5 common Google Ads mistakes that businesses should avoid


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The Google Ads platform offers several ways to customize your ad campaigns to reach customers. For many people, having these multiple options is the only way to ensure all campaigns focus on the right goals. But this amount of detail can be overwhelming, leading to mistakes or suboptimal strategies. In this post, we’ll share the most common Google Ads mistakes and give you the information you need to fix them.

 Google Ads mistakes

5 common Google Ads mistakes that businesses need to avoid

1. Using the wrong (or not) conversion action

We’re all running campaigns in Google Ads for one reason: to help businesses get more revenue or attention. Conversion tracking allows you to measure those desired results by using pixels to track the actions users take on web pages. But this description of the conversion might be confusing for some. While it can produce a desirable result for you to drive traffic to your site, that doesn’t mean every pageview has to be a conversion. You can easily track them using existing metrics like clicks in Google Ads or pageviews in Google Analytics.
Instead, conversion actions should be seen as higher-value actions someone can take, such as filling out a form or making a purchase. In fact, a lot of accounts have pageviews and hundreds of “conversions” that don’t actually generate any sales. So be more specific with your conversion actions. Choose only the goals that will drive your business so you know your campaigns are optimizing for the right actions.

2. Combine Smart Bidding with the wrong goals

To exacerbate the problem of counting pageviews as conversions in Google Ads, many accounts use Smart Bidding that focuses on “conversions”. Google has many different types of Smart Bidding strategies available that can help you achieve your goals. But when you incorporate automated bidding that focuses on the wrong conversions, it only costs you money, without getting any benefits in return.

Google Ads Mistakes: Wrong Target Smart Bidding
Google Ads Mistakes: Wrong Target Smart Bidding

The best way to avoid these Google Ads Mistakes is:
If you have an average of 7-10 conversions per week, which is more than one conversion per day, then setting automatic bidding with a conversion focus (like Maximize Conversions, Max Conversion Value. ) might be a good choice for you.
If your volume is lower, you may want to test out several different bidding strategies and see how each works. You can start with Maximize Conversions, but get ready to move on to Maximize Clicks or Advanced CPC with regular bid reviews to focus on performance.

3. Automatically apply suggestions

Over the past few years, Google Ads has offered suggestions directly in the platform to try and help advertisers optimize their campaigns. While some of the recommendations are helpful and may help you achieve your goals, it’s important to note that most are based on “best practices” across multiple accounts and don’t necessarily consider the spend your specific account. To avoid this Google Ads error, it’s best to turn off automatic suggestions, set up a monthly cycle to sign in to your Google Ads account, and specifically look at the recommendations that Google provides. You can discard anything that doesn’t make sense to you, review and apply what is appropriate.

4. Use only broad match keywords

Google Ads mistakes that quite a few businesses encounter is using only broad-match keywords. Broad match keyword means that it will make your ad eligible to show and therefore eligible for a click from the user, on a larger range of queries than the exact keyword or phrase. While there are certain situations where broad match keywords can be valuable, they are best used in a limited number of cases. Broad match may work for you if:
Your account is generating good results, but you’re having trouble scaling with exact terms and phrases.
You have a high number of conversions and can take advantage of a broad match key combination with Smart Bidding.
You’re using Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) and targeting a known set of users.

5. Do not add negative keywords

Regardless of the match type your keywords use, you’ll likely match queries that aren’t relevant to your business. You can tell Google that you don’t want your ads triggered for these searches by adding negative keywords.

Google Ads Mistakes: Don't add negative keywords
Google Ads Mistakes: Don’t add negative keywords

A quick example to illustrate. You are selling T-shirts and someone searches for “cheap t-shirts”. If your t-shirt has a high price tag, you may need to add “cheap” as a negative keyword to your campaign so that your ads don’t show to people searching for cheap items. This is Google Ads mistakes that businesses are easy to make. But if combined with only running on broad match keywords, you can spend a lot of money very quickly on terms that have no chance of converting.
In summary, here are the Google Ads Mistakes to avoid:

  • Misuse (or no conversion action)
  • Pairing Smart Bidding with an incorrect goal
  • Automatically apply suggestions
  • Use only broad-match keywords
  • Ignore negative keywords

And here’s how to avoid them:

  • Set up conversion actions to refer to actions that specifically impact your goals, like purchases and sign-ups versus pageviews.
  • Be careful when using Smart Bidding for
  • Take the time to regularly review and manually apply Google’s recommendations, which ones work for you.
  • Use a mix of match types, and use broad match only in specific and intentional situations.
  • Maintain a negative keyword list.

Hopefully, this list of Google Ads mistakes will help you quickly identify the errors you are making for your account and have the appropriate solution.

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