Marin Software's official blog

9 Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid

Amandine Pellaton
|
August 8, 2022

Savvy digital marketers know that Google Ads is a great way to reach more customers and bring leads to your business. 96% of brands spend money on Google Ads, so this is Marketing 101, right? But while you know it's a must, getting Google Ads to deliver can sometimes prove tricky.

You could be making common mistakes that cost you money and reduce your ROI. 

So, to help you squeeze the absolute most from your marketing spend, we'll discuss some of the most common Google Ads mistakes to watch out for. Let’s get started. 

Mistake 1: Not Targeting Ads Correctly

Let's say Bob runs a small business that sells blenders online. He's been running ads for a while now, and he’s gotten pretty good at it. But there is one mistake he keeps making: he isn’t targeting his ads correctly.

Bob’s ad with the keyword “blender” is getting a lot of clicks from people searching for the 3D graphics tool. That’s a problem—he needs to target his ads to cooks specifically. To do that, he needs to use the right keywords.

For example, he could use keywords like “kitchen blender” or “smoothie blender.” Using these keywords, he can ensure his ad is shown to people who are actually looking for what he’s selling.

Once Bob's worked out which keywords are most likely to perform best for his business, he must weave these phrases into his product descriptions, website copy, and blog posts.

Our recommendation? Hire a conversion copywriter to help you. Writing with keywords can be a bit like playing Tetris—if you can’t slot them in naturally, it won't work.

Targeting your ads to a smaller, more specific group means you’re more likely to reach the right audience. It also means you can spend less because you’re targeting fewer people (Image Source)

Mistake 2: Not Using Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are words or phrases for which you don’t want your ad to show. For example, if you sell blenders, you might want to add “software” and “3D imaging” as negative keywords. That way, your ad won’t appear when someone searches for the software development tool.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to add negative keywords to their campaigns. As a result, they waste money reaching people who are not searching for their products.

Mistake 3: Not Bidding On the Right Keywords

You need to bid on the right keywords when running a display ad. If you don’t, your ad might not show up at all. And if you bid on the wrong keywords, you could waste money.

For example, let’s say you sell women’s clothing. You could bid on keywords like “women’s clothing” or “dresses.” But if you bid on the keyword “clothing,” your ad might show up for searches like “men’s clothing” or “kids’ clothing.” And you don’t want to waste your money on those clicks.

To avoid this mistake, use Google's Keyword Planner to research which keywords are most relevant to your business. Add those keywords to your campaign and bid on them accordingly.

Go specific with your keywords for a better chance of success.

Mistake 4: Not Using Ad Extensions

Ad extensions give your ad more space and include more information—like a CTA, phone number, address, image, or video. All this information can be beneficial to potential customers, and it can help you stand out from the competition.

To add ad extensions to your campaign, go to the “Ad extension” tab in your Google Ads account and choose which extensions you want to add.

Mistake 5: Not Tracking Your Results

If you’re not tracking your results, you won’t know if your ad is working, and you could be wasting a lot of money. Check the performance to see what’s working and what isn’t. To do this, you need to set up conversion tracking.

Conversion tracking measures how many people who see your ad go on to do what you want them to do. This could be making a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, or downloading a white paper.

To set up conversion tracking, you’ll need to add a piece of code to your website. This might sound daunting, but it’s pretty simple (check out the link for a step-by-step guide).

Mistake 6: Not Optimizing With Conversion Testing

If you’re not testing and optimizing, you could miss out on many conversions. Test different headlines, descriptions, and call-to-actions to see what works best. You might be surprised by the results.

To test different elements of your ad, create two (or more) ads that are identical except for the component you want to try. For example, you could test two headlines and see which one gets more clicks.

Once you’ve created your ads, run them for a set period (usually at least a week) to collect data. Then compare the results and see which ad performed better.

Conversion optimization is a multi-step process that you should have running at all times (Image Source

Mistake 7: Search Network & Display Network Default Campaign Targeting Options

When you create a new campaign, Google will automatically set your targeting options to the Search Network & Display Network. It might not be necessary to target both of these networks (though they often work well together), so be sure to get a sense of which is best for you if that’s the case.

To change your targeting options, go to the “Networks” tab in your campaign settings. You can deselect the Search Network and/or Display Network.

Mistake 8: Not Using Location Targeting

Location targeting helps restrict your ad to people in a chosen region so you can maximize your marketing spend and have your ads seen by those most likely to respond.

There are a few different ways to target your ads to a specific location. The first is to target by country, state, or city. For example, if you only want to show your ad to people in New York, you would select “Target” and then “Location.”

You can also target by radius. This is useful if you have a brick-and-mortar store and you want to target people who live nearby. To do this, select “Target” and then “Radius.”

Finally, you can target by zip code. This is similar to targeting by radius, but it’s more precise. For instance, you might want to advertise to residents in a suburb but not in the adjacent business park. Select “Target” and " Zip code " to execute this tactic.

Mistake 9: Ignoring Regional Trends

When you’re targeting a specific region, knowing the trends in that area gives you a tremendous advantage. For example, if you’re targeting the United States, you might find that there are certain states where your product or service is more popular than others. Or maybe you sell fans, and there’s a heatwave in one part of the country. Trends can help you spot these opportunities. 

Google Trends can show you insights about a specific region. Simply enter a keyword or phrase and select a region. Google Trends will then show you how popular that keyword or phrase is in that area.

Targeting your ads via Google’s regional trends feature (Image Source)

How MarinOne can help

Display advertising is a great way to reach your target audience, while search ads are the best way to get prospects down the sales funnel and help them convert. The fight to stand out is fierce, but by avoiding these common mistakes, you have a real shot at reaping the rewards. If you want to improve your search engine marketing or display ads strategy, MarinOne can help you identify opportunities and optimize your campaigns.

There are many moving parts to a GA campaign, from targeting to keywords to ad extensions. MarinOne gives you one platform to manage all of your paid search campaigns so you can avoid mistakes and save time. It integrates with GA so you can see your analytics in one place, allowing you to track your results and make adjustments as needed. Finally, you can automate and optimize your ads with just a few clicks. To get things rolling, you don’t need to be a technical expert—our platform is designed for non-technical users.

Would you like to find out what MarinOne can do for you? Schedule a free demo to learn more.

Sign Up and Get Updates by Email
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.