6 Mistakes To Absolutely Avoid in AdWords
AdWords can be more than a tick overwhelming for the first-time user. Once you’re familiar with it, AdWords can be a powerful platform, but along that path, there are some tripwires – mistakes that a lot of digital marketers make, even experienced ones, that compromise the impact and ROI they get from their AdWords campaigns.
By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll be more likely to see good returns from high-converting Google Ads that make your digital ad budget an investment in success, not a way you’ve found to burn through a pile of cash.
Here, then, are six major mistakes you should absolutely avoid if you’re launching an AdWords campaign.
1 • Failing to track your R.O.I.
It’s shocking how many AdWords users neglect this. Putting money into marketing and advertising is all about getting a “Return On Investment,” supposedly, and if you’re not measuring the results you’re seeing from your AdWords spend, what’s the point of that “investment” in the first place?
First of all, it almost guarantees you’re wasting money on poor quality traffic, but you’ll never be able to analyze and refine your AdWords campaign to get high-quality, high-converting leads if you’re not tracking the conversions entering your funnel.
Frankly, we don’t know many marketers with pockets so deep they can afford to consistently miss the bullseye when it comes to their AdWords campaigns. So the smart ones track conversions and make constant adjustments, such as adding new keywords and ad groups and dropping others, to wring the most from each dollar.
Before correcting or dodging any of the other mistakes on this list, we’d advise you set up a mechanism for tracking R.O.I. first. It’s your best tool for diagnosing whether or not your AdWords program is working in the first place, and helps you gauge the effectiveness of corrective measures.
2 • Using too broad a set of keywords
If you’re new on the block in your market segment or product category, or you’re otherwise not one of the biggest players in that sector, then it doesn’t make sense for you to bid for the broadest keywords available.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you manufacture patchouli-scented automobile air fresheners (which are probably very big in some places, we reckon). If you decide to bid on the keyword “automobile,” you’ll find you’re spending an enormous amount on it, but there’s a very good likelihood you won’t get the returns you need to balance out the cost.
A better strategy is to bid on long-tail keywords
, the 3-4 word keyword phrases that are very particular to what you’re marketing. Whenever a person searches for a highly-specific phrase, it means he or she is looking for something they’ve got a very specific interest in finding, and that interest is more often going to be connected to his/her wallet.
So if you bid on a long-tail phrase like patchouli automobile air freshener, you’ll be more likely to reach prospects who are looking for that very product. Later on, after you’ve scored good ROI from using long-tail keywords, you can diversify into broader keywords. Or just stick with very specific ones, like...beef or fish?
3 • Neglecting negative keywords
Adding negative keywords to your campaign will help you screen out visitors you don’t want, since you’re paying for every click. Why would you want your ads to run in front of people who aren’t going to be really, truly interested in what you’re selling?
Suppose you’re our patchouli-scented air freshener mogul again: If you’re aiming at the Lexus and BMW crowd with a premium-priced product, you might want to add negative keywords to your AdWords campaign to keep out the riff-raff. You might add “-cheap,” “-inexpensive,” or “-joke” or “-gag” to make sure you’re not being shown to anyone who aren’t, in all likelihood, going to be buyers?
Plus, adding negative keywords can also improve your Google AdWords quality score. There are good lists of negative keywords already out there you can use as starters, including some that are considered mandatory for any AdWords campaign: free, cheap, nude, naked, porn, sex, torrent, craigslist and others are on in that rogues’ gallery.
4 • Sending AdWords traffic to your homepage
Why is this a no-no? See item #2: If you’re targeting your AdWords campaign accurately, you’re attracting people who’ve searched up a very specific topic or product, and they’ll expect to be shown very specific and relevant information to satisfy their interest when they click on your ad.
Sending them to your site’s homepage forces them to look for that relevant content when, honestly, they shouldn’t have to. Plus, you want to get them into the funnel ASAP. So creating a separate landing page for each of your AdWords campaigns is mandatory.
Otherwise, you’ll see high bounce rates, and you’ll practically be able to hear the sound of your ad budget being inexorably flushed away.
Sounds like extra work, right? It’s not that much elbow grease thanks to platforms like Unbounce and LeadPages, designed to set up landing pages in a jiffy. Or a trice. Or maybe as long as two shakes. Whatever the effort you make, it’ll be worth it.
5 • Not using Google’s targeting tools
We’ve gone into this at length before, and we’ll flog it again because it’s so very floggable: Google offers a good range of baked-in tools for targeting your AdWords campaigns, and you should use them. Why? Let’s recap a few points so horrifying, we should’ve dressed up as them for Halloween:
- Ad network Disruptive Advertising, studied 2,000 customer Adwords accounts and found 61% of ad spend went to search terms that never convert.
- The average AdWords account wasted 75.80% of its budget.
- 6% of keywords produced 100% of the conversions. As in, 94% of their keywords drove absolutely no ROI.
You should check out every tool they offer because there’s way too much opportunity to go off-target if you’re not doing everything you can to sharpen your targeting arrow.
6 • Attempting AdWords for ABM without AI
You probably saw this one coming, but it’s no less true just because we’ve got skin in the game. When it comes to using AdWords as part of an account-based marketing (ABM) program, precision targeting is absolutely central to making AdWords cost efficient. Why?
It’s because B2B marketers executing ABM have very defined audiences, and reaching those targets demands extraordinary precision in identifying and engaging them. The segmentation tools available through AdWords were, let’s be honest, not nearly good enough to meet the demands of ABM.
Before Deep Learning and AI arrived on the scene, plenty of ABM teams struggled with inefficiency in using PPC. Once they turned to AI-powered solutions, they found their use of AdWords was transformed for the better, reaping two quick benefits:
- Reduced AdWords campaign costs, because of the much more precise targeting AI delivers…
- Better lead quality and higher conversion rates, thanks to their new ability to reach exactly the right people at the right times.
Be an AdWords ace, not an AdHole!
AdWords can be a pretty potent platform for any advertiser, but it has its traps and best practices, just like any other channel.
Figuring them out and putting together smart, tightly-focused campaigns means you’ll be making more effective spends – and the one who’s packing in the proceeds.