Anyone who’s ever managed a Google Ads campaign knows just how complicated advertising on Google can be. Between all the keywords, bids, ad copy and landing pages, it can be hard to get everything right. Focusing on how to improve google ads campaigns is the key to a profitable investment.
To make matters worse, if you do mess up, it can cost you…big time.
Unfortunately, most advertisers have a few basic mistakes in their campaigns that are keeping them from truly taking advantage of Google Ads. The good news is, though, that many of these mistakes are fairly easy to fix. It’ll take a bit of time and effort, but once you have things going right, your campaigns will flourish.
Here are 4 common (and easy to fix) problems you can tackle today!
1. Too Many Keywords
First-time advertisers often fall victim to the temptation to add every keyword they can think of to their keyword lists. After all, you don’t want to miss out on a potentially valuable click just because you forgot a keyword.
However, while this argument seems compelling, bidding on too many keywords can actually hurt your campaigns.
The more keywords you bid on—especially within the same ad group—the harder it is to create ad copy and messaging that will get people to click.
For example, if you’re running ads for your photography business, you might be tempted to bid on keywords related to everything from product photography to wedding photography. The problem is, someone looking for product photography is motivated by very different things than a bride-to-be. If you gear your ad copy towards entrepreneurs, you won’t get any clicks for wedding photography.
Even if you get more granular with your ad groups, bidding on too many keywords can still hurt your campaigns. Sure, you’ll be able to write ad copy that fits your audience, but not all keywords are created equal. If you bid on too many keywords, you’ll end up burning your budget on clicks that “might” convert…and missing out on impressions and clicks for your top-performing keywords.
The moral of the story? Keep a close eye on your keywords. While there’s no harm in testing new keywords, if a keyword isn’t producing profitable conversions after a hundred clicks or so, you either need to change how you’re using the keyword or get rid of it.
2. Neglecting Your Negative Keyword Lists
Along the same lines, managing your negative keyword lists is just as important as managing your actual keyword lists. Sometimes, a keyword matches the perfect searches some of the time…and the strangest searches at other times.
While you can control some of this with keyword match types, often you just need to use your negative keyword lists to filter out irrelevant searches. This is especially useful if a keyword you want to target has a variety of potential meanings—not all of which are relevant to your business.
For example, Disruptive Advertising offers pay-per-click (PPC) management services, which is a type of digital marketing. However, we don’t offer search engine optimization (SEO), which is another type of digital marketing.
So, if we decided to bid on the keyword “digital marketing,” that would potentially attract people who are interested in PPC or SEO (or both!).
If the keyword “digital marketing” was delivering good results, but we were getting a lot of clicks from people looking for “SEO and digital marketing”, it might be a good idea to add “SEO and digital marketing” as a negative keyword. That way, we can keep using the “digital marketing” keyword while eliminating all of those irrelevant clicks. This will improve google ads campaigns if you just adjust a little.
Obviously, this is an overly simplified example, but take a look at your Search Terms list on Google Ads. You’ll be surprised at what sorts of searches your ads are showing up on and I’d be willing to bet good money that you’ll quickly find some negative keyword opportunities that can save you some serious money.
3. Focusing Only on Keywords
Google Ads is all about keywords. There’s no denying that, but keywords aren’t the only important part of your targeting strategy. If you don’t set up the rest of your targeting options correctly, you can have the perfect keyword list and still get a lot of useless clicks.
Take location targeting, for example. If your photography business only serves people in Salt Lake County, but you’re running ads in New York City, every click in NYC is a total waste of money. In fact, any click outside of Salt Lake County is a click that will probably never turn into a paying customer, so why run ads in places you can’t service?
A lot of the non-keyword settings in your Google Ads campaigns seem pretty basic, but where, when and even what language you choose to advertise in are just as important as who you target with your keywords and how you write your ad copy.
Google even offers some interesting non-keyword options like the ability to target people based on their purchasing intent, so taking an occasional look at campaign settings can be a great way to improve your campaigns with a few clicks. Dig into the Google Ads reporting tool and see if there are any areas where you can improve!
4. Forgetting Your Bidding Strategy
While optimizing your Google Ads campaigns, it’s easy to assume that your bidding strategy is working just fine. Now, I’m not referring to your actual bids here. Most advertisers are always toying with their bids (if you’re not one of them, that may be another opportunity to improve the performance of your campaigns).
Instead, I’m talking about your bidding strategy. If you’re like the typical advertiser, you probably picked a strategy that made sense when you were first setting up your campaigns and then forgot all about it.
The problem is, the wrong bidding strategy can limit your campaigns in a big way. If you’re using accelerated delivery and using up your budget before the end of the day, you could be missing out on a lot of potential conversions.
Alternatively, maybe you picked a bidding strategy that spreads your budget throughout the day. However, most of your conversions happen at a certain time of day and you’re only getting a small percentage of the potential clicks because of budget limitations.
In either of these cases (and many more), taking a look at your bidding strategy can be another way to improve google ads campaigns. Changing your bidding strategy or setting up rules that increase or decrease your bids during certain times of the day is easy and can greatly increase the profitability of your ads.
What have we learned?
Each of these four areas is a golden, evergreen way to improve your Google Ads campaigns. In fact, since the competitive landscape is always changing, I recommend taking a look at each of these areas on a monthly (if not weekly) basis. It’s a great, quick way to stay on top of your campaigns and ensure that you are making as much money as possible.
The good news is, you don’t have to be a marketing genius to succeed at Google Ads. All you have to do is spend a little time on a regular basis checking up on your account. With periodic maintenance in each of these areas, you’ll be on your way to knowing how to improve google ads campaigns!
How do you stay on top of your Google Ads campaigns? What common mistakes do you see?