4 Deadly Mistakes You're Making with Google AdWords

  •    Anna is marketing enthusiast and the inbound marketing manager at StoreYa. She spends her days creating amazingly awesome content.

There is nothing worse than running your AdWords campaigns poorly or ignoring some of its basic principles. Most beginners make huge mistakes that can lead to unnecessary losses.

Before we begin with tips on how to improve your Google AdWords campaigns, we wanted to let you know that we’ve recently launched an app on Weebly’s app center called Traffic Booster which creates, manages, and optimizes ad campaigns on your behalf on Google AdWords and Bing ads. It does everything for you so you can focus on your business! Get it here.

Let’s begin with important tips that will save you a lot of money!

1. Not Using Negative Keywords

Identifying your negative keywords in your AdWords campaign ensures that Google doesn’t show your ads for searches with those particular words. So, suppose you run a website selling Fedora hats. Depending on the match type you use, your campaign could appear for “Women’s hats” or “Baseball hats”. Which is great, except that you’re not offering baseball hats.

You wouldn’t want people to be clicking on your ads just for the purpose of clicking as you are paying for each of those clicks. Adding negative keywords is essential to the relevance of your AdWord campaign. If you want to spend your budget wisely this is a major point to remember.

Negative keywords constitute a big part of your Campaign and by far one of the most important ones. It can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you don’t use it you are literally advertising to everyone but your target market. “All Publicity is good publicity” does not apply here! I suggest you throw down your negative keywords and make good use of them.

2. Failing to Properly Set Up Your Ad Groups

Another common mistake is people not taking their Ad Groups seriously. If you’re one of those people who throw all of their keywords into one ad group, you might be making a costly mistake. AdWord groups were created for you to be able to separate your products, brands or services.

For example, you are a musical instrument retailer that offers everything from guitars and drums, to pianos and keyboards. To get the best chance of people clicking on your ad and landing on the relevant page, your Ad copy needs to be very closely related to your keywords. If it has a dozen of unrelated keywords then your ads will either not be shown due to irrelevancy or will just not be effective.Take the time to organize your campaigns accordingly.

The best way to do it is to create Ad Groups based on categories and sections of your Webstore. In the above example, it would look something like this.

Image of Ad Groups

Now for all Ad groups, you will want to set a number of keywords and relevant ads. For instance, for Guitar Campaign Ad Group 2 the keywords would be: “Travel Guitar”, “Small Guitar”, “Mini Guitar”, “Portable Guitar”. You can trust your own judgement on this one. Just try thinking of how you would go searching for this item.

Tip: Try to use the “Phrase match type” for your keywords and of course link each ad to the most relevant landing page within your site

In simple words, if you lump all your keywords in one ad group or don’t organise it correctly, Google will not give you any slack and you will be far off the chart in search results. Alternatively, when your potential customers do click on your ads they might be redirected to a wrong landing page and since you pay per click, you cannot afford that to happen.

3. Not Knowing Your KPIs on Desktop and Mobile

First of all, what is KPI? It is a Key Performance Indicator or in other words, it is a measure of how well your business is performing. When talking about an eCommerce site, we typically use conversion rates as our KPIs. Therefore, it is crucial to compare and segment conversion by different types of visitors. Simply put, you should know how much traffic you’re getting from various devices, such as mobile, desktop, and tablet. Knowing what works for you will help you adjust your advertising budget and the ad campaigns accordingly.

![Image of Ad Word KPI Dashboard](/content/images/2017/09/Image-of-Ad-Word-KPI-Dashboard.png)

You might be getting a lot of traffic from mobile, while more conversion from desktop, which could essentially mean that your customers are researching you on their mobile devices, but prefer buying via desktop. In this case, it is crucial for you to have an optimized landing page and a mobile-friendly product view. If you are paying for that traffic you need to make sure that your mobile bids are decreased in proportion with the lower conversion rate they gain for you. If your conversion rates are coming only from the desktop you can disable the mobile campaigns and stop paying for them.

If Google Analytics seems too complicated for you and all you need really is just a quick overview of the devices and best-performing channels (Facebook, Youtube, Blog, etc) then I suggest you use the free Traffic Tracker app. It is the only eCommerce Dashboard that gives you all the essential data in one simple report. It is extremely easy to use and can be accessed from any device.

If your mobile campaigns are performing well (and there is a big chance they are - 26% of eCommerce sales on the US are concluded via mobile!), start targeting your ad campaign keywords accordingly. Google indicates that mobile users typically enter fewer keywords when they search. People don’t have time when they are on the go and thus they need fast and precise information when they are on their smartphones. Try using broad matching and more general keywords.

4. Not Testing Your Optimal Bidding

Google Adwords gives you several ways you can bid on your ads. It could be clicks, conversions or views. On top of that, you can choose how much you’re willing to spend say per click on a specific ad. If you want your campaigns to be cost effective and not break a bank in the first few months of your Google AdWords journey, you should start comparing and testing your optimal bidding rates. Our CEO Yariv Dror suggests experimenting with increasing and decreasing your offering, based on its performance. Let me explain.

So you start at a bid that feels most comfortable (normally lower than what Google planner tool suggests) and then if you didn’t spend your budget increase your bid by 10% and wait a day. If you still haven’t spend it, increase it again. If you have, then decrease it by 5% and check the day after.

The bids are influenced by many factors: industry, seasons, holidays and competition. They can change drastically over time. Given this, you should be experimenting with your bids to find the optimal rate. You should always keep an eye on how well your campaign is performing (Again, use your reports) and know that this balance could be a key difference between a positive ROI and a losing campaign.

There you have it, guys! If you are making the above-mentioned mistakes, and you keep on doing them, you’ll soon have no budget to spend. If you feel like you could use those extra dollars and maybe put them to a better cause (let’s say growing your sales or maybe buying a new sound system), then you may want to try avoiding those pitfalls and following a few steps, that will take you to a more happy place in your PPC advertising efforts.