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11 common mistakes to avoid on Google Ads

Paid search is a method that can be very effective in capturing many visitors to your site. With platforms like Google Ads or Bing Ads, anyone can become number 1 in search engine results for the keyword of their choice, for a cost-per-click fee.

Google Ads promises to effectively target your audience by allowing you to bid on keywords in real-time and get users to click on your ads. A simpler and faster way than natural referencing, which requires long optimization work to achieve comparable results.

However, this platform can be complicated for advertisers to use. If you’re not familiar with Google Ads, errors can greatly reduce the relevance of your ads. Your campaigns may then be ineffective.

So what are the common mistakes of advertisers and how to avoid them?

1. An irrelevant landing page

The landing page to which your sponsored link refers is at least as important as the ad itself.

You will need to choose a landing page for each ad created. Don’t just always send your ads back to your homepage. This is often the least relevant page since it is essential to offer users the most precise solution to their problem.

Generalist pages are not targeted enough. You then take the risk of not converting your visitor if he does not find quickly and precisely what he is looking for.

Since you pay for an ad with every click, you need to maximize your chances so that it leads to a purchase or a qualified lead.

Indeed, if it does not meet the expectations of the visitor and if it does not facilitate the conversion, this page has no interest. 

An inconsistent landing page with the title and description of the Google ad

If the ad says “Cheap sandals for the summer”, you can imagine that the visitor has no desire to come across a page presenting him with fur boots.

A landing page without an objective

Ask yourself: what is my landing page for? What action should it encourage the visitor to perform? Purchase, phone call, download a white paper, subscribe to a newsletter, request a quote… The possibilities are numerous and it is essential to know your conversion goals.

A landing page with too many choices

In line with the previous point, you should limit the possibilities of interaction with the page to increase your chances that the visitor will perform the desired action.

For example, if you want visitors to call you – you can measure this through call tracking – you should highlight your phone number.

2. Not understanding the types of correspondence

Once you’ve targeted the keywords that match your business, it makes sense to integrate them into your Google Ads campaigns. However, some requests may be irrelevant or too high for your budget:

  • Broad queries can target users who are not interested in your products or services.
  • Exact keywords can be expensive and small.
  • An exact request can lead you to pay a higher CPC.

It is therefore necessary to establish a targeted matching strategy while measuring costs. 

3. Do not use site links

You have certainly noticed that some Ads or orBing Adshave site links (up to 6), are located below the main link and text:

If they may seem anecdotal, these links are very beneficial for your paid search campaign, and it is necessary to use them (intelligently).

They not only make your ad much more visible but also expand the possibilities for people who see your ad.

Here are some clever ways to use site links:

  • Distinguish different product categories (e.g. women, men, children…);
  • Highlight your most popular products of the moment;
  • Announce a promotion or special offer;
  • Promote products whose sales are declining;
  • Promote a new product with low research volume…

Another advantage of site links is that they increase the ranking of the ad.

Finally, do not neglect the landing pages to which your site links point (refer to point #1).

4. Choosing the wrong keywords

Do not forget: targeted keywords are the basis of a paid search campaign and their choice is decisive for the success of your ads.

However, this is not obvious, because there are many more or less complex factors to examine to make a good selection: volume of research, competition, relevance…

As we explained in our article on the subject, choosing keywords for a Google Ads campaign (but this also applies to other services like Bing Ads) requires time and a good methodology: there is no question of rushing and selecting them in a hurry, at the risk of seeing your campaign fail.

5. Neglecting keyword writing

There are different ways to write keyword queries:

  • Regular writing as web copywriting allows Google to display your ads on synonyms, which limits your control over keywords.
  • Added “+” to keywords like +writing +web. Google then only displays ads containing these words in the user’s query.
  • Quoted keywords like “web copywriting” make your Google ad appear when the phrase is written precisely and not detached.
  • When queries are written in square brackets like [web copywriting], Google only displays ads if the user types that specific query. 

6. Don’t use geo-targeting

Advertisers have the option to target only certain geographic areas with their commercial links.

And imagine that this is not only reserved for small local businesses that are looking for customers in the immediate vicinity and for whom national advertising would be a waste.

Indeed, larger companies can, for example, use it to reach regions whose population corresponds to their typical customer base (their buyer persona).

7. Don’t test

When it comes to paid search, nothing is ever a foregone conclusion.

Even if you design and fine-tune your ad down to the smallest detail, it is impossible to predict if it will be effective and have a good return on investment.

That’s why it’s very helpful to practice regular testing by trying different ad variations. Items you can edit and compare include:

  • Call-to-action ;
  • Ancillary links;
  • The URL to display;
  • Promotions and special offers…

8. Stop the user’s search

Some marketers tend to buy unrelated keywords. They assume that a user typing a specific search will also be interested in their product which happens to be in the same theme.

From a marketing point of view, this is an interesting approach, however, users who do this kind of research have a specific goal and may simply be annoyed to be interrupted. Take a more generalist approach to your brand and then add value as you go.

9. Return on investment does not match profits

As an advertiser, it’s not uncommon to get a bad idea of the returns on Google Ads. Be able to determine if the budget you invest is generating profits for your business.

Check the full customer journey to accurately calculate your ROI. You can calculate it by determining the number of conversions.

The value of each conversion will need to be greater than the amount you spent to get it.

10. Not auditing regularly

It is essential to carry out an audit at least once a year.

An audit allows you to verify the optimization of your Ads account. This saves you from making unnecessary efforts and knowing where you are before investing more time and money. You will then be able to identify opportunities to seize and improve your management.

To gain objectivity, don’t hesitate to hire a professional to review your Google Ads account.

And even if you have a good handle on your account, you can make additional improvements with the hindsight and experience of campaigns already designed. 

11. Do not monitor competition

If you’re converting less than before, Google Ads isn’t necessarily the problem. Other factors may be involved, including your competitors. Indeed, they can attract users with better offers for example.

You will need to keep an eye on the competition regularly and thus, you will stay one step ahead. Use the “bid analysis” feature to compare your performance with that of competing advertisers.

If you want to check how the values have changed over time, you can select the dates, click “download” then “more options” and add segments. 

Don’t make the mistake of absolutely wanting to be first in search results. If you want to enjoy a strategic and optimized Google Ads account and get a good return on investment, avoid these mistakes!

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