Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid

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May 15, 2020

Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid


Contrary to some popular beliefs within the industry, SEO and PPC aren’t at opposite ends of the spectrum. There are many ways in which the two different search disciplines can work together for benefits all around, especially when it comes to Google Ads optimisation. 

Marketing your business is a step in the right direction, and the correct utilisation of Google Ads can really help to grow your business; however, you can end up wasting hundreds or thousands of pounds every single month if your campaigns aren’t set up correctly. 

Here are some of the common mistakes that businesses make, and how to avoid them: 

Having Unorganised Ad Groups with a Ton of Keywords

Perhaps in the beginning of your ad account you had an Ad group with a strong theme, but over time you’ve become lazy and just kept continually adding new keywords and this has made the group a bit null and void. 

Take a hard look at your ad groups and ask yourself, do they have a tight theme? Does it make sense if people search for any of the keywords in the ad group for them to see the same ad? If the answer to either of these critical questions is no, then you need to split out your keywords into more ad groups. Even if the keywords are synonyms of each other, it’s a good idea to split them out into different groups, so this way you can easily see what performs better and then optimise accordingly. 

Organising your ad groups by themes also enables you to make sure that your ad copy and ad landing page align with what the end user is searching for. Set yourself up for ads success, create well-themed ad groups! 

Choosing the Wrong Keyword Match Type

There are a few match types to choose from when it comes to Google Ads – plus, Google wants you to use broad match simply because they’ll make more money! Broad match can be used for finding new keywords you want to bid on, but don’t start your campaigns with all broad match keywords (you may as well be using AdWords Express…). 

Exact match is a great match type to choose, although exact match is not true to its name anymore, your ads can also appear for close variations or searches that match the intent of the keyword. Phrase match is also a solid choice, as this is more geared towards keyword order – the end user can just shove stuff in the middle of a phrase match.

To see what search terms your ads are triggering, you can select the keyword and then view the associated search terms for the specific keyword instead of the entire ad group. This will enable you to evaluate whether you need to change your match types. 

Not Using Enough Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are keywords that you don’t want your ads to appear for, and you can add them at the campaign level or at the ad group level. This comes in handy when you’re running multiple campaigns and you want them to have the same negative keywords. Save yourself from wasting money on irrelevant clicks! 

Only Having One Ad Per Ad Group

Google itself recommends having at least three ads in each ad group – if you have set your ad rotation to optimise, it will set your best performing ads to appear more often. By only having one ad, you aren’t giving Google’s machine learning technology the chance to prioritise ads that are expected to perform better. 

Even if you do have three or more ads, you still might not be seeing great results. You need to ask yourself what’s going wrong? Take a hard look at your ad copy, is it compelling? Is it clear? Is there a CTA? Remember to write for your audience, use emotional triggers to your advantage and emphasise why people should be choosing your business.

Also, do some competitor research, how do their ads look compared to yours? Is there offer better? Is their copy more engaging? Learn from your competitors and adjust your copy accordingly.  

Not Taking Advantage of Ad Extensions

So, you’ve created your ads, well done you’re halfway there! Google Ads offers many more opportunities to make your ad stand out from the crowd. Adding extensions doesn’t guarantee that they’ll appear, but when they do show, your ads will yield higher CTRs!

Types of Extensions:

  • Callouts; use these to highlight important information such as features or benefits. What makes your business unique? Do you offer free shipping or delivery? Include it as a callout!
  • Sitelinks; add links to related pages on your website such as, pricing, how to contact you, related services. Sitelinks give searchers an idea of what other information they can find on your site. 
  • Call; want to increase the number of calls your business gets? Add the call extension; this can even be scheduled to appear only during business hours.
  • Location; if you’re a local business, this extension is an absolute must have. All you need to do is connect your Google Ads with your Google My Business account. This extension will show your address, phone number and when you’re open to searchers.
  • Price; this can be a little bit of a sticky subject for some companies, but if the price is part of your competitive advantage, consider using this extension to highlight the price of your product or service. 
  • Message; if you have the capability, and if it makes sense for your business, this extension allows people to text you straight from your ad. 
  • Promotion; this works well if you’re having a sale, highlight it with a promotion extension! Using this lets users know that you have a sale for a limited time, and you can add a promo code too.
  • App; this is the least used extension. If you have an app, you can have it appear underneath your ad, with a call-to-action to download it. 

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