Getting the word out about your business can seem difficult when potential customers are bombarded with marketing content and ads from other brands every single day. Thus, it’s not uncommon for business owners to take advantage of the search engine giant, but it’s important to avoid some key Google Ad mistakes. Developing and implementing a strong Google Ads campaign will help people find your business in relevant online searches, boosting your odds of getting noticed.

That doesn’t mean a campaign is always going to yield ideal results. If you’re not getting the return on investment you expected from Google Ads, it’s possible you’re making one (or more) of the following mistakes.

Luckily, when you know what mistakes you’re likely making, it becomes much easier to correct them. These noteworthy examples are errors that can substantially reduce a campaign’s effectiveness. If they sound familiar, take steps to avoid them in the future. Your business will profit as a result!

Your Ad Groups Don’t Have Themes

Google allows marketers to create “ad groups,” which are simply multiple Google Ads with the same (or similar) targets. They are typically grouped together based on keywords.

For instance, if you’re marketing a winter apparel company, you might have multiple ads you want potential customers to see when using search terms like “winter clothing” or “ski clothing.”

That said, when using Google Ads, sometimes marketers don’t actually unify their ad groups with common themes. This means people who end up seeing them might not find your ads relevant to their needs.

Let’s return to the winter apparel example. To truly reach the customers you’re targeting, you need to create ad groups that share one specific theme, and thus, also share similar keywords. Someone looking for a ski jacket won’t necessarily have much interest in an ad featuring winter boots. However, if your ad groups contain ads and keywords that touch on both of those ideas (ski jackets and winter boots), there’s a good chance many people seeing them won’t actually have any interest in them.

Avoid this by reviewing your ad groups and determining if they are appropriately themed. You may need to adjust them if they seem fairly random and scattered.

Additionally, Google recommends having more than one ad per group. When you have at least three, Google’s AI and algorithms can more effectively “learn” which ads are most likely to perform well, prioritizing them accordingly.

Only Using Broad Match

When launching a Google Ads campaign, marketers bid on keywords they want to rank for in relevant searches. Google gives you options here via different “match types.” The broad match option is common, as using it allows your ad to appear in searches that contain similar keywords to those you bid on, as well as misspellings and other minor differences.

The problem is, if you rely solely on broad match, your ads won’t always correspond to a user’s actual intent when they performed a search. Again, if you’re marketing winter apparel, and choose “winter apparel” as your keyword, the broad match option may display your ads to people who aren’t actually interested in buying winter gear, or aren’t interested in the specific items an ad is promoting.

It’s better to also use the broad match modifier option. This allows you to rank for more specific terms by adding a modifying word. An example would be “ski jacket + red.” The main keyword is “ski jacket,” and the modifier is “red.” This option simply makes it easier to ensure an ad promoting a red ski jacket will be displayed to users actually looking for that type of item.

It’s also worth noting that you can use the “negative keyword” function to ensure your ads aren’t displayed when users include certain words or phrases in their searches. Google uses the basic example of “free” to demonstrate what a negative keyword might be. If you don’t want to reach people who are searching for free items, including that as a negative keyword is key to preventing this.

Using Google Display Network

Before launching a campaign, look for the “Include Google Display Network” option. It will already be checked. Google keeps this option on by default. Marketers who don’t want to use it need to manually uncheck the box.

Make sure you do! This option promotes your ads to people who may not have searched for your keywords, but seem to be potential customers based on their online behavior. For example, again, if you’re marketing a winter apparel brand, Google might display your ads to someone who has been searching for ski resort packages.

Now, with that said, this is pertaining more to someone who has the set it and forget it mentality about their ads. If you really want to own the success of your ads, you need to be running separate remarketing campaigns. There’s more detail in our other article about what remarketing is and why you should do.

Not Targeting Specific Locations

Another step to take before launching a campaign is to click on the “Location options” link to expand your targeting options.

Odds are good you don’t want your ads to reach people in all locations. Sometimes they simply won’t be relevant. To continue with the winter apparel example, an ad promoting the grand opening of a new franchise branch for your company certainly won’t have any value for a user who lives far away from the branch, or who lives in a region with a warm climate. You stand to waste a lot of your money if you don’t take the time to precisely determine which locations you want people who see your ads to be based in.

Not Testing

No ad campaign is perfect. Even if you’re a strong marketer, there is always going to be room for improvement.

You won’t know how you can improve if you don’t test different types of ads. Experiment with different copy, try different CTAs, use different keywords, and monitor your performance to learn what works and what doesn’t.

This is the most important point to remember! Again, a Google Ads campaign can deliver major results. It’s much more likely to do so if you’re willing to be proactive, testing different strategies to optimize your campaign.

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