If you’re managing your own AdWords campaigns then hopefully you try and keep up with all the latest news and updates as well as looking for help with what to do to keep your account performing at its best. You’ll find countless checklists, guides and posts telling you what you SHOULD do, but what about what you SHOULDN’T do! Well here are the 5 most important things you should avoid when managing your AdWords account:
You’ve just set your brand new campaign running and you’ve got all the info on how to split test and optimise. You diligently log in every week to check your account and make those all important tweaks to improve performance. Then you miss a week…. and another….. and before you know it it’s been a month or more since you last checked on your campaigns. This is probably the most common mistake people make once they get things going and start seeing results. They think things are all tickety boo and just leave the account to get on with it. The problem with AdWords is that unless you are constantly looking for ways to improve your performance the account can stagnate – there’s always something that can be improved upon, whether that’s getting a better click through rate with a new add, or identifying new keywords that could bring you more clicks and conversions.
Action Step: Set a weekly alarm to remind you to log in and do your optimisation or if you don’t have time consider hiring a professional to manage the campaign for you.
Many businesses who manage their own accounts overlook the impact that adding negative keywords can have on an account. It’s shocking sometimes to see how much money is being wasted when people click on your ad for some completely unrelated search term – a search term for which you shouldn’t even be showing up in the first place! This is where negative keywords come in. Imagine you are advertising for your Excel training course – someone does a search on Google for ‘puppy training’ and Google in its infinite wisdom matches this search to your keyword ‘training’ and shows your ad. Clearly it’s not what they’re looking for – by adding the words ‘puppy’ and ‘dog’ as negative keywords you can stop your ads from showing for searches like this and can often save a fortune in wasted clicks.
Action Step: Check your Search Query Report regularly to see which search terms are triggering your ads and add ones which aren’t a good fit as negatives.
If you’re not using all the ad extensions that are available you’re missing a huge trick. These can add extra lines to your ad giving you extra real estate in the search results FOR FREE. At the very least you should be using Call Out Extensions and Site Link Extensions as illustrated below – callouts let you add promotional text to your ad and site links allow you to link to different pages in your site while also giving you the opportunity to say more about your company and encourage people to click on your ad.
To learn more about ad extensions see this article on Google’s help centre: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2375499?hl=en-GB
This should probably be #1 because it is hugely important – if you don’t track conversions on your website then you have absolutely no idea if your advertising is actually working. A conversion can be any action you want your visitors to take when they visit your website: fill out a form, call you, buy something or get a free download. It’s vital for the success and ongoing optimisation of your campaigns that you set up conversion tracking in your account so you can see what actions people are taking and more importantly which keywords they used and ads they clicked on to get there.
Check out the AdWords help centre for help with Conversion Tracking: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1722054?hl=en-GB
Many times someone will click your ad and visit your site but not complete the desired action – maybe they got distracted or simply wanted more information before making the final decision. With remarketing you can ‘follow’ people around to other websites and show them your ad again to encourage them to return. OK, so if not done right it can be very creepy and make you feel a bit like you’re being followed around the internet by the sites you’ve visited, but when done properly it offers excellent conversion rates by keeping YOUR business top of mind with your visitors and reminding them about what you offer. It’s very powerful and it’s certainly something you shouldn’t be avoiding!
I'm the founder and owner of One Eyed Cat Online Marketing and I love helping small businesses grow using Google Ads. I've been using Google Ads since 2004 and Google Shopping since it was a free service called Froogle! I'd love to hear from you if you need any help with your Google Ads, or get in touch with any questions and I'll do my best to answer :)