Are you wasting your Advertising Budget on Google AdWords?
All marketers and advertisers know that Google AdWords is an important tool to drive fast traffic to one’s website. But it can be daunting and very expensive if not used and managed properly, while a well-managed campaign can yield high return on investment and fuel your brand’s continuous growth.
If you have invested a lot of money in your AdWords campaign but haven’t started to see positive results and returns, it is time to do a thorough auditing of your account and to see if you have made some of the most scary but also most common mistakes. Here I’ll name the top 5.
Mistake #1 Wrong or Irrelevant Landing Page
Think about that: you have carefully selected your keywords, crafted ad copy, bid high over your competitors to get at the top page, and finally customers get attracted and clicked on your ads. But when they landed on your website, they saw a page of “product out of stock or not found” or a specifically product page that is broken and automatically redirected to a homepage that is barely relevant to what the customer searches. It is for sure a NIGHTMARE.
Advertisers not only pay for a page that leads to nothing, but also potentially lose a customer who is disappointed at your site and won’t visit again.
How to Fix: Check your web page response codes status and update landing page URL when URL changes. You may use Google AdWords Editor to perform bulk edits.
Mistake #2 Use Broad Match Keywords Only
It is important to understand there are different match types of keywords one can choose from. Broad match is one of the match type that will let your ads run on the variations of the keywords you listed out, some of the search terms are remotely related and won’t bring any valuable traffic to your website.
How to Fix: We would recommend start with exact match first, then expand to phrase match and use broad modifier to increase the scope. Only use broad match cautiously when your campaign is focused on exposure in the entire topic.
Mistake #3 Not Using Negative Keywords
Have you ever looked into your search term report. It is under the “Keyword Tab – Search Terms.
You maybe surprised to see that you ads are shown to some search terms totally irrelevant to your business and you pay for that! It is time to think about using negative keywords. AdWords allows you to exclude certain keywords that are not a good match.
How to Fix: You may first use Filter – Filter by Match Type in Search Terms report to see filter out exact matches, and check what kind of search terms your broad and phrase match keywords have paid for. Then you can switch to the “Negative keywords” Tab and add those irrelevant ones as negative keywords
Mistake #4 Location Targeting Not Set Up Correctly
Google AdWords allows you geo-target your campaigns. It is important to utilize the location targeting feature to a way that best suits your business. If you are a local business that only serves customers within California. Targeting the entire United States might not be a good idea and cost you a lot of wasted budget.
One tricky thing about location targeting in AdWords is shown in the screenshot below. Under the advanced setting of location, there are 3 different targeting methods. By default, it will choose “People in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location (recommended)”. This means you ads are not only shown to customers that are physically located in California, but people who “show interest in” California. This might cost a lot of wasted budget.
How to Fix: To see if searchers who “show interest in” but not physically located in California are valuable to you, you may first check the “location reports”, and see the conversion metrics of locations outside California. If a lot of money you spent on them, but very few or even no conversions occurred. Then you should definitely change the targeting setting to “People in my targeted location”
Mistake #5 AdWords Account Not Well Organized
If you just started doing AdWords, the most difficult thing you may find with this tool is the structure and levels such as account, campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords etc. To have a successful AdWords management, it is very important to understand what all those levels mean and to keep things perfectly organized. It is always a terrible idea to keep everything in a single campaign, every keywords in a single ad group.
To make it easier to understand, let’s just remember a few simple rules. You can create several campaigns under a account – the account may represent your whole business (if your business is not super large). First, Only at the campaign level, you can set a budget! So imagine you sell a karaoke machine, and as accessories to the karaoke equipment, you also sell speakers, you put karaoke machines and speakers all in a single campaign, and everyday, there are a lot of people search for all kinds of speakers and that eats up 80% of your budget. Your main product – karaoke machine – not even got to be shown!
Second, only at ad group level, you can set ads and destination URL. An Ad group contains a list of keywords and ads. All the keywords in the same Ad group generate the same ads in the ad group. For example, you have CD player Karaoke Machine and Bluetooth Karaoke Machine, you put all the keywords in a single ad group. Then what ads you should show to searchers? The Ads with the keyword CD player or Bluetooth or general Karaoke? What landing page you should send them to? The product page of CD player or Bluetooth or homepage? It is definitely a much better idea to separate them out in different ad groups, tailor the ad copy, and direct users to different landing pages.
If you put everything in a single ad group and then direct to a page that is not relevant to any terms or just relevant to part of the terms, your quality score (remember Quality Score? It is factored into Your Ad Rank! Basically, higher Quality Score, higher rank, lower bid, happy clients, happy me ☺) gotta be destroyed and you pay more to rank at the top of the page.
Need help with AdWords account management? Contact OODDA today to schedule a FREE Adwords Account Auditor Session. If you haven’t started to use AdWords and want to learn more about how AdWords can benefit your business, we are just a call away! Call (626)-465-7168 and meet with OODDA’s search marketing specialist today.
About the Author: Connie Xin is the search marketing specialist at OODDA. A digital native. A UT Austin AdGrad Alumni. Hook’em Horns.