Beginner Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid

Difficulty: Beginner

Setting up your first Google Ads campaign can be a daunting task, with so much to learn it can often feel like information overload. To save you a headache, we’ve made a list of the top 8 beginner errors to avoid when running your Google Ads campaigns.

Not Checking Your Campaign Regularly

A lack of Google Ads activity is a significant reason for the failure of an Google Ads campaign.

In order for your Google Ads campaigns to work and be successful, you must be regularly checking all aspects of the progress, spend, impressions, CTR, and search terms. You cannot optimise your account and gain valuable insights without regular activity, and understanding what is working and what isn't.

Not Using Negative Keywords

The negative keyword feature in Google Ads allows you to exclude certain keywords from triggering your ad. This is a vital and incredibly important tool that needs to be regularly utilised in your Google Ads campaigns and adgroups.

Without regularly checking the search terms which trigger your ads, and adding irrelevant or inappropriate keywords to the negative keywords list, you can waste money and deplete your daily budget on customers who are searching for products and services which are not relevant to your business.

For example, you own a business selling fresh flower bouquets, the search terms section of your campaign reveals that your ads have been triggered through searches for “artificial flower bouquets”. By adding “artificial” into the negative keyword list you will ensure that your ads will never appear for this inappropriate search again, saving you money and ensuring your daily budget is spent on ads which have a chance to produce leads or conversions.

Only Using Broad Match Keywords

Broad Match keyword targeting is the default keyword match type in Google Ads. Many beginner Google Ads users do not change this and only run campaigns using broad match keywords.

While broad match keyword targeting can be extremely beneficial as it works to maximize the number of clicks to an ad, often, those clicks are less likely to be appropriate for your business and are consequently less likely to result in meaningful leads. This is because a significant number of the people who are clicking on your ad were not searching specifically for your services.

Using only one type of keyword targeting can hinder your campaign success by casting the net too wide, and exposing your add to irrelevant search terms, or too narrow, by limiting potential ad exposure due to exact keyword matching.

Broad match keywords can take up a significant proportion of your daily budget due to the coverage of an ad it produces. If all of your keywords are set as broad match, you may be spending your daily budget faster, and resulting in fewer conversions than if you used a variety of match types for your keywords.


It goes without saying, that spelling and grammatical errors negatively impact the effectiveness of your ad campaign.

You may be missing out on clicks, leads and conversions because of preventable and easily rectifiable mistakes. Always double and triple check your spellings in your keywords, ads and expanded site links.

Ignoring Location Targeting

Google Ads have customisable settings to improve the targeting of your ad to specific groups, languages, locations, and times.

These settings ensure your ad is delivered to potential customers, and you do not waste money on ads to people who cannot access your services. If your business only operates within a certain geographical region, it is paramount that you use this specific location and geo-targeting when you set up your campaign.

These features of Google Ads allow you to specify the circumstances of your ad delivery to target people who will actually buy your services and products, increasing clicks and conversions of your ads.

Adgroups Which Are Too Broad

Having ad groups which are too broad and contain a variety of different keywords will result in the same ad being shown for numerous different products and services.

In doing so, the ads which are triggered may be irrelevant to a particular keyword or may be too unspecific and vague in order to be all-encompassing of this variety of keywords within the ad group.

Ads need to be specific to the intent of the searcher. Having unspecific ad groups, which contain a large number of unrelated keywords, and consequently trigger unspecific ads, will result in a low click-through rate and subsequent low conversion rate. Break up your keywords into separate, highly specific ad groups.

If your fresh flower business sells lilies, roses, gift baskets, and wedding bouquets; create an ad group for each of the separate products and services, only include keywords specific to that adgroup, and write specific text ads to target each product.

Underestimating Search Intent

As previously mentioned, your ads must closely match the keyword which you are targeting. Your potential customers are searching for a specific product or service and want to find results which answer their question.

While it may seem tempting to have your ad frequently appear for a variety of searches and rack up the impressions of an ad, the chances are that those impressions will rarely generate meaningful leads. In forgetting the importance of your a searcher's intent, you may be wasting your money on clicks which have no chance of resulting in a sale or conversion.

Searchers don’t want to see, and won't click on or convert from an ad which had little to do with the meaning of their search. Optimise your keywords and ad text to ensure they are relevant to specific search terms.


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