A short list of Google AdWords mistakes and how to avoid them.

Loving your ad more than your numbers

Great you made a really catchy and witty ad.  You spend hours crafting it and it is better than indoor plumbing.  However good it is or how well it performed in the past, if the numbers do not show a high click-through-rate (CTR) or a higher conversion rate then it is time to ditch or reinvent the ad.  (In a future post, I will go over why CTR is not the tell all).  The best way to test for the right ad set is to have multiple test ads going.  You can usually see how well an ad will perform within the first 50 clicks.  Sometimes even earlier since stats will start to show up (if you know statistics you can utilize them for better predictions).  Be unattached to your ads and pick the ones with the best results.  Those are the ads to fund or break down what is going well and tweak it.  However, also know that ads can suffer fatigue and if an ad starts to slow down consider changing it up slightly.  Sometimes something as small as a picture change or word edits can revitalize an ad. Also strive to be testing a new ad against your top performers because you can see even greater results if you are diligent.

Expecting the world from your AdWords (or any ad campaign)

By only having a small budget devoted to your ad campaign, you do not have the reach or the ability to test multiple ads effectively.  Even we have to test our ads to find the ones that work and rarely does anyone have an advertising campaign that works right from the start.  If you are only throwing a few hundred dollars towards your ad campaign each month you will likely not see the results you are hoping for.  Try to keep with it and give your ads time to get the traffic they need to start seeing results.  Meaning invest what is needed to see what works and doesn’t.  Ads are powerful tools that can drive more traffic to you if utilized properly. We are not saying that a small budget couldn’t see results. However, it will take longer and the likelihood of giving up before seeing any significant result increases.

Making a large keyword groups

We all have seen it, searching Google and someone’s “unrelated” ad comes up.  You have no interest in pink fuzzy bunny slippers and while you searched “medical foot fungus treatment options.”  We’re not judging, promise.  You unfortunately were the victim of large keyword groups.  If you are relatively new to the ad world you may have done this yourself. Google AdWords have a nifty keyword option for groups.  However, a common mistake is to have 30 or more keywords lumped together in a group (we always try for much less).  We know the thought behind it, if I have all the potential keywords for my business being searched for I will get the greatest results.  Unfortunately, you end up spending far more to get conversions.  In the long run, it will end up costing you more even if you are seeing very low cost per impression.  You should instead have similar keyword search terms in groups with different ads tailored for each search.  Much like if I was to have different products but all under a similar brand name like Nike.  Nike has many products in their shoe line however if I wanted running shoes I would search for that and likely not just Nike.  The keyword ad group that Nike created would only utilize a grouping of their running shoes and I would never see sandal related keywords.  Think how to group your products to exclude item groups instead of including all.  If they don’t fit together make a new ad group with a tailored ad instead of only a catch all when feasibly possible.

Not utilizing negative keywords

Negative keywords are needed to limit the impact of getting the wrong group of people targeted in your ad campaign, except they are rarely utilized well.  This falls under the large keywords umbrella but it really links to not defining your target market.  If I have an ad that is crafted to appeal to men who live with their parents I would want to make sure I picked negative keywords that group would not utilize.  Such as manicure, lawn-care, small business, start-up, (insert whatever you think of here.)

Know when to hold them

Being the highest bid for the top search ranking does not always mean the most google snipprofitable ad position.  Depending on the product, people may not click on the first ranking.   They may click on the first ranking and move through the rest because they are serious about buying.  At times, it may be more profitable to be at a lower slots like 4th than the number 1 ad slot.  For example, Sandals resort is paying to be on the top for a “Sandals” keyword search but DSW (at the Mall of America) is still in very relevant in the 4th spot at a lower bid.  Don’t start at the highest suggested bid right away.  Start at the minimum bid and work your way up.  If you see results at a lower amount and like them then stay there for a while.  Invest those saved ad dollars in areas where top rankings are needed.

Bid on yourself

If you have locked in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and have organic keywords where you are in the top results don’t forget to still bid on your brand.  Sometimes we will utilize a competing brand’s organic keywords against them and get a “free” placement above them if they are not bidding on it.  Don’t be that for your competitor’s.  What do we mean by this?  If you are the company “Fuzzy Bunny R Us” but are not bidding on your organic keywords because you are the only “Fuzzy Bunny R Us” then you are a prime target for customer redirecting.  (For the sake of not editing in Photoshop, imagine that BunnySlippers.com is the Fuzzy Bunny R US and they do not have a Google shopping ad campaign)Capture bunny.

I am the company “Bunny Fuzz” and I sell the same product line because I bought from your distributor, but I also have a moderate social media following through Facebook and Instagram.  I can only afford a small targeted AdWord campaign.  I can now be the ad right above your hard-fought number one Google ranking because you did not bid on yourself.  Thanks to you I am now your fastest growing competitor.

Why would a marketing company give me advice on how to advertise more effectively? 

You don’t go to the car wash because you can’t wash your car, or learn how to.  You go because they wash your car faster and more efficiently than you can.  Also, if a car wash gives you exceptional service you will likely go back as well.  The same is true for us, if we give you sound advice and you utilize it then you win.  Eventually, you may want to try us out to save time and money because you have other things on your plate.  If your ads are all performing better, at a higher rate of return, and you have time to work on other areas to improve your business then that is an even bigger win.

Eland Consulting
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