads that talk about your plumbing services, and send them to a landing page promoting your services and gives them a way to contact you.
7. Using only broad match keywords
Google allows you to choose different match types for your keywords. If you use broad match keywords, Google can show ads to any search term that Google determines is related enough to what you entered. Phrase match requires the phrase entered to stay together, anything added to either side will trigger your ad and can be set with quotes (“plumbing companies”). Exact match keywords can only be triggered by search terms that exactly match the keyword, no exceptions, and can be set with brackets ([plumbing companies]).
You may want to use broad match keywords in some situations, such as to find ideas for new keywords, but for the most part you will want to use phrase and exact match keywords to focus your spend on those terms that bring in the most money for you, without adding extra terms that may or may not be relevant.
8. Not testing new things
Google Ads is constantly changing, new features are being added, and there are always opportunities to get better, spend less money and get more money out of the platform. Always be trying new things, whether it is trying out a new feature to see if it works for you, or trying new ads to see if a different message resonates with your audience. Some of them may not work for you, but some of the things you try will make you a lot of money. Testing is the best way to find out what actually works and improve your performance over time.
9. Not thinking about your audience
You always want to know how your target audience thinks about your company and your service in general. What state of mind are they generally in when they are searching for you? What are their fears? What are some common questions that people have? Think about how you can answer these questions and calm these fears in advance before they even contact you, which goes a long way to building trust.
10. No targeted call-to-action
Tell your customers what to do next. Do you want them to request a quote, or give you a call, or purchase something today? Tell them! It is often confusing to know what to do next once you get to a site, so make it as easy as you possibly can. Tell them what you want them to do in your ads, and on your landing pages. On the landing pages, make it as easy and obvious as possible where to go and what to do once you get there. Fewer people will drop off at each stage if they know what is coming and what to do.
If you can fix these mistakes with your Google Ads account, you are well on your way to stop wasting money in Google Ads. Armed with these tips, you will be able to optimize your account by getting rid of irrelevant search terms, being clear about what you expect, improving your landing page experience and so much more.