Google Ads is complicated, but If you set it up right, and operate a business customers want to engage with, running a Google Ads campaign can be very profitable. If you don’t navigate the advanced platform features well, you’ll get a giant credit card bill, a not enough customers to pay it, and a sinking feeling in your stomach about the whole Google Ads experience.

If you’d like to improve your probability of success, avoid these 7 Big Blunders that most Google Advertiser make.

Blunder #1

Bad conversion tracking. A “conversion” can be anything the advertiser decides to define as a conversion. The Google Ads platform is very good at maximizing conversions, but many advertisers set goals that don’t actually generate customers and revenue. If you use clicks on a phone number link, or form fills as the conversion, regardless of how well that traffic converts to actual customers, you’re going to get a lot of bots, and you’re going to have a bad time. 

Blunder #2

Buying broad keywords. Buying broad match keywords, or one word phrase match keywords can result in surprising, and horrible results. Queries and Keywords are not the same, and failing to understand that can be disastrous with Google Ads. If you don’t know what your profitable exact match keywords are, you’re missing out.

Blunder #3

Not capturing email only leads and following up with them. If you have a well targeted paid advertising campaign in market, you need to capture email only leads. The email is the first step in many customer journeys, and an opportunity for you to deliver value. If you know your customer’s needs and wants, you should be able to send them an email that speaks to those wants while they are actively searching for information about what you sell. Give your customers who aren’t quite ready to make an ecommerce purchase, or sign up for a demo, an easy way for you to follow up. 

Blunder #4

Not using negative keywords. With the wild expansion of “close variants” even on phrase match keywords, it’s more important than ever to review your search query reports. Bidding on a keywords doesn’t mean your ads are showing when customers search that specific phrase in 2023, even with exact match keywords. Some advertisers can benefit significantly from a small universe of very high buying intent queries, but not from stuff Google says is “relevant” like competitor’s brand names, shortened versions of the keyword, or words that have a similar meaning. The only way to sculpt your traffic toward high buying intent queries is to build and maintain a robust negative keyword list, often at the accounts, campaign, and ad group level.

Blunder #5

Not using video. Video content sells. Video content improves your quality score, allowing you to buy more traffic for the same amount of money compared to if you didn’t have video content. If you’re going to spend $3/$5/$20 on a click, spend a couple hours creating a video that sells them your product. You won’t regret it.

Blunder #6

Not using mobile first design. The majority of paid traffic comes from mobile. Your landing pages, especially, but also your website more broadly, should reflect this. Make sure it’s at least as easy for your customers to do things that help them buy from you on their phone as it would be on a desktop. We’re even recommending that if you have to choose between improving desktop or mobile, choose mobile. In any event, make sure you’re giving the customers who use your website a good experience on mobile.

Blunder #7

Too much automation. AI is cool. Machine learning has upsides. Giving Google a website URL and a credit card and website and hoping for the best doesn’t work out well for the credit card holder, most of the time. If/when that changes, we’ll be out of a job, but in the meantime be sure to keep an eye on any automation you put in place.
Hope that helps you avoid some of the most costly mistakes that most Google Advertisers are still making in 2023. If you’d like to put our team to work toward that goal, start by requesting a strategy session.