Google AdWords have proved to be a great source for generating traffic that is highly targeted to your website, both to generate leads as well as drive sales. You have the provision of targeting on Search, Display, and Video networks and is a sure shot way of reaching people.
But the trouble is, if you don’t invest some time and put in good thought behind your campaign strategy and objectives, chances are you will just be burning money with limited or no returns.
There are many ways in which you can mess up and waste your campaign budget and inadvertently increase your Cost per Click. Below are a few of them and although there are more but these are the top reasons we have found in our years of experience of setting up Search campaigns for our clients.
In the first part we will look at common mistakes in the initial stages of setting up your Adwords campaigns and how to fix them!
Mistake 1: No proper and extensive keyword research
Doing extensive keyword research is absolutely essential before creating a campaign. Your account won’t perform well if there’s no proper targeting of the most relevant terms to what your potential customers are searching for and also relatable to the products or services that you offer. We’ve seen Real estate developers offering a 3 bhk home but target only the term home. It did get them some traffic, sure, but they literally sold nothing!
Fix : There are many keyword research tools that are available out there to perform keyword research like Google AdWords Keyword tool, Wordstream, SEM Rush (this allows you to even do a competitor comparison) . You need to understand your customers search patterns and also your products and services , determine a complete list of relevant terms and all possible variations for those terms and then use these tools to understand the word and phrase variations people are using when they search.
Looking at your own site search reports in Google Analytics and also using Google Search Console will be a good way to get an idea of what is relevant.
Mistake 2 : Focusing only on Broad Match Keywords
This is something that we come across a lot, creating Ad groups with only Broad Match keywords. It is possible that we see this often because this is the default match type set by AdWords unless otherwise specified. What this essentially means is your ads are served to anybody who is searching for your phrase in any order, even similar phrases and any other variations of the terms being searched.
It is also beneficial if you are able to closely monitor your account closely to minimize spend wastage. They can also open your eyes to newer variations of your search terms that might have been missed by the tools.
Unfortunately, as the name shows, if the search term is broadly matching your keywords, your ads will be served for these less relevant searches as well. This would mean potentially losing some of the money as you would receive irrelevant clicks.
Fix : As told, if you are investing the optimum amount of time on keyword research, having some Broad Match keywords in your account doesn’t hurt from a brand building perspective. But if your focus is to achieve highly targeted leads or sales on a limited budget then it is less risky to target using Phrase and Exact match keywords, or if you are an expert, then use Modified Broad Match keywords. This is also very helpful when trying to measure your campaign.
Mistake 3: Overlooking Negative keywords
This one is likely to happen because the current AdWords web platform doesn’t even talk about the need for negative keywords , which means there are lots of accounts out that are not using them.
A negative keyword essentially acts in the opposite way of a normal keyword that you target. For example, if the word ‘discount’ is being targeted as a Broad Match negative , then your ad won’t be shown if are not offering something for a discount. Simply speaking , if someone searches for ‘Discounted Home Loans’, your ad won’t be shown.
Fix: Ensure you focus on the negative keywords also when you are doing the keyword research. This will help in minimising wastage of money on clicks for terms that are not relevant and will boost the overall health of your account. But this exercise has to be undertaken with some caution as you will be blocking your ads from the user if you inadvertently target a term negatively.
Mistake 4: Ignoring Mobile
It seems like mobile is associated with almost all the digital marketing acronyms like SEO, PPC, UX, CRO etc. Well this is here to stay because even as we speak, the number of mobile users are growing exponentially by the minute.
The way people search, engage and interact on mobile is different from the behavior on a Desktop or tablet. Hence the increasing need to consider the mobile audience when creating campaigns using Google AdWords. This starts right from the ad copy, to mobile extensions and even the targeted keywords.
Fix: Focus on these things to ensure your campaigns are mobile ready:
- Ads specific to mobile - The ads should be shorter in content and only show the domain display as the URL and be clear with the call to action.
- Mobile extensions - Ensure there are extensions like click-to-call etc. This can increase engagement by offering an alternative to navigating the site.
- Bid modifiers - If you happen to know that your site attracts a lot of traffic from mobile or has a better (or worse) conversion rate on mobile, then using % bid modifiers can optimize the budget for mobile searches.
- Short Tail Keywords - You should look at targeting short tail keywords as it is known that mobile searches are often shorter and have fewer keywords as compared to a desktop search.
Mistake 5: Dynamic ads being implemented poorly
Some accounts that we have come across have only one version (generic) set up across all ad groups. This means only this one ad is shown no matter what targeted keyword or search term used to search by the user. And since it is not tailored to their query , it is unlikely to get a click. This results in fewer CTRs and increased CPCs and also less traffic and conversions.
But if done correctly, Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) ads are very efficient as they appear tailored to the user’s query. Unfortunately, we have also seen it is easy to get the DKI ads wrong. Poor implementation can lead to clicks taking a nosedive. And if they look stupid or unprofessional, they can also harm your brand.
- Generic Ads - Ensure that your ads are thematically tailored if there are multiple keywords in your ad groups. And also make sure that all your ad groups have ads containing the keywords in them.
- Dynamic Ads - Please ensure you understand DKI ads and best practices thoroughly before implementing them.
- A/B Testing - Ensure you have at least two variations of ads in your ad groups which allows you to do A/B testing and pick the better performing ads for increased CTR. Always make sure that your ads are relevant, contain a clear CTA and ensure you have a USP that will help you differentiate from the competitor’s ads.
This concludes the first part of Common Google AdWords mistakes you’re probably making and how to fix them. In the next part, we will look at some more common mistakes digital marketers make in the implementation stages of AdWords campaigns.
If you have any big mistakes other than these that you have come across, then please share them in the comments section below and we will look at them in Part-2 of this blog.
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