May 9, 2017

5 Common AdWords Mistakes You Need To Avoid

Published: 9 May 2017 

When you’ve spent time, effort and money on an AdWords campaign, you’ll want to know that it’s worth the investment. After all, if you’re not making your money back, then what is the point? If your return on investment (ROI) isn’t as high as you’d like, you may be making some simple mistakes in your campaign.

So what are the common AdWords mistakes you need to avoid?


1. Not using ad groups correctly

Source: Crazy Egg

This is one of the biggest mistakes people make in their AdWords campaigns. Rather than making single keyword ad groups, people have the tendency to group similarly themed keywords together.

The problem this creates is it is difficult to write an ad for the keywords you have put in the group. The ad copy should be matching the keywords in the group. When the keywords are loosely related, it means you can’t make your copy specific. People will then have less chance of finding what they’re looking for, and you won’t get a conversion.

To avoid making this mistake, it’s best to put one keyword into its own ad group. This means you won’t have generic ads - you can make the ads more specific, and have a better chance of having a high click-through rate.    

2. Using the wrong keyword matches

When using AdWords, there are three phrases that you have to familiarise yourself with:

  • Broad match: your ad will show if the keywords are used in a search, regardless of the order. When you’re entering a broad match term on AdWords, make sure you don’t include any punctuation before or after the term. Broad match keywords can be very powerful, as they will display even if the person has entered a few words, and they’re not necessarily ready to make a purchase.
  • Phrase match: your ads will display when people search your keywords in the exact order. However, the phrase can also show up when it’s extended. If your keyword is “women's running shoes”, it will show up for that, as well as “where can I buy womens running shoes.” When entering phrase match keywords into AdWords, you need to make sure to use quotation marks around the term, for example “womens running shoes.”
  • Exact match: this is exactly as it sounds. Your keywords will show up for that phrase only. Unlike phrase match, your ad will only show up for “women's running shoes”, and NOT “where can I buy womens running shoes.” While this seems limiting, being so specific can have its advantages. Exact match keywords can often result in a higher conversion rate.

It’s important to choose the right type of keyword matches, as this will impact the outcome of your campaign. Broad match will get more impressions than exact match, but may result in fewer conversions.

3. Poorly written ads

So you’ve grouped your keywords correctly and using the right keyword matches, but you’re still not seeing results.

One of the reasons this could happen is the copy of your ad. If the copy on your ad isn’t compelling, why would anyone want to click it?

Source: Neil Patel

You can increase the ROI of your ad by including the right ad extensions. When you log into your AdWords account, navigate to the Ad extensions tab, where you can add location, call and sitelink extensions to your ad. This means you’ll be adding more information to your ad, and giving people extra reasons to click your ad. Test which extension works for your business and what will appeal to your customers.

If you’re going to use ad extensions, make sure the landing page is easy to navigate and has what the customer was looking for. If not, you’ll find you won’t gain any sales.

4. Not using negative keywords

Another common mistake AdWords users make is not using negative keywords. These are keywords that you don’t want your ad to display for, and are not a good match for your product or service.

For example, if you’re selling shoes, but not running shoes, then that would be your negative keyword. This would prevent your ad from displaying when people search “running shoes”, and you’ll stop losing money.

If you’re looking to increase your ROI, it’s a good idea to make a list of negative keywords and implement them in your AdWords campaign. To create this list, you’ll need to use Google Analytics. Using this tool, you can see which words aren’t converting well. This gives you an idea of what negative keywords you can add to your list, without adding ones that are getting you conversions.  

5. Not testing the optimal ad position


When you’re trying to achieve the best results from your AdWords campaign, it’s easy to think you’d get the best results from being in the number one position on Google.

However, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, WordStream found the number one position isn’t always the best. Sure, you may receive a higher number of clicks, but this doesn’t always translate to conversions.  

If you’re aiming to get more quality clicks, traffic and conversions, being in position 3-5, rather than number 1, is the best. While the higher positions will be seen first,  people who click on the results in positions 3-5 are more likely to be interested in those products or services.

However, it’s best to test this for yourself and find which position gets you the best results. To test, you need to lower or increase your bid on cost per click. Start with your lowest bid, see what the results are, and increase it if necessary.    

If you can avoid making these mistakes, you are sure to increase your ROI and have a far more successful campaign.

Know any other AdWords mistakes people need to avoid? Let us know in the comments.


Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

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